By Andrew Cumbee
I make no claims of being an expert on fashion. I know a little about clothes and that’s all I need to know to feel competent in modern society. But there is one area of the fashion world where I do claim expertise. How to trim a pencil thin mustache.
A new “accessory” is blossoming in men’s style and it’s one that you don’t have to shell out hundreds of dollars for. The future of fashion as we know it lies in facial hair.
Have you ever looked around campus or work? It’s everywhere. And it has been consistently getting more and more popular in the last few years, coming into the mainstream along with tattoos and piercings.
There’s so much to do with facial hair and that’s part of the attraction. What’s coming back? What’s never coming back? What will people think? I’ll provide you the answers and give you what you need to know about the various styles.
Before we get into it, let’s start with the basics. First of all, you need to be able to grow a beard. I know this seems like common knowledge, but we’ve all seen them. It has come to be known as the “high school moustache.” Some call it “peach fuzz.” If your beard is invisible to the naked eye, then more than likely you just look dirty. A good rule of thumb is, if someone asks you to shave or jokes about your “beard,” you probably should shave immediately and give up hope of ever-growing facial hair. Just accept it. It’s better this way; trust me.
If you pass the first test and can actually grow a beard, where do you go from there? There are many things that you can do with your beard. You could just shave it all off. But that’s no fun and completely defeats the purpose of this article. On the opposite end of the spectrum just let it go entirely for weeks and see what happens. You’ll have to decide for yourself whether or not you want to look like you belong in a ZZ Top video.
Between those two extremes lies a limitless amount of possibility. Below you will find a guide to the most familiar styles, how to label them and how to make them.
The Young Santa _” Not far behind the ZZ Top, is this festive style. The Santa must be groomed to give it the robust, rounded beard that a shopping mall Santa would have. Please note that this takes a while to grow and requires a work to pull off. Also called the Viking beard.
Johnny depp moustache style
Sideburns _” Back from the 1950s, sideburns were brought back to stay after “Beverly Hills: 90210.” You can do what you want here. Make them as thin, or as thick as you want. You can make them as long as you want or as short. You can make them pointed, also. The one thing to keep in mind is that you need to keep the hair of your ‘burns the same length or shorter than your actual hair. Unless you have a shaved head.
Stubble _” Everyone knows what the stubble style is. This doesn’t work for everyone. You have to time it out perfectly to get the right length; otherwise you will just look lazy.
Jaw line Beard _” This, as the name implies, follows your jaw. It usually flows out of the sideburns, follows the jaw and comes together with the other side at the chin. You also get the added ability to customize, where you can add in any various chin beards or mustaches. More commonly known as the “Chinstrap.”
Goatee _” The “goat” is extremely popular nowadays. The goatee is simply hair grown on the chin and is supposed to look like a billy goat, as much as possible. With this, try to put your own spin on it; otherwise you’ll look like every other guy with a beard.
Soul Patch _” I prefer to call this “The Flavor Saver.” It is achieved by growing out that tiny bit of hair right under the bottom lip.
The Nosebeard _” This is like the ZZ Top, but for moustaches. It can only be described as large and luxuriant. A variation on this is the “Walrus,” which you would let grow over your lips. If you want to look like a cartoon character, grow the Walrus.
The Imperial _” This style was one worn by many of the great showmen in history. Think about the ringmaster at a circus, and usually this ‘stache will come to mind. It’s thick and it stretches beyond the mouth with an upward curve. If you are under 40, try to not grow and Imperial. The variation on this is the “Handlebar,” which can be thick or thin and requires far too much grooming with styling gel and moustache nets (to aid in the keeping it in the right shape.
The English _” The English is now more common in combination with a chin beard of some sort. It is a narrow moustache that stretches to or past the lips and comes to a point.
The Pencil Thin _” Much like the English, but less groomed. It must be closely sheared and have a gap between the moustache and the nose. Also called “The Chet Moustache.” There’s no way I can prove it, but I am positive that everyone named Chet has a pencil thin moustache.
The Fu Manchu _” Possibly one of the most popular moustaches in recent times, the Manchu has taken the media by storm, most recently featured on the face of Colin Farrell in Miami Vice. Personally, I feel that the name is wrong for this moustache. Fu Manchu always had that thing come off his face and he braided it. I tend to call the modern incarnation “The Truck Driver Moustache” or “The White Trash ‘Stache.” This is due in large part to the clientele that uses the Manchu.
The Toothbrush _” This moustache has kind of been tainted. Although very popular in the early 1900s, the Toothbrush is now unwearable, thanks to its number one wearer, Adolph Hitler. It has actually be renamed “The Hitler Mustache.” Probably will never get to be popular again. Hitler just had to ruin it for everyone.
The Van Dyke _” Combine the English and a thick goatee and you’ll get this gentlemanly style.
The Royale _” Combine the English with the Soul Patch for this semi-fancy facial hair.
Muttonchops _” These are the fattest sideburns you’ve ever seen connected to a bushy moustache. This one is a little out of style, but is totally primed for a comeback.
Handlebar moustache styles
Lamb chops _” Just like the above, but with no moustache connection. Traditionally, this is done in combination with the tousled hair look.
Again, these are the popular styles. While the Hitler is definitely not acceptable in contemporary society, these others are becoming more and more a part of modern style. You can do what you want, of course. Shave some shapes into your cheeks. Mix or alter existing styles. Experiment. But make sure to find the style that fits your face and your style. It is all about you; find the best style for you.