This, for many of us, will be our third Friday in self-isolated, social-distanced lockdown. That means that, by now, you’ll have binged a whole lot of Netflix, you’ll have lost more virtual pub quizzes than you can keep count of, and your work from home routine will feel, depressingly, like the new normal. In other words, while boredom levels are at an all-time high, morale levels are likely at an all-time low. And there’s only one way to get things back on track. That’s right — a fully-realised, neatly groomed moustache.
No? Bear with us. Furring up your face may not sound like a sure-fire way to lighten your mood, but think about it. It’ll take your mind off this pesky pandemic, and maintaining a moustache will give you day-to-day purpose — especially if you don’t have a dog, have already killed all of your potted plants and can’t remember where you left your Tamagotchi. And a lockdown is surely the perfect time to experiment with facial hair? Aside from conference calls with your co-workers, you’re not going to bump into anyone you know if it goes bad. It’s a win-win.
So, if you’re looking to try your luck with some new facial hair, allow us to point you in the right direction. We’ve rounded up six styles that are perfect for the novice moustache-grower. Trust us, brush up and, by the time the lockdown is lifted, you’ll be a bristling new man.
The Petit Handlebar
What is it? Pretty self-explanatory is what it is. Look, we know that you’re not going to have time to grow a luscious, walrussian mouser in the next few weeks. And hopefully the lockdown will be lifted before too long. But this is a nice, medium-sized compromise. It’s got that twirly ‘tache style, but without the whole ‘finding three-day-old food in it’ problem.
How to try it: Grow your whiskers long enough to comb. This will look unpleasant, so maybe don’t Skype your girlfriend for a couple of days. When it’s got enough length, make a centre parting, and brush half straight out to the left, and the other half to the right. Warm some wax, and tease the ends together. Curl them up, et voila!
For style inspiration, look to: Stalin had a pretty good one. That’s obviously not to say that we agree with the man’s general reign of terror. In fact, there’s only one other wartime ‘tache that can compete with him for infamy and evil. But, when it comes to Stalin’s facial hair, we’d like to know what wax he was using…
The Painter’s Brush
What is it? A more understated take on the Chevron or the Lampshade style, the joy of the Painter’s Brush lies in its simple shape. There’s no faffing around with wax with this one, so if you’re only wanting to dabble in the world of facial furniture, this is a good, stripped-back, low-maintenance option.
How to try it: Just let it grow. But there are several rules here. The Painter’s Brush may not have any pesky partings or twirls, but it must never be wider than the wearer’s mouth. Aside from that, just ensure it never grows over your top lip. That’s it. One fell swoop and snip of the scissors everyday and you’re good to go.
For style inspiration, look to: Tom Selleck. The man may be more famous for his chunky take on the Chevron, but he occasionally rocked the Painter’s Brush. Or, if you’ve never seen Magnum, P.I. (what?!), look to Henry Cavill in Mission Impossible: Fallout for inspiration. Then it’ll just be the muscles to work on.
What is it? So named for the famed Dr Einstein, the Professor style is as wild and wayward as the physicist himself. It’s the sort of style you’re most likely to see shuffling around dusty Oxbridge hallways — worn by men so wise and eminent that they have no time to tame their facial fuzz.
How to try it: Read a couple of quantum mechanics textbooks, dig out that old tweed three-piece and invest in a good pipe. Oh, the moustache itself? There’s really not much to say. Just let it grow. And grow. And grow. It’ll soon reach the level of insouciance you’re looking for. Just be careful it doesn’t catch fire when you’re lighting that pipe.
For style inspiration, look to: As we said, the dopey one himself. Einstein’s look was certainly an iconic one, and you could do a lot worse than copying him during these troubled times. Thick knits and a Professor ‘tache? It’s a winning style. And, with all the barbers closed, you could even go in for those long locks, too.
What is it? It’s the perfect option for the follicularly-challenged. If the best moustache you’ve ever been able to muster is just some vaguely scratchy fluff on your top lip, there’s hope yet. Almost invisible, the pencil moustache is wafer-thin, neatly-clipped and a throwback to the spats-wearing, hat-doffing days of old.
How to try it: To bring that old-school Hollywood glamour to your face, you need a steady hand. Grow your moustache out as bushily as it will go, and then shave from just under your nose downwards — stopping a couple of millimetres above your top lip. Trim in a centre-parting, and clip the ends. Easy.
For style inspiration, look to: Where do we start? Virtually any early cinema star in the golden age of movies. But, if we had to plump for just one proponent of the style (sit back down, Niven), it would be Errol Flynn. The man was Douglas Fairbanks reincarnate; a swashbuckler only ever upstaged by his terrific ‘tache.
The Double Boxcar
What is it? Quick and cheap, the ‘full’ boxcar was popularised during the Great Depression. But, after that period of hardship lifted (just as this one will, too), men of substance doubled up the style and gave it some flair. As the name suggests, it’s just two boxes, perched jauntily on your top lip — but requires a lot of care.
How to try it: You’ll never be bored during the lockdown again, let us tell you. Grow out your moustache fully, and then shape it into two symmetrical boxes on either side of your philtrum, with sloping edges. Maintenance is key here, because nobody likes a bushy boxcar.
For style inspiration, look to: It’s a tricky one to find a good example of. Most people who sported one are either long-dead, or move on to a different style pretty sharpish. George Clooney had a tip-top lip-topping example of one for a while, but no-one else to speak of. Could you be the one to bring it back?
What is it? Yee-haw! The Horseshoe moustache does exactly what it says on the whiskery, untamed tin. It’s like hanging a filly’s footwear from your face, with droopy fronds framing your mouth and giving you the tobacco-chewin’, rootin-tootin’ air of a no-nonsense Old West sheriff. And who amongst hasn’t secretly always wanted that?
How to try it: It’s easy to cheat a little here. Rather than having to grow the ends of your moustache out so they droop down (like another classic mouser, the Fu Manchu), you can bring in your beard for support. As it’s like a three-sided goatee, first grow out a full-face beard, and then trim to shape after two or three weeks.
For style inspiration, look to: We’d keep it historical here. Just have a flick back through some American history books, and you’ll see some sterling examples cast in sepia. Or, if you’re determined to find a more contemporary example, the leather-clad motorbike man from The Village People didn’t do a bad job, either. But maybe leave the leather flat-cap at home…
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