The British Gentleman

The traditional English gentleman is always well-mannered.
The traditional English gentleman is always well-dressed — even when it rains.
Man lying on a towel on the beach.

Traditionally, well-dressed and well-mannered British men are called gentlemen. Dress-wise, these gentlemen typically wear suits, or at least long-sleeved shirts, and polished shoes. They may also, on occasion, wear casual outfits and local designs — but not, like most people, out of laziness. Instead, when the gentlemen dress down or in other ways deviate from their normal dress code, they do so deliberately to look appropriate, since it is part of their image to fit in wherever they go.

With regards to mannerisms, the gentlemen are very British in that they often apologize profusely. The many apologies are used both to defuse tense situations and to chivalrously help other people save face by assuming undue guilt. British gentlemen, furthermore, master the art of understatements to perfection, and use them to their advantage. This means that understatements are used both as a way to avoid direct confrontation and as a way to discreetly cause a stir with mention of neither superlatives nor swearwords.

Just like James Bond

Personifying the British gentleman to perfection, albeit a character from a fiction world, is James Bond. James Bond is always sharply dressed and never loses his temper. If he gets annoyed, he will use a clever or sarcastic remark to hit you where it hurts, but his face will not give away much. And when the character is extremely pleased, much in the same way, he will not really reveal it either. Agent 007, just like the typical British gentleman, is calm and collected and practically always in control of his emotions.

Gentlemen on vacation

Going back to the non-fiction British gentlemen, James Bond-like and well-rounded as they usually are, on vacation in a foreign country, their imperfections do sometimes surface, and they don’t always appear as graceful as they do at home in the British Isles. Unaccustomed to the sun, British gentlemen are prone to turning bright red with sunburn, and in conversation with non-English speakers, their smooth English phrases don’t quite do the trick. It is only really James Bond himself, who, no matter the situation, always knows how to act gracefully.