Looking at the Look Book

Is it possible to be friends with the Look Book? Because we kind of want to. His name is Ben Nardolilli, and you love him too. It's OK — his mustache has so much to give in return. Ben started growing facial hair when he was just 10, making him the sort of glorious anomaly who could never live a normal life outside of academia. And so he studies history and philosophy at NYU, spending his summer teaching a camp for gifted students at UVA. While he teaches a bunch of 6th and 7th graders about free will, we know you'll be loyally waiting for that mustache to come back home and tickle you with its kisses.

After the jump, Caroline Waxler, Annie Karni, and Andrew Goldstein contemplate the free will of Ben's 5 o'clock shadow.

Caroline Waxler, television writer and author of Stocking Up On Sin

Ben is one hairy sonofabitch. He started growing facial hair at 10, and if he shaves in the morning, by lunchtime, he's hairy again. What facial hair look do you think would suit him best?

He would look particularly fetching with G. Gordon Liddy's mustache. (It's much more kempt than that rat's nest Ben's lip is sporting.) It's kept Liddy knee deep in guns and ladies since at least the 1970s.

Ben's looking pretty Autumnal. How can we gear him up for summer?

Yes, the hat is a little too Oktoberfest, 1939. Have Rachel Zoe pull one of her many strings over at Tommy Bahama. I hear the wait list for their khaki cargo shorts is ridiculous.

Ben mentions that he's going to be teaching gifted 12-year-olds about free will at UVA this summer. What will this mean for his mustache?

I have no idea. I got a D in philosophy class. Clearly, if I could answer a question like that about a mustache's free will I wouldn't be doing a Gawker Q&A.



Annie Karni, freelancer and reporter, Long Island Jewish World

Ben is one hairy sonofabitch. He started growing facial hair at 10, and if he shaves in the morning, by lunchtime, he's hairy again. What facial hair look do you think would suit him best?

Our friend Ben here has a bit of a baby face and grows facial hair like it's a 9-to-5er, which to me means we've got to rule out anything well-trimmed, a la John Waters or Hitler. Ben says he didn't like sporting the beard, so that leaves us with the handlebar mustache (pictured), or something in the goatee/sideburns family, which is, frankly, just yucky. How about easing up on the unsettling contrast between those clean-shaven cheeks and that heavy-duty mustache? Trade in the mustache for some evenly distributed stubble, I say!

Ben's looking pretty Autumnal. How can we gear him up for summer?

"I'm just sort of into male fashions of the '70s," says Ben, which leaves him with the obvious choice of Adidas booty shorts. But Ben is spending the summer teaching gifted kids in Virginia. And just like he says about the classes on free will he'll be teaching, "that might be dangerous for 12-year-olds."

Ben mentions that he's going to be teaching gifted 12-year-olds about free will at UVA this summer. What will this mean for his mustache?

It could easily become the focus of his entire course, actually. Like, "Is it fate or free will that gave me the power to grow such thick and manly facial hair at such a tender age?" I happen to have a friend who saves every beard he's ever grown in a plastic Ziploc bag. Perhaps Ben here might follow suit, shaving off the 'stache in a dramatic demonstration of man's powerful agency, and distributing little sandwich bags filled with mustache amongst the little geniuses so that they remember "seventies-inspired Nardolilli and his crazy old notions about "free will" forever!



Andrew Goldstein, writer, Web Junk 20

Ben is one hairy sonofabitch. He started growing facial hair at 10, and if he shaves in the morning, by lunchtime, he's hairy again! What facial hair look do you think would suit him best?

Are you sure his name is Ben and not Earl? Anyway, Mr. Unabomber sketch needs to come to grips with a rather inconvenient truth and embrace global warning. Thin is in and way cooler in the summer sun. Let's whittle a few pounds off that 'stache, grow in some pencil thin bearded connections, and take a stroll down Backstreet AJ Mclean style.

Ben's looking pretty Autumnal. How can we gear him up for summer?

Four words: Old Navy Capri pants! And lets pair that with a witty ironic T. Not the "I'm Kind of a Big Deal" kind but more along the lines of "Are You Deaf 'Cause I Swear You Sound Like Lou Ferrigno" kind. As far as his feet go, three more words: Ugg Flip Flops.

Ben mentions that he's going to be teaching gifted 12-year-olds about free will at UVA this summer. What will this mean for his mustache?

There's no better analogy for free will than the facial hair palate. Just to prove man's pubescent right of free expression, he'll go from Hitler 'stache in June to ZZ Top Hasid in August - growin' every style in between. Be sure to check Ben out on July 4th, or is that Captain Lou Albano? Free will never looked so good.