When it comes to beard stubble, when does scruffy and untidy become rugged and attractive?

Thereís a chance we can blame the unshaven look on casual Fridays, but most of it probably goes back to the mid-í80s with Don Johnson and ďMiami Vice.Ē There was a certain rakish appeal that apparently enticed women that was counter to the clean-shaven, well-groomed man.

In Hollywood today, how many times do we see big stars on the red carpet wearing tuxedos and stubble? Itís been in vogue for years and has even caused a shaving shift among those who market tools for keeping our hairs in place. Norelco and Conair once sold a beard trimmer for $30. Now those companies offer a stubble trimmer for 60 bucks. Itís a classic marketing idea. Sell something that cuts less but costs twice as much.

Face fads

Over the years, facial hair has grown on us Ö or on some of us. Weíve seen sideburns that morphed into mutton chops. Chin whiskers that evolved into something just below the lower lip called a soul patch. Even the mustache grew to various lengths and texture to reshape a manís face.

Stubble, though Ö now thatís an altogether different wild hair on the grooming graph. The idea with stubble is to evoke an attitude. To somehow give the impression that even though you didnít bother to shave the last three days, youíre still on top of things and above all ó styliní. To achieve proper stubble, one has to still clean up the neck area and cheek line. Looking cool and casual can require extra attention. Sometimes, it takes time to make it look like you didnít spend any time on yourself, this time.

Some guys can pull it off. Others just look like they forgot to do something.

Relaxed fit

Itís another part of our world thatís changing. What once was scruffy, to some, now, might be sexy. The workplace is no longer always a buttoned-down, starched-shirt world. Jeans are allowed and comfortable jeans are preferred. Many company work areas are open spaces with cubicles that invite give-and-take.

In turning the other cheek, though, depending on the work environment, some corporate guys might have to save the stubble look for weekends. Itís a delicate dance, this attempt to juggle what works and what doesnít. Itís not the same for everybody, either. Some guys can grow stubble before lunch.

So give the next guy who looks like heís going for ďa lookĒ the benefit of the doubt. He might have spent the better part of the month trying to look casually rugged. Donít ask him if his razorís broken. Donít accuse him of forgetting to shave. If you like the stubble, tell him. If you donít like it, itíll probably crush him if you say, ďmy Aunt Mary has more hair on her face.Ē

Styles come and styles go. If, in fact, the boys on ďMiami ViceĒ are responsible for this one. Itís been a good, long run. Every guy wants to be a manly man. Maybe some stubble will add maturity or virility. It might even make the guy feel that he looks like Brad Pitt. In truth, his look may just be ďthe pits.Ē

Either way, clean or stubbly, most guys are just doing what they do hoping for a simple compliment or passing approval. None will ever admit that achieving the ďlookĒ was something that required a great deal of effort or forethought.

Iím just sayiní Ö.