Some of you may have noticed stuff growing on my face if you clicked on my Instagram link last week. That stuff is now almost what I would call a full-fledged beard. While I won’t be attempting to answer the existential question that is, “”Are beards trad?” I will be exploring how a beard impacts a trad.
My first observation is that you may want to use time off, holiday time, or simply Movember to develop your beard. Depending on the speed of your facial hair it could take around 4 weeks until you have escaped the five o’clock shadow and scruff look. These are in my opinion the harder facial hair options for a trad to pull off. In an effort to curb my pre-beard time in public I started it the week prior to Thanksgiving using the holiday week to grow my beard in private.
My second observation is that if you are anything like me most people will love your beard. Being like me in this instance only means that you are clean cut the majority of the time. I shave everyday for work and my hair is well maintained. This can lead to a “Richie Cunningham” sort of vibe so when the beard starts to come in it seems to turn everything on its head. All I know is that if you are the kind of guy that gets chided for your buttoned-down ways is that people will probably react positively to your beard.
My last observation is on how a beard will effect your appearance. On the weekend I often wear chinos with an untucked OCBD or flannel shirt. Since I have grown out my beard I have learned that this is a no-no. Pre-beard I went with the untucked look to signal that I am off work and that I have casual side. Now that I have a beard I have found it almost necessary to tuck my shirt in when casually dressed to signal that yes I do have a beard, but I am still the same well put together guy. In short, the beard requires that you stay on top of your grooming.
I hope that my foray into the bearded life has been helpful to you all. It has been an interesting experience for me. It is only the second time that I have had a beard in my adult life. For those of you wondering I do not plan on keeping the beard long term. For those of you that read this blog and have had a beard what tips can you share with us?