Maintain proper hygiene
A gentleman looks and smells pleasant when out in public. It is one thing to sweat while working out, but not while out and about. Take regular care of your body and that you look polished and clean before you step out.
- Make sure to bathe regularly.
- When applying deodorant or cologne, be sparing. An overpowering odor–even of cologne or body spray–is not pleasant, and can be offensive.
- Use of hair product is fine, but be careful of hair gel. This product can be sticky and get rock hard after a while, making your hair look stiff. You can also inadvertently come off as “greasy”.
- If you don’t smell clean and fresh, then it doesn’t really matter how charming you are or how your clothes look. It’s important to get the hygiene down so people don’t get distracted by an unpleasant odor or appearance.
- Wash your hands after you use the bathroom. A gentleman cares for himself and others by preventing spread of disease. Also, other men in the washroom will notice if you bypass the sinks.
Wear flattering clothes
Wear clothes that fit your body well, eliminate flashy clothing and avoid fashion “faux pas” (e.g. baseball hats cocked slightly to the side). A simpler wardrobe will keep the emphasis on you, not your clothes, which will change your appearance. Keep it simple, and you’ll look elegant and gentlemanly.
- Stick to subdued blacks, grays, blues and browns. A gentleman can actually wear any color in moderation, but the classic colors for men are not bright.
- Choose classic clothing for men. Examples include suits, oxford-style shirts, khaki pants.
- Wear athletic clothes only for workouts or athletics. A gentleman will not wear his suit while hiking through the Alps, or practicing for his black belt, or playing tennis. But he will avoid wearing his tennis clothes unless he is going to, from, or playing tennis.
- What is considered “flashy” will vary from culture to culture, and situation. A white linen suit and pink shirt may be fashionable on a tropical island, but be regarded as quite flashy at a corporate board meeting in England.
- It’s very important to wear pants fit you. Make sure to hold your pants up with a nice simple belt to show that you’ve really put a lot of thought into your look.
- The next time you need a suit, make sure you get measured for one instead of picking one out yourself. A true gentleman makes an effort with his appearance and goes the extra mile to wear well-fitting clothes. Wearing a suit that actually fits you instead of one that is one, two or even three sizes too big, will also help show that you put a lot of thought into your look.
- Always make sure our shoes are clean. Some people say that shoes are the first thing a lady notices when talking to a man. A quick (but effective) brush can make a world of difference. Most importantly, clean shoes show that take into consideration the people who will have to look at them once you leave your home.
- It’s also important to wear the right clothes for the occasion. Try to stick to appropriate dress codes, whether wearing business casual clothes for work, or to wear formal wear for a wedding. And keep in mind that it’s better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed.
Groom yourself well
To be a true gentleman, you have to make sure your hair is regularly combed and that you either make a point of shaving your facial hair or that you maintain a nice, solid beard. Avoid the stubble and go for a nice clean shave every morning, or you will look sloppy. Keep a comb handy so you can run it through your hair (in private) if your hair gets windswept or loses volume after a long day.
- Even having clean nails makes a difference. Clean under your fingernails and trim them every day or two to make sure your hands have a neat appearance.
- Trim any protruding nose hairs to maintain a groomed look.
Have a firm handshake
A true gentleman knows how to give a true handshake. Whether you’re meeting your future boss, your girlfriend’s dad, or your sister’s boyfriend, you should make sure to look the person in the eye, grip his or her hand firmly, and show that you mean business. Don’t grip too hard to show off, but give a firm grip to show that you care enough to make an impression. This shows that you’re a gentleman who takes the time to acknowledge new people.
- If a new person that you don’t know walks into the room and you’re being introduced, give him or her the courtesy to stand before giving him or her a handshake.
Avoid any offensive actions in public
If you’re in public, then you should avoid farting, belching, speaking too loudly, being overly demanding, grabbing your crotch, or getting too drunk. A gentleman is always in control of himself, body and mind. If you do lose control, however, it’s important to apologize instead of acting like nothing happened.
- Remember that a true gentleman is a person who can go out in public without making a scene or embarrassing himself.
- Self-awareness is a key part of being a gentleman. Always consider how others may perceive you, and be aware of how your actions may be considered offensive.