Thinking of growing a mustache? There’s more to it then you think. The first step is picking a mustache style. We turn to The American Mustache Institute which has distinguished itself as the leading authority on mustaches. They have categorized the mustache into 13 different types. Which one is the best for you.
Chevron – A thick and wide mustache, usually worn long to cover the top border of the upper lip. Mustached hunk Tom Selleck rocks this style in full Magnum P.I. mode.
Dali – A narrow mustache with long points bent or curved steeply upward. Named for artist Salvador Dali.
Toothbrush – A thick mustache, shaved to be about an inch wide in the center. Hitler ruined this mustache…forever hurting Charlie Chaplin’s legacy.
English – A narrow divided mustache that begins at the middle of the upper lip, with long whiskers pulled to either side of the center. The areas beyond the corners of the mouth are typically shaved.
Fu Manchu – A mustache that begins on the upper lip and whose whiskers are grown very long to extend down each side of the mouth down to the to jaw. The areas just past the corners of the mouth are shaven, thus differentiating this style from the “horseshoe.” A mainstay of karate movie masters and bad guys. Fu Manchu was a series of novels about an evil genius, and has appeared in virtually every form of media.
Handlebar – A handlebar mustache can be worn large or small (“petit handlebar”); it is characterized by the fact that it is bushy and must be worn long enough to curl the ends upward, which is usually achieved with styling wax. Hall of Fame pitcher Rollie Fingers famously rocked the handlebar.
Horseshoe – A full mustache with vertical extensions grown on the corners of the lips and down the sides of the mouth to the jawline, resembling an upside-down horseshoe. The whiskers grown along the sides of the mouth in the horseshoe are sometimes referred to as “pipes.” Not to be confused with the “fu manchu” which is grown long from the upper lip only– the sides remain shaven in the fu manchu. “Broadway” Joe Namath and Goose Gossage are just 2 of the most famous Horseshoe Mustache fans.
Imperial – A large mustache growing from both the upper lip and cheeks, whiskers from the cheeks are styled pointing upward.
Lampshade – A mustache similar to the “painter’s brush,” but with corners angled slightly, resembling the shape of a lampshade.
Painter’s Brush – A thick mustache covering the width of the mouth, usually worn short, with slightly rounded corners.
Pencil – A thin, narrow, closely clipped mustache that outlines the upper lip. Pencil style mustaches can be trimmed in different manners (see below). Also sometimes called a “mouthbrow.” Flamboyant director John Waters is a famous fan of the pencil mustache.
Pyramidal – A general name for mustaches shaped narrow on top and wide on the bottom, like a pyramid. Pyramidal mustaches can be shaped in a variety of ways, as shown below.
Walrus – A large, bushy, droopy mustache that hangs down over the lips, often entirely covering the mouth. Wilford Brimley is a famous fan.