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body language

Did you know that the way you’re carrying your hand bag says more about you than the fact that you’re an incredibly stylish human being?

We didn’t either, but body-language expert Susan Constantine has noted that your carrying style is more than just an aesthetic. She provided some incredible insight into what the way we’re carrying our most prized clutch says about our personality.

This is where science and fashion collide and it has blown our minds.

Below are just some of Susan’s insights into the different ways our personal traits are expressed through our hand bag habits.

Cross body

Susan says this shows that your safety is important to you. You like to keep an eye on your personal items by wearing your bag across your body and not thrown over your shoulder.

By your side

You’re a trusting person who takes life in stride and who is “dangling life by its fingertips”. We think it also exhibits how you mean serious business.

In the crook of your arm

According to Susan: “You're street-smart and assertive. You're acutely aware of your surroundings and those around you.” You're also very likely to be mistaken for a member of Vogue's team at fashion week, obviously. 

Is your bag open?

Susan says this can show you’re inclined not to keep secrets. Also, “if you display designer labels, it shows that you want everyone to know your business.”

Do you do the tuck and hold?

This can be sign that you’re concealing something; “Holding it close and guarded says, I’m not letting anyone in on this deep secret, not even my best friend."



Take a moment to notice how you’re sitting as you’re reading this, and how your body would look to an outside observer. Are you sitting tall with your shoulders back like all the experts recommend? Maybe. But if you’re anything like me, you’re probably slouched, hunched over your phone or computer screen.

Even though you mightn’t feel tired, or bored or powerless, it’s surprising how your body language can give people the wrong (or right) idea about you. Have you ever noticed that you just warm to a certain person even though you only met them five minutes ago? Sometimes people seem friendly and open without even trying, meaning we automatically feel content in their presence.

When we interpret a person’s body language, our brain automatically makes snap judgements about other elements of their personality, even though we may not realise it at the time. So that guy in the bar who is leaning in just a little too close is far more likely to be written off as a creep, even if he’s a genuinely lovely lad. A few inches of space or a certain movement can make all the difference.

Two of the most important areas of our lives that body language can have an influence on are our relationships and our careers. Something as simple as smiling – be it while sitting with friends in the pub or while typing at your desk – can have a huge effect on how others view us. In the same way that we make quick fire judgements about new people based on their facial expressions and movements, they too make the same conclusions about us.

For example, when we’re shy or nervous, our body language can betray us, leading people to think we are rude or disinterested. Have you ever looked at the floor instead of directly into someone’s eyes when you’re speaking to them? You probably do it more than you think without even noticing. Avoiding eye contact or getting fidgety are nervous reactions that we notice instantly in others but are often oblivious to in ourselves.

So how can we avoid those little “tics”? Well, some experts say the key is to use our body language as a tool to make us feel more confident than we actually are. In a TED talk by social psychologist Amy Cuddy, she tells people to “fake it til they make it” using certain poses, like standing with their hands on their hips or leaning back with their hands behind their head, to increase self-confidence. 


Doing these poses for just two minutes before an important event like an interview or a date (not during it, don’t worry) can make us feel more sure of ourselves – and in turn can affect how others view us. “When you pretend to be powerful, you are more likely to actually feel powerful” she says.

Next time you have a stressful or nerve-wracking event ahead, take time to notice your body language. It can have more of an influence than you think – not just on how others see you but on how you see yourself.



Letting a guy know you’re into him isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but with the right tricks, you can let him know you want him without actually saying it out loud – God forbid it ever comes to that, right?

A trick that never fails is eye contact. Now, we’re not talking about a second-long glance at his general eye area – you’re going to need to make a bit of an effort. Just don’t give him crazy eyes.

If you’re both in a public place, make sure he sees you checking him out. When he catches you in the act, give him a flirtatious smile and then look away once he smiles back (if he does, you’ve got your foot in the door).

The next thing is to give him a few compliments – yes, men like compliments too. If you think he has a nice voice, tell him.

Body language is more important than you think and giving him the wrong signals might send him in the wrong direction. Rather than crossing your arms in an unapproachable manner, relax a little and let them rest at your sides. If you want to be a little daring, stand really close to him to as you speak!



‘60% of all human communication is non-verbal body language and 30% is your tone, so that means 90% of what you’re saying ain’t coming out of your mouth.’

Taken from romantic comedy Hitch, this quote perfectly summarises how much ‘mind reading’ women can actually do.

If you’re still on the fence about how a man feels, take note of these common gestures and find out what he is telling you subconciously.

When his upper body is positioned towards you
No matter where he is looking, a man will position his chest and shoulders towards the most meaningful thing in the room.

When he gives you a half smile
This is a pretty good indication that he isn’t being sincere with you.

If he holds intense eye contact
Holding eye contact for more than five seconds doesn’t come easy. He might be using a seduction technique here.