The perfect gentleman’s outfit. The right cocktails for a real gentleman. 10 accessories each gentleman must have. Gentleman. gentleman. gentleman. Gentlemen, hold your horses.
In today’s day and age of instant gratification where new clothes, food and even casual sex are never more than a swipe or a click away one can get all too tempted into buying an entire style or image. More and more the gentleman label has become a hipster-esque synonym for men who like to dress in suits or preppy outfits whilst mixing and matching a handful of approved haircuts with their choice of groomed facial hair. This is where my problem with the way the word gentleman is used comes from. Sure, you can dress like a gentleman. You can look like a gentleman. But can you act like a gentleman? Better yet, can you be a gentleman?
To me being a gentleman is all about how you behave. The scruffy-looking teenager in baggy clothes who gives up his seat to the elderly lady will always be more of a gentleman to me than the impeccably dressed business man who refuses to get up and, worse yet, can’t seem to lower his voice whilst talking on his brand new smartphone.
Why is the business man on the bus or train? I don’t know. Perhaps he thought he could buy class, but then he couldn’t afford a car. Or then he’s environmentally conscious and I’ll applaud him for it. Always try to see the positive in people.
This brings us to the semantics. I define a gentleman by his actions. A true gentleman acts and behaves accordingly. He is polite, knows his etiquette, is helpful, mindful of his surroundings and, perhaps most importantly, is all these things because he feels like it is the right thing to do. He is a gentleman to be a better man, not to reap the benefits of being one.
So what about style? Grooming, personal hygiene and fashion? I think that just comes naturally. You want to be mindful of your surroundings after all. Being dressed and groomed well as well as wearing the right cologne simply means that you won’t offend anyone and are pleasant to the eye. If you know your etiquette then you know what kind of suit to wear in which situation.
So if you can’t buy the gentleman label, which is something you should earn and be given, then how do you become a gentleman? Ask yourself; WWJD. What would James do? Bond that is. James Bond.