Learn how to mess it up
Cate Blanchett brings poise to the London premiere of The Hobbit. Photo: Getty Images
Do you need an angel to put on the top of your Christmas tree? I'd be very happy to have Cate Blanchett on the top of mine.
Here she is, at the London premiere of The Hobbit, in her gorgeous Givenchy dress, a true vision of loveliness.
It was an absolutely freezing night and the dress had a blinking great hole in the back, exposing several hectares of skin to the elements, plus her bare toes must have been quite frostbitten in those sandals.
But is she screwing up her face crossly? Does she look grumpy? No. She looks perfectly poised.
Of course, it helps to be tall and slender and to have a face of a very particular calm beauty - and, by the way, isn't she so right for the role of glamorous elf babe Galadriel?
She's the only character in Tolkien's oeuvre I've ever found remotely appealing.
If I want to know about squat little hairy people, I just have to look in the mirror, so I've really never seen the appeal of hobbits.
Although there is that dude Aragorn, son of Arathorn, who I always thought sounded quite hot, particularly when known by his undercover hobbit tag Strider.
What a cool name that is. If I had a son I might call him Strider.
I'm sure someone has. It would be a good name for a heavy-metal band, too …
Where was I? Oh yes, poise. That's what Cate Blanchett has buckets of. Yes, as mentioned, she's tall with a face of unworldly elfin beauty, but there's much more to poise than that.
What's on the outside can give you a head start - Blanchett has a lovely long neck, too, which is a big advantage - but poise comes from the inside. It's a state of mind. Also a state of stomach muscles.
You can't slump and have poise.
Look again and study how Ms Blanchett is standing. Her shoulders are back, her head is up. She has good posture.
It might be the 25 years of yoga I've clocked up, or maybe it started earlier with Mrs Emmerson's ballet classes, but posture is something I've always been very aware of.
My sister's generation (she's seven years older) was still taught posture and deportment at school.
Not the getting in and out of sports cars in a miniskirt finishing-school stuff (the secret is to keep your knees and feet together and swing both legs out at the same time), but how to stand and walk properly.
The trick is to gather your stomach muscles in, tuck your butt under, lift your ribcage up from the waist, pull your shoulders down and back and lift your skull up from the neck. Subtle like: not soldiers on parade, just small adjustments.
If I'm ever grubbing around the house on one of those trackie-dack days, feeling particularly hobitty, I remind myself to stand up straight like that and instantly feel my self-esteem lift. It boosts anything you're wearing.
You can have the greatest combo of gear on, but if you just slouch around like Gollum, you might as well have stayed in the tracksuit.
As well as the gorgeous dress, matching bag and sexily nude shoes, Blanchett here has her hair in a deceptively casual updo, coiled into a loose knot at the nape of her neck, and wonderfully understated make-up, but while all that is lovely, it's the way she's wearing it all that makes her look so stunning. Like the song says, she wears it well.
And it's the perfect reminder that poise is the greatest accessory of them all - and unlike ''It'' bags and precious jewellery, it's absolutely free. Have a very happy Christmas.