Men often get categorized into certain groups based on their appearance. Some of the most common ones that pop up in conversations are metrosexual, hipster, and of course, lumbersexual.
What exactly is a lumbersexual? It is a bearded man who bases his appearance on connecting with nature, and he has a less groomed look. It is basically the polar opposite of a metro.
It appears this style was born out of a disdain for the metro look that was so popular during the early 2000’s. This was a way to redefine yourself as more masculine but still maintain some style.
When we talk about being “less groomed,” we mean not clean shaven with a traditional comb to the side hair cut. We are talking about men who typically have good hygiene and care about their appearance, hence the “sexual” part of the name.
What is more manly than plaid shirts, beards, work boots, slacks, and carrying an ax. Basically, that describes a lumberjack like Paul Bunyan.
Everything about this style screams I am masculine, hear me roar. Let’s take a look at some of the key identifiers.
First, a beard has to be present, if not, then by default, he does not meet the definition.
There are many different styles of the lumbersexual movement as it has evolved over the years. However, one part of the image that cannot be changed is the beard. The beard is a must.
If you take a look at a dozen random men with this look and imagine them without the beard, it just doesn’t work.
The beard can be Duck Dynasty, it can well groomed with tight lines, it can be short, or it can be long. However, it cannot be clean shaven or the stubble look.
Initially, when the movement first started, the beard was unkempt. This helped portray the ruggedness of the look. This was a far cry from the clean shaven look and styled hair of the early 2000’s.
Slowly, as the look grew, the beard style changed a little as well.
Next, the outfit must identify with an outdoorsy look. The standard is plaid shirt, jeans or beige pants, and work boots. We don’t mean khakis that you would wear to church.
While the plaid shirt is a staple, it is not a necessity. Who wears plaid every day? The total style should have that “I like the outdoors” look, though.
The Evolution of The Lumbersexual
In America, there are two things that are bound to happen. Marketing and capitalism.
Capitalism saw this movement as an opportunity to make some cash. Outdoor brands are more popular than ever, there are entire sections in stores dedicated beard grooming. Hundreds of new new beard companies pop up every year.
This has helped grow the style, and of course, some variances of the look were born over the years.
Some off shoots of the Lumbersexual are:
This is the guy that works in your IT Department. Thin frame, scraggly beard, glasses, flannel shirt, and sporting a backpack wherever he goes.
The contents of the backpack are essential. There are no axes, knives, or common EDC items. Instead, he opts for a MacBook Pro, a tube of Carmex, and a fitness magazine with an article entitled How To Achieve The Fight Club Look.
This look is total BA. Dressed in custom tailored clothes, yet intimidating enough that if he asked for your wallet, you would give it to him.
Whatever you do, don’t touch his beard.
The Well Groomed Lumbersexual
These are the converts over from the metro look. This is the guy you see walking through the Financial District in NYC. Well groomed beard, designer flannel shirt, designer jeans, and unscuffed work boots.
He has a masculine appearance, and looks like he goes to the gym.
He has the look, however, he is very clean and takes care of himself. The beard is the most important part of his image. It is well maintained using beard wash and conditioner, beard oil and balm, and the finest beard combs that money can buy.
The hair is styled nicely. This is not someone you would see hiking the trail.
The True Lumbersexual
This guy is the prototype. If you are looking for the DNA of the definition, this is it.
The most important part is lifestyle. This guy is not a poser. He has the beard, the flannel, and the work boots.
Instead of a backpack filled with the newest tech, he is loaded down with the most popular EDC items.
He has a knife, not to look cool though, as he uses it almost daily, likely to trim his stray beard hairs. He has a money clip, because wallets are stupid, and he has a comb.
While he isn’t over styled, he doesn’t want to look like a slob. His hair is nicely groomed, and he has an overall clean appearance. We are not talking about men who look like they live in the woods.
His work boots are quality and nice, but they are very used. This guy looks like he could wrestle a bear.
Lumbersexual vs. Hipster
A hipster is a guy that follows the latest fashion trend, and a lumbersexual is a guy that has a beard and a rugged outdoorsy look.
A hipster is generally defined as someone who is pretentious and overly trendy.
They are into whatever is new and trendy. Several years ago, they could be seen frequenting a local Starbucks or microbrewery.
Having said that, microbreweries are now awesome, so they were right on that one.
Lumbersexual vs. Metrosexual
A metrosexual is a man who dresses up in designer clothes, is well groomed, and likely smells nice due to a few splashes of whatever the newest Tom Ford EdT is.
He spends more time in front of the mirror than has girlfriend, and his drawers are loaded with face creams and moisturizers.
Beards are a generally a no no, but if you have one, it has to be tight and well maintained.
Compared to the lumber, this is the polar opposite look.