Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Stylish Stubble

The time women give to plucking and tweezing their brows, is similar to the attention men pay to grooming their facial hair. Many men view their facial hair as a trophy, one that expresses individual style and personality. For the handful of men who faithfully read this blog, and for the Fashionistas who support the stylish men in their life, I give you, the evolution of facial hair.

It all begins with the sexy and sophisticated, five o'clock shadow. Visible late in the day on a man who was clean-shaven in the morning, this form of facial hair is a pre-cursor to all forms of the mustache, the goatee and the beard. Mr. Clooney has become the poster-child for the five o'clock shadow, and I must say, he wears it well.

My earliest memory of the mustache was at the age of five, and was found on Tom Sellick as Magnum, P.I. The "stache" has come a long way in the meantime, and after a brief interlude in the nineties, is making its way back onto the faces of handsome men everywhere. Terrance Howard sports an updated version, carefully groomed and not overpowering.

The most versatile form of facial hair is the goatee. It's a bit more daring and edgy than the mustache, yet not as "Grizzly Adams" as the beard. It's various styles, shapes and lengths make it easy for any man to wear. The goatee can be found on the white-collar yuppie to the angst-ridden rocker. Orlando Bloom channels Renaissance-sexy with his variation of the goatee.

And then there's the beard. If you've never dated a man with a full-on beard, it can be a bit unnerving and intimidating at first. On one hand, when a beard goes awry, it's a total disaster. Rememer this? But when it's on, it's on. Nothing moreso than a beard can define a man's ruggedness. And who better to define it, than none other than Matthew McConoughey.

Maybe you're a purist and a clean-shaven man is what floats your boat. The great thing about facial hair is that your man can don a handsome beard one day and a sharp-shaven jawline the next. Joaquin Phoenix does babyface well, don't ya think?

What kind of facial hair do you prefer on a man?

Photos courtesy of SFF.