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

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

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.

Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesThis photo is from 1885.

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.

Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesA mustache in 1890.

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.

Vandyke via Wikimedia CommonsLord Kritchener sports his excellent mustache during WWI.

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.

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

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

Charlie Chaplin popularised the “toothbrush mustache.”

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

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.”

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

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

Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesClark Gable.
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.

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

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

Mustaches can be big…

Wikimedia CommonsGroucho Marx’s mustache can’t be missed.

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.

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

They can be paired with a nice chin beard.

Erich Auerbach/Getty ImagesThis was taken in 1965.

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

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

Anyone can rock a mustache.

Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesMeasuring a mustache in 1953.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Eckersley/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesA comedian in 1964.

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.

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

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

And some have stood the test of time.

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

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.

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

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.

Express/Express/Getty ImagesThis photo is from 1941.

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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