Old Fashioned Rules for Gentlemen: 10 Things You Need to Know

Etiquette should be something that is taught in every elementary school. Unfortunately, this is not the case – that is why we are making this article. The sooner you learn the following ten rules, the sooner they will have an impact on your life.

Two Gentleman in Gray Suits

If you haven’t learned etiquette at school, don’t worry – you’re not alone. We’ll cover ten old fashioned rules that every gentleman should know. But if we want to learn the basics, we need to understand etiquette first.

At Midway Gentleman, we are often writing about ways to improve your lifestyle and mindset. If you are interested in becoming a modern day gentleman, check out our previous article covering the topic, and as always, let us know your opinion on our social media platforms – you’ll find the links at the bottom of this article. 

What is Etiquette?

Etiquette is the set of conventional rules of personal behavior in polite society, usually in the form of an ethical code that describes the expected and accepted social behaviors that accord with the conventions and norms observed by a society.

Etiquette is the unwritten rules that show you how to act in certain situations.

Old Fashioned Rules for Gentlemen

10 Old Fashioned Rules for Modern Gentlemen

1. Take Your Sunglasses off Indoors

If you do not have a medical condition that necessitates wearing sunglasses at all times, please remove them when entering an indoor area of a public place. Wearing sunglasses indoors can convey a sense of disrespect.

So, if you believe it’s stylish to wear sunglasses indoors, I’m afraid I must disappoint you. It’s considered more awkward than cool.

Old Fashioned Rules for Gentlemen: Take Sunglasses off Indoors

The next unspoken rule regarding sunglasses is this: when discussing a serious topic with someone, always maintain eye contact and remember to remove your sunglasses. This small adjustment can greatly enhance the impression you leave. These are fundamental guidelines every sunglasses owner should be aware of.

2. Give Genuine Compliments

Don’t you love it when you receive kind words about your outfit, hairstyle, or physique? Others feel the same when you offer genuine compliments. However, it’s important to give compliments only when you sincerely mean them. I often observe people offering insincere compliments just for the sake of it.

Old Fashioned Rules for Gentlemen: Give Compliments

The rule of thumb is to say what you mean and mean what you say. If you know your friend has started going to the gym, and you are starting to see results, compliment his/her progress.

3. Listen Before You Speak

Many people listen to you not because they are interested in what you are saying, but because they are waiting for their turn to talk. Be an honest listener, rather than just waiting for your turn. Listen actively and ask thoughtful questions. By becoming a genuine listener, you will encourage much deeper connections.

Idris Elba Wearing a Navy Blue Tuxedo

4. Lear to Say Thank You

We take so many things for granted these days and undervalue the importance of these two powerful words. If someone makes a nice gesture for you, simply say “Thank you”. It will mean a lot to them, whether they show it or not.

Old Fashioned Rules for Gentlemen: Say Thank You

5. Always Be on Time

There’s a famous saying – five minutes early is 10 minutes late. It is a quote that I’ve been living by for a long time now. If you want to make a great first impression, arrive at least five minutes early but a maximum of 20-30 minutes. 

Old Fashioned Rules for Gentlemen: Be on Time

Arriving too early is not recommended either, as most of us don’t appreciate it if the other party arrives too soon. This can either leave us feeling rushed and unprepared or guilty if we are a couple of minutes late.

6. Say Sorry If You Are Wrong

If you are unable to apologize for your mistakes, it is a sign of weakness. If you are wrong and you know it, apologize. In most cases, the other person will be more likely to understand if you apologize for your mistakes compared to if you do not.

7. Wait for Everyone at the Table

We covered most of the following rules as part of our table etiquette article, but we believe these rules are relevant to general etiquette as well. If you’re seated at a table with eight or fewer guests, wait until everyone is served and for the hostess to begin eating before you dig in. 

Whether you are at home or in a fancy restaurant, only start your meal when everyone at the table has received it and is ready to eat.

Old Fashioned Rules for Gentlemen: Wait for Others at the Table

8. Keep Your Phone or Unrelated Belongings off the Table

All items not having to do with food (and decoration) should remain off the table, including keys, clutch bags, sunglasses, wallets, and especially phones. Packing your stuff out to the table is simply rude to the place and other guests at the table.

9. Know When to Text Back

The best times to send a text message are either when your partner is briefly occupied or after you’ve both returned home. Apart from these instances, there’s usually no immediate need to reply, as a phone call would have been made if it were urgent.

Old Fashioned Rules for Gentlemen

10. When Someone Enters the Table Stand Up to Greet Them

Display respect by standing to greet someone who joins the table. This simple act conveys warmth and courtesy, making guests feel valued and appreciated in social settings. The person will notice and appreciate it, even if they don’t mention it that time.

Old Fashioned Rules for Gentlemen: Great Others at the Table


In a world of constant change, these enduring rules for gentlemen stand as pillars of timeless virtue. From chivalry to etiquette, embracing these principles not only honors tradition but elevates one’s character, leaving an indelible mark on the modern world. Embrace them, and embody the essence of a true gentleman.

Keep on reading: How to Dress like a Gentleman

Old Fashioned Rules for Gentlemen: 10 Things You Need to Know
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Old Fashioned Rules for Gentlemen: 10 Things You Need to Know
Uncover the old fashioned rules of gentlemen. From chivalry to dining etiquette, explore essential principles for modern men to leave a lasting impression.
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Midway Gentleman
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