Whether you like it or not, people will be quick to judge you based on first impressions. First impressions matter. They can mean the difference between landing that perfect job, or securing that amazing new client. Eye contact, vocal tonality & body language all have a huge impact on how you're perceived. Your appearance is also critical, not only to how others see you, but also to how you see yourself. Get it right and you will feel confident and in control. Get it wrong, and you might not reach your full potential.
It used to be the case that if you tried to grow facial hair in the corporate world in the early 2000s, there was a real risk you'd be pressured to get rid of it by your boss or colleagues. People valued the clean shaven "metro sexual" look. But in 2014, everything changed. Guys around the country started to grow their facial hair on mass and the beard became mainstream once again. Social dynamic studies emerged showing that beardsmen tended to be regarded as more masculine, mature & trustworthy. Men with cropped facial hair were also judged as more attractive by women.
Now we're in an era of anything goes. Beards are still very popular but many guys are using the broad acceptance of facial hair as cover to have fun with their style. There's a lot more variation than the stereotypical "hipster beard" that was the most coveted look a couple of years ago. Big beards are still out there and a lot of guys have decided to be life long beardsmen. However, we're also seeing moustaches & the stubble look gaining in popularity, whilst for many, beards seem to be trending towards cropped styles
With so many options, how do you decide what look is right for you? The short answer is that it won't be the same for everyone (obviously). You'll need to take into account your facial structure, the density & distribution of your beard hair, and your own preferences. With that said, the decision can only be made easier when you're presented with some options to get you thinking about what might work.
So if you're in the corporate world in 2019 and want to have a beard, here are the top 3 styles we recommend to make a great impression.
1. The Short Beard
The short beard is perfect when you want a beard without having a BEARD. It's got 2 major benefits that we see as being important in 2019. First, in the corporate environment it tends to be a cleaner, more conservative look than a big beard. Second, short beards are trending now anyway so having one demonstrates you're up with the times.
The key thing about having a short beard is to make sure you keep it in shape. Once a beard gets to this size, you'll notice after a few weeks it will begin to grow out unevenly. The hairs grow at different rates so stray whiskers will start to stick out and distract from the nice neat shape you're trying to cultivate. A quick tidy up with a barber every 2-3 weeks along with a beard balm & daily brushing can help here. At this size, your beard will also hold fragrances really well. If you apply a little of your favourite beard oil or cologne to the hairs you will smell as good as you look.
When it's done wrong, having stubble can look like you've forgotten to shave or you've just been on holidays without access to a razor. When done right, it's one of the most attractive styles that gives an aura of masculinity. The key is to keep the stubble uniform in length (using a quality beard trimmer) and ensure you have neat margins around the neck & cheek lines.
This style is versatile. Even if you have some patchiness, it tends not to be as noticeable when your beard is this short. You can even craft your beard lines so if there is some patchiness high on the cheeks (for example), simply shave your cheek lines down to where the hair starts to become dense. It's also low maintenance. Just hit it with a beard trimmer every 3-5 days and clean up the neck & cheek lines as needed. The funny thing is, despite being easier, keeping this style looking neat can make it seem like you're willing to put more effort into your appearance than someone who clean shaves. It communicates that you're a guy with attention to detail who has an eye for what's trending.
The biggest complaint we get about this style is that it can be rough on your partner when you go in for a smooch. There are couple of ways around this. Either grow the stubble out to where it starts to feel a little softer (typically in the 4-6 mm range) or hit it with a beard softening product like a beard oil or beard conditioner.
3. Stubble & Stache
Let's face it, we're seeing more moustaches in Hollywood and around the trendy bars and cafes in our major cities which suggests this could be where things are moving. But it wasn't that long ago that wearing a moustache would have you accused of being a porn star. Now it might be acceptable in hipster circles and on the thin end of the style trend wedge, but the humble mo has not yet re-emerged in the mainstream (apart from during Movember). In the corporate world, we'd say the moustache is a little too edgy for most guys in 2019 but that might change in future.
Nevertheless, a moustache is a lot of fun and it can give a masculine vibe to your appearance. If you're willing to be on the edgier side of the trends without going all in, then the stubble & stache is a good compromise. This is where the stubble around the face is grown in the 1-6 mm range but the moustache is grown that bit longer so that it becomes a highlight without being the only feature of your facial hair style. Having the relatively thicker moustache can add depth to your look, providing contrast between the area above your nose & the area below it. It's a trending style that leans more towards a beard than a moustache so it doesn't come across as being "out there".
Maintenance of the stubble is straightforward as we said earlier. The moustache has it's own requirements. For a conservative look we recommend avoiding twirling up the tips & to keep it trimmed above your top lip. The moustache should extend at or just a little past the sides of your mouth to avoid conjuring images of a German dictator. The beauty of this style is it can be quickly changed to a stubble look, or you can grow it all out to a short beard style, if you find the moustache isn't working for you.
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