NEW UPDATE I'll pop in and out today to answer any questions, though I'll also be lurking over at that Brad Neely iAMA as well, because de-sexing stick.

UPDATE: I've gotta shut down the AMA now and get back to work-work, but thanks all for the fun questions. If you have more, send them to [email protected] or tweet them to @GQMagazine and we'll do our best to get back to you, maybe even in the magazine.

Hi, I’m Jon Wilde, a 33-year-old articles editor at GQ magazine, where I've worked for more than four years. I cover a whole slew of topics from tech to cars to, well, beards, grooming, and style. I also have a beard, and a recently-buzzed head (THANKS, GENETICS.) I just launched a big package online and in our April issue (go by a copy or 27!) about how to grow yourself the beautiful beard you’ve always dreamed of.

And just for kicks, I just posted this piece about 15 things you should never, ever do with your beard.

Looking forward to answering all your questions, sartorial, grooming-related, or otherwise!

Social media proof here:

Comments: 87 • Responses: 28  • Date: 

Metcarfre27 karma

What are your thoughts on Thom Browne and the Thom Browne aesthetic?

jiwilde26 karma

On Thom Browne: menswear visionary who has radically altered the way every guy dresses these days, whether they know it or not. Basically he and Hedi Slimane saved us from the dark days of JNCO jeans and Big Dog sweatshirts and shoulder pads. TB is why you can go pick up a slim-tailored suit for a couple hundred dollars at Uniqlo, and every well-dressed guy out there should include him when they say grace at dinner.

On the Thom Browne aesthetic: I can't personally pull off that kind extremely truncated look, because I am top tall, and my disproportionately shorter legs combined with broad shoulders and a knuckle-dragging ape arm situation up top would have me pulling a Chris Farley in no time.

BlueyBoy19 karma

How do you get away with the corporate beard? Do I need to dress even more touched up below the neck?

jiwilde16 karma

STRONG QUESTION. You get away with a corporate beard by keeping it really tidy but still grown in enough that it doesn't look like you're just rocking week-old stubble. The key to keeping what's there clean is consistent trimming—maybe every three days, at most—plus tidying it up daily. That means trimming any lip overhang, shaving off any potential neckbeard situations (your beard should stop at or above your Adam's apple) and watching for rogue hairs trying to grow above your cheek line.

beernerd16 karma

How does one become an expert in the field of facial hair?

jiwilde52 karma

I attended NYU for my B.A. in maxillo-mandibular folliculontology, and then earned my M.F.A. at New York's School of Visual Arts post-grad sculpting department, where they have a little-known program dedicated to the craft of shaping facial hair.

That's a lie. I work at GQ and either edit stories or write a bunch about grooming in all its many beautiful forms. So.

jzeus2814 karma

What is your opinion on just a beard and no mustache? My girlfriend likes me with out a mustache but I feel like an Amish person with just a beard.

jiwilde32 karma

Honestly, I think it's a weird look. The facial hair equivalent of walking out of the house without a pair of pants. In other words.

kanthon313 karma

What advice would you give to someone wanting to write for a magazine like GQ one day?

jiwilde27 karma

Two things.

  1. Write like hell. Wherever you can, however you can. There are a lot of people out there who want to write, but the best of them have both a nose for a story and a faith in the power of their singular voice, and you can't develop either without putting in the hours. I'm a decade into this career and still can't claim to have perfected either.

  2. Read great magazine writing. Read John Jeremiah Sullivan. Read Wells Towers. Read Michael Paterniti. Read David Grann. Read Luke Mogelson

Alternatively, tell people you're an expert on facial hair and grooming, then they'll give you a magazine editing job where you just do AMAs all day.

CHolden4410 karma

Dudes love their beards, I get it. But what's the best way to tell your significant other that theirs could do with a little more maintenance?

jiwilde12 karma

It might feel like landmine territory, but I think the best way is the most straightforward: "Your beard makes you look like you fell into a brillo pad, and I hate the way it feels when I kiss you." (I'm making the contextual assumption that you're female.) If that last part doesn't get him to tidy up, then maybe leave some quality beard grooming gear on his side of the bathroom sink as a hint: a great trimmer (Wahl's Li-Ion trimmer is great) and maybe a nice beard oil from Prospector Co.

itsthebrownbear10 karma

In your opinion, who has had the most timeless style (clothing, facial hair, overall swagger, etc.) in fashion history?

jiwilde15 karma

Bieber, next question.

I KID. Gosling is the young generation's shoe-in for the Looking Damn Good Always Hall of Fame. I mean, he wore an inside-out, two-day-old tee shirt recently and still looked better than I do after an hour standing in front of my closet.

Obvious answers for LDGA HOFers who are already inducted include Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, and Serge Gainsbourg, who's ability to seem like he didn't spend more than 10 seconds thinking about what he was wearing while looking so cool is the menswear equivalent of achieving Zen enlightenment.

kackjelly8 karma

What's the best method/product to tame curly beards?

jiwilde11 karma

You know, that's a great question that I wish I had a great answer for. If the hairs are really curly, there's not much you're going to do to uncurl them beyond keeping your beard well-shaped with the trimmer and combing out the long parts as best you can to keep things flowing in the right direction. Beards, like artificially intelligent robots, can have a mind of their own. You might just have to embrace the situation if you want the beard that badly.

AstridJMF5 karma

Hello Jon :) I Hope You're well. Whay do you think Of 70s beards ? Thank you for your time, Sir :)

jiwilde5 karma

Like Al "Serpico" Pacino here? Or Robert Redford? That devil-may-care (but-definitely-doesn't-shave) look works if you're able to wear it with confidence. If you want inspiration, take a look at Justin Theoroux here. I also think big bold beards look best with a suit. (Just not this kind of suit.)

bootsnpantsnboots3 karma

What's the gq office like in terms of fashion? Loud suits? Basic business casual? Designer stuff?

jiwilde10 karma

We're lucky in that being a magazine, the dress code is pretty close to "anything goes." Some editors are J.Crew-vibing in a button-down under a Todd Snyder sweatshirt and jeans over a pair of suede boots. Some editors veer fashion forward, with drape-y Rick Owens shirts over some torn-to-hell jeans and a pair of chelsea boots. Some go fully suited with a twist, like a pair of crisp clean sneakers (Stan Smiths, maybe, or Common Projects) or a tee. None of us make enough to stroll around in full on Saint Laurent, but I think the one tie that binds just about everyone on the GQ squad is an unwavering dedication to proper fit.

Whatever we wear, we make sure it works for us, whether because it's a brand we love or because we hit up the tailor. In the GQ world, a great fitting chinos-crewneck sweater-dress shirt combo looks more put-together and work appropriate than a billowy, baggy, untailored suit anyday.

jimbalaka3 karma

Any tips for keeping the beard hair smooth? like any oil for example?

jiwilde2 karma

Oil is good, and a bunch of brands make quality beard oils, like Prospector Co. and MCMC and Brooklyn Beard.

Also important: moisturize. Get a good facial moisturizer from Kiehl's or Aesop and use it every day to keep the skin underneath your beard in good condition.

HighGuy923 karma

What's your take on trimming pubic hair? I see it as sort of "crotch beard" that should definitely be maintained if you have any semblance of a sex life.

jiwilde5 karma

Very very in favor of downstairs trimming. General rule: if you have hair on your body, keep it in check, whether it's above the beltline or below. At GQ we've covered exactly how to go about trimming your below-fro.

If you don't get why, think of it this way: would you want to shove your face in the pile of hair on a barbershop floor? No? Then why would the girl or guy in your bed?

VincenzoMarsden3 karma

Let's talk chicks man. What do they prefer overall, light stubble? Five O'clock shadow? Or clean shaven? Also, what is the best razor I can get for under $30? Thanks!

jiwilde24 karma

They prefer two things: whatever it is they prefer, and not being called "chicks." To the former, it's a toss up. My wife's skin is actually allergic to my facial hair, especially when it's stubbly. But a coworker's wife just asked him to grow a big beard. There's no one-beard-fits-all rule for what women like. So go with what you like. You'll be happier.

As for the razor, it really comes down to what type of blade plays best with your skin. For some, the five-bladed super-teched-out razors from Gillette work well. For some, something simple (and snazzy looking) from Harry's does the job best. Try a bunch out.

thedanyon3 karma

Why does your "15 Things Not To Do" article say Nick Offerman was on Community?

jiwilde2 karma

Because I am a moron. It should be fixed now.

VernHayseed2 karma

I would like to have a gandalf beard but don't want to wait. Is there a Beard Club for Men somewhere that I could obtain beard plugs?

jiwilde4 karma

We laugh but yes, there is, and it will cost you much of your dollars for the pleasure of shouting "YOU SHALL NOT PASS" at your friends when you open the door to your apartment.

tanyaface2 karma

Will the foo man choo ever be a thing?

jiwilde5 karma

Not if I have anything to do about it.


lynchdean2 karma

What tools should every man have to keep a well maintained beard?

jiwilde3 karma

You don't need a lot: electric trimmer, razor of some sort to work the edges, a beard oil to keep the hair smooth, and if your beard is bushy, a beard comb. Never overlook the joy of combing a beard. Might even be better than stroking your beard while looking like you're deep in thought.

VoiceOfFlawedLogic2 karma

What are your thoughts on the Imperial beard?

(not this example specifically)

MrTornado1 karma

You're probably long gone by now but if not... Eyebrows for the heterosexual man? Wax, thread, pluck or leave well alone? (Naturally have a monobrow)

jiwilde1 karma

I think all men, heterosexual or not, should have eyebrows. If I were a politician, that would be one of my major platform issues. Eyebrows 4 All.

As for whether they should be groomed, yes, sure, definitely. You probably don't need to be as fastidious with them as a beard, partly because they don't grow as fast. I'll definitely tweeze my unibrow territory every week or two to clear out any weeds, and I might pull out a few rogue brow hairs that are really escaping my general eyebrow outline. If you have some Scorsese happening up there, threading or waxing might be in order. But the last thing you want are fussy, hyper-shaped brows.

meigs681 karma

What is your take on facial hair on teenagers? Like mustaches, beards, etc. How can I wear facial hair without it screaming "college student"

jiwilde5 karma

The key is just to keep it neat and tidy. You want this, not this. Also: take a knee on the facial hair if you can't actually grow some. I have a reasonable facsimile of a beard now, at age 33, but when I was in college the best I probably could have done was some Bieber lip fuzz.

tanyaface1 karma

Is there a good beard-specific shampoo? Is shampooing a beard a good thing?

jiwilde2 karma

There's no need to get a beard-specific shampoo. Regular ol' face soap—I use Cetaphil, but feel free to get fancy—will do the job just fine. Make sure to really get in there, under the follicles, so no trapped food bits get lodged inside. Unless you're going for that mentally unstable vibe, in which case.

HUDF1 karma

Any recommendations for a touch of alopecia barbae??

jiwilde1 karma

Someone down below jokingly asked about beard implants and here we are, not two hours later, learning together why something that seems absurd actually isn't that absurd at all. Which is to say: beard implant? Or—and this probably isn't the advice you want, but it's what I would in your situation: accept that growing a beard might not be your thing, the way dunking a basketball will never be my thing. And that's okay! You don't need a beard to look sharp.

liarliarplants4hire1 karma

Why do people get all giddy over a pair of Allen Edmonds and get snobby on cheap Rockports, but then turn around and tout cheap eyewear, like Zenni and Warby Parker when there are really nice frame lines out there, like Salt and Mykita? If it's the Luxottica story, it's like saying that you're overpaying for anything not a Kia because GM is a big company, while Ferrari goes unnoticed...

jiwilde1 karma

I'm a Warby wearer, and much as I'd love to splurge on eyewear, there's gotta be a few spots in my style playbook where I make a value decision. Brands like Warby and Zenni and other affordable eyewear makers are a big deal because glasses had been so universally expensive (or cheap and ugly) for so long, that having a new wallet-conscious place to buy glasses felt like a huge movement.

And here's the thing with eyewear versus shoes: you don't walk miles on your glasses every day. They sit on your face, or in a case. But shoes take a TON of wear and tear, abraded against the pavement, toes dragged, heels scuffed, the upper's leather or fabric torqued and stretched and crunched in multiple directions with every step. You can buy a $99 pair of glasses and expect that they'll last you years (with some respect, and a bit of luck). But a $99 pair of shoes just isn't built tough enough, with materials of a high enough quality, to either survive the abuse or to be rehabilitated—resoled, or the leather reconditioned—when a little TLC is in order.

Seattleopolis1 karma

Who makes the best deconstructed/soft-shoulder sports jackets and blazers? I need one that's not corduroy, linen, or seersucker.

jiwilde2 karma

I can't claim personal experience with any of these, but I've heard great things about Boglioli's deconstructed jackets, which are pricey but come with all the Neopolitan swagger you can handle, in two-button and 3-roll-2 styles.

I also asked GQ's suiting expert, Jon Tietz, and he quickly mentioned that he likes the deconstructed jackets by J.Lindeberg, J.Crew, Dolce & Gabbana, and Luigi Bianchi Mantova/L.B.M. 1911 if you're looking for cotton, or Ralph Lauren and Ermenegildo Zegna for wool versions.

Spoonsy1 karma

How does a person go about growing a masterful beard?

jiwilde4 karma

It's almost like you're a plant from the GQ web team desperately hoping I'll repost this wonderful package from our April issue on how to grow a masterful beard.

But in all seriousness, it's not that hard: Step 1: Grow a beard. A full one. Like, two months' worth. It's time to go beyond the stubble. Step 2: Trim it into something that suits your face. Rounder faces can keep the sides/cheeks shorter to give your grill a more angular appearance. You can go bushier to offset a weak chin. Experiment a bit. And if you need help on this front, a great barber can do wonders. Step 3: Profit?

kprestek1 karma

My husband grows a winter beard and then in the spring he shaves it off bit by bit, so he'll have mutton chops for a while, then a handlebar mustache, then a thin 'stache, etc. What's your take on this kind of ironic facial hair?

jiwilde10 karma

If your husband's "ironic" facial hair lasts longer than 24 hours it's no longer ironic, it's a cry for help. I prescribe a straight-razor shave at the nearest dude-barber shop that charges a little too much but serves free beers.

AbleToFail0 karma

I'm 17, why don't I have a beard?

jiwilde11 karma

You're not trying hard enough.

AbleToFail0 karma

Ok, I'm sensing that this is a joke response so haha, very funny.

But can you answer my question or explain.

jiwilde8 karma

The only answer is genetics. I didn't have a beard at 17 either. I kinda sorta mostly have one now, at 33, though not as thick as I'd like. Maybe in three years you'll have a beard, maybe in ten, maybe never. There are options if you're desperate, but don't be in any rush.