Via MeFi I saw this article about "wet shaving" yesterday. Apparently, to get a really good shave, you're supposed to make sure your whiskers are good and moist by at least wetting them with a hot, wet towel or by waiting to shave until after showering. And you're supposed to use a brush made from badger hair to apply high-quality shaving lotion. And you're supposed to use a high-quality razor, as opposed to a disposable. And you're supposed to...ach, screw it. Just do what I did: Grow a beard. I've never found that the beard is any more "itchy" than my face was when I shaved regularly -- in fact, it's a good deal less itchy, except for when I trim its edges slightly, and when I do that, the itchiness lasts only a couple of hours. I keep the beard trimmed fairly close, but this affects the beard, not the skin of my face, which remains nicely itch-free. That's what it's mainly about, as are nearly all of my fashion decisions: comfort. I don't have any great theory that my beard makes me look particularly masculine, but I have the factual knowledge that it spares me a particularly irritating morning ritual.
(Well, OK, I do have the wistful hope that my combinbation of long hair and beard makes me look like a cast extra from The Lord of the Rings. But at least I admit that the hope is wistful.)
By the way, apparently some guy decided that he wanted to test the idea that a beard keeps one's face warmer in winter, by shaving off half of his beard. That someone would willingly go through a winter looking like that in the name of science either speaks well of science, or poorly of that someone.