One challenge a man faces as he grows up is tying a tie. A well-tied tie not only looks good, but also shows that you are a highly organised and proper man. The following instructions describe how to tie the Windsor knot.
- Drape the tie around your neck so that the wide end is on the right. Align it so the narrow end is shorter than the broad end.
- Cross the wide end over the front of the narrow end.
- Fold it behind the narrow end then push it up the hole (between the tie and your neck).
- Bring the wide end down (over the loop), then around the back of the narrow end.
- Tighten the loop made. This will make the right side of the triangle at the end.
- Fold the wide end over and around the loop.
- Pull tight as you did in step 5. This is the left side of the triangle.
- Cross the wide end over the front of the triangle, under the loop, up the hole.
- Feed the broad end through the knot you made in front of the triangle. Pull down and tighten.
- Shape the knot into a symmetrical triangle as you tighten it. Now tighten the loop comfortably around your collar.
If the tie is too short or too long, repeat by adjusting how much narrow end you left at step 1. Practising these steps a few times will soon make you a master of ties – an essential skill for all suit-wearing gentlemen.
Chivalry was a concept developed in medieval times and is defined as the noble qualities a knight was supposed to have, such as courage and a readiness to help the weak. It is characterised by the traits of gallantry, courtesy and honour. Nowadays, the concept of chivalry is largely confined to the mannerisms a gentleman should treat his lady with.
The following is a list of some gentlemanly acts any man should follow to pay due respect to their women:
- Open doors and pull out chairs.
- Be punctual, polite, keep calm and collected.
- Put your coat or jacket around her on a cold day.
- Be helpful, such as helping fix things and lifting heavy objects.
- Cover her with your umbrella even if it means you get wetter.
- Walk on the outside of the sidewalk. (This is derived from the tradition of Victorian England when people would throw excrements out the windows – the male would be more likely to be hit and thus carried an umbrella at all times)
- Do not be thrift and know how to pay bills discreetly.
- When conversing, listen to what she says and be attentive.
- Be romantic, treat her with flowers, gifts and surprises.
- Compliment her and accept her for the person she is.
- Never make meaningless promises or go against your word.
- Respect her.
Although most of this list is part of general etiquette, it is indubitably a crucial part in courting. In fact, as author John Bridges said, being a gentleman requires “a little logic, a bit of forethought and a great deal of consideration for others”.
However, one cannot help wonder how long chivalry can last in this modern world. As chivalry was based on the idea that the strong should help and protect the weak, it essentially implies that women are weaker and in need of protection by the man. Ideologically speaking, this goes against the arguments of some feminists. Does this mean that those women do not expect chivalry from males?
Regardless, a true gentleman must act chivalrously and treat ladies with proper etiquette if they expect to be respected and loved in return.