21st Century American Gentleman

Gentlemen, I wonder, if they even still exist any longer. As a funeral director, I have conducted more than a thousand funerals in my life-time. The mere presence of a man, or woman, wearing a cap inside a church makes me cringe. Let alone at service of tribute to an individual, funeral, wedding, graduation, etc. The traits of those for whom being “a person of good manners” seem to have been forgotten through the years. Many things seem to have been forgotten. Although the focus of this article is popular merchandise that every gentleman should possess, the first and foremost item on the list is going to be good manners.

  1. Gentlemanly Etiquette

A wise man once said that “a gentleman is not defined by the content of his wallet or the cut of his suit. He is defined by his manners and the content of his character.” I am strong advocate of good manners. However, it seems as if the concepts of manners and etiquette are a dying breed in this day and age–a sort of arbitrary construct characteristic of generations past. Etiquette used to be one of the most important lessons a man could learn–one that helped a man get on in his social and professional life and one that set him up for success. In a culture of instant gratification, habitual laziness (when compared to previous generations), and increased gender equality (don’t get us wrong, this is an amazing thing! but one that may have made men erroneously believe that manners are no longer needed if a woman can take care of herself), the importance of etiquette has fallen by the wayside in the 21st century. Sadly, many men today associate manners with negative opinions–stiff, too old-fashioned, contrived, awkward, the list goes on.

Let it be known,  the Mad Ranjer believes a man should always pull out a chair for a lady and hold a door for her. A good rule of thumb is, if the door pushes open, the man goes first to hold the door open and if it pulls open the man pulls the door open and lets a lady go first. Take a hat off if inside or as a show of respect. There are so many little things that end up being and making a huge difference. I will attempt to link as many as may be available.

2.  Gentleman Dress Well

As with all games, there are always rules and there are most definitely rules to men’s fashion. The menswear industry is booming and continuously evolving, and following these simple rules will not only give you a serious confidence boost, but ensure that you look your best at all times. After all, dressing well is a form of good manners.

First and foremost in the world of Mad Ranjer, quality foot-wear is mandatory. Good looking shoes will top off every and any out-fit. In the shoe market of today, there are numerous selections. When it comes to this item, make the investment. Take good care of the shoes by keeping a shoe-tree inside of them to keep the leather or other material stretched tight. Keep them clean, dry and polished. I once had a co-worker tell me that the best time to put shoe-trees in is while they are soft and wet. The leather will stretch easier. Look for products made with genuine leather. Look for brand-names like Allen-Edmonds, Florsheim, Blake and Bali. Also, match the color of the belt with the shoes. Remember, it is the small things the count.

Second, if anyone, man or woman, wants to be a success and taken serious, clothes that fit properly are mandatory. We all cannot afford to be fitted to wear tailored clothing, but the next time you are purchasing a new suit, make sure you have the measurements written down. Keep them in a very safe place and memorize them if possible. Then whenever it comes time to supplement your wardrobe everything will look great. Especially, your first impression. Some of best advice I have ever heard,

“You only get one chance to make a first impression.”



“11 Etiquette Musts for the Modern Gentleman”