From "The Standard" to the "The Van Dyke" and everything in between, here are six looks to try—or not.
Adam Hurly 1 / 7
Goatees: perfect for the guy who is too shy to rock a mustache, and whose whiskers are too shy to rock a full beard. Here are a few styles to consider, and a few to forget. (Beards are still cool, btw.)
Common’s goatee is, well, common. This is the mainstay, the original canvas on which other styles are born. The sides softly connect the mustache and the chin hairs, and nothing outweighs anything else. If you want to start safely, try this look and then experiment from there; you can trim the sides, or let the mustache grow more prominently than the chin.
We could rename this style “the Johnny Depp” since he is so closely associated with the look. Originally named after 17th–century painter Anthony van Dyck (yes, it’s named after him and misspelled), this goatee connects the soul patch to the chin, but keeps the mustache separate; many men will grow handlebar mustaches for extra seasoning, but we like the way Depp wears his short.
It’s part goatee, part scruff. Hugh Jackman grows this well; his goatee is often bushy and bustling, while he lets the rest of his facial hair stay slighty sprouted. The result is a nice contrast, and a nice consolation since you won’t need to shave every day.
This is tough to pull off, and we’re not sure John Travolta even does that here. Imagine a goatee so big that it’s missing the upper sides / sideburns, but the rest is filled in. The look is teetering ever so closely to beard, and if grown out a big longer, it would likely achieve that designation.
With its marooned soul patch, this look is one landing strip away from the “Van Dyke.” Colin Farrell attempts it here, and his bad-boy edge helps him immensely. Take caution if you want to try this style, less you land somewhere with a 90s boy-band edge.
If John Waters grew a goatee, this is what it would look like. Everything is kept so wispy and thin, it looks like it was drawn on. We’re big fans of Channing Tatum, but we're not sure even he can justify this one. You’ll see a lot of guys try this on for size, with very few of them pulling it off. Try it for yourself, but be ready to pull it off with a razor if it looks the least bit absurd—or the most bit absurd.