How To Be A Modern Day Gentleman: Basic Life Lessons

In an era where social norms continually evolve, the concept of being a gentleman has adapted as well. In this article, we explore the essence of modern-day chivalry and present a collection of fundamental life lessons for those who aspire to embrace the qualities of a true gentleman in today’s fast-paced world.

Two Suit Jackets on Racks in Store

At Midway Gentleman Magazine, our passion lies in exploring the aspects of the gentleman’s lifestyle. This long-awaited topic has finally come to completion, as we are committed to reviving the timeless values that define the modern day gentleman. Join us as we guide you on the path to embracing a modern-day gentleman’s way of life.

Today, we’re going to cover the past, the present, and future of being a gentleman and give you some practical tips on how to get started in this prestigious lifestyle.

The history of being a Gentleman

In the past, being a gentleman held a specific social rank within the landed gentry of England, ranking below an esquire and above a yeoman. It indicated the younger sons of peers, baronets, knights, and esquires, perpetually succeeding in their lineage.

Traditionally, being a gentleman was a right of birth, granted to those born into wealthy and socially esteemed families. It was less about personal actions or achievements and more about inherited status. 

Scene from © Timeless Season 2

However, in modern times, being a gentleman has shifted in meaning. It now emphasizes a man’s character, conduct, and actions. It is a reflection of virtues like integrity, respect, empathy, and kindness, transcending social class and background.

Being a Modern Day Gentleman is Not About Suits

Gentlemen are frequently portrayed in movies and TV shows as individuals who consistently wear suits, as exemplified by the © Kingsman franchise. However, it is important to note that simply wearing a suit does not automatically make a man a gentleman, despite the popular association.

Although many gentlemen do opt for the timeless elegance of a classic suit, true class goes beyond sheer attire and encompasses a broader set of qualities and behaviors.

Taron Egerton Wearing Suits Featured in Kingsman
Taron Egerton featured in © Kingsman

What a gentleman should wear?

Please keep in mind that a gentleman has the option to wear casual attire, just as any man can choose to wear a suit. It is essential to understand that clothes alone do not alter one’s character. However, how you wear and care for your clothes reflects maturity, a characteristic that aligns with being a gentleman.

Men Sweater Outfit

Paying attention to keeping your shoes clean and your shirts well-pressed reveals more about your personality than simply wearing a suit.

The most important thing to know about style is purposeful dressing. A gentleman knows when to put on a tuxedo or comfy athleisure clothing. Every piece of clothing has its purpose. You would not want to go dog walking in a tuxedo nor go to the opera wearing joggers. Keep your attire clean and well-maintained.

Being a Modern Day Gentleman is Not About Age

Many people wrongly believe that being a gentleman is limited to older individuals, but this is a complete misconception. Being a gentleman is unrelated to age; it revolves around one’s mindset and how one treat others.

If you’re interested in embarking on the journey of becoming a gentleman, refer to the image at the bottom of the article, where we have listed 20 tips to help you get started.

Gabriel Macht as Harvey Specter and Patrick J. Adams as Mike Ross
Gabriel Macht as Harvey Specter and Patrick J. Adams as Mike Ross

Gentlemen are Always on Time

Being late is never attractive as it shows a lack of respect for the other person’s time. If you want to become a gentleman, you need to learn empathy. If you never want to be late, expect to arrive at least 5-10 minutes early to avoid any delays caused by traffic jams.

Man Wearing Blue Suit and Watch
A Man Going to Work as Final Step of His Morning Routine © Andrea Natali

Bring a newspaper or book if you are easily bored. Most likely, the person you are meeting will arrive a few minutes early as well and will be happy to see that punctuality is one of your top traits.

It is a beneficial quality not only for job interviews but also for first dates. If your route to work is often busy by traffic, head out earlier or find a new way.

Being a Gentleman is About Small Gestures

If you think being a gentleman is always about huge things, you are wrong. Many times being a gentleman is all about small gestures. The easiest way to act like a gent is to learn to use the following words: ‘sorry’ and ‘thank you’.

Powerful words, yet so many people have difficulties using them. If you are wrong, say sorry and mean it. If someone did something nice for you, say thank you. You don’t need to overcomplicate it.

Another gesture could be a firm handshake, standing up at the table when someone joins, smiling and making eye contact when talking to a friend, or greeting when you enter a store, gym, or a room in general. These are all small gestures, but if you do them, you will immediately seem more confident and courteous.

A Gentleman Knows the Difference Between Confidence and Arrogance

Finally, there’s a big difference between being confident and arrogant. Many men believe that the only way to achieve a high status is to be rude with others, while in reality, all they are is an arrogant prick.

A gentleman knows how to be self-confident without acting or looking arrogant. It is not an easy task, but with time and experience, it is possible to learn. Improve your vocabulary and negotiating skills, and you will achieve the wanted life.

Harvey Specter Having a Call


I put together this article as a quick guide for anyone interested in living the gentleman lifestyle. If you’re keen on becoming a modern-day gentleman, here are 20 easy-to-follow tips to help you get started.

Feel free to save them for future reference whenever you need some guidance on your journey to embracing a classy and honorable way of life.

20 Ways To Become A Modern-Day Gentleman

Keep on reading: The Complete Guide on How to Dress Like a Gentleman