5 everyday traits of a modern gentleman

What is a gentleman in today’s world? The role of the modern-day gent is perpetually under scrutiny and the death of chivalry is almost perennially pronounced, but however murky the waters, a gentleman possesses these everyday qualities:

He knows how to apologise

Sometimes you’re going to say or do the wrong thing. It happens. What matters most though is what you do next. An apology has to be heartfelt, you’ve got to swallow your pride and admit that you were wrong and understand why you’ve upset the offended party. A little empathy goes a long way gentlemen. If you’re not quite sure if you’re doing it quite right, just do the exact opposite of Johnny Depp here, giving his worst performance in a long time, yes, even more terrible than 2015’s Mortdecai:

He can compliment a woman without it being taken as lecherous

Women aren’t playthings, nor do they owe you a thing because you’ve decided that she’s lucky enough to be the object of your affections. It’s perfectly acceptable and pleasant to compliment a woman, but don’t do it with salacious intentions or expect anything to come out of it. She’ll smell any bullsh*t as soon as the words leave your mouth and under no circumstances should you get aggressive or petty if she spurns your advances – she’s perfectly entitled to do so, however bluntly she does it.

He understands that chivalry is not dead…

…but it’s not because women are weaker or inferior than him. Walk on the outside of the pavement, hold the door open, carry the umbrella, give up your seat and all of the rest of it. Do it because it’s good manners, not because you’re the man and need to take care of her. And if she wants to split the bill, or even pick up the tab, let her, it’s 2016 gentlemen.

He dresses well, but not necessarily in suits

The suit, a bastion of masculinity and beacon of gentlemanly style, is still very much relevant in the modern day, obviously, but it’s not the be all and end all of looking good. It’s perfectly plausible to dress smartly without resorting to the most formal of two-pieces. The suit has an occasion and isn’t always entirely fitting to the scenario. Everyone is going to be suspicious of the gent who turns up to a casual Saturday night drink in a three-piece, tie and fedora, yet nor do they want to be seen dead with the man who pulls up in flip-flops, flared jeans and a Hollister hoodie.

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Has a firm handshake

Yes it matters, yes it conveys confidence and yes people will remember it. A limp-wristed shake is going to damage career prospects – as research last year indicated, it’s one of the worst mistakes you could make in a job interview and a poor greeting will definitely have people doubting your character. First impressions count and if you’re bungling yours, it’s going to cost you.

(Main image: Styled by Holly Macnaghten and photographed by Philipp Mueller)

Further Reading