The Life of a Beard

I shaved my beard off on January 1st. I thought that it would be a good way to start the new year. There was a brief moment after I shaved where I wondered if I had done the right thing. That concern faded as I adjusted to my hairless face. I don’t regret the beard nor do I long for it. It was a good experience. For those of you are considering a beard I have included a set of pictures documenting the life of my beard.

Before I go I wanted to ask for some recommendations. While shaving my beard I started to think about my after shave and cologne. I currently use Brooks Brothers Classic. I like it, but there may be something else that I like more. I just don’t know what that is. Thanks in advance for all of the suggestions!



Day 1








oxford cloth button down
Jerrod Swanton is a simple man interested in simple, classic, and traditional style.

25 Comments on "The Life of a Beard"

  1. JoelVau says:

    I usee BB Classic also. Had an odd find last year though. Polo classic has alwyas seemed so strong, and so passe, that I hve not used it in over 20 years. But my father had a bottle which was over 20 years old in his medicine chest when he died last year. It had mellowed. I love to wear it, as I get that Polo aroma which I liked so much, but not at the same potency as intended by RL .

  2. Emmie says:

    Much better without đŸ™‚

  3. Lennart says:

    Hi Jerrod, I think the unbearded approach is better. Personally I mostly shave twice a week so I really don’t live by this at 100% myself. I wear etd, mostly Papa Cheri from Fragonnard, I got it as a gift from my daughter. Whan I don’t sport the french fragance I wear Polo Ralph Lauren Blue..

  4. NCJack says:

    For simply treating the face after-shave, it’s hard to beat Thayer’s Witch Hazel with aloe. Unscented, so it won’t try to compete with any cologne.

  5. Steve L. says:

    There is a world of fragrances out there. (A very great many of which smell better than the BB.) Sample some time-tested classics. Dior Eau Sauvage; Guerlain Vetiver and Habit Rouge; Caron Pour un Homme and le 3eme Homme. Try small decants for a few dollars each from The Perfumed Court or Surrender to Chance.

  6. Richard tweeds says:

    Jerrod, I am little old fashioned when it comes to different fragrances. For every day use I still use the original old spice when coming out the gym etc. , on special occassions its Brooks Brother’ classic or the Polo in the green bottle another awesome original. Just can not get into those unisex fragances.

  7. Alexander_F says:

    I guess beards and moustaches are some of those things every man experiments with once in their lives, like bow ties, tobacco pipes and such. Some pull it off, some don’t, and I guess there is no reason to regret it.
    By the way, you really have an awesome collection of sweaters.

  8. August West says:

    Pinaud Clubman aftershave for me.

  9. Charlottesville says:

    Jerrod — I agree that the clean-shaven look is best, but I too enjoyed growing a beard once upon a time, and it was a fun experience. Some people look great in beards, but alas I am not among them, I like the BB classic fragrance as well, and you may consider Eau Sauvage (the original, not the new version called simply Sauvage) and Geoffrey Beene Grey Flannel. I love the shetland sweaters, and the outfits you put together with them. The blue one, the gray one with the tweed jacket, and the pink one at the end are particularly nice. Where did the pink sweater come from? Very nice.

  10. Sartre says:

    I do not often wear scents as they tend to compete with food and wine. I do sometimes wear after-shave which is not as intrusive, in which case I like Trumper’s Essence of Limes. Or you can always go the old Bay Rum route.

  11. Hollywood Argyle says:

    Although I find stubble unflattering on most men, you manage to look good that way (third photo). The next few shots, where your beard is coming in, are a little rough, but once it’s fully in (eighth photo & beyond), it looks good. If you were to grow it out again, I might suggest either keeping it as stubble (which I hear the ladies find most attractive), or, if you let it get longer, shaving your cheeks some, just to even up the edges.

    My children love it when I grow a beard, but I think I look better without one. For the past several years, I’ve grown a beard in the winter, and shave it off come spring. I always kept it trimmed short until last year, when I experimented with letting it grow long. The key to keeping a fully grown-in beard looking good, it seems, is some sort of beard oil, and the longer the beard is, the more important beard oil is. I eagerly await my first bottle of same.

  12. oxford cloth button down says:

    Thanks for all of the thoughtful comments!

    Charlottesville – Thank you. The pink sweater is PRL.

    Steve L. – It is a whole other world! I only have room (and loot!) for so many “essentials”. Kidding aside, thank you for the suggestions!

  13. Greyflannel says:

    The old school Pinaud Clubman line of aftershaves can’t be beat. Original, Vanilla, and Special Reserve. Stay away from the Vegetal though. For the summer Osage Rub can’t be beat. Menthol that will give your face a deep freeze.

  14. Ezra Cornell says:

    You think after that style tour-de-force we were supposed to focus on the beard?! What a lineup of rigs! Gotta love that you shared so many at one time.

  15. Roycru says:

    In the winter I use Taylor Of Old Bond Street Eton College aftershave and shaving cream (which I think smells similar the Creed Green Irish Tweed).

    In the summer I use Geo F. Trumper Limes aftershave and shaving cream.

    Winter or summer I use Geo F Trumper Skin Food as a pre-shave and again after I shave, but before I use any aftershave.

    Some days I use Taylor Of Old Bond Street Bay Rum aftershave if I want the aroma to go away sooner rather than later.

  16. Doc Ivy says:

    Polo Green for me, both the original cologne (1 “spritz ” only), and the aftershave balm. I agree with earlier comments that if you go the beard route again, a little trimming along the cheek and jaw would help.Great rigs, as usual. Thanks for the blog!

  17. Andy Gilchrist says:


    I think you look more handsome without the beard.

    Your friend,

    Andy Gilchrist

  18. Hollywood Argyle says:

    As for fragrances, I stick mainly to antiperspirants. You might like Old Spice, which is both inexpensive and classic, without being overpowering. I used to wear Armani in the spring and summer, but they don’t make it anymore. However, George Washington’s favorite, Caswell & Massey Number Six, is a wonderful fragrance that is my go-to scent for events.

  19. Gary says:

    I use a mild shaving soap made with natural oils in a bay rum fragrance and sometimes cherry almond that leaves my skin with a very, very light lingering fragrance. That’s all the fragrance I can stand. No after shave, no cologne, ever. I’ve never found that did not in some way “bother” me, irritating my nostrils and my skin. I’ve also found that they do interfere with the aromas of food and drink.

  20. Bluchermoc says:

    Since you’re shaving again, what type of razor do you use? How about shaving cream?

  21. Jack says:

    Shame to see the beard go! My aftershave is Acqua di Parma. Quite pricey but worth it.

  22. oxford cloth button down says:

    BlucherMoc – I use Secret Shave oil, Aveeno Shave Gel, and a disposable style Gillete razor. I use a new razor every time that I shave and I do two passes. Sorry for the slow reply!

  23. Hollywood Argyle says:

    Not that anyone asked me, but when I wash my face for shaving, I wash twice: first with soap, and then with a scrub. Scrub exfoliates, so I get a smoother, closer shave. I use either Cremo Creme shaving cream and a disposable double-bladed razor (everyday), or a fancy shaving soap applied with a brush, and a 1964 Gillette safety razor with Personna blades (weekends & holidays when I have the time). The safety razor routine definitely takes longer, but it also produces a much closer shave, abeit with a greater chance of nicks.

    I don’t use any aftershave, but I do use sunscreen.

  24. Josh says:

    For shaving, I use either Kiehl’s products or Musgo Real classic scent. My preference is for the latter.

    For cologne, I like more citrus-based scents so I opt for D.R. Harris Arlington or Hermes Eau d’Orange Verte. Again, my preference is for the latter.

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