I chose Christopher Schulz for the introductory post because of his attitude toward fashion. Schulz chooses 70s and early 80s-inspired (sometimes thrifted) attire because of its ability to showcase the body, rather than hide it. His anti-body shame approach to clothing is a refreshing change from the fashionable attitude that one must be boyish and thin to be considered a la mode.
Whether it is a saucy crew-neck sweater or a cherished vacation-found khaki short, Schulz looks like he could be straight out of a 70s/80s teen romp – the best throwback that most can pull off, if they find the right fit.
Name: Christopher Schulz
Occupation: Magazine Editor (Pinups Magazine (NSFW))
City: New York
Are you a grower or a show-er? Are you the type of guy who has always had a beard, or is your growth a response to a trend?
I don’t know how grower vs show-er applies to having a beard. I guess since I’ve never shaved my beard off I’d be classified as a show-er. I grew my beard about four years ago. I constantly groom though—I like to keep it a certain length. The growth isn’t a response to a trend—it’s a response to an aesthetic that I enjoy, and frankly, I think it suits me.
Do you keep it neat and clean, or is a little unkempt more your style?
I always try to keep it neat and clean but I can be lazy about trimming so it gets a little unkempt at times. I’m good about shaving my neck line. I’m rarely fond of beards that go all the way down the neck and merge with chest hair (unless they’re giant ZZ Top beards in which case it makes sense to let it grow down there)
Does your beard ever factor in to the clothes you choose to wear? Do you like to frame it as your statement, rather than wear bold patterns, graphics and colours to distract from it?
No. For me my beard isn’t a trend and has nothing to do with my clothes. Having a beard is a personal choice and I don’t see it as an accessory to an outfit. It’s much too evergreen.
Does facial hair suit everyone? If you weren’t fully bearded, would you sport a ‘stache?
Like most style choices, facial hair is subjective. Some guys look great with facial hair while others don’t but it’s all based on an aesthetical point of view. For example, I love a face with a strong chin, so If a guy has a weak chin but grows a thick beard, then the beard might fill him out nicely. There are so many ways to wear a beard and so many types of faces but it’s the combination that’s key.
How would you classify your style?
I don’t think of my style as one defined package, however there is one aspect to my style that is encapsulated by trends of the late 1970s/early 80s. I’ve always been very drawn to men’s clothing of that period (more guys had moustaches than beards around that time). There’s a fearlessness to the trends of the late 70s and early 80s, specifically summer clothes (which I’ve been interested in lately)—all the short shorts and bright colors. Trends in clothing of that time seemed to be about showing off the body, while trends of the 90s and early 00s were all about hiding the body. Personally, I’m not interested in body shame so I employ a lot of 1970s aesthetics. If you want to know my favorite summer looks, pay attention to the extras in ANY of the Jaws movies. Also Steve Guttenberg in Cocoon wore short shorts best! I’m not so devoted that I seek strictly vintage clothing. I’m open to contemporary clothing as long as it keeps that confident attitude that is so evident in clothing trends of the late 70s/early 80s.
What do you think about bearded, less-standardized models on the runways of Yohji Yamamoto, Vivienne Westwood, Walter Van Beirendonck? Can high fashion be showcased in this way?
I think it’s great. Men’s fashion is too often portrayed on boyish types but there’s so much else out there. I’ve always been drawn to manly-men with big barrel chests and a gruff ruggedness. Incorporating that type of man in a runway show adds a dimension that fashion shows rarely explore. That type is in and out of style. In the 70s the husky look was popular, in the 80s and 90s it wasn’t, and now it’s slowly coming back. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the boyish type too, but it’s not the underdog so it doesn’t need any cheering-on.
Name one item you will never part with from your wardrobe
Last summer I was looking for the perfect pair of khaki shorts and after scouring every store I frequent in NYC to no avail, I finally came across a great pair while vacationing in Provincetown and I wear them all the time! I get a lot of odd looks. A passerby even shouted “this isn’t the 70s” to which I replied “too bad.” I don’t understand the negativity. I don’t think my khaki shorts are very shocking. Sure they clash with today’s mainstream trends, but today’s trends don’t accurately define whether or not something looks good.
Any advice to those gents out there who may want to achieve a beard like yours?
My advice, especially to those who have never grown a beard—endure the pain of the first few weeks. It gets more comfortable but you have to define a neck line and keep it clean. I shave my neck frequently and every so often I trim my beard to a number three guard. I’ve heard that conditioner helps soften beard hair, but I’ve tried it and it doesn’t seem true at all. It is good to shampoo/condition anyway though, to keep your beard clean. Some people think having a beard is lazy but the kind of beard I have requires a lot of upkeep.