The Gentleman of 2022
BY ADELINE J. WELLS
April 15, 2022
The Gentleman. It is a term that we use often, and often without truly considering what it means, or how it fits into our world today. Dating back to the Middle Ages, a “gentleman” formerly referred to a man of a particular social stature and wealth. While that definition does not suit this more progressive, inclusive age, the title of a gentleman still holds relevance in our society today. Rather than a particular state of income or status, a gentleman is an all-encompassing state of being; it is a state of mind. To be a gentleman is to be just that - gentle. It is to conduct one’s life with an element of gentleness; to live harmoniously in balance between the masculine and feminine. In our world, a gentleman is not a title that one is born into, but alternately a title that must be earned through the way one lives, as defined by their manners, class, and of course, style.
A gentleman’s manners are perhaps the first thing that this term brings to mind. Often lending to chivalry, a gentleman is thought of as someone who is polite and treats others with respect, opening doors and walking on the side of pavement closest to traffic. In the modern age, chivalry can speak to honor and courtesy on a broader scale, applied to how one interacts with the world at large. A courteous gentleman lives in a way that honors their value and place in this world, while also remaining humble enough to put others’ needs above one’s own when called for; it is to move with empathy. Leaning into the title, this is someone who can maintain a level of tenderness that is too often undervalued in a culture plagued by toxic masculinity. The gentleman is not afraid of these qualities; they are someone who understands the strength that lies in softness.
No longer based upon socio-economic status, our modern day gentleman is also defined by a different type of class; a level of excellence and elegance. For a gentleman to have class means that they have integrity. A classy gentleman lives in a way that is ruled by their principles and values, yet while remaining aware enough to also maintain an open-minded approach to life. To have class is to understand the difference between confidence and arrogance, and to conduct oneself appropriately; to opt for the former when moving throughout this world. For a gentleman to have class, they need to recognize the influence that they hold in society, while understanding how to use it for the greater good.
Finally, a gentleman is also a title earned by one’s sense of style; by cultivating an outward appearance that complements their internal attributes. A gentleman understands the power that comes with presenting themself well; it is someone who takes pride in their appearance without indulging in vanity; someone who maintains a well-groomed appearance because it is something that they value, not because it is required. No longer needing petticoats or tophats, a gentleman’s style is something that is tastefully curated to complement their thoughtful approach to life. Drawing from timeless tastes while maintaining the edge of modern day, the gentleman understands the merits of
At Belvedere, we craft our shoes drawing from classic designs that still suit the modern gentleman. This is evident with our Franco Shoe, a staple in our new Primavera Collection. Crafted from Genuine American Alligator and Italian Calf, the Franco is our elevated, contemporary take on a traditional wingtip oxford. Also referred to as a spectator shoe for its construction of two opposing colors, the Franco is available in white and either black or soft peanut brown, its darker hues accentuated by texturally rich alligator leather. Featuring a five-eyelet lace up, intricate brogue detailing, and our Belvedere emblem on its leather sole, the Franco is ideal for the freshness of the Spring season. Finding balance between a classic design with a modern twist, this favorite style of Belvedere Shoes is the perfect choice for our Gentleman of 2022.