I've noticed an increasing number of youngish men with beards. The most frequent explanation for the facial hair is that the beard makes you look older and thus you're taken more seriously. At a certain point, though, the beards disappear--perhaps because they make one look too old? This point seems distinctly different from the point at which women shift from dressing up to look more grown-up to dressing down to avoid looking frumpy (although not too far down--mutton dressed as lamb earns only scorn).
How old are we all trying to look, anyway? Is there some ideal age for a professional that we're all shooting for?