Are you a Cad or a Gentleman? A checklist

There are no wrong answers. But there are some very right ones...

They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. But if the cover boasts eerily white teeth and a motivational tattoo above his suspiciously good abs, I’m not sticking around to read the bloody book. We all know a cad when we see one — of course we do. It’s in his hair, his heel, his muscle-tee; the way your little sister laughs at his jokes. He walks into the party — to quote a certain poet who knew her fair share of cads — like he’s walking onto a yacht. (And he’s been on plenty of those this year, as his Instagram stories will loudly tell you.) 

But by the time the cad’s up close and personal, it’s already too late — he’s borrowing your Camel blues and taking your little sister to Sticks & Sushi. No: what we really need is an early warning system for bad eggs; a verifiable, entirely reliable checklist that flags the cad on first sight and at thirty paces. So we made one. And if the man in question satisfies five or more of these criteria, you know just how far to run, and in which direction. 

(In the interest of balance, by the way, and in a nod to the ongoing aspirational nature of this magazine, we have also included a checklist of the attributes of the modern gentleman. Tick off ten or so of these, and you’re probably on the right track. Probably.)


Flowers on the first date
Skis in all black
Eerily clean shooting jacket
NYE at Sandy Lane Bahamas
Proposes at Christmas
Walk-on role in Made in Chelsea, 2013
Leased Porsche Cayman from Surrey dealership
Tennis coach on gap year
Investment in luxury CBD start up
Has a favourite conditioner
Motivational tattoo
Colourful sheets
Member of Santa Maria Polo Club, Sotogrande
New Gucci loafers
Meribel regular
Threesome specialist
‘Interesting’ socks
Daylesford loyalty card
Annabel’s on Wednesdays
Self-effacing TikTok videos which always somehow feature his abs
Has abs

Leather bracelets
Cashmere sweatsuit
Initials on signet ring
Owns more than one Rolex
Owns a Rolex for its ‘investment value’.
Really hits the ‘T’ in ‘Moet’
30 pairs of trainer socks
Enthusiastic swing dancing with bridesmaids
Suspiciously small dog
Thin lapels
Matching luggage
Pink Veuve
Wing collar with black tie
Puts James Corden in dream dinner party guestlist
‘Humorous’ slideshow during best man’s speech
White Axel Arigatos to match teeth
Personalised number plate
Smokes Juuls
Wears Vilbrequins
Boxes for charity

panerai gentlemans guide coffee

The Gentleman:

Makes a decent gravy
Never lights his cigarette first
Knows his way around a wine list but lets you order
Has said “I don’t know” within the past calendar year
Excellent with grandmothers
Doesn’t use ‘product’ in hair
Would never refer to anything as ‘product’, actually
7/10 skier
Tie knot no larger than a small nose of brie
Happy to eat carbs
Never underarm serves
Full bookshelves
‘Scone’ to rhyme with ‘on’
Lets other people handle the barbecue
Good at washing up
Can maintain a decent conversation while winning at ping-pong

Aftershave only perceptible within one foot
Handy with a radiator key
Prompt thank you notes
2016 VW Golf
Watch from marque few people have heard of
Can play the guitar but doesn’t
Can order lunch in French
Decent cover drive
Good pubman
Calls every referee ‘Sir’
Talented with a knife sharpener
Diligent with shoe trees
Opens champagne silently
Six-time Godfather
Nice sheets
Sings without an accent
Doesn’t rap along
Would never seriously refer to himself as a gentleman.

Read next: how to get engaged, according to your friends on Instagram

Further Reading