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How to Find the Right Beard for Your Personal Style

Does your choice of beard reflect your personal style, or is it a total mismatch? Whether you're thinking about growing a beard or you already have one, you will learn how to find the beard that works best with your overall look.
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barber is making a facial treatment to a customer on a beard shaving session in a barber shop - focus on the barber eye
barber is making a facial treatment to a customer on a beard shaving session in a barber shop - focus on the barber eye

Does your choice of beard reflect your personal style, or is it a total mismatch?

You can find plenty of articles on "the best beards for your face shape" or "hottest looks to try now." But the right beard for you isn't just the one that flatters your jawline or follows the trends - it's the one that matches your features, lifestyle, and overall vibe you want to project.

When you're building your personal style, it's important to consider all these aspects so that each piece works together. Otherwise, people will be confused by the incongruence and you'll seem like you're not comfortable expressing yourself.

Let's take a look at the different types of beards that go with different styles and characteristics. Whether you're thinking about growing a beard or you already have one, you will learn how to find the beard that works best with your overall look.

The Rugged Rebel

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Body type: Broad-shouldered
Facial features: Square and imposing
Vibe: Mysterious and metropolitan
Examples: Javier Bardem, Hugh Jackman

The rugged rebel is the classic mysterious, handsome stranger.

He's the metropolitan version of the wild explorer (below) - a little more suited to city living, but no less rough around the edges.

You'll look best when you play up your unrefined good looks.

Your perfect outfit is a solid t-shirt and dark wash jeans topped off with a leather jacket.

Accessorize with a rope or leather piece of jewelry, such as a copper plate bracelet, or if you're a bit more daring, a colorful tattoo.

Try keeping your hair a bit long and don't try to tame your wild look into submission.

The same goes for your beard: some stubble is a must, and you can pull off a full beard if you want to.

Your ideal beard: medium to long stubble.

The Wild Explorer

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Body type: Broad-shouldered
Facial features: Square and imposing
Vibe: Athletic and outdoorsy
Examples: Bradley Cooper in American Sniper, Liam Hemsworth

The wild explorer is the rugged rebel's country cousin. He's a bit more athletic and often dressed like he's ready for a hike, rather than a motorcycle ride.

Again, this style works best if you have a square jaw, broad bone structure, and deep-set eyes, but you're slightly less dark and mysterious-looking, perhaps with younger-looking facial features like Hemsworth's, or intense blue eyes like Cooper's.

Your perfect outfit is both comfortable and practical: a windbreaker, canvas backpack, plain jeans and sneakers in earthy, neutral colors like olive green and khaki.

You can also pull off the lumberjack look without looking like the now-unfashionable "lumbersexual" - on you, it just looks natural, as long as you keep it simple (meaning no suspenders or patterned socks).

Likewise, you can wear a full beard and it will probably look better on you than on any other type of man.

Your ideal beard: the full beard. Length can range from just past medium stubble to however long you can grow it.

The Dapper Youth

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Body type: Lithe and agile
Facial features: Youthful and friendly
Vibe: Fun and quirky
Examples: Pharrell Williams, Leonardo DiCaprio, Justin Timberlake

The dapper youth likes to explore the trends, but he always puts his own spin on them. Even if he's dressed up in a tailored suit and a fancy hat, he always looks fun, not stuffy.

Some of the most stylish men fall into this category because they're the ones who can pull off any combination of colors and prints.

Regardless of your age, this style works for you if you have a boyish face and a mischievous grin.

Your perfect outfit is crisp and structured, but with unexpected details in the form of bright colors or patterned accessories. You could wear a checked button-down shirt over colored jeans (with the cuffs rolled up to show off polka-dot socks), and tie the whole look together with an unbuttoned, solid navy blazer.

For a less formal outfit, try a sailor-striped t-shirt and bright shorts, and accessorize with a gentlemanly hat and beaded bracelets.

Since you're so fresh and youthful-looking, too much beard will just seem odd.

Your ideal beard: short and immaculately maintained. You can try to keep your mustache a bit longer and keep your beard very trim, but as a general rule, a shorter beard that has nicely defined cheek- and necklines will be your best bet

The Refined Artist

Body type: Lithe and agile
Facial features: Youthful and expressive
Vibe: Creative and subtly luxurious
Examples: Patrick Dempsey, Orlando Bloom

The refined artist is similar to the dapper youth - they both like classic styles in fancy fabrics and interesting combinations.

However, the refined artist is a little more grown up and serious.

His looks are softly understated in their rich colors and luxurious materials, rather than eye-poppingly bright.

This look works if you have the same perpetually boyish features, but with something mature and soulful about your eyes.

Your ideal outfit is a richly colored cashmere sweater (such as light blue, forest green, or maroon) over a crisp white shirt, paired with dark pants or jeans and a classic trench coat or tweed blazer.

This softly textured look, and your expressive features, need a tousled face-framing hairstyle and slightly scruffy facial hair to match.

Your ideal beard: the Van Dyke - a straight mustache that's unconnected to a narrow, chin-only goatee. Keep it medium length.

The Classic Debonair

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Body type: average and proportionate
Facial features: average and proportionate
Vibe: sophisticated yet laid-back
Examples: Idris Elba, Christian Bale, George Clooney

The classic debonair is the old-Hollywood archetype, a model of sophisticated masculinity.

His clothes might look boring on the hanger, but on him they seem just right. This style works for you if your features are neither harsh nor soft - for instance, your jaw is defined but not too square, and your eyes are deep but not too youthful.

Your ideal outfit is a traditional suit, or if you're being casual, a light crewneck sweater and tailored pants, all in shades of blue, white, grey, or black. Your clothes may not stand out from the crowd because of their colors or fabrics, but anyone who takes a second look will find they're high quality and fit perfectly.

Like everything you wear, your beard should seem traditional rather than trendy, but kept in a cool, modern style.

Your ideal beard: the classic full beard. Kept short to medium in length, it is well groomed to add to, rather than detract from, your dashing, understated appearance.