Generation to generation, the gentleman has long been heralded as the epitome of class – immaculate in style and meticulous in manner. He doesn’t merely abide by the rules of etiquette but rather, he lives them. Well-spoken, selfless and charming are but a few superlatives associated with the understated debonair.
As purveyors of style and etiquette, we pride ourselves on the customer service we have provided since 1885. Although a lot has changed since then, our key rules to gentleman etiquette remain true to this day. On style and manner, we have compiled some tips which stand the test of time.
A true element of gentleman etiquette focuses not on the conversation, but the way in which a person carries themselves. And here’s how to do precisely that:
• Care for your clothes. Ensure your shirts are ironed properly, and that there is a decent crease in your suit trouser.
• Polish your shoes. Don’t sell yourself (or your outfit) short with scuffed leather.
• Trim often, and groom well. No matter your style or preference for facial hair, ensure you stay well-kempt.
• Your pocket square and tie should not be identical in pattern nor colour, but rather complement to avoid looking too try-hard.
• ¼” – ½” (max) of your shirt cuff should extend from the suit sleeve. No more, no less.
• If there is a label on the outside of your suit, always remove it. Gentlemen do not flaunt.
• For a two-button jacket, only fasten the top button; for a three-button jacket, always fasten the middle button and never fasten the third.
• Always take your hat off when indoors, as a sign of respect to those present.
• Unless invited to do so by the most senior person in the room, never take your jacket off at a formal event.
A gentleman is respectful of others, polite and courteous. Good manners are a basic, but imperative, principle to adorn.
• Be polite and respectful to others at all times.
• When walking with a woman, a gentleman should always be on the road side.
• Be punctual. If you are not early, you are late.
• When a woman enters or leaves the room, a gentleman should always stand.
• Give up your seat to someone less able to stand, and not just when on a train.
• Never discuss money or its value with others.
• Whether at dinner or in a meeting, keep your phone off the table and out of sight, giving your full attention to the person or persons at all times.
• A gentleman always reads and stays current to world news and his surroundings.
• Respect other cultural traditions, and abide by them. Around the world, different countries and religions have different mannerisms and traditions. Learn them and ensure you are being respectful at all times.
• Hold the door for those behind you, and never forget your manners.
• Actions speak louder than words – never refer to yourself as a gentleman. Only others can bestow this upon you.
And finally, always pass the Port to the left.
Image © Mr Porter