Mustaches & Beards

Different Types & Styles of Mustaches

September 07, 2011

Handlebar Mustache

Archduke Franz Ferdinand's Handlebar Mustache

The handlebar is a classic breed of mustache often worn by Italian men with high levels of sophistication. It’s bushy and is characterized by thinning out at the sides which are then curled upward.

As it’s name suggests, this mustache style resembles the shape of bicycle handlebars. They’re popularity is worldwide. In Europe, handlebar moustaches were often worn by soldiers during the 18th century through roughly the World War I era. In the United States, handlebar moustaches were often worn by Wild West and cowboy figures like Wyatt Earp and many still sport them today.

The ‘Fu Manchu’

Fu Manchu MustacheFoo Man Chooooooo. Often accompanied by a lengthy goatee, the Fu Manchu ‘stache gained notoriety in novels written by British author Sax Rohmer. If you’re thinking about growing one of these puppies you’ll want to let the sides grow thin and long, far beneath the end of your chin. These type of ‘staches tend to grow best for people with facial hair on the thin side. If you’re beard grows thick this may not be the choice for you.


Paul Sr.'s Horseshoe Mustache

The horseshoe is sometimes mistaken for the handlebar, and it’s pretty obvious why. Personally I think this style looks more like a pair of bike handlebars but I suppose back in the day handlebars looked differently. Anyhow, the Horseshoe is identified by the trailing ‘legs’ which are grown down the sides of the mouth generally extending to at least the the jaw line and sometimes further.

This style tends to work best on true macho men and strong arm type.


Errol Flynn's Pencil Mustache

Paging 1940′s actors…The pencil is a classy yet subtle upper lip art form meant to look as if it was drawn by a pencil. It says ‘yea, I can grow a full mustache but I choose to make it as thin and discreet as possible because I’m a clean cut kind of guy’. Note the required trimming directly below the nose, and right above the lip. For this style to work you’ll need to maintain it like an Italian sports car otherwise all definition will be lost. Also, the length must be kept short and tight to the face; definitely not a ‘set it and forget it’ type of mustache.


Charlie Chaplin's Toothbrush Mustache

Thick, but kept very narrow, the toothbrush mustache was popular in the early 20th century and some say is slowly beginning to regain is stylish grasp. This style was the mustache of choice for Charlie Chaplin and Oliver Hardy. Recently Michael Jordon sported this piece in a few commercials for Hanes proving that all is not lost with the toothbrush ‘stache.


Friedrich Nietzsche's Walrus Mustache

The walrus is a very low maintenance style which is free to completely cover the mouth with it’s bushy goodness. Much can be said for the men who can make it work with a nice suit and tie such as German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. While a handlebar style walrus is illustrated here it’s not uncommon for the sides of the ‘stache to extend outwards down to the jaw line and sometimes further. Don’t try eating chicken pot pie at a dinner party with this puppy adorning your upper lip.


Natural Mustache

Maybe currently the most common mustache of young mustache connoisseurs is the natural is a low maintenance, lightly trimmed piece which is generally grown to a medium length. It’s styled without the aid of mustache was and is the type of mustache generally grown by men early in their mustache years. The natural shows others that you have the ability of growing full ‘stache but choose to keep it tame and sporty.


Ambrose Burnside's MustacheThe imperial carries with it a historical value and is generally reserved for those performing in civil war reenactments or other types of theatrical involvement. It’s distinguished by a natural style mustache which extends out to either side and expands into a full side beard. The chin is left clean shaven with this type of ‘stache.

The gentleman to the left is Ambrose Burnside, a Union Army general in the Civil War. He was so well known for his unique facial hair that his name was flipped and coined ‘sideburns’ as we know today.