To dazzle in a classic design such as this cut-out from Narciso Rodriguez, your posture is more important than the condition of specific body parts. “To stand tall, we need to work against what we do all day — which is usually sitting hunched over our computers,” says Marci Figuer, one of Toronto’s best-known personal trainers. A Stott pilates instructor and former professional ballet and jazz dancer, Figuer is an expert on posture. To make sure you’re standing tall, Figuer suggests doing the following spine series three times a day in your office. It takes just a couple of minutes and the only equipment you need is a towel.

TRY Extension of the spine to counteract daily forward flexion.
•Hold a towel behind your back, keeping arms long and palms facing back. Create tension by pulling out and back, using the towel.
•Exhale as you move your arms and towel away from the body, lifting chest to ceiling.
•Hold for four counts, then return to a neutral position.
•Repeat five times.

TRY Shoulder roll to release tension.
•Keeping arms at your sides, slowly
roll shoulders back 10 times, then forward. Focus on relaxing and lowering shoulders throughout movement.

TRY Half moon as a side stretch.
•Stand tall and bring both arms overhead. Keeping arms straight, interlock fingers.
•Exhale and, without moving hips, lean to the right. Hold for four counts. Inhale and return to neutral position.
•Repeat on the left.
•Continue moving side to side until each side has been stretched four times.

To make sure you’re standing tall the night of your event, Figuer says to focus on keeping your abs engaged throughout the evening. Everything starts from the abs and if they’re tight, chances are your posture will be great. Throughout the night, give yourself little reminders to keep your chest lifted and your shoulders down and back.

Photo courtesy of Marcio Madeira