Call it five o’clock shadow. Call it scruff. Call it a trim beard. Call it, as Details magazine does in this month’s issue, “the barely there beard.”
Let’s face it, whatever you call it, if you were watching last night’s telecast of The Golden Globe Awards, you couldn’t have possibly missed all the guys that were sporting some version of it.
Yes, the beard has been making a quiet comeback for the better part of the last decade among the style cognoscenti but last night it made its mainstream/viral debut as a black tie accessory among the men of Hollywood. Oh look, George Clooney, Jeremy Irons, Christian Slater, Peter Sarsgaard, Toby Maguire, Ricky Gervais, Jon Hamm and Tom Ford to name but a very few.[picapp align=”right” wrap=”false” link=”term=golden+globes+tom+ford+2010+arrivals&iid=7581710″ src=”f/8/6/1/The_Weinstein_Company_3e42.jpg?adImageId=9214253&imageId=7581710″ width=”234″ height=”370″ /]
But not everyone looked good with a beard and that’s because, as with any whim of (men’s) fashion, whether one looks ruggedly handsome or ridiculously hirsute in 2010 depends, first and foremost, on knowing and following a few rules.
If you’re going to be taken seriously wearing a beard, make sure it doesn’t look like your style inspiration came from ZZ Top(William Hurt). Make sure you know the difference between a beard and a goatee because the latter is so 1993 /Todd Palin circa 2008 (U2’s the Edge, Jeff Bridges, Robert Downey Jr.). If you have the shoulder length hair of Jim Morrison but not his looks and swagger (William Macy) or if you have his youth on your side but your hair is stringy and your beard grows in patches (Jason Reitman), you should think twice before you break on through to the other side.
Tom Ford has been pulling off the look successfully longer than anyone in the A-list style savvy crowd. His barely there beard is no more than 5 days of growth and he keeps his hair perfectly cropped and well cut. Hollywood stars who took Mr Ford as their inspiration included Hugh Laurie, Gerard Butler, Jesse Spencer and Sam Worthington.[picapp align=”right” wrap=”false” link=”term=toby+maguire+golden+globes+2010+arrivals&iid=7583546″ src=”8/c/f/a/Tobie_Maguire_arrives_e487.JPG?adImageId=9218204&imageId=7583546″ width=”234″ height=”405″ /]
If your hair is a bit longer, the beard looks best when the hair is slicked back and/or parted (note to Jeremy Piven). “Gossip Girl” star Chase Crawford looked as dapper as anyone who tried this look, as did Ricky Gervais, Toby Maguire, Colin Farrell and Eli Roth.
A few of the guys dared try what looked like a full on beard, including Jon Hamm, George Clooney, “Modern Family” star Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Golden Globe winner for Best Supporting actor in “Inglorious Basterds,” Christoph Waltz. A fuller beard is trickier to pull off unless it and your hair are impeccably groomed (note to Mr Waltz). Ideally Mr Clooney’s beard should have been a little shorter to compensate for the salt and pepper hair. And if you’re going to try the full beard, better make damn sure you look like Jon Hamm. (All I’m saying is it really helps.)
If the rain last night in Los Angeles didn’t prove refreshing, at least the reign of the beard did. Also refreshing is that now in Hollywood a beard is, well, a beard and not a derogatory term for one of the wives of any number of closeted superstars with adopted and IVF babies and a penchant for Scientology.
Sorry, the devil–I mean Ricky Gervais– made me say it.
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Pictured above: Jon Hamm with his wife Jennifer Westfeldt, George Clooney with his latest flame and Chase Crawford. Hope you enjoyed the show and don’t forget to watch “The Ricky Gervais Show” on HBO in February.