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Movember Mustache Style Guide

To help you decide how to style your precious 'stache.
Movember Mustache Style Guide

We’re into the second full week of Movember and your facial hair has moved past the “light stubble” phase and is starting to become substantial scruff, so now it’s time to decide how you want to style it. There are many subtleties in mustache styles – the curvature of the whiskers at the corners of your mouth can make all the difference. It’s important know all your options before you decide how to rock your upper lip hair. Here is MTL Blog’s mustache style guide, in no particular order.

Click here to see all the 'stache styles >

Painter’s brush

This is your typical, run of the mill ‘stache. It’s just a collection of hair that covers the upper lip. It is usually trimmed to keep it from creeping over the lips, which sets it apart from the walrus style (turn to page 9). When worn right, it oozes power, authority and determination. When worn not so right, it looks like dirt above your mouth.

Fu Manchu

This classic takes it's name from the fictional evil character in novels by the British author Sax Rohmer. This style is marked by very long and whiskery hair that always extends past the jaw, and sometimes as far as wearer’s chest. The area right under the nose typically has little to no hair and the wearer’s face past the corners of the mouth are shaved. For maximum effect, stroke the few dangling hairs whenever trying to make a difficult decision.


The pencil mustache is thin, short, and covers the spot just above the upper lip of the mustachioed man. The problem with the pencil is that you have to constantly shave, trim and groom it or else your stubble creeps into the mustache and it enters a limbo -- are you trying for the pencil or the painter's brush? Ambiguity in a 'stache is never a good thing.

Don’t think this style looks good? In the words of Rhett Butler from Gone With The Wind, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”


The handlebar is a slight twist on the painter’s brush mustache. It requires a relatively thick mustache as it’s curled up at the ends, achieved with mustache wax. For a slight variation on the handlebar, you can narrow your mustache for the petit handlebar. Just as impressive and a bit more interesting. Plus: you can twirl you 'stache anytime you want to look contemplative.


Salvador Dali may be known for his surrealist paintings and videos that blend the real and imaginary to create a weird, dreamlike effect on his artwork, but his real contribution to the world is his magnificent mustache. The Dali is narrow and thin with long whiskers that are waxed into long points and curved up. Just make sure you don’t grow it out too long or you’ll poke your eye out, kid! Yes, that was a lame attempt at an “A Christmas Story” reference. But really though, those 'stache ends look dangerous.


Best worn by motorcycle gangs and Hulk Hogan, the horseshoe mustache is a masterpiece. It consists of thick hair above the upper lip and along the sides of the mouth down to the jaw. The chin is shaved clean to craft the mustache into what looks like an upside-down horseshoe. Recommended, but not exclusive to guys with obscene amounts of muscle and/or fat.


By far this is the most impressive thing you can do with you facial hair. The imperial is an extremely large mustache that grows above the upper lip and extends onto the cheeks. The hairs on the cheeks are either combed or waxed up. Early signs of the imperial mustache can be found in portraits of Kaiser Wilhelm I and General Ambrose Burnside. You’ll need to be aware of the increased turning radius necessary with this kind of facial hair. Quick glances to the right or left may result in impromptu beard-slaps to anyone standing next to you.


Large, busy, and slightly unkempt, the walrus mustache hangs over the wearer's upper lip. The style takes inspiration from the long, thick whiskers that grow on walruses and hang over their mouth and tusks. The walrus has a built-in advantage for the humans that sport it: you may find food from the previous meal stowed in your upper lip hair for a quick snack between meals. Yummmmm(?).

English mustache

The English mustache is narrow and parted in the middle. The whiskers at the corners of the mouth are grown long and pulled out to either side and waxed to stay out. The area past the corners of the mouth is shaved. This look usually goes best with a bowler, a three piece suit, and a British accent.

Did we miss your favorite mustache style? Have an impressive 'stache you want to share with us? Let us know in the comments below.

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