Profiles In Style With.....Vir Beatum from Being Manly

It's easy to believe that being a true gentleman has fallen out of favour but all is not lost my friends. There are a few fine men who land between the overtly suave metrosexual that pushes past you at the cosmetics counter and the rough brute ahead of you who lets the door swing back in your face without a flinch. These gents have taken up the task of bringing manliness back into fashion. One of these modern bastions of righteous behaviour is known as Vir Beatum, the dapper fellow at the helm of Being Manly. Pondering daily on life, style and worldly  pursuits, the historian and blogger was kind enough to spend a few moments with us, shedding light on his own personal take on the art of 'being manly'.

How do you describe your personal style...Englishman abroad. I was once accused of being ‘prep’, but a duel sorted that out.

Style Icon(s)...Lord Sebastian Flyte, or, on a bad day, Charles Ryder.

Modern day style crush...Timothy Everest.

Go-to outfit...Grey flannel suit, brown Oxfords.

Accessory you can’t live without...Black gentleman’s umbrella.

Current weekend uniform...Linen boating blazer and slacks.

Signature scent...Dior Intense.

Most coveted item in your wardrobe...Shoes get the most attention, mainly because people see a good pair so infrequently. I have a pair of Gruppo Forall brown Derby shoes that are just the ticket.

Must-have grooming essential...A traditional safety razor and badger-hair shaving brush. Ritual is everything.

Best style/grooming advice you have ever heard...Tricky one; there are so many. Real men wear pink, perhaps? That’s not too practical though. Tailor off-the-peg clothes so that they fit. It’s the best way to make mid-range look top shelf.

You can never have too many...Pairs of outrageous socks. But one pair of novelty socks is too many.

Style “Don’t”/Pet Peeve...I had not realised until I addressed this that I have so many pet peeves. It’s probably unhealthy. At random: men who fasten all of the buttons on their suit jackets.

Favourite style era...1930s.

Trend you could do without...I could pretty much do without trends altogether.

What will never go out of style...The gentleman.

East coast or West coast...East, I suppose. I’m a recovering Bostonian.

Currently obsessed with...I’m a temperate man, so I’d hope to check an obsession. But I’m perennially fond of P.G. Wodehouse.

Favorite night out...Cocktails at Café Einstein, before the Philharmoniker in Berlin.

Favorite city/vacation destination...Montreal.

Favorite sites...NYC skyline; St. Pancras station, London; Unter den Linden, Berlin; Harvard Yard.

Favorite film...Annie Hall

Favorite quote...‘The procrastinator is always wrestling with ruin’. Hesiod, Works and Days.

Always searching for the perfect...That would describe me quite well.

Greatest extravagance hanging in your closet/wardrobe...A certain pair of plaid trousers.

Never leave home without...A handkerchief. Or two.

Signature cocktail...Classic gin martini. Before offering me vodka, please consult with the man who called me ‘prep’.

Go-to gift...Books.

Currently reading...Elizabeth Gaskell, Wives and Daughters; Gustave Flaubert, L’Education sentimentale; Donna Tartt, The Secret History.

Ultimate luxury splurge...I’ve coveted a Rickenbacker 330 for at least the last fifteen years. That’s a guitar, by the way.

Never travel without...My wife, if I can help it.

Dream dinner guest... Living: Stephen Fry; Dead: Thucydides.

What inspires you...That which endures.

Hobby/pastime you could not live without... Anything one cannot live without must be far more important than a ‘hobby’. To that end, I could not live without playing an acoustic guitar.

It wouldn’t be ‘my’ party without... My friends.

Life would be grand if I could start every day.....On time.

If I could bring back one thing it would be....The wearing of hats – proper hats. The male head used to be an elegant place, but the modern bonnet tends only to cheapen it.

Stranded on a desert island, what 5 things could you not live without...A guitar; pen, ink and paper (I’m counting that as one); Test Match Special (BBC cricket coverage); an umbrella; bug spray.

Why Don’t You....: Polish your shoes. People will think more highly of you, but they won’t be able to put their finger on why.

1. Timothy Everest     2. Dior Homme Intense     3. St. Pancras Station, London, UK
4. Fulton 'Minister' men's umbrella    5. The Secret History    6. Harvard Yard, Cambridge, MA.
7. the classic Gin martini    8. Montreal, Quebec    9. Rickenbacker 330
10. Stephen Fry    11. Annie Hall


  1. Brilliant. I follow his blog religiously. Keep up the good fight, VB.

  2. Now this is a man (gentleman) whose company would be a true pleasure; from his choice of dinner companion Stephen Fry, to his choice in martini's to his desire of resurrecting the proper hat. I admire this man. So very pleased to follow his blog from now on.

    Thank you Lilly for the introduction to Mr. Beatum.

  3. A shame that men of this sort are so rare! Always been exuisitely polite & also encouraging to myself the few times we've corresponded. This itself is also one cool Blog & has a new follower too!

  4. I soo agree with the tailoring comment. I have clothes in every price range and it's just as easy to make a 20.00 dress look good as it is to buy a 2000.00 dress in the city. The difference is one can afford to take the tailored 20.00 dress out for the night!

    I am going to have to start reading his blog!

  5. Great profile. I'd love to have a beer with this man. If in Montreal, all the better.

  6. This is a fine gentleman that one would be proud to have as a brother-in-law.

  7. Wonderful! I so enjoy his blog and now that I know a little more about Mr. Beatum, I believe I'll enjoy it even more! :)

  8. Nice. Thank you for the post, well appointed, well educated combined with a sense of respect is so lacking in our society. I went to a graduation (middle school) last evening, and was appalled at not only the lack of respectful attire by the adults, but what went for dress by the 13 to 14 year old women graduating. Hooker heels? Short short "dresses"? We are a doomed culture.

  9. You're all too kind. Humbly yours, VB

  10. Wonderful insight! Thank you for this, I enjoy his writing.