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The month formerly known as November is now styled

 by the portmanteau Movember:

moustache + November = Movember

For the duration of the month

men are encouraged to grow out their moustaches

to promote public awareness of prostrate cancer

and other male-related health concerns.

Yet it seems of the moment that

men need little, if any, coaxing to

patiently grow and attentively groom facial hair.

Moustaches,  beards,  goatees, stubble

are on trend –

a fashion statement accessory  courtesy of nature.

A follicle of men’s facial hair history

Sporting facial hair has been in and out of fashion;

sometimes au courant at other times legislated against and fineable.

Currently,  facial hair fashion is seen everywhere.

Yet, throughout the course of history

it wasn’t always so.

During the 15th and 16th centuries

English monarchs fluctuated in attitudes

on beard-wearing.

In 1447, the English monarch King Henry VI

(image from wikimedia.org):

King Henry VI of England

Henry VI

decreed that moustaches were forbidden and

that every fortnight, men were required to shave their upper lip.

Why such antipathy against moustaches?

There is no clear explanation … possibly Henry VI

was annoyed that he was facial hair follicle challenged

so he wanted to deny others the right to have beards.

Maybe he simply hated moustaches or had a moustache phobia.

He did suffer from bouts of insanity.

Continuing in an anti-facial hair mode,

King Henry VIII famous for his own

neatly trimmed ginger beard

(image from hrp.org.uk):

henry VIII from hrp.org.ukaa Henry III being crowned c British Libary Bridgeman Art Library

King Henry VIII

levied taxes in 1535 on men with beards.

Since courtiers slavishly followed

dress/appearance standard set by the monarch,

no doubt many wanted to have beards similar to the king.

 Henry VIII cleverly instituted means

to capitalise on the situation.

By the 1560s all anti-beard rules were revoked.

Sporting a beard went on to become very popular.

Men scented, coloured and even curled

their beards to create distinct looks.

Moving on to more recent times, laws may no longer

have dictated beard-wearing dos and don’ts,

but other factors certainly ‘beard’ influence.

Following WWI and WWII, American men favoured

a clean, youthful, beardless appearance:

the “all American look”.

(image from whitepages.com):

Robert Young (centre) as the father in the TV series Father Knows Best

The jazz scene of the 1950s/1960s

saw the soul patch gain facial hair status.

The soul patch was popular with

jazz musicians and beat generation creatives.

It was a small tuft of hair

grown below the lower lip and just above the chin.

(image from pdxretro.com):

Dizzy-Gillespie then-006

jazz impressario, the trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie 

Yet by the 1960s/70s with the anti- Vietnam War Movement

and the emergence of hippie culture,

sporting full unkempt beards was

a political and “anti-establishment” statement maker:

a look which defined a generation.

(image from americanacademy.de):

an Open Land commune in Northern California, late 1960s

The 1980s was the decade of the ‘Miami Vice Shadow’:

facial hair that appeared barely there

as inspired by TV Detective Crockett

from the American television series Miami Vice.

(image from fiftiesweb.com):

Don Johnson as TV detective Sonny Crockett

During the noughties the intricately outlined goatee

was a facial hair design choice.

(image from cnn.com):

A. J. McLean (left) of 90s boy band, Backstreet Boys

Today sporting facial hair is fashion au courant:

worn in as many styled variations as possible.

Hair!   Hair!

Favlook – Lookfav Focus: men’s facial hair! , hair! 

(images from nssmag.com):

Andrea Marigonda

Dapper Lou

Masaaki Hashimoto

Simone Monguzzi

Justin O'Shea

Manos Samartzis

Aaron Brooklyn

David Beltran

Domenico Romeo

(image from Singh Street style):


(images from Garconjon):

Karlmond Tag

(image by James Robinson):


(image by Chicago Streetstyle Scene):


(images from onthecornerstreetstyle.blogspot.co.uk):

(image from Unlimited by JK):

Umer Butt

(image from Boy from Dagbon):

Mr Ruwende