Beard styles have come in and out of fashion over the course of history. From the practical warmth they gave to ancient human civilisations to the fashion-forward beard style made popular by Sir Anthony Vandyke in the 1600s (a Flemish Baroque painter in case you didn’t know), beards have always been a staple of male style.
There may have been the odd men’s facial beard style that might look a bit strange by today’s standards like the Stiletto beard (not that we’re judging if that’s your thing), but there are a bunch of great looks from history that still look great today.
The Full Beard
The full beard style is hugely popular right now, featuring a full moustache joining into a medium-to-long length beard. Of course, keeping it well-groomed is a must in order to avoid a ragged, unkempt look.
Although all-over stubble counts as a full beard, we’re talking more specifically of the longer length full beards. Full beard styles speak to a long-held of masculinity. While initially worn by soldiers in the Crimean war for warmth, this association has evolved into a more modern masculine style and ideal.
Top Tips for Full Beards
Full beards are worn by celebrities like Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Evans and Jim Carey. To get the look, make sure you keep lines sharp to help define the jawline, and use a good quality beard balm to help keep your beard looking sleek. We also recommend investing in a good comb so you can keep it looking good all day!
The goatee is probably one of the most recognisable men’s facial beard styles and it actually dates all the way back to Ancient Greece. It slipped out of popular fashion when it became associated with the devil in medieval art. However, it gained back its fan base during the late 19th century as a choice style for the Parisian bohemian community.
The goatee and its variants are still hugely popular beard styles due to their versatility; goatees can be worn with or without a moustache and are loosely defined as any beard that grows on the chin and not the cheeks. There are lots of different style of goatee from the traditional (just under the chin) to the Vandyke (an unconnected moustache and chin beard) to the circle beard (connected moustache and beard).
Top Tips for Goatees
It’s important to choose the right goatee for your face shape so you can enhance rather than detract from your features. Use a beard shampoo & conditioner to keep your goatee smooth and make it easier to maintain. You should also get rid of any surrounding stubble – it can make your goatee look less defined and a bit messy. You’ll see goatees being worn by people like Dwayne Johnson, Jamie Dornan and David Gandy.
The Designer Stubble
Unsure of how to make your beard look good? Start with stubble. Decades ago, when the clean-shaven look was in (think Mad Men), the 5 o’clock shadow was not a good thing. Now known as ‘designer stubble’, the look of a facial hair with visible skin underneath has become imminently fashionable.
The stubble look is a great choice for men who may have patchy facial hair but still want to embrace the hirsute look. It helps to balance the shape of your face and can hide all sorts of imperfections You can have stubble from a short to mid-length, keeping things neat and tidy with a beard trimmer.
Top Tips for Designer Stubble
Keep mid-length stubble smooth with a fast-absorbing beard balm and make sure you choose a beard trimmer with a stubble setting to maintain your look. Also, keep your cheeks shaved so your stubble looks sharp. With designer stubble, you’ll join celebrities like Chris Evans, Jon Hamm and Ryan Gosling.
The Chinstrap Beard
The chinstrap beard was popular throughout the late 18th to mid-19th century. It follows the jawline from one side of the face to the other, covering just the very edges of the jaw and chin. The polished look is created with clean lines, meaning this style requires a bit more upkeep than other styles.
The chinstrap has seen something of a renaissance in recent years, after becoming somewhat uncool in the 90s. The contemporary chinstrap can often be worn with a moustache and is not as sharp as it was a couple of decades ago. Having said that, chinstrap beards are known to not grow out particularly well, so this is definitely a men’s shaving beard style for keen groomers. It is generally thought that the more angular your face is, the thinner the chinstrap should be.
Top Tips for Chinstrap Beards
Find a good quality razor or precision trimmer to shape your beard and use a male moisturiser to reduce the dryness that may occur with frequent maintenance. Also, keep and eye on your neck and cheeks as facial hair in these areas can make chinstraps look messy. This look can be found on 50 Cent, Eden Hazard and Zac Efron.
The Mutton Chops
Another style that has never truly gone out of fashion are mutton chops. Popular among military men of the Napoleonic era, the mutton chop beard style bucked the clean-shaved trend of western Europe. In more recent history, the mutton chop men’s facial beard style has become synonymous with rebellious anti-heroes since Marlon Brando sported some serious sideburns in 1953’s The Wild One.
There are two types of mutton chop beard styles: traditional mutton chops and friendly mutton chops, the latter of which combines the sideburns with a moustache (a la Lemmy of Motorhead fame). In terms of look, mutton chops are extreme sideburns that can be worn with a moustache or goatee without meeting at the chin (otherwise becoming a chinstrap beard).
Top Tips for Mutton Chops
To get this look, let your beard grow out for a while before you shape your mutton chops. Use a beard oil and massage it into your face to avoid hair breakage and invest in some good shaving equipment so you can maintain the look without fuss. Mutton chops can be found on famous faces, including Hugh Jackman, Bill Murray and, of course, Elvis Presley.