I had a beard, a nice Van Dyke and it suited me. Then as you say they became the trendy in thing so I said sod it and shaved it off.
I do have the bald on top look down pat but that's due to genetics and is no way a style statement. You can take your toupees and transplants and stick them where the sun don't shine. Maybe I need a tokoyama see if I can carry off the samurai look used by sumotori ? now that would be a style statement !!