On Being a Modern Gentleman:

Guideline 7: Groom

While you need not follow the latest sartorial offerings or be up to date on lapel widths and fashionable pocket square patterns, it is important to be well-groomed. The modern gentleman is one who takes care of his or her appearance.

The following are nonnegotiable:
1. Brush your teeth two to three times daily. Use mouthwash following each brushing.
2. Comb your hair each time you go out. Throwing a hat on or tying your hair back isn’t acceptable unless you’re working outdoors or going to the gym.
3. Likewise, dress well for the situation. Sweatpants and faded sneakers are only appropriate for the same activities listed in #2. Always aim to the best dressed (though not over-dressed) for every setting.
4. Unless you are at the beach, don’t wear flip-flops. Ever.
5. Men, trim your facial hair or shave daily. While many of us aspire to the rugged, lumberjack beard, it should still be trimmed. If you are clean-shaven, you should shave daily to maintain your sharp appearance; otherwise, you look like a poor college student that can’t afford disposables.
6. Iron your clothing. Wrinkles are the mark of laziness.
7. Fit, fit, fit. Your clothing must fit. Baggy clothing is unappealing on everyone, and so is the overly tight. There are entire blogs and websites devoted to good fit, so look it up.

The remaining are recommended, but debatable:
1. Be aware of color combinations and complementary patterns. Pieces need not always match if the colors and/or patterns are complementary and engaging.
2. A splash of color can save a drab outfit. Wearing shades of blue? Pull on a bright pair of patterned socks or throw in a sharp, bright pocket square. Ladies, a colorful pair of shoes can turn business formal into date attire.
3. Use accessories.

I could list many, many more, but instead, I charge you to follow the above guidelines for gentlemanly grooming and seek out others.


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