A Short History of The Waistcoat

Single-breasted waistcoat from Guide London* https://www.guidelondon.co.uk/viewproduct/24387

If there’s one piece of clothing that can alter a man’s appearence and make him look like a gentleman, it has to be the waistcoat. I love them…for their look and for their versatility

Whether it’s part of a three-piece suit or with a pair of jeans and shirt, the waistcoat just seems to give off an air of sophistication. But where did it come from? And…what’s with the tradition of leaving the bottom button undone? Read more

Feeling Philosophical?

When people talk about what it is to be a gentleman, they might used the term ‘stoic’. This describes someone who doesn’t show emotion, and who endures hardship without complaining. The term ‘Stoic’ (capital S) however, refers to the philosophy of Stoicism. Some aspects of this philosophy, I feel, fit better with the idea of being a gentleman.  

So….what is Stoicism? 

Stoicism has a long history and originated from Athens in Greece in the 3rd Century BC. It was originally a philosophy of the streets, with the term ‘Stoic’ coming from the Greek word ‘stoa’ which is a sheltered porch area where the people used to gather.  Read more

Growing a Beard?

About 6 years ago I took the plunge. I hung up my razor and decided to grow a beard. I remember it well because, although I’d attempted it before and failed (usually due to the itching that it caused or protests from my wife), this time I did it for charity. This came with a commitment not to shave for at least a month. People had sponsored me. There was no backing out.  

Fast-forward to now, I still have a beard and my wife prefers it! I’ve spent quite a bit of time learning about how to maintain it too. Sometimes people ask me questions about how I look after it so I thought I’d share a few tips I’ve picked up, just in case anyone’s interested in growing themselves some face fuzz.

It takes time. This is obvious, but I always say you have to set yourself a minimum Read more

What is Chivalry?

During discussions I’ve had regarding what it is to be a gentleman, the term ‘chivalry’ often arises. It seems to be a word with a mixed meaning, that is quite hard to pin down.

In more recent times, the term has been used in relation to courtship. A form of etiquette where the man takes the lead by, for example, holding the door open for the lady, paying the bill at a restaurant, and walking her to her door after a date. Whilst some exclaim ‘chivalry is dead!’ implying that men no longer know how to act in this manner, others have argued that the term, and the behaviours associated with it, are outdated.  Read more

Tea Anyone?

Nothing says ‘Great British’ quite like a cup of tea. The British love it! According to the UK Tea and Infusions Association we drink approximately 165 million cups a day!  

My Nan seasoned me on pots full of the stuff. The sort of tea so strong you could stand a spoon up in it.   

Although I’ve always been a tea drinker, for me it’s just something I bought in a supermarket, but I know it’s far more than that. Read more

What does it mean to be a gentleman?

If you type this question into a search engine you will get a multitude of answers. Historically, being a gentleman seemed to be something that you were born into. It came from a man’s bloodline. 

The meaning of this term has evolved over time and, now, being a gentleman seems to be more a matter of choice. You no longer need to be of noble birth, but it comes with connotations of striving to be the best man that you can be. Read more