A classic man is one of the highest ranking-serving as a standard of lasting worth. He is made of strict principles and holds a discipline that an ordinary man cannot fathom. He is old fashioned but never boring. A classic man is known to pick only the best of the past and tailor it to fit to the modern world standards. He understands that some bits of the past should have never existed in the first place, bits that bring more harm than good.

In the modern era, we have seen men evolve into two discrete groups; the modern man and the ultra-classic man. Being a modern man sounds like the in thing since it involves banking on the outside perspective of oneself. Be it cars, clothes, architectural preferences, hang out joints, music and women, the modern man is known to go with the current trend. They are pacesetters. One down side of being a modern man is they urge to please which comes at a cost. It means they ride the latest cars, live in sophisticated apartments and may miss out on building a strong character.

A modern man’s counterpart is the classic man. The modern epitome of classic man should be no other than the Classic Man artist, Jidenna. You may think that other than spotting finely cut suits, Jidenna has no personal touch with distinction class. In his manifesto, as written by vibe.com, Jidenna puts across that being branded with the term distinction is more about character than outer appearance. He also knows better than to compromise on his outward appearance, as style too defines class.

‘Sharp in mind, body and style.’ Jidenna.


photo credit: vibe.com

Let’s us look at what it takes to be a classic man.

First, what defines a man?

Several men in different fields tried to demystify the term man.

A poet, Joseph Brodsky says a man is what he reads. Menander said that the character of a man is known from his conversations. And the profounding findings do not stop there as Mark Twain insists that clothes maketh a man, naked people have little or no influence in the society. The three mantras above are true about manhood. We are shaped by our book environment especially in the modern era where books are part of us, over time we tend to identify with a certain character because we like their demeanor, we become their non-fiction part. Conversations are expressions of the heart as processed by the brain, all men share similar emotions but it’s how we process them, do calculations on the time to retreat or pounce that makes us different. It is a common statement that follow your heart but remember to carry your brain.

A classic man understands himself; his strengths and weaknesses and does not shy away from expressing them. He uses his strengths not to ridicule the weaker man but to mask and stand out for his weaker side. He takes pride in his work as he well knows that core to masculinity is the desire and ability to provide for those dependent on him. Instead of waiting for the table to be set, he utilizes his physical ability, wit, savvy and ambition to bring the table.

Men are known to conceal their emotions. As boys they are taught that ‘boys don’t cry’. They do it in order to maintain objectivity of the prevailing circumstance. David Borenstein thought that feelings are not supposed to be logical. Dangerous is a man who rationalizes his feelings. This is where a classic man differs from any other man since he knows when to let the ancient guard down, find a confidant in form of a friend, a brother and or a mentor to avoid bottling up stress to the point of explosion.

Classic men are intellectual kings. They know that the society, family and themselves will look up to them at some point for insight, advice or random reactions. The beauty is the classic man takes pleasure in intellectual issues, he is well informed, a master of the art of language, a good listener and reader of the circumstance. He banks on reason and logic to help him make a decision since feelings are unsuitable evidence to base decisions. To build himself intellectually, the classic man will sign up for classes, learn to exercise his brain by being engaged in certain clubs, mind building games, taking part in deep, brain taxing conversations and fueling the desire to learn more each day. Books, those that define his path are always close to him.


A classic man is fine like coffee; bitter-sweet, dark and hot.

Most men say that being physical-oriented is a weak trait. I used to believe it too until I read the art of manliness. Unconsciously men love women, and women love men from what they see. The biggest desire of man is to find love. The classic man is no exception. He knows to beat the odds he has to be on top of his game physically too. It is therefore not a surprise to see him take care of his physical self. Our physique and health matter a lot in the social, business and dating world. A classic man will choose what he eats, maintaining perfect health is key for him. He wants his body fit and hits the road and the gym occasionally, first for himself and for his lady; every woman wants to feel a toned torso. He knows a good barber, not those who insist that a clean shave is timeless, but who are experimental with their power blades. When it comes to clothes and style, he goes for what he represents. Some classic men will opt for suits and vintage leather while some want the cow boy look, the African regalia, Swahili inspiration… but in all the classic man allows fashion and style to first speak for him. The society judges us pretty much by how we dress.


“She must be a lawyer.”

“He is gay.”

“She is not married.”

The above are common views hinted by our dressing. Dress how you want to be addressed. Men should look good, smell good, taste good and even feel good too, it’s not a reserve for women but when doing it ensure it represents what is inside.

For the classic man,respect is earned. How do I earn respect? We earn respect by respecting others especially the prejudiced parties. Respect animals and take care of them, respect the children, respect women, respect those of special abilities, respect nature and those in authority, show concern for the widows and orphans, submit to God always and look up to him for guidance. In their charity classic men do it for understanding its meaning and not for the show. My friend told me that feeding a homeless person and sharing it on social media is only feeding my ego.

The final rule for being a classic man is relying on yourself. Classic men pay their bills and they work to pay them. They believe in independence and can do virtually anything within their capabilities from changing a soiled napkin, putting up a decent meal, trimming a fence, fixing broken stuff, and mending broken souls. This doesn’t mean they cook or do the laundry, it means to their women that it’s only for companionship they are together. They are the men you see and say,” Damn, he is so gallant and chivalrous, I would want him to rub off on my son.”

In our quest of being classic men of the next decade, we should have mentors who rub off on us. Our fathers serve that role but we should look around globally for icons in different fields. Great men raise great men, and a candle loses nothing by lighting another one. If your goal is to leave an indelible mark on earth do it by being the classic man.

Inspiration by art of manliness website