The soul patch is a tiny tuft of hair grown beneath a man's lower lip. It's not really a beard (beards can be pretty cool). And it's certainly not a mustache (mustaches, if not cool, can at least be kind of funny). The soul patch is much more akin to the goatee than to anything else.

As a relative of the family goatee, the soul patch is most commonly found on men that fancy themselves "rebellious." Originally, the soul patch was worn by jazz musicians and bohemians in the 1950s and 1960s, but over the years, the trend has picked up with a broader audience.

Like other stylefouls, such as the MacGyver mullet and the colored contact lens, we here at Styledash wish the soul patch was not such a temptation for so many men. Why? Well, there's a pragmatic reason and then there's an aesthetic reason.

The pragmatic reason is that if you are going to the effort of shaving the rest of the hair on your face, why not go ahead and nip that little patch? You are so close to being clean shaven, and thereby so close to not being totally *creepy* looking, why not just go for it?

Aesthetic opposition stems from the slightly misshapen, unsymmetrical shapes in which most soul patches form. I don't know if it's the ridge of the lip or what, but I have never seen a soul patch that didn't look just like that -- a patch. You know, an odd cropping of growth that is much more about chaos than it is about design.