1. Van Dyke
The style is named after seventeenth century Flemish painter Anthony Van Dyke, who sported a goatee and a mustache. The two patches are not connected, as the cheeks and jawline are left neat. It's a more refined look that requires attention to detail. So, maintain it with a pair of scissors or beard trimmer and style it with beard or mustache wax for a suave look.
2. Short-boxed beard
The style is similar to the Van Dyke, but with longer and narrower sideburns and a heavier layer of chin hair. It's very flexible, complementing angular, oval, heart-shaped, and round-shaped heads. Hollywood stars like George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, and Jake Gyllenhaal famously sport this on the red carpet. Yes, while in suits. Keep it neat by trimming the sideburns every now and then.
It's one that was popular in the 30s and is still being sported today. The style is a derivative of the full beard, but without the beard and sideburns being connected. The beard on the lower part of the chin and jaw area is grown full, but the neck is left clean. Very villainy, actually.
4. Two-day shadow
This recent style—a clean, tight beard that seems to have grown only in the past two days, hence the name—is worn by many stylish, young men today. Among them are David Beckham, Zac Efron, and Robert Pattinson. It evokes a proper and more mature look. Achieve the "shadow" by using a clipper with size one guard, which leaves only an eighth of an inch of the hair. To emphasize the jawline, men with a heart-shaped face are advised to keep the hair on the neck, while those with a round face are encouraged to shave the neck clean.
The style is similar to the chin curtain, which fully covers the entire chin. Only cleaner and thinner in terms of hair growth on the sides. The hair is neatly lined on the jawline and chin like a strap, accentuating the areas. This is especially flattering on bald men. Just ask contemporary musicians Kanye West and Chris Daughtry.
This story first appeared in Vault Magazine Issue 17 2014.