Trust us—it's not as easy as "Ready, set, smile"—to create the perfect street style photo. You need a killer outfit, a masterful photographer, and an on-point pose. Whether you're into crossing your legs, swinging your bag, or getting all "akimbo" on us, your stance says quite a bit more about you then just what you like to wear. In fact, we've enlisted renowned body language expert Patti Wood and author of the book Success Signals, Understanding Body Language to tell us more about what your signature stance might be revealing about you without your knowledge. After combing through all our favorite Street Style sites—including ours—we've got the top five go-to street style poses that make regular appearances during Fashion Week or any average Sunday in Soho. So, if you're wondering if your preferred pose made the cut, click through to see what your street style stance says about you!
Written by Christene Barberich; Illustrations by Isabelle Rancier
The Walk Away
What It Is: You cast a quick glance over your shoulder to a sneaky shutterbug as you hurry to your next show. Thanks for the photo—but, gotta run!
Repeat Offenders: Emmaneulle Alt, Stephanie La Cava
Body Language Reveal: "This stance seems to imply, 'I don't quite look as good as I could.''" says Wood. "The toes pointing away from the camera, the bowed head, the slouched shoulders protecting the heart, all says, 'I'm not up to my usual standard...I'm a little embarrassed right now.'"
The Red Carpet
What It Is: With one hand on hip and one hip cocked upward, this pose was popularized by Red Carpet walkers and Sorority Girls for its ability to make your arms like itty bitty and your waist look more defined.
Repeat Offenders: Anna Della Russo, Miroslava Duma
Body Language Reveal: "The hand on the hip is a model technique. It lifts the chest up and elongates the upper torso making you look slimmer," says Wood. "But because of the elbow out also making the viewer excited. The elbow out creates a danger silhouette alerting the primitive brain sending it the message 'I am dangerous.' The foot cross—one foot protecting the other in a foot hug—show she knows how to pose the upper half of her body but behind the pose she is really not as confident. Maybe she's not so ready for the red carpet."
The Sassy Model
What It Is: Hard to pull off for anyone who isn't actually a model, The Sassy Model encapsulates any goofy pose that only looks good if your looks rival Aphrodite's.
Repeat Offenders: Hyoni Kang, Coco Rocha
Body Language Reveal: "This pose shows your're super confident, joyful, and love to be in the limelight," says Wood. "I call this 'up' body language. Upward body cues, up in the air foot, raised arms, upward facing palms, chest up and out, chin and head up are cues of happiness, joy and excitement. Ultimately, she knows she looks hot."
The Sign Of The Cross
What It Is: Standing with your legs crossed firmly, the SOTC straddles the line between looking discreetly coy and as narrow as humanly possible.
Repeat Offenders: Susie Bubble, Mary-Kate Steinmiller
Body Language Reveal: "This one clearly says, I know I am good, but you can’t have me. She knows how to take care of herself," says Wood. "She is confident but she doesn’t give it away for free. This is a women who on one hand says 'come and get me!' and on the other says, 'but it won’t be easy.' She is confident in her clothing and accessories choices and generally likes how she looks."
What It Is: You're using a wall, surface, or fence to prop yourself up, or you're tilting further than the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Repeat Offenders: Alexa Chung, Rei Shito
Body Language Reveal: "This stance shows a desire to look cool and relaxed," says Wood. "The crossed feet are a unique cue, typically crossing means shyness or closure, but crossing the feet in a relaxed stance says, 'I am not scared or threatened. The lean to the side also shows an ease and comfort. Subtle cues, like sunglasses, one hand in the pocket, and a bag covering the belly says this girl needs her privacy."