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HISTORY OF THE MAN GROTTO PART ll

HISTORY OF THE MAN GROTTO PART ll

The gentleman knows how to make decisions.

Lastly (but not least) let us consider the great Cary Grant — quintessential gentleman, a charismatic icon of timeless elegance and grace. Born in England as Archibald Leach, his upbringing wasn’t exactly normal — with his mother suffering bouts of mental illness. While the boy was at boarding school, his father had her committed to an institution, then told his son she had died while traveling. He would be in his thirties before he’d discover the truth.

the father remarried and largely abandoned his son. It’s only speculation to consider what effect these events had on the young budding actor, but he soon left England — like many others— for the promise of America — and changed his name to the more debonair “Cary Grant” — determined to leave Archibald Leach far behind.
Grant very methodically remade himself. Some might say that he became such a successful actor because he was well versed in pretending to be someone he wasn’t. Grant himself once wrote “I pretended to be somebody I wanted to be and I finally became that person. Or he became me. Or we met at some point.” He religious studied contemporary male style icons and learned about fashion. It was the 1940s and military uniforms were everywhere. Grant saw something special. Soldiers always looked sharp. Even disheveled in the field, they still had a raw masculinity — because of the uniform. Grant decided to treat his attire, not as clothing, but as a uniform. Many of the suits he wore were off the shelf from American retailers — the same as everyone else — except his attitude to the suit wasn’t the same. First, he ensured that his clothing fit him flawlessly and was perfectly dry-cleaned, and crisply ironed. Nothing out of place. Whether it was a tuxedo or a pair of jeans with T-shirt, he knew that clothes make the man.

While much has been written about Cary Grant’s style he only wrote once on the topic — a 1962 article published in “This Week”. In it he said:

“I believe men’s clothes—like women’s—should attract attention to the best lines of a man’s figure and distract from the worst. In all cases, the most reliable style is in the middle of the road—a thoughtful sensible position in any human behavior. Except perhaps on the freeway—but, even then, the middle lane, providing, of course, it’s on your side of the road, usually gets you where you’re going more easily, comfortably, and less disturbingly. And so it should be with clothes. They should be undisturbing, easy and comfortable.”

The gentleman proves improvement is not only possible but desirable.

That was then, and this is now. Are there some modern day equivalents? Absolutely. There’s much greater range of styles for men, and although we’re in age where the definition of “masculinity” and “boyishness” is blurred, all is not lost for this generation.

For example, the man who seems to top the lists of online polls of a modern gentleman: George Clooney. Seen by many as the contemporary equivalent to Cary Grant, Clooney has a stylish and polished appearance throughout his work and life. Just try finding the average man who doesn’t want to be as cool and fashionable and loved by women as George Clooney.

There are other also younger actors who epitomize the quintessential gentleman such as Oscar winners Ralph Fiennes and Eddie Redmayne. The art of being a gentleman is not entirely lost.




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