Today’s bearded and “no shave” trends have given rise to a newer species of manly animal–the lumbersexual. Describing what a lumbersexual truly is reminds me of a not-so-oft-repeated quote from Jack Handy:

Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself: “Mank ind”. Basically, it’s made up of two separate words- “mank” and “ind”. What do these words mean ? It’s a mystery, and that’s why so is mankind.

So too with the lumbersexual. As a unique hybridized breed of urban hipsters, the lumbersexual combines the woodsy feel of a lumberjack with the modern vibe of a metrosexual. In short, the lumbersexual could succinctly be described as that man who sports a beard, drinks off-market craft beer, cuffs his out-of-style and perhaps overly worn jeans, wears flannel and still enjoys rocking out on his latest tech gadget (e.g. iPod, cell phone–take your pick). If you saw this creature on the street, you would think that Paul Bunyan an Ellen Degeneres had a baby (yes, keep that thought).

But what is the best way to spot one of these creatures in the urban wild?

Here are a few obvious and not-so-obvious pointers.

The Facial Hedge

The lumbersexual is perhaps the most telling of all his traits. The most prolific of the species include full beards and facial hair that has taken some time to fully develop. The true urban lumbersexual has not shaved in weeks, but that does not necessarily make him a slob. There is no fine line between homeless and hip and most lumbersexuals are well-groomed, trimmed albeit much more hairy than the general population. When he does shave, he uses a safety razor to trim the edges. When he doesn’t shave, he’s likely to use lumberjack beard oil.

Even if he has a strong, solid beard, it still doesn’t mean he’s against manscaping, which he may perform regularly.

The Habitat

There is no specific locale that confines a lumbersexual. They can be found in both city and suburbs, mot the prevalence of these creatures is more often found roaming the urban streets in the most dapper and hipster parts of town. For us here in Seattle, they reside in places like Pioneer Square, Freemont, Belltown and Ballard. When they’re found in more rural areas, they generally two parts lumberjack and perhaps one part metrosexual. In such cases, they might be found splitting logs or working other more manly blue collar professionals. Not all of these creatures are urban dwellers and those who are most legit often reside outside the urban core. They’re the true manly professionals.

If you see him off the street and he’s not in the office, he may be found at the gym working up a sweet sweat. If he’s on the farm, he doesn’t need a gym membership: he’s a real man.

The Clothing

Sporting flannel goes without saying. The lumbersexual can be found wearing L.L Bean or Land’s End. They may seek out premium designs, but they’re not finding them at Nordstrom. If you spot one in the wild, you may find them in their Carhartt beanie or pants. At this time of year, they might wear leather gloves or thick wool clothing. Suspenders may be optional, but on occasion they too will creep into the wardrobe.

The Food

This hipster creature might be found at a local no-name coffee shop working on his MacBook Pro. He prefers farm-fresh eating and will buy organic when given the choice. If he’s suburban or rural he may actually grow his own food, harvest his own eggs and raise his own meat.

He loves to grill, but is not limited to beef alone. He’ll easily wolf-down chicken, fish and other seafoods as well. He’s a well-rounded eater, but he can be very particular about the choices of what he puts into his body.

Conclusion

The lifestyle of a lumbersexual prefers quality to quantity and is more minimalist by nature. Yes, he loves the latest upgrade to his tech, but he also loves products that are built to last, which means he is willing to pay a bit more for those things that make him comfortable and keep him looking polished while still maintaining a rugged, rural edge.

Next time you spot a lumbersexual in his natural environment, give him a nod. He’ll know why.

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