Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Beards Are Back In Vogue

"Even in our era of clean-shaven, Mad Men-influenced style, facial hair is worn by everyone from hipsters to professors to dads still rocking the '80s Tom Selleck moustache."

Katherine Laidlaw writes:
"The postmodern beard is playful," says Allan Peterkin, author of the recent book The Bearded Gentleman: The Style Guide to Shaving Face. "It's a very masculine expression, but it's done with the wink of an eye."

And even in the realm of facial hair, society takes its cues from Hollywood, which exemplifies creative whiskers lately. Brad Pitt sports a snarly goatee. Conan O'Brien grew a layoff beard. George Clooney wore a foxy greying beard to the Oscars. And, of course, Joaquin Phoenix grew a beard that swallowed his face, but that's another story.

Society's view of the beard changed with the advent of the safety razor in 1903, Peterkin says. "In Western culture, it's sort of been suspect," he said. "If you were an academic or an artist, it was kind of accepted in those circles. The '90s is really when things take off. It started probably with grunge and Kurt Cobain."

Image consultant Anne Sowden says wearing beards is gradually becoming more acceptable in conservative workplaces. "Typically, the perception is, if you have a beard or any kind of facial hair, you've got something to hide," she said, adding that you rarely see a man who works in finance wearing a beard. "I think that's changing, though."

Bearded Gentleman co-author Nick Burns and image specialist Zayna Mosam weighed in on various styles of facial hair. There are plenty of styles to choose! READ MORE
What do you guys think? Do you like your man with facial hair or without?