The Mutton Man
Model: Terry Richardson
Nothing says “I’m a wilderness buff with artistic tendencies” quite like muttonchops, especially when accompanied by a fast-plummeting mustache (not a goatee, mind you; the chin stays bare). Works best on extroverts with narrow faces.
The Chin Curtain
Model: Abe Lincoln
Not to be confused with the chin strap, the pencil-thin strip favored by David Ortiz types. This is more of a backwoods look, with up to an inch-and-a-half-long “curtain” descending from the jawline. Flattering for less-prominent chins.
The Garden Gnome
Model: Brad Pitt
When Pitt really lets himself go, this is what he ends up with: a scraggly upside-down pyramid. Best for men with straight or wavy whiskers and square or angular (not round) faces. Consider rubbing Clubman wax into your mustache to hold the pointy shape.
Models: George Clooney, Jon Hamm
A mountain-man classic, often appropriated by stars looking for a quickie image shift. The thicker the coverage, the more authentic the man. Trim occasionally and clean up the neck, lest one end up with…the Van Winkle.
The Van Winkle
Model: Joaquin Phoenix, circa Letterman meltdown
The full monty as far as facial hair goes; takes months, if not years, to harvest. To counter its sex-repelling qualities, condition it a few times a week and run a comb through it now and then.
Nick Burns is the co-author of The Bearded Gentleman: The Style Guide to Shaving Face (May 2010, Arsenal Pulp Press).