I don't think facial hair is ever "in" for me. I can't recall a ton of people I know who've ever openly accepted what I've grown. Whether it's a beard, chops, circle beard, mustache or any sort of combination, it more or less just draws a bunch of disappointed head shakes, laughter, and "Well, I don't hate it per se" types of responses from my peers.
Even with that in mind, I still tend to hit a period every year or so where I grow something new knowing full well it's going to look ridiculous. It's fun to experiment and it's wonderfully refreshing when I inevitably shave it all off and return to status quo.
As others have mentioned, I think facial hair being "in" is largely dependent upon how someone handles themselves. If you're confident in what you're growing and you can pull it off, it'll take you a long way. It's similar to how we choose what we wear. If we're just copying the hot style, there's a much better chance of things coming out forced and contrived. On the flip side, if you're just rocking what you want to rock, it still might not be accepted by all, but at least it's you being you.
I didn't even know facial hair wasn't for everyoone until a client at my work told me I'm one of the few males she knows that looks good in a beard. I never saw someone with reasonable facial hair and immediately thought, "they don't look good with that beard." Female logic, I guess. I'm middle eastern, so it must be the genes
I gradually went up myself. Went from just having the "mexican stache" when I was 13, to the chin patch at 15, chin strap at 17, threw the mustache in at 21 and now rock the full beard at 25. I keep it trim, usually shave it down with an open 1 clip once a week.
Meticode you're like 30 right? C'mon man, chin straps are for frat boys.
Starting to get chilly so I've been rocking a fairly short beard. Not stubble, but nothing gnarly. Shape up the neck every other day or so, trimmers on a short guard couple times a week. Works well with a fairly square jaw.
If you grow a beard just keep the shit together, don't just let it grow for a month w/o ever touching it. Unless you're still a kid, then who cares.