Shoreditch equals beards – in Shakespeare’s day just as much as now.
We counted up the number of bearded men in Elizabethan paintings found at the National Portrait Gallery and National Gallery: out of the 217 men in the galleries, 166 had beards, which translates to 76.5% of Elizabethan men.
With a sample size of 1,000 men in Shoreditch, Hackney, 332 sported a beard – roughly 33.2%.
Beards were clearly more popular back in the Elizabethan era, but with beards slowly jumping on the trendy train, we may have to revisit this study in a year.
Today, the decision to grow a beard is often based on trends, the desire to look older, and what many men describe as the satisfaction in fulfilling one’s manliness. In Elizabethan times, this was also the case. Many men sported a beard as it was in style, with the most popular looks being the square, pointed, and round beard. However, men may have been more inclined to grow beards because these had to be trimmed by barbers, and kept in place with starch, whereas today we are able to shave at home, thanks to razor blades and the modern bathroom!
Reporting Team: Alex Jackson, Ginger Jefferies, Emmanuella Kwenortey, Isabel Togoh
Read the other articles in the series here: