Men's Grooming

Mustache styles: What are your options?

3.5 min read – 02:45 video
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A quick introduction to the best mustache styles around


Whether you spell it 'mustache' or 'moustache', there's no question that it’s been a longstanding mainstay of the male upper lip. If you’re ready to adopt your own, you’ll soon learn that there are many types of mustache to play with – and not all mustaches are created equal. Check out our list of the best here, and find one that perfectly complements your look.

There's no shortage of great mustache styles …


… but the mustache is a tool of self-expression. And with such a wide range of styles to choose from, there are many ways to express yourself. Here’s how to choose a mustache style to suit your face:
Dallas mustache img

Dallas mustache

With its hint of cowboy, the Dallas has long been one of the most confidently masculine trimmed mustache styles. Just be sure to shampoo and trim it regularly, to make sure you don’t end up smelling like a cowboy, too. Unlike roping a steer, the Dallas is easy to achieve: follow our five steps, and it should take just a few months to take beautiful effect.

Best for: Square faces. Embrace that strong jaw with a strong ‘tache.
Natural mustache img

Natural mustache

As the name suggests, this is an unpretentious, no-nonsense mustache that is neither a trim Clark Gable number, nor extravagantly bushy. This is the mustache for those who like to express their masculinity in an understated, unfussy way, and it's one of the easiest short mustache styles to achieve.  

Best for: Everyone and anyone. No rules here. Find out how to get the natural mustache here.

Handlebar mustache

Another mustache with echoes of the 19th-century Wild West, the handlebar mustache is distinguished by its wiry edges that resemble gracefully upturned bicycle handlebars. It's the perfect match for a pipe or a horse.

Best for: A nicely cowboy-esque square face can help you pull off this most gentlemanly of mustache styles. Find out how to get the handlebar mustache here.
Pencil thin mustache img

Pencil-thin mustache

Few mustache styles exude the vintage sophistication and class of the pencil-thin mustache, which was favored by such true greats as Errol Flynn and David Niven. Just make sure you have the classy wardrobe to match.

Best for: Like the natural ‘tache, the pencil-thin suits almost any face. One of the better mustache styles for thin hair, too.
Fu manchu mustache img

Fu Manchu mustache

No mustache type screams 'evil mastermind' quite like the Fu Manchu, its name borrowed from the villain (hero?) of British writer Sax Rohmer’s series of novels. If the other mustache styles you've been considering just don't have enough of that 'plotting to take over the world' vibe, step this way for our top tips on how to create the Fu Manchu.

Best for: World domination. 
Horseshoe mustache img

Horseshoe mustache

Lacking the upper-class breeding of the handlebar mustache or the delicate fronds of the Fu Manchu, the horseshoe is the less-civilized 'black sheep' of the mustache family. You might have last seen it on Hulk Hogan or another of his pro wrestler brethren, causing as much bad luck as any other upside-down horseshoe.

Best for: Round and square faces looking to add some length.
Chevron mustache img

Chevron mustache

Definitely not a shy mustache, the Chevron displays itself loudly and proudly upon the wearer's top lip, representing a hefty style statement. Grow some beard stubble below it, and you’ll have an even more formidable look that will attract knowing nods of appreciation from closet connoisseurs of the finest trimmed mustache styles.

Best for: If you have small features, the chevron will dominate your face. If not, you’re fine to take this strong mustache style on.

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What you need

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Pyramid mustache img

Pyramid mustache

This sophisticated mustache is characterized by a wide base that slightly narrows as it reaches the nose. When it's done right – and rest assured that this isn't one of the more challenging short mustache styles to grow – the pyramid 'tache will look good on almost any face shape, its borders easily maintained with a stubble or precision trimmer.

Best for: A well-constructed pyramid mustache will suit most.
Zappa mustache img

Zappa mustache

The Zappa mustache is as much a one-off as Frank Zappa himself, combining a wide soul patch with a full mustache growing slightly past the corners of the mouth. As a rule of thumb, the fuller your Zappa 'tache is, the better – although unlike some other mustache styles, it isn't too high-maintenance either. A bit of stubble will complement it nicely.

Best for: Oblong faces, or those seeking more definition.
Clark cable mustache img

Clark Gable mustache

For a sophisticated look from the old school, there can surely be no better mustache than the Clark Gable, this thickish pencil-thin number exuding the class of the Hollywood legend. It’s one of the most distinguished and tidy types of mustache around ¬– but be warned, daily upkeep is required to sustain the impeccable facial hair standards of Gable himself.

Best for: Almost everyone, but it can merge into the background if your hair is pale.
Military mustache img

Military mustache

Also known as the ’cop stache’ in some quarters, the military mustache – with its top curved edges and lower edge that doesn’t grow over the lip – really does command instant attention and respect. Add a star-shaped badge for extra 'law enforcement' appeal.

Best for: Square faces with well-defined jaw lines are well complemented by this strong ‘tache.

The meaning of the mustache: facial hair not to be messed with


The mustache has always commanded a certain level of respect – the commitment required to grow and maintain one being widely recognized. Today, mustaches are enjoying something of a revival among the well-groomed, sharply-dressed and fashionable set. This is partly down to the popularity of 'Movember', which inspires a fresh crop of mustaches each year as guys go for a mo’ to raise money for and awareness of male health and wellbeing issues.

If you’re ready to join in this year, you can’t go wrong with one of the mustache styles here. If you discover it’s not for you, well, you can always shave it off – or graduate to a thick, full beard for Christmas.

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