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Longtime reader offers tips to elevate the ethos of a gentleman

Expanding the Definition of a Gentleman: Art, Culture & Beyond (Feedback from a Longtime Reader)

Picture: Boggi Milano

Expanding the Definition of a Gentleman: Art, Culture & Beyond (Feedback from a Longtime Reader)

Question from Mr. J.F. (real name is undisclosed):


J.F. here from Bristol UK.

Great work on the site, I love embracing the culture of gents and I have been an avid reader of many acclaimed modern gentlemen sites for more than a decade. I have been following InsideHook, The Gentleman Blogger, GQ, AG (Art of the Gentleman) and countless others. I wish to highlight some pointers that I think should be taken into consideration on not just your GC site but also on other publications which could benefit readers: 

1. Art

- Art / paintings have become synonymous with the word gentleman but the lack of publication on art by many gentleman site is appalling. Art is extremely important as it serves as a status symbol of sophistication which deserves more attention. A lot of sophisticated folks are patrons of art so more talk / write ups on various prestigious art galleries (national gallery of singapore, prado museum, vatican museums, Musee d’Orsay) would really benefit your readers. A beginner's guide on how one can appreciate art would be splendid! You can even have your team visit these art galleries and do a write up. 

2. Fine Dining

- A gentleman should never forget his table manners. Write ups to educate how a man uses his fork and knife with grace and breaking his bread properly are crucial for a man of class as little gestures like this speak volumes about your character. There are plenty of fine dining areas around the world which your team can explore and describe the experience on your site. Many seem to forget that fine dining is associated with a gentleman because fine dining is often characterized by a sophisticated atmosphere with elegant decor. It is simply a refined approach to food. It is also a piece of art which is expressed through culinary art. More exploration on fine dining would indeed elevate your site. examples - bougainville restaurant amsterdam,  the old stamp house restaurant UK, villa crespi, italy, Ise Sueyoshi · Nishiazabu japan. If you come down to the UK, don't miss the Pierre Victoire - a little French eatery with impeccable cuisine. 

P/S : I recently visited Malaysia and I had a visit to Sabayon, thanks to your recommendation

3.  Classical  / Jazz Music

Many don't seem to know that classical and jazz music is associated with sophistication and elegance, which are elements of a gentleman. Modern music on the other hand is more energetic. Your readers should be educated on the difference between both of these music. Some clips on classical music would make the site more colorful like sinatra, baroque, beethoven etc. Here in the UK, classical music is usually played in colleges to help students study as it stimulates their brain and helps them focus on their assignments. They are considered timeless compared to modern music which has a shorter shelf life.  Even the instruments used to produce classical music are timeless (e.g piano, violin, cello, guitar, harp etc), they can never be obsolete.  Most Britons would refer to Barbican for any classical musical events : https://www.barbican.org.uk/whats-on/classical-music

4. Gentlemen Sports 

Many sites seem to forget that gentlemen sports are aplenty. It doesn't just focus on polo, croquet, tennis or golf. These are the common ones that are often reported in many men's publications.  Chess, Fishing, Flying, Skiing, sailing, lacrosse, baseball, snooker, cricket, bowling, boxing, motorsports, swimming, archery, billiards, canoeing / kayaking, fencing, hunting, surfing are some that are overlooked, and needs to be promoted to readers who want to venture into sophistication so that they know their options are vast and are not limited to handfuls of sports. A write-up on how a man can pick up any one of these aforementioned sports and discover its benefits would be fruitful to the readers. I am a long time snooker player and snooker is a great sophisticated and strategic sport that tests one's logic and precision. The same can be said with chess (yes chess is a sport mate, google it up to find the truth).

5. Misconception of High Standards/ High Culture

Visiting Live theaters, museums, opera, orchestra, ballet, cannes film festival, debutante balls are some high cultured and sophisticated events. Many average joes are often confused and would stereotype people who attend these events as rich and arrogant. That is a misconception which needs to be addressed promptly. A gentleman is required to exercise high standards because naturally they expect high standards of value, quality, functionality. They are also expected to participate in these high cultural activities. It is part and parcel of being a gentleman. High standards do not necessarily mean being wealthy, but also well-dressed, good etiquette, respectful, open minded as well as participating in high cultural activities. To be blunt, we are just setting a high bar for our fellow men. A gentleman is considered as a mentor or a teacher because we want things to be better for everyone. This needs to be educated to every reader out there that the term high standards / high culture doesn't mean we are boasting but merely inspiring others.

6. The old "Gentleman needs a Woman" adage

I often read that to be a gentleman, you need a woman to complete that journey. A good majority of gentleman publications normally associate the character of a gentleman with a lady such as the do's and don'ts.  My honest opinion...that old adage is simply from a bygone era. A gentleman doesn't necessarily need to impress a woman, he impresses society so that they see him as a leader of refinement, they see him as a role model so they want to be like him. That's how it should be seen. It's never about being a gentleman to woo a woman. write ups on the do's and don'ts to impress a woman have become cliche over the years. My 2 marriages failed not because I mistreated my spouses but because of our irreconcilable differences. They had their own mindset and principles which I don't agree with. They love to keep tabs on my petty mistakes. You can impress a woman by giving up the best seat for her, or being punctual or standing up when she enters a room to show respect but when you don't have mutual understanding, all these gentleman traits no longer matter to her (I even bought fresh flowers for her every week!). Women tend to have this preconceived notion that marrying a gentleman means a perfect husband. That is nothing but a false prophecy. A gentleman is imperfect because we are human in nature so we make mistakes but they fail to understand that. Unfortunately both of my failed marriages had exacerbated high blood pressure caused by tension and constant worry which has now put me on medical prescription. As a consequence, I have put re-marriage in the rear view mirror over health reasons. Gents, women can cause hypertension and I am very serious about this! ( I need to take pills for the rest of my life!) so please exercise great caution, don't force yourself to be in a relationship if you are drowning. Your health matters most, not the woman. My point is, articles should focus on what a gentleman can contribute to society instead of a woman because a woman can just turn and leave...but leaving something to society leaves an everlasting impact which is called legacy. To be a dignified gentleman, you need to create a legacy.

7. Hobbies (vintage collector and writing). 

Vintage items deserve more attention from many publications because a gentleman is synonymous with classic, retro, timeless. London is pretty much a home to many classic garments. If you are visiting London, check out the vintage shopping in the Old Spitalfields. There is also Hornets Kensington known for their delicate retro English garments (tweed suits, boater hats, hunting tailcoats...). I love classic garments and I am also a vinyl collector because it is not only tangible and artistic, but it still provides the best sound quality and is therapeutic for my blood pressure. Vinyls have become lucrative in time as it appreciates significantly in value over the years.

Writing is another example that is often ignored. A gentleman is not a gentleman unless he learns how to write like a gentleman. I love that quote from GQ. A hobby to write articles, or books or journals or poetry must be encouraged to every gentleman because writing helps stimulate creativity and enhances your cognitive skills. It is certainly a cathartic experience to squeeze something out of your head and onto paper. William Shakespeare, Jules Verne, Winston Churchill are some gentlemen who found strength through writing. 

8. Others

I have often been asked how a Gentleman Room would look like which raised my eyes that there aren't many publications on this. One that comes to mind, a Gentleman Room would probably have a classic interior design with curated bookshelves and a grand piano which is always the staple of old school sophistication. Perhaps, your community can share how a Gentleman Room would look like. Just something from the top of my head. I might leave this to you if you think it is a great idea to explore. 


Almost 30 minutes for me to write the above recommendations which I hope would benefit your readers and ultimately elevate the standing of your publication. I don't represent anybody nor a company. My views are  merely opinions of my own which I hope would be helpful for your site. Thank you once again for taking the time to read through my suggestion and if you have any questions, I am more than happy to assist. 



Answer by The Gentleman:

Dear J.F.,

Thank you very much for your thoughtful and extensive email outlining your vision of gentlemanly culture and how you see GC fitting into that landscape. We were impressed by the detail you provided in your feedback and truly appreciate your enthusiasm for GC and the men's lifestyle genre as a whole.

Your passion for a well-rounded gentleman's life shines through in your suggestions. We particularly appreciate your call to:

  • Expanding our coverage of the arts: Highlighting art appreciation, profiling prestigious galleries, and delving deeper into the world of art history would undoubtedly enrich our content.

  • Offering a wider lens on fine dining: Exploring a global range of fine dining experiences would broaden our appeal and cater to the well-traveled gentleman.

  • Elevating music appreciation: Educating readers on the finer points of classical and jazz music would add a new dimension to our content and cater to a sophisticated audience.

  • Redefining "gentlemen's sports": Moving beyond the usual suspects like polo and golf to explore a wider range of activities like chess, sailing, or archery would provide our readers with a more well-rounded perspective on gentlemanly pursuits.

  • Challenging stereotypes: We agree that addressing misconceptions surrounding high standards and high culture is important.

  • Reframing the portrayal of gentlemen: Your suggestion to move away from the outdated notion that a gentleman needs a woman to be complete is a refreshing take, and we'd love to explore how to depict gentlemen who contribute positively to society as a whole.

These are all valuable points, and your recommendations will be carefully considered by our editorial team. We're constantly looking for fresh perspectives and ways to broaden the definition of what it means to be a modern gentleman in today's world.

While some of the topics you raised, like vintage collectables and the design of a quintessential "gentleman's room," may not be a core focus for GC at this time, we appreciate your creativity and will certainly keep them in mind as we explore potential future content avenues.

Engaged readers like yourself, with a clear vision for the future of gentlemanly pursuits, are invaluable to GC. Thank you again for taking the time to share your ideas. We look forward to continuing to provide content that resonates with you and our broader audience.


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Our experts are here to guide you on your path to becoming a true gentleman.

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