First impressions count, and when you are newly arrived in town, they may well count for everything. If you fail to cut a striking figure, a dashing pose, or properly return a salute, you may well find that doors are closed and the calling cards dry up at your door.
There are two ways to remedy this situation. The first is to move from fashionable town to fashionable town, in the hopes of things going better for you in the next one. Unfortunately, this isn’t really a lasting remedy. Manners maketh the man wherever he goes, so getting it wrong in a new town doesn’t really change anything. Regency High Society also has a habit of being on the move, so your reputation will eventually either catch-up with you, or precede you. The second plan, and the one recommended here, is to carefully study the following guide and learn how to walk-the-walk.
- Stand tall and walk with confidence. A gentleman is unconcerned and untroubled.
- Pay careful attention to your tailoring. The Regency gentleman is more concerned with the cut and quality of his cloth, than its ability to draw the eye. Make Beau Brummell your model in fashion: if it’s your attire that’s turning heads, you’ve got it all wrong.
- In this mind, make sure you are dressed for town or country, never both, and never for one when it should be the other.
- A gentleman should carry a cane or perhaps a tightly rolled umbrella. He may swing it lightly in his hand as he walks.
- A gentleman is courteous of others in the street. He will make way for others if needed, and with reference to the aforementioned cane or umbrella, he would never risk it knocking another gentleman, or worse, a lady
- If a gentleman sees a lady he knows in the street, it is not for him to announce the acquaintance or make a greeting. That is for the lady. It is also for the lady to determine the warmth and length of the meeting.
If you found this interesting, of feel you would like more help with your Regency manners, you can find more guides from Behind the Past here and here.
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