Well, perhaps not in the white-collar corridors of corporate America. In fact the full beard - that is, one that stretches from the chin and mustache out to the sideburns - has become a kind of signifier for the glamorously self-employed. It is a favorite of Hollywood actors like Russell Crowe and Matthew McConaughey (who flaunt their whiskers as a kind of too-cool-for-school look when not shooting) and a key part of the brand identity of hot young fashion designers like Rogan Gregory of Edun, Josia Lamberto-Egan of Trovata and Alex Carleton of Rogues Gallery; and of musicians like Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes and Babydaddy of Scissor Sisters.
Among other things, today's beard is a kind of nostalgic nod to counterculture heroics that peaked - at least in Hollywood - in 1978. That was the Year of the Beard, brandished by Kris Kristofferson as an outlaw trucker in Sam Peckinpah's "Convoy" and Steve McQueen in his serious-actor turn in "Enemy of the People."
Stubble is as far as I'm gonna go, I think. Beards would have to go out of style again before I would even consider growing one.
Actually, I'm not even sure I can. I might have to get beard plugs or a beard toupee or something...