Being a gentleman means something different depending on where you are in the world. An English gentleman has his own foibles and traditions that his American or French counterparts may not share. However, there are some things that are universally important if you want to be considered sophisticated. The secret is that if you do them right, no one will ever know that you even gave them a single thought. You have to be seamless and to do that you have to think ahead. There is so much to worry about but here are a few tips for avoiding embarrassment and making sure you always seem calm, cool and collected:

Bad breath, or halitosis, will bring you down every time irrespective of how well everything else is under control. Luckily, it is easy to solve: just carry some mints with you wherever you go, and you’ll never be caught out.

Travelling is one of those times where it can be especially difficult to remain cool. A lot of people prioritise comfort over class. But if you really want to stand out, there a few things to remember. First, you should still dress smartly. Flying, in particular, while still a recent invention, is such an astonishing thing that it should not be taken for granted. When you step off the place in Paris or Berlin, you should look just as good as you do when you step out in London or New York. Secondly, flying can be physically challenging. To avoid any unfortunate incidents, check to see if there are any compression socks for sale. They may not seem sophisticated at first, but they don’t need to be visible. Besides, having to be helped off the plane because your legs are swollen is not gentlemanly wherever you’re from.

pexels photo 69315 - How to Remain Cool in the Modern World

As smartphones become more and more ubiquitous, the value of books seems to be culturally maligned. However, being well-informed will never go out of fashion. It does not matter whether you choose to read the latest thriller or a collection of love poetry, it will set you apart (especially since literary reading is in decline). Another of the disadvantages of smartphones is that they are often only used to check social media sites or play silly games. With the world moving so fast, it is still worthwhile spending time with things that never change. An awareness of contemporary and classical art will guarantee that you always seem cultured.

Lastly, if there is one thing that sets a sophisticated man apart from the pack, it is the art of conversation. One key thing to remember is to maintain eye contact with the person with whom you are talking. Nothing seems quite as insulting as not paying attention to those around you. When you talk to someone, whether it is a cashier at a store or a prospective employer at a job interview, make them feel as if they are the only person that you care about at that moment.

In a culture where appearances are more important than ever, it still does not take much to make sure you are as sharp as you can be.