A GUIDE TO MANLY MANNERS

Written By Antonio Centeno
Edition 1 – June 2012

Manly Manners – 1st Ed June 2012 – Copyright Real Men Real Style Page 1

Table of Contents Manners vs. Etiquette: An Important Distinction The Most Important Rule of All Manners for Every Day Eye Contact and Greeting on Public Streets Basic Table Manners The Minimums for Public Dressing Hat Etiquette Manners for the Office Shared Property Personal Communications Business Dining Office Protocols Manners for a Night Out All About Doors Know When To Tip -.and How Much Splitting a Check Flirting and Dating Manners for Visiting and Hosting Attending a Party Hosting a Party Minding Your Manners Every Day: Good Common Sense Manly Manners – 1st Ed June 2012 – Copyright Real Men Real Style Page 2 .

and using a healthy dose of common sense wherever you go -. Who needs 'em? Well. Hesitate. and with confidence. It's not always the most important thing in the world to know which soup spoon you use first. But having the basic rules for those circumstances at the back of your head -. wondering what the right thing to do in a particular situation is. and you look like a follower instead of a leader.Introduction Manners. Brashly do the wrong thing and you look like a bully or a boor.can be the difference between a gentleman and a brute. Manly Manners – 1st Ed June 2012 – Copyright Real Men Real Style Page 3 . is one of the most important parts of your appearance. or whether to walk outside or inside of your date. Doing the right thing quickly. turns out everyone does.

and it addresses all the rules that might trip even a well-meaning gentleman up. It's broken up into sections by specific social setting. Etiquette: An Important Distinction This is a guide to manners. In it.Manners vs. rather than a specific set of rules. respectful manner.will anyone ever care that much? The answer is honestly yes. More importantly. and a polite man makes everyone feel good. or not? Manly Manners – 1st Ed June 2012 – Copyright Real Men Real Style Page 4 . Do you nod in greeting. This is the essence of a gentleman. Happily. People like feeling good. It's the ability to carry oneself in a thoughtful. or at home. we'll cover basic rules and expectations for a wide range of social and professional situations. Here are the simple rules for how to interact with them: Eye Contact and Greeting on Public Streets You're walking one way. Another man is coming toward you down the sidewalk. Those specific. it often seems frivolous -. or running small errands. The Most Important Rule of All Are your actions making the lives of the people they affect better or worse? Always strive for the former. Manners for Every Day Not every situation is a definable one. most "rules" are more matters of common sense than they are anything else. Behave respectfully and put other people's needs first and you'll be doing the right thing 99 times out of 100. In the course of all your little tasks you'll inevitably run into other people. we've made this guide. We spend most of our lives going from one place to another. Remembering lots of individual rules seems challenging. All in all. Etiquette is the broader sum of social behaviors. that makes manners more daunting for most men. particular guidelines are manners. By observing a few small niceties you'll ensure that you're always remembered and well thought-of. But for those few odd moments where the right thing to do isn't immediately clear. always avoid the latter. All the rest is just details.

you may find yourself in a small town where anything less than a spoken greeting would be considered rude. Then stand by your chair so that you can help any ladies seated next to you with theirs. but tilt it away from you so that any splashes do not endanger your clothes or the clothes of other diners. and wait until the host or hostess takes his/her seat to take yours. Just smile and move past with plenty of personal space. Everything from a small family dinner to a black tie banquet can be handled the same basic way: • Find your place at a table by either looking for your name card or waiting for the host or wait staff to seat you. particularly when greeting anyone travelling alone.The answer varies regionally and culturally. But you can often make an educated guest based on the situation: • If you and the person approaching you are mostly alone on the street. • If it's a very crowded street with people passing every second. • Hold red wine glasses by the bowl and white wine glasses by the stem. Manly Manners – 1st Ed June 2012 – Copyright Real Men Real Style Page 5 . detailed rules. it may be appropriate to start eating once everyone at your table or section has been served. Just make your own way politely. and there's really no reason for it to be that way. • Wait to start eating until the host or hostess has either started or has told people to please go ahead. A one-sentence answer would be convenient but misleading -. and you may just as easily find yourself on the streets of New York City where even passing eye contact is considered pushy. • It is acceptable to tip bowls slightly to get the last few spoonfulls. a greeting is polite. If the setting includes a small fork on the right side (opposite the rest of the forks) it is meant for shellfish. Basic Table Manners Table manners are usually where the most emphasis gets put on very small. and return any nods you do get. one course at a time. there's no need to try and greet them all. The later it gets. the jumpier everyone feels about a stranger speaking to them. It helps keep the wine at its optimal temperature. • Use your silverware from the outside in. Anything placed above the plate is for dessert and coffee. and the butter knife will usually be on or next to the bread plate. At very large banquets where it takes time for each course to make its way up the table. • Be more conservative at night.

even-length hem if you're going to wear it untucked. Hat Etiquette Hats look great on men. This demonstrates basic fashion competence. • Elbows may be laid lightly on the table. • Leathers should match. particularly when you are actively eating. • Well-fitted trousers should hide your socks entirely when you stand. Always remove it when entering a private residence. The rules aren't actually that hard: • Remove your hat when being introduced to someone. Observe a few basic minimums for dressing like a functional adult whenever you lose your house: • Anything with stains or holes should be reserved for chores around the home. and when you enter a building where you intend to sit down (such as a restaurant or a theater). put a pocket square in the left breast pocket. Manly Manners – 1st Ed June 2012 – Copyright Real Men Real Style Page 6 . but your weight should never rest on them. Get a softer cotton work shirt with a shorter. • If you wear a jacket. • If your pants have belt loops. • Wait for the host or hostess to rise before leaving the table. particularly if it is the bathroom. a polite "Excuse me" is all you need to say. • If you need to leave the table during the meal. they'll notice. they also often confuse men. Do not explain where you are going. wear a belt. • Remove your hat when you sit down. • If you wear the same shirt or pair of pants two days in a row. or when greeting a member of the opposite sex. Even if you don't think they will. whether you're wearing black or brown. people will notice. • Dress shirts aren't meant to be worn untucked. but no one takes a man in his pajamas seriously. The Minimums for Public Dressing You don't have to whip out your good dinner jacket for a run to the grocery store.

The job isn't done until it's back where it came from. you wash the dish. Being pleasant to them isn't just the right thing to do. Clean any spills or spatters immediately. Even if it's common and accepted in your workplace you don't want the habit following you elsewhere. A selfish jerk is a selfish jerk. However. Take the time to cool off before speaking again. if you sit to converse with a member of the opposite sex. • Cover your food with an unsealed lid or a paper towel when you use the microwave. • Never swear. • If you take the last cup of coffee. And it's easy not to be that guy: Shared Property "The tragedy of the commons" should always be avoided in the workplace. Don't wait for it to run out -. Any shared resource needs to be treated with respect. as they will cook on and harden over multiple uses.every time you make the trip. and a gentleman should always strive to leave any piece of equipment in better shape than he found it.) • It is not necessary to remove your hat in a bar. • Restock printers and copy machines after using them. whether he's wearing coveralls at the grease pit or a three-piece suit at the bar. you're stuck with your co-workers. stick an inch or two of paper in the tray to top it off. More importantly. Avoid causing friction by speaking like a gentleman: • If you're raising your voice. and bring something nicer than the bargain brand. • You dirty a dish. the words are Manly Manners – 1st Ed June 2012 – Copyright Real Men Real Style Page 7 . If co-workers take turns bringing beans in. remove it. Then you dry it and put it away. Personal Communications Barring high turnover rates. it's vital to your happiness and theirs. • Hats may stay on in most public buildings where you are not being seated (stores. don't try to avoid your turn. Manners for the Office Good manners at work are happily consistent. etc. you're probably wrong about what you're saying. make another pot.

if you invite people to a business meal. even a casual lunch.and you never know when you're going to see them again. Office Protocols There are a few odd rules of business that don't apply anywhere else. Show a little deference. There's no reason to go out of your way to make their day worse -. and over time they teach people that a lot of what you say can be ignored. Observe basic good table manners. You do not need to offer to split. • Typically the person who issues the invitation will pay the bill. and also remember that you're still in a "workplace. do it graciously and resist the temptation to burn bridges with people you never liked. do so politely and formally rather than appealing to your friendship. • Personal conversation or "small talk" is typical up until orders are placed. Even if you're on friendly terms. decline. Business Dining A lot of business takes place over food. Similarly. • It is never mandatory to order an alcoholic beverage. • Bosses are bosses. follow their directions and don't talk too familiarly inside the office. • Keep your personal conversations to a minimum and your voice low if you work in a cubicle or other open office environment. basically meaningless filler. and more than two will likely be bad for whatever business you happen to be conducting. but exercise a little restraint. • When you leave a job. and if they offer. and if you're paying your own check it makes you look profligate. If you have to disagree. and that even contradict some commonly-held manners: Manly Manners – 1st Ed June 2012 – Copyright Real Men Real Style Page 8 ." Behave like it. If it's on someone else's dime it's rude. don't ask them to split the check with you. • Don't order the most expensive thing on the menu. You don't have to starve yourself. Wait for the person who set the event up to make the segue (phrases like "let's get down to business" are good tip-offs) before bringing up any business matters. • It's always worth wearing at least a jacket to a business outing. Other people are trying to work.

Go the extra mile to make their experience a good one. Grip firmly. • Gifts should never be exchanged in a business environment. etc. There's no need to stand there holding it for more people after that. If following a "rule" would mean diving across people. • While it is usually polite to help with a lady's chair when she sits or stands. a social outing is the perfect time and place to be a gentleman. your wife of fifty years. do you hold it for strangers or just the person you're with. and shake once. But happily. • Doors to public buildings almost always open outward (it's fire code in most places). That means it's best to be a half-step or so ahead of everyone. what about revolving doors. the "rules" are really more common sense than anything else. or as a hostess gift if they invite you to your house. You're right there with a small and intimate group whose good time will be directly influenced by your behavior. with Manly Manners – 1st Ed June 2012 – Copyright Real Men Real Style Page 9 . you do not do this in business settings. Lapse into a polite silence or bring up something casual and non-business-related for the duration of the ride. • Handshakes aren't a way to impress the other person with your power. but never anything of excessive value.. there's no reason to do it. or a group of friends. touching the other person's arm with your free hand is too intimate for most business settings. Who goes first. More than that looks like you're trying too hard to impress. knocking over packages. Just use one hand. Personal gifts to business friends around the holidays. • In general. • Business conversations should never be held in an elevator. make eye contact. and you don't want to seem self-absorbed to the other passengers regardless.. are appropriate. Manners for a Night Out Whether it's with a first date.it's a daunting subject.. hold regular swinging doors for your companions and anyone who happens to get there at the same time as you. • The ultimate goal is always to make things easier for everyone. You don't know who's going to get on or off. Let everyone handle their own chair unless there is a physical need for assistance. pushing doormen aside. All About Doors Men who ask us about etiquette hate the door question.

it's now a calculated part of many professions' wages. round up as needed so that you're not tipping less than a dollar or two. For good service or specific requests. • The table waiter at a restaurant should always be tipped 15% of the before- tax bill. handing people pocket change just feels petty. it's always a good idea to open with a $5 tip and then drop down to the usual amount. In the case of a small taxi fare. • Washroom attendants often have a plate for coins. Always wait for an empty section of the door so that you're not crowding anyone else's personal space. If there is no plate and cash has to be exchanged directly. • Valets should be tipped a dollar or two when they bring the car around. Unfortunately. Again. let a companion do it without making a show of trying for it.and How Much Tipping was originally purely a gesture of thanks for good service. That means that people are actually dependent on tips. • Taxi drivers or chauffeurs (in the case of a hired car/limo. • Enter revolving doors first. tip a dollar per item when you retrieve them. Manly Manners – 1st Ed June 2012 – Copyright Real Men Real Style Page 10 . not a permanent employee) should also be tipped 15%. • Always carry $10-20 in small bills specifically for tips when you go out on the town.and then tipping beyond that if the service merited thanks. It makes tipping infinitely easier. Being a gentleman means knowing the expected amount that's essentially the worker's wage -. Anything more than $5 is extravagant. That way you can give a small push to do the hard work of starting the door's movement. or if you're paying as you go one to two dollars per drink. • If you use a coat check. in which case fifty cents or so is appropriate. • Bartenders can be tipped 15% of the final bill. and makes you look prepared. rather than merely grateful for them. and swing the door open without forcing anyone to an awkward stop. tip a dollar. Handing someone pocket change as a tip is just insulting. • If you happen to be in a bad position to grab a door. That way you can take the handle. up it to 20%. You can get the next one. Know When To Tip -. If you plan to stay at a bar for a long time. Anything beyond that is a generous gesture. pivot. the door handle in easy arm's reach.

it's acceptable to ask your server before he/she takes your order if the check can be split for you. and put as close to the exact amount as possible on the tray or folder. • If other people at the table can't seem to do the math. • If you know the bill is going to be split and your party is small (four or less). always rounding up. Then pass it to the next person paying. • Never under-tip to show irritation. and if no one speaks up.you don't need to tip him/her. be sure to include tax and tip on their total. Again. • If someone calls/hails a cab for you. ask the maître d' to send him your way. tip that person a couple dollars. go ahead and figure it for them. it is acceptable to ask "Would you like me to give you a hand?" If they say yes. This usually isn't too much trouble as long as the party is small and the request is made before anything is entered into the system.) Splitting a Check There's nothing more disheartening than watching well-educated grown-ups stumble through splitting a check like a math test they didn't study for. If he doesn't happen to be around. cover the extra few bucks yourself. Give the table a moment for someone to realize their mistake. A good helping of small bills will help people who didn't have your foresight make change. This is one of those awkward gestures that makes polite people wince. It's an unnecessary burden on the server (and may cause difficulties if they use a system that applies an automatic gratuity to parties of six or more. figure your bill. Someone else will do the same for you some day. and you should never do it before being seated in the hopes of getting a better table. • Larger parties should not request a split check. Being prepared and decisive will help you get the whole group through painlessly: • Always have enough cash on hand for any venue you plan to visit. take it. • If you ask the wine steward for specific help. Don't forget to figure your own share of tax and tip. Tip the base expected amount and then write a note or speak to the manager privately the next day. as many do). tip him 15% of the wine bill when you stand to leave. • When the check comes. don't make a big show of figuring out who miscalculated. rounding up. especially if they end up relying on $20s from an ATM. • If the finished pile of cash comes up short. Manly Manners – 1st Ed June 2012 – Copyright Real Men Real Style Page 11 . (Asking pointedly to speak to the manager then and there is also unacceptable. • Speaking of the maître d' -.

At a minimum. let them pay. It may be appropriate between long- standing and intimate couples who know each other's habits. Don't make a show of always paying for everything. • If you're on a date anywhere with live music and a dance floor (whether you planned on it or not). • In general. but if they're giving short answers and not engaging you. with the various items circled and connected with arrows to the various credit card numbers. A single gentleman just starting to date or one whose relationship is growing more serious both need to observe specific courtesies of courtship: • There's nothing wrong with striking up a conversation with a stranger at a bar or a concert. it's a signal that your advances aren't appreciated. help her take her coat off it (and check it if relevant). Don't go to places with dance floors if you're unwilling to do this. whether it's to another dinner or a show later that same evening or something else entirely. and don't ruin the moment by suggesting anything more intimate. whoever extends the invitation pays the check. hold her chair for her when she sits and stands. • Flowers are not necessary. and reciprocate by extending an invitation of you own. it is also bad form and makes your entire party look inept. but don't go for one if it doesn't come up. • If a good-night kiss on the first date is desired. Flirting and Dating Few outings are more fraught than a romantic one. • Typically. If someone invites you to dinner. • Dress like you care about it. but I've yet to meet someone who was genuinely displeased to receive them. but it is presumptuous and condescending in the early stages of a relationship. take a quick look for wedding rings before starting anything that could be perceived as flirting. it will be very clear to you. you should probably be wearing a jacket. obviously. you need to ask your date to dance at least once. • While it is possible to hand a waiter multiple people's credit cards and a single bill. • Do the little things for a date: hold doors for her. Manly Manners – 1st Ed June 2012 – Copyright Real Men Real Style Page 12 . Let the moment happen naturally. unless the date is in a very casual setting. And. do not order for your date.

When in doubt. but no later than half an hour. use those letters prominently. make sure they're wiped clean. Your hosts will hopefully meet you at the door -.take a quick look and follow their example. as are small household items like a pair of glasses or a set of coasters. • Observe whatever dress code is relevant. and thank them for both in writing the next day. Attending a Party • If the invitation says "RSVP." A nice box of chocolates or a bottle of good wine are always appropriate." do so. • Never invite people to something they have to pay for themselves. promptly. • Arrive at least five minutes after the official invitation time. dress code if relevant. Hosting a Party • A good invitation should include the following information: time. ask other guests or the hosts beforehand. Manly Manners – 1st Ed June 2012 – Copyright Real Men Real Style Page 13 . • Avoid making any toasts. place. bring a small "hostess gift. or other displays that demand attention from other guests unless you have been specifically asked to. In either case your goal is the same: show appreciation for your friends and encourage them to have the best time possible. • Shoes on or shoes off is always an awkward question in a private home. Arriving early may interrupt last-minute preparations that your host would rather not have you see. • Always plan on about 10-20% more guests than you receive RSVPs from even if you did put it on the invitation. Both are the art of helping an event flow smoothly without making yourself the center of attention. and the times for any specifically- scheduled events.Manners for Visiting and Hosting Throwing a party and attending one are two sides of the same coin. thank them for the lovely time when you leave. speeches. If your party involves a meal or entertainment. If you do wear your shoes into the house. • Thank your hosts for inviting you when you arrive. you are responsible for the bill. • When attending a party at someone's house. contact information. while showing up excessively late is always rude. If you expect RSVPs.

If you're expecting people to be reasonably well-dressed it's usually best to plan on everyone keeping their shoes on -. always avoid the latter. Minding Your Manners Every Day: Good Common Sense For a lengthy list of rules. important idea that is being a true gentleman. • Welcome people at the door and let them know what to do with their coats and footwear.women in particular may not care for wearing their good dresses and hose in stocking feet. They're really nothing more than a good set of suggestions for making everyone's life easier and more pleasant. Remember the fundamental rule of good manners: Are your actions making the lives of the people they affect better or worse? Always strive for the former. Manly Manners – 1st Ed June 2012 – Copyright Real Men Real Style Page 14 . But they count because they're part of the big. everything we've said here is remarkably easy to perform in your day to day life. The small things count.