Nonetheless, there are still those that get out to explore their options, and I applaud those gentlemen. But, they are few and far between and often haven’t a clue as to where to begin their pursuits.
So, what is it that the gentleman still adheres to, and what has he discarded in the courting process?
There are four truly indispensable tenets of gentile manner that will never go out of style with the first being the continued adherence to a certain sartorial expectation while pursuing a woman (and in general life itself). A gent knows that putting in a small amount of effort (despite lax modern dress codes) makes a significant difference, so he takes it a step further in always being fully prepared by taking the time to curate a specialized dating wardrobe — in illustrating to his date (through his attire) that he is serious and that he respects her as well as himself.
The second is that of being perpetually present. He always turns off/silences his phone (placing it out of sight) and does not fiddle or float off in dreaming, but instead gives his date his full undivided attention, proving that he sincerely wants to be with her and could not be bothered to be elsewhere or flirting with the cute waitress (and utterly disrespectful in the process). Nothing is worse then being with someone who repeatedly checks their phone or aimlessly lets their eyes wander —an individual who is lost within themselves and completely disinterested.
And finally the last, which relates to the former, is that of respecting one anothers personal space -- in not pushing or pursuing too hard. If you are both hitting it off, advances on both sides will be made; there is no need to force ones hand with unwanted (or worse, vulgar) and uncomfortable attempts at asserting ones dominance or intent. It's called personal space for a reason, and a gentleman respects it!
Collectively, success awaits the gentleman who can retain a certain semblance of these four classic tenets of gentile manner while adapting to modern dating practices. Contemporary courtship is certainly no cake walk and is in a lot of ways more difficult to navigate then ever before, but it can be maneuvered around with a gentlemanly manner and a little bit of extra effort to match.
(POF; Hinge; Tinder; match.com; Bumble)
It is (initially) the single most important tool in a gentleman's dating arsenal by virtue of it being the one single factor that we are in complete control of, holding all the power within our personal sartorial whims and selections. Yet it is also the one thing most men neglect. By taking care of our appearance we not only boost our prospects of finding love but also our sense of confidence and self-worth. I mention this because a gents personal style speaks strongly of his personality and his general outlook on life — it instantly defines him and crafts the lasting impression of who he is to whomever he is meeting for the first time. So, remember this: a reputation can be destroyed in mere seconds and may never again be built up. A gentleman acknowledges this, taking his time in making sure what he wears positively reflects upon who he is, what his intentions may be, and the respect he has not only for himself but for those he associates with.
The takeaway: Dress like a child and you will be welcomed and treated as such.
Now, seeing as I’ll be the first to admit that I am (very) far from being a dating expert — I'm introverted, laid-back, and a general home-body (I don't drink or go to clubs or carousel local hotspots for susceptible women) — and not exactly what one would call a social butterfly, a Casanova, or a lothario, despite my choice of career and general presentation and presence. I like the proverbial me time: to educate myself, to refine my hobbies, and too reflect and act upon my life's goals and desires; I would rather listen to others then talk about myself, and that makes meeting new people difficult (despite the reality that most individuals enjoy incessantly talking about themselves). But, those are only minor personal speed bumps and I make up for these personal proclivities by focusing my effort on what it is I do excel at: in styling myself to exude ultimate confidence and personal comfort while being the often referenced wall that has ears (great listener) who is cultured and loves to share if you are genuinely interested, not merely feigning it. As such, I attempt to approach every new relationship, not with preordained expectations or an all conquering desire, but with a curious nature, not thinking about my success or failure, and in just enjoying meeting a fresh face and playing it by ear. I advise all gentlemen to do the same, to be upfront yet reserved and not expectant upon any specific desired result. Approach every scenario with style and curiosity and it will organically play out as it should, for better or worse.
Accordingly, I’ve chosen to highlight my favourite of daytime dating activities — the picnic date (and provide a style template for it) — by curating an unquestionable look for the modern gentleman that may possibly be able to steal her heart with nary but a gander.
So, heres to not botching the opportunity up (and looking the part helps ensure that is less likely to happen). And to paraphrase a popular rom-com, "If she has already said yes, stop worrying because she likes you — your only job now is to not screw it all up!"
So without further or due, here is what to wear on the quintessential picnic date once she finally says yes:
WEAR IT WELL: Picnics are activities built upon fun, spontaneity, and a causal atmosphere, so let the sporting of shorts speak to those sensibilities. Class the look up with a lightweight summer blazer with a timeless Breton-stiped short-sleeved henley underneath (which can carry the outfit without the blazer if need be) and show that you are indeed serious by completing the look with a pair of elegantly textured tasseled loafers. This outfit says you are ready for some fun AND that you are a modern gentleman who takes her, himself, and the date seriously.
This lightweight and breezy summer blazer in a light reddish pastel (almost chambray) adds instant elegance to the whole look and tells your date that you care and that they are worth the extra effort. And the lightweight linen construction makes it the perfect layer to keep you cool by providing full coverage from the (hopefully) beating sun
| SHORT-SLEEVE HENLEY |
It’s often been referenced lately in the fashion world that women love men in henley’s (or grandad shirts for the other side of the pond). I'm hedging my bets on the reality that it’s because they help accentuate our shoulders and chest — whether we have them built up or not. And since its summer, opt for the short-sleeved version in the always classy and classic Breton stripe to add an extra punch of character, sheer comfort, and breathability.
| SHORTS |
Now, a gentleman is usually never spotted sporting shorts, aside from when undertaking in actual sporting activities. But if they are tailored, streamlined, and confidently worn, a cotton pair in polka dot indigo blue like these from Mango can bring a touch of class that most other shorts would not. They are the perfect accompaniment to both the short-sleeved nautical striped henley and the blazer. Nail the fit and length (aim for 7”), and shorts instantly become a wardrobe option for the modern gent
| TASSELED LOAFERS |
The old axiom goes that the first thing women notice on a gentleman is his shoes. So why not make a calculated and elegant statement with these beautiful — and I dare say — outfit defining textured loafers with a washed denim fabrication and leather tassels. They are beautiful and — surprisingly — play well in contrasting the dots on the shorts and stripes on the henley.
| ACCESSORIES |
Add your own personal touches with some woven brown bracelets, adding a linen pocket square (straight white or polka dot blue to compliment the shorts) and your watch of choice. Finish off the look with a pair of complimentary—and always appropriate — aviators like these from ALDO.
Nothing in life is fully experienced without some sort of accompanying soundtrack, so here is a little classic tune from Edwin Collins. It is fun, seductive, and just a tad romantic. Let it set the mood for your picnic or otherwise chosen date.
THOUGHTS/OPINIONS/LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK:
What is your favourite first date activity? What do you commonly sport while dating (different scenarios and times of the day)? How do you feel about modern dating practices and the general style of men while on them? And, would you like general gentlemanly dating tips in future posts?
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