Drew is a colourful gent, which is something I have advocated since the inception of this blog over a year ago. While his height factors in to what he can or cannot wear, Drew manages to select interesting pieces to highlight what he is working with. It just goes to show you that being “too big,” “too small,” or “not skinny enough” is not as big an obstacle as you would think. There is a blue velvet jacket out there for all of us.
Name: Drew Sheldrick
Occupation: Blogger – DrewReview (http://www.drewreview.com.au)
City: Melbourne, Australia
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?
Definitely a show-er. I’ve had a beard basically as long as I’ve been able to grow one – which was considerably early. I’ve looked about 30 ever since I was 16. It grew thick and fast, and I’ve loved it ever since. The last time I was properly clean-shaven was when I went in drag to a costume party. It was horrific. I can handle a dress and heels fine, but I felt utterly naked without some facial fur.
Do you keep it neat and clean, or is a little unkempt more your style?
Neat and clean is my thing. I don’t typically like it on my neck as much as around my jaw, so I tend to use a razor to shave my neck and frame it a little around my cheek bones a little, and then a beard trimmer to keep it under control everywhere else and maintain some length.
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?
I can’t say I’ve ever worn or not worn something because of my beard. It’s pretty much as common a fixture as my nose, so I’m used to it being a part of me.
Does facial hair suit everyone? If you weren’t fully bearded, would you sport a ‘stache?
I like facial hair on most guys, except those pre-pubescent “Keanu Reeves” types that only seem to be able to grow it in patches – it’s not a good look. If you’ve got the genes for some good, consistent growth, I say go for it. I especially like beards on blonde guys and ‘rangas*. I think it’s a great look.
I look utterly foul with a ‘stache, I think it’s a lot harder to pull off. I do appreciate that 70s porn look on guys that can pull it off, though
How would you classify your style?
I’ve always considered myself pretty “style-less”, I don’t really fit a particular fashion mould. It’s not a conscious effort to try and be some sort of fashion iconoclast, it’s just hard to find clothing that suits me. I’m quite a tall guy so it’s not easy tracking down items that match my frame. Jeans are a nightmare, in particular, because it’s exceedingly difficult finding a pair that don’t make me look like a giraffe.
When I first moved south to Melbourne from Sydney, I noticed a real totalitarian approach to men’s fashion down here. I felt like I’d missed the welcome bag at the airport – it would have consisted of skinny black jeans, wayfarer sunglasses, a low-necked band t-shirt, silver chain and roll-your-own cigarettes. After months of making fun of the look, my own fashion sense seemed to lurch dangerously in that direction come summer (sans cigarettes). In winter it mutates into hoodies and turbo-layering.
I do love a frisky use of color, though. The palate of my wardrobe is quite extensive. It’s a lot colder here than the rest of Australia, so it’s nice to distinguish yourself from the sea of greys and blacks on the morning commute to work. I’m big on showing a bit of chest fur too.
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 was more a fan of Jean Paul Gaultier’s less severe Saharan Africa look at Paris Men’s Fashion Week than Yamamoto’s 18th Century approach to bearded models, but I can’t say I was a massive fan of the furry-faced look overall. I understand that they were trying to show the cultural and historical inspirations of their work, but I think it’s different to going avant-garde with, say, a female model’s hair, because beards are a lot closer to the clothes and tend to fuse with the design. I wouldn’t mind seeing guys like that in the street, but on the runway I thought it really distracted from the quality of the designer’s product.
Name one item you will never part with from your wardrobe
My blue velvet vintage jacket. I bought it from a boutique used-clothing store in a small coastal town in Eastern Australia for a ridiculous US$50. The darling saleswoman had no idea of its worth. It originally came with a matching blue velvet bowtie, which I tragically misplaced. It was hard enough dealing with that loss, I couldn’t imagine if the jacket had gone the same way.
Any advice to those gents out there who may want to achieve a beard like yours?
Sadly, I think a lot of it has to do with genetics. If you haven’t got the testosterone to manage a good bit of growth, it’s just not going to happen.
*Through some internet sleuthing, I have deduced that ‘Ranga is an Aussie colloquialism for red haired gent, or “ginger.” See, it isn’t just fashion at Dressed for Dinner!