These 22 vintage photos of men with mustaches will make you want the look to have a comeback

A whole bunch of mustaches in 1967. Chris Ware/Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Mustaches have been an iconic type of facial hair for centuries, but they have seen many different variations. From the “handlebar” to the “walrus,” not every mustache is created equal.

Take a look at these mustaches of old and see how they have changed throughout history.

The mustache has been a popular choice of facial hair throughout history.

This photo is from 1885. Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Medieval knights in England had armour literally designed to accommodate their mustaches.

But they truly became a fashion statement in England after the Elizabethan era.

A mustache in 1890. Hulton Archive/Getty Images

King Charles I made the goatee and handlebar mustache an iconic combo.

They saw another Renaissance after WWI, as it was too difficult to put on gas masks with a full beard.

Lord Kritchener sports his excellent mustache during WWI. Vandyke via Wikimedia Commons

In Europe, men started sculpting their beards into mustaches during World War I because it was difficult to put on gas masks with a full beard. Once the war ended, a mustache revolution took over.

As time went on, more and more different styles of mustache popped up.

Here’s a mustache from 1908. Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

By the early 1800s, people were sporting mustaches that were curled and often waxed.

Charlie Chaplin popularised the “toothbrush mustache.”

Chaplin’s mustache added to his comedy. General Photographic Agency/Getty Images

Back in the 1930s, the trimmed down mustache was a very popular look among men, especially in Europe. In fact, a New York Times article from 1908 said a man’s toothbrush mustache was a “characteristic of his class.” However, after Adolf Hitler the look went out of style.

Theodore Roosevelt was a fan of the “walrus mustache.”

Roosevelt’s iconic mustache. George C. Beresford/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

And “Gone With the Wind” is credited with starting the pencil mustache trend.

Clark Gable. Hulton Archive/Getty Images
When “Gone With the Wind” premiered in 1939, it sparked the pencil mustache trend thanks to the film’s leading man, Clark Gable. During his heyday, Gable was often referred to as the “King of Hollywood.” Starting his career in silent movies, he let his pencil mustache do the talking.

Mustaches come in all shapes and sizes.

This photo is from 1915. George C. Beresford/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

There’s even a National Beard and Moustache Championship that determines the best beards in the US.

Mustaches can be big…

Groucho Marx’s mustache can’t be missed. Wikimedia Commons

Fun fact, those novelty “disguise glasses” you can still buy are based on Groucho Marx, of the Marx Brothers fame.

And they can be small.

Some prefer a more groomed mustache. Victor Blackman/Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

They can be paired with a nice chin beard.

This was taken in 1965. Erich Auerbach/Getty Images

… though some mustache and beard pairings are maybe less nice.

This photo is from 1947. Denis De Marney/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Anyone can rock a mustache.

Measuring a mustache in 1953. Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Mustaches have been sported by men ranging from kings to Hell’s Angels, for the most part transcending class and social divides.

Though certain types of beards fit certain face shapes better than others.

Sometimes people took mustache inspiration from their heroes. Chris Ware/Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

For example, square-faced men are ideal for rocking mustaches, while round faces are better served with a goatee.

Officially, there are 13 kinds of mustache.

James Taylor rocking a mustache in 1971. Jack Kay/Daily Express/Getty Images

Per the American Mustache Institute, the 13 official types of mustaches are the chevron, Dalí, English, Fu Manchu, handlebar, horseshoe, imperial, lampshade, painter’s brush, pencil, pyramidal, toothbrush, and walrus.

Some mustaches are quirky.

A comedian in 1964. Eckersley/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Just take it from Isaiah Webb, who made his facial hair look like a bird’s beak.

Others are really quirky.

Surrealist artist Salvador Dalí literally wrote a book about his mustache.

Some styles have been more popular in particular decades than others.

This photo was also taken in 1971. Jack Kay/Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

In the ’70s, men often sported mustaches that were big and bushy.

And some have stood the test of time.

Jack Nicholson tries a mustache in 1975. Bill Holz/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Mustaches like the chevron, pencil, and walrus are classics.

Some celebrities are literally known for their mustaches.

Some celebrity mustaches have practically become more famous than the celebrities themselves.

Either way, the most important thing about a mustache is knowing how to groom it.

Freddie Mercury kept his mustache in tip-top shape. Steve Wood/Express/Getty Images

People often don’t know the best ways to grow out their mustaches, so they end up making mistakes. There are a variety of ways to make the mustache growing process easier and turn out better, including using some key products.

A little wax can go a long way.

This photo is from 1941. Express/Express/Getty Images

Mustache wax first appeared sometime in the 18th and 19th centuries, and was made with bear fat. Now, wax is made using petroleum jelly, lard, and beeswax.


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