5 Best Books On Being A Gentleman

You may not think that you need to read a book to learn how to be a proper gentleman. But it is surprising the number of things we are ignorant about.

Like making a great cup of tea or being a better husband, it pays to seek knowledge. A book or two on manhood and masculinity can teach you far more than you though you knew.

A good book will go beyond the basics everyone knows like dressing well, matching watch with your suit, and practising chivalry to provide deeper insights into things like discipline, self-improvement and respect.

Swallowing your ego and seeking knowledge is itself a mark of being a gentleman. With that in mind, here are some of the best books on being a gentleman.

5 Best Books On Being A Gentleman

All these books focus on what it means to be a modern gentleman in an era where knights in shining Armour appear only in fiction and there are no damsels in distress to rescue.

A large portion of these books focuses on the superficial – grooming, fashion and overall style. They also delve deep into other areas like romance, social etiquette and business or career success.

1. Debrett’s Guide for the Modern Gentleman

Debrett's Guide for the Modern Gentleman


Debrett’s Guide for the Modern Gentleman is exactly that. It offers advice specifically tailored for the modern man who wants to stand out and live a more fulfilling life.

As with most “how to” books aimed at gentlemen, the author uses most of the book’s pages to guide readers on good tailoring, grooming and style. And not just sartorial style but that of their environment and possessions as well.

For instance, there’s a chapter on car maintenance and another on interior design. The book also offers advice on social etiquette on areas like tipping, golfing and casinos.

And if you are worried you are not eating the gentleman way, there’s a whole chapter on gourmet foods and vintages.

The book ends with a chapter on what the author calls “the new chivalry”. It covers seduction and bedroom matters.

The writing style is not witty, but it’s not dry and boring either. The book reads more like a series of articles with lots of subheadings, focus sections and bullet points.

It’s written to give you the information you need quickly without beating round the bush.

In a few sentences, you’ll learn how to wear a suit, how to keep plants alive and how to play Texas Hold’em.

Feel free to take your time with the book, moving from chapter to chapter as you incorporate what you learn into your life.

What I like about it:

  • Easy to read.
  • Diverse range of topics.
  • Plenty of illustrations to guide you along.

2. The Gentleman’s Handbook: The Essential Guide to Being a Man

The Gentleman's Handbook: The Essential Guide to Being a Man


The Gentleman’s Handbook by Alfred Tong covers five main topics including morning routine, style, work, socialising and seduction.

The author breaks down seemingly vast topics like socialising into simple “how to” guides for different situations.

For instance, the morning routine covers things like how to make tea and how to shave among others. The socialising chapter has tips on how to order a drink and how to send a drink back if you don’t like it.

Some readers may find the writing style simplistic, but I think it makes for easier knowledge acquisition.

You can read a couple pages during breakfast and learn plenty of useful tips.

This is a book to take your time with. Don’t blaze through the pages as if it is a thriller. As you read, practice what you learn.

What I like about it:

  • Easy writing style.
  • Covers numerous areas of life.
  • Practical advice that is easy to implement.

3. GQ How to Win at Life: The expert guide to excelling at everything you do

GQ How to Win at Life: The expert guide to excelling at everything you do


This Charlie Button book reads like a comprehensive gentleman’s manual. The book covers numerous topics in short easy-to-understand sections complete with illustrations.

Chapters cover areas like food & drink, style, love & friendship, travelling and work.

Under the chapters, the author then provides quick tips for things like how to start a billion-dollar company (seriously), how to cook the perfect steak and how to spot a fake Rolex.

Our favourites are the life skill sections with advice for how to survive a kidnapping, start a fire in the rain and dive into a pool gracefully.

The writing style is witty and humorous. It makes for a nice bedtime or beach read.

I don’t recommend trying everything the book contains. You’ll take forever before you get to the last chapter. Some sections are just for fun (how to “Sabre a champagne bottle”) and others you file away in your mind for future application (how to “Land a plane with engine failure”).

What I like about it:

  • Lots of useful and practical advice.
  • Witty and humorous – a fun read.
  • Helpful illustrations.

4. The Modern Man Guide: A Guide to Being the Ultimate Gentleman – Without the Boring Bits

The Modern Man Guide: A Guide to Being the Ultimate Gentleman - Without the Boring Bits


Nothing too different from this book. The Modern Man Guide covers mostly the same topic as my first two picks: style, grooming, food & drink, dating, work, leisure and man skills.

The difference is that the authors cover these topics with more with and humour. Amidst the tips and advice, there are plenty of funny anecdotes, self-deprecating jokes and good old fashioned humour.

If you are looking for a book with a lighter writing style, I highly recommend The Modern Man Guide. It’s perfect for the beach, camping trips or bedtime reading.

What I like about it:

  • Humorous.
  • Lots of practical advice.
  • Illustrated.

5. Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion

Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion


Fashion and grooming is a big part of being a gentleman. So it’s nice that there’s a book sorely for gentlemanly fashion.

Dressing the Man goes deeper into fashion and style than any other book on being a gentleman.

Alan J. Flusser is a well-known American male fashion designer. So he know his stuff. He covers just about everything you need to know about fashion including colour coordination, patterns, accessories and footwear.

The book includes helpful illustrations so you can see exactly what the author is talking about.

Some younger readers may find some of the advice from Alan a bit stuffy and outdated. But, overall, the book is a handy reference manual for anyone who wants to up their style.

Take the book slow, seeing which areas you can implement in your wardrobe. You’ll also need to leaf back and forth through pages as you look for specific advice for particular occasions.

What I like about it:

  • Deep and comprehensive.
  • Easy and simple to read and understand.
  • Helpful illustrations.

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