When you think of a gentleman, what are your first thoughts? Most people think of a gentleman as a man who is well-mannered, intelligent, but (most of all) always dressed in a nice suit. To play the part, you must first look the part. In the movie Kingsman: The Secret Service, Colin Frith’s character is in charge of training a loose cannon, Taron Egerton, into a modern day gentleman’s spy. This movie truly emphasizes the influence that the right suit can have on a man and on how other people view him as well.
The Proper Gentleman’s Suit
According to Frith’s character, “the first thing every gentleman needs is a good suit.” The first lesson in training a man of style is the suit. Therefore, it is very important that a proper gentleman is dressed to portray elegance and sophistication. Time to head to the tailors, being a gentleman requires getting tailored suits. When looking for the right suit, always make sure that the suit accentuates your attributes and downplays any challenging areas.
How to Look the Part
With a crisp collar, white button-down shirt, elegant striped tie, a matching pocket square, and oxfords to top it off, Colin Frith’s ensemble is the perfect example of a gentleman’s suit. So, you know you need a nice suit, but where does a gentleman start?
Single-breasted, the most common type of jacket that has a single column of buttons with a narrow overlap in fabric, or double-breasted, has a wider overlap with two parallel rows of buttons, suit jackets are ideal for the classic gentleman’s look.
Always remember to never button the last row, the middle button is always buttoned, and that the top one is buttoned occasionally. Once buttoned, you know it fits correctly if only one palm is enough space between you and your chest.
Being functional (used for wiping sweat, cleaning your nose, or offering it to a lady in need) and stylish, pocket squares are a great way to join the ranks of gentlemen from new and past generations.
Make sure your pocket square is folded correctly, neatly placed in your suit pocket, and never identically matches your tie (only complements it).
Just like every other part of your suit, your shirt should fit nice and according to your body type. The collar should be visually proportional with your tie and appropriately frames the shape of your face.
For instance, long and narrow faces (rectangular, diamond, and heart-shaped) should wear spread collars for the best results.
Know the right color combinations when matching a tie to your suit; it’s helpful to remember that your tie should always be darker than your shirt and avoid mixing multiple patterns that have the same proportions. It should also fall right before your belt buckle, not higher or lower, and never be wider than your lapel.
Your suit pants are one of the main factors of your suit, so it is vital that they fit comfortably (not too tight or too loose) at your hip bone, just below your belly button. The length of the pant leg should barely reach the back sole of your shoe with one break in the front. You want to make sure they aren’t loose or baggy looking.
Topping your suit off with a good-quality leather belt is a necessary factor in adding the finishing touches to your gentleman’s appearance.
The ideal gentleman’s shoe is a leather oxford. Make sure that your socks match your trousers, and that you always coordinate the color of your shoe with the color of your belt. A brown leather belt should be matched with brown oxfords, pretty self-explanatory.
Being a Gentlemen Never Goes out of Style
The overall look is crucial when being a gentleman, but manners are essential as well; which can make anyone wonder about what it takes to be a true gentleman. Does the outfit really make the man or does the man make the outfit? Think about it. If you see two different men in the same room, one with a designer suit opening a door for his date and the other with casual clothes and sneakers (only judging them by their choice of attire), which one would you consider a gentleman?
Ok, so obviously the man in the suit has the appearance of being a gentleman, but does he have the overall package? Seeing as he is opening the door for his date, the safe answer from the first impression would be yes. Nevertheless, a man can have the appearance of being a gentleman, but does he have the presence of a gentleman?
How to Be a Proper Gentleman
What does it take to be a true gentleman? It’s been said that a proper gentleman is someone who always tries to make the people around him feel comfortable and content. Well, how do you do this? There are several ways to express being a gentleman, some of them you probably do without even knowing it.
- Opening the door for a woman. An act that has been brought down from generation to generation, it is the custom that a woman should never open her own door. It is crucial, well it is when one wants to be a well-mannered man, that a man opens all doors for his lady.
- Be punctual. There is nothing worse than a man who shows up late to start off a date, well unless he doesn’t show up at all. The bottom line is—never show up late. If for some reason you will be late, bring your date flowers or chocolate (women love that stuff). But, to be considered a real gentleman, arrive a few minutes early.
- You pay for the first date. Unless for some crazy reason you forget your wallet at home, you always pay the tab. With the modern times, most women don’t mind paying the tab, but a gentleman would never let that happen.
These are just a few ways to show that being a man of elegance is more than just wearing a suit. Being well-mannered is essential if one would want to consider himself a man of grace. Any man can wear a suit, but does he have the manners to prove it? So, again, it begs the question: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?
In modern days, people choose to express their individuality and grace through what they wear. Having manners is essential, but the suit is also very important. In the eyes of most people, being well-dressed in a tailored suit is vital in being a true gentleman. So, if you plan on being an English spy or just want to spruce up your closet a bit, always be aware of the importance that a suit can make on the way you see yourself and how others see you as well.