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Sophistication is a core element of masculinity. Think of some of the figures who have exuded the concept over the decades: Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, George Clooney, etc. These are guys known as the height of cool and as ideals for other men to aspire to. But it wasn’t so much because of current perceptions of manliness so much as it was about sophistication.

 

This, as you probably know when you actually think about it, matters a lot to women anyway. It’s a good bet that about 99 women out of 100 would rather you wear a nice watch than carry a nice flask, if you get the idea. So with that in mind, we thought we’d get into the New Year by pointing out a few simple but effective ways to up your sophistication game in 2018.

 

1 – Read

 

This one more or less speaks for itself, but we’ll get into it anyway. Simply put, too few people today read. That doesn’t necessarily mean we aren’t as intellectually curious. For example, one common trend among young people is to listen to podcasts for the sake of education, on everything from history to economics. Others listen to books, or even to news publications through certain apps that essentially turn day-to-day articles into mini-audiobooks. But there’s just something about people who read real, tangible books from time to time. They seem deep, intellectually curious, interesting, and relaxed all at once. It’s certainly part of the image of a sophisticated gentleman, and one you should embrace. You may as well start with something contemporary, so here’s a look at some of the best books expected in 2018.

 

2 – Embrace Vinyl

 

Listening to vinyl records has become trendy, and in some cases it can actually look somewhat pretentious. After all, we have all kinds of faster and more convenient ways to listen to music. Listening to vinyl can seem like watching a movie on VHS for no reason, or using a typewriter instead of a laptop. But broadly speaking, an appreciation of vintage quality is an aspect that can be associated with sophistication, and there are legitimate perks to listening to vinyl. If you have a nice record player, some great records on hand, and an ability to articulate why this is your preference, you’ll be sure to impress a few house guests.

 

3 – Get To Know A Tailor

 

We’ll keep this one short and sweet: a tailored suit is leaps and bounds better than one off the rack (and more durable as well, which means in the long run it’s not much more expensive). Getting to know a tailor is one of the best things you can do to up your sophistication game and look the part of a modern gentleman.

 

4 – Play Cards, Not Video Games

 

You don’t want to be a full-fledged card shark or a regular gambler, because those things can go too far. However, opting for more “old school,” traditional games – ones that allow you to socialize in person on occasion – can be very attractive, and conveys a certain gentlemanly disposition. If you’re not a card player at all, you might want to start small and learn the rules of blackjack. It’s the most straightforward popular card game, and you can play it any time you (and potentially a significant other) have occasion to pop into a casino – say, on vacation or on a cruise. From there, you can gradually learn about poker so that you’ll be able to hold your own and speak the language. You don’t want to obsess, but it’s generally a more sophisticated gaming outlet than video games.

 

5 – Know Your Drink

 

One quick way to look simple, immature, or just inexperienced is to get up to the counter in a nice bar or at a wedding, surrounded by friends, colleagues, or a new date, and not know quite what you want. Now, there’s nothing wrong with a very basic drink; men everywhere sustain on gin and tonics. But you should know what you want and be able to order it confidently, however simple or complicated the order may be. This doesn’t convey that you drink too much or are too focused on drinking. Rather, it just shows that you know what to do in a high class situation, and you can conduct yourself in a self-assured manner.

 

 

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