When I first considered the Humble Win At Work Book Bundle, one of the titles that intrigued me was Kelvin Davis’s Notoriously Dapper. I just couldn’t decide if the intrigue was positive or not. Maybe because I didn’t fully read the subtitle (“How to be A Modern Gentleman with Manners, Style and Body Confidence”), but part of me expected this to be a “Here’s how to be an ALPHA BRO DUDEBRO!!” type of book, with advice like “Be a complete jerk to ladies, they like that.”
Thankfully, this book is not that at all. Indeed, Kelvin Davis is one of the first male examples of promoting body positivity. As for the book itself, “How to be A Modern Gentleman” is certainly an accurate description of a lot of the book. Funnily enough, being a modern gentleman, according to Davis, isn’t that different from being an old-fashioned gentleman. Doing simple things like holding the door for people, or complimenting someone on their clothing, can make one a modern gentleman. He also notes how unfortunate it is that it can be difficult to be a nice guy (I don’t mean the internet “nice guy” where being nice to a woman [Or another man, if that’s your preference] is used as a method of getting into their pants, but a true gentleman, where you compliment E.G. a woman’s dress simply because you like the dress) to someone without the other person assuming nefarious motives. “Common manners” really aren’t very common anymore.
Even though “style” is in the title, the book isn’t really a style guide as such, although one chapter does contain a list of 12 items he feels any male should have in their wardrobe (I’m happy to say I independently figured out “dark denim” looks good. Especially since I’m the sort where, when faced with the “visual” portion of a create-a-character option in a video game, I fiddle with it for five or ten minutes before hitting “Randomize All” and going “Yep, looks like a keeper!” regardless of what it spits out.), which is a great starting point on that front.
My main issue with the book is that it sometimes reads like a series of blog posts (Which does make sense), as opposed to an overall “book”. By this, I mean that we’ll get a piece of information about, E.G. Michele, Davis’s wife. I’m totally cool with that, but I get a sense of deja vu when I read “My wife, Michele” two chapters later. Like “Yes, I know she’s your wife, you just told us that.” In fairness, this could be an editing issue–I don’t know the order in which the chapters were written, nor how far apart, nor if that order was the same as the sequence that ended up in the book. And besides, it’s a pretty minor thing in the grand scheme of things. The somewhat modular nature of the book means you can skip around from chapter to chapter, only reading what interests you, which further mitigates this (Though I read it all the way through).
Still, overall, I enjoyed the book, and it’s a pretty quick read. I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to learn about being a modern gentleman (Or lady, for that matter).
Lastly, I had to make my own attempt at being Notoriously Dapper. Ignoring the white socks, what do you think?