The Age of the Gentleman — that semi-imaginary time we all have in our heads where men you actually wanted to engage with wore fedoras and treated ladies like ladies, mothers like queens, and their peers with respect — is often challenged in American society. In order for it to come back, we need to set up a few ground rules for being a modern Cary Grant/Paul Newman/Ken Cosgrove. We’ll all be drinking scotch, playing polo, and wearing linen suits again in no time, but in order to achieve this we have to keep the following points very much alive.
Gent Tips 101
1. Have a signature drink that you both can make at home after a long day’s work, and order with effortless class at any bar you happen to be in. (This means no complicated ingredients and easy substitutes. If it’s a whiskey soda, so be it.)
2. Keep all negative social media activities to a minimum because no gentleman engages in such trivial matters: It’s just not classy, brother.
3. Hold doors open for everyone, because that’s just a nice thing that you do.
4. Always text back promptly, even if it’s to let someone down gently. The worst thing you can possibly to do someone is leave them hanging so they can torture themselves with worst case scenarios.
5. Own and be able to sufficiently rock at least one suit. Suits are the greatest untapped resource that most men have access to, and can take even the most slovenly 4Chan dweller into slick presentability. You owe it to yourself to know your way around a suit.
7. Never attempt to explain, under any circumstances, why a cat call should be considered a compliment. A gentleman knows that respecting a woman is the law of the land.
8. Do not be afraid of accessorizing because a real man knows that dressing up and looking good doesn't just make you feel great, you'll immediately stand out: yes, this is a good thing.
9. Do not refer to things as “gay” that aren’t homosexual human beings. People who call things “gay” as a pejorative are truly the armpit of society.
10. Do your best not to put others down in order to elevate yourself, it reeks of the people who categorize men by their Greek letter status.
In addition to these basics, be compassionate: know that you are allowed to experience the full range of human emotion. Where the gentleman of our grandparents’ generation might have prided himself on keeping all of his feelings in check for fear of appearing weak, a real gentleman knows that the best thing about him is his ability to be kind and empathetic. Drink a glass of chardonnay with your mother, grab a beer with your father, talk relationships with your sisters, and tackle your brothers in a friendly game of scrimmage, even if you have to set up a Google calendar reminder to get yourself to do this and everything in between.
Everything else — yes, even the bow tie— is just icing on the cake.