Home Grooming How to Look Smart for a Formal Occasion with a Beard

How to Look Smart for a Formal Occasion with a Beard

It is no secret that beards are very fashionable for men right now (though it is unlikely they will ever be fashionable for women!), and if you are sporting one, you probably find it looks great with your casual clothes or the trendier things you wear out in the evening. However, younger men having big beards is very much a fashion thing, and can seem a bit out of place for more formal occasions like black tie events, job interviews for very formal corporate companies, and other times when you want to look serious and smart. So, if you have an occasion like this coming up, how can you wear your beard to give an image that is smart and respectable rather than quirky or trendy?

Is Your Beard ‘Grown In’ Yet?

One of the first things to consider before you start choosing a beard trimmer to give you a tidy look is whether or not your beard has actually reached a stage of growth where it can be made to look neat. It takes men different lengths of time to grow in a full beard, and if yours is still at the rough, stubbly stage, then it is hard to look smart with it, because the unshaven look looks a bit scruffy – even on George Clooney. While it does mean going back to square one on your mission to grow a fashionable, manly full beard, the best thing to do if you get a sudden invitation to something formal while first growing a beard is to shave.

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Neatly Trimmed

A neatly trimmed beard can look smart and respectable, even on men too young to earn that ‘distinguished’, silver bearded look. However, you need to really keep the length in check for this. Think of a beard more like Davos Seaworth from Game of Thrones rather than like Tormund the Wildling or Robert Baratheon! A big, bushy, Hagrid beard may have a lot of hipster cred, but looks very strange with a smart suit at a wedding. Some people who have really embraced the bearded look can pull off a bigger beard if it is part of their personality to wear one, but if your beard is more of a temporary fashion statement or something new you are trying out, a smart, clipped beard will help you feel much more right for the occasion.


Whether you are normally someone who leaves their beard natural or you already use things like beard oils to keep the hair tame and in good condition, it is a good idea to use products to make it look its best when you are dressing formally. Think of these as a nice finishing touch like wearing cologne or cufflinks that will give you an extra air of smartness.

As long as you have enough beard to work with, taming it with a trimmer and some beard products can help you achieve a neat, smart look without getting rid of your beard.

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