1. The Time is Almost Never Right
I mean historic time. Facial hair is a funny thing to predict. Few saw the advent of the 90s goatee coming. The confounding thing is moustaches have yet to come back in style since their widespread popularity in the 1970s. During the late ‘70s in California even my minister wore his hair a shade over the ears, and managed to pull off a chevron moustache. He had the Tom Sellek of Magnum P.I. look. It probably helped that my father was also named Tom. The closest we’ve come since the late ‘70s was about ten years ago in Brooklyn when the “Fu Man Chu” or “handlebar ‘stache” became cool. By the time the hipster ‘stache spread through other U.S. locales it was no longer so cool to be a hipster, much less one sporting a ‘stache.
2. There is No Ironic Moustache
They can’t be pulled off. Don’t try it. It will not be taken ironically. It’s akin to the ironic guitar solo. Beck pulled it off in 1996 on the Odelay CD. Other than that, ironic guitar solos are just bad guitar solos. The ironic moustache is already so passé the very idea was made fun of with Jack Black’s character in the 2007 film Margot at the Wedding. The unemployed, about-to-get-married artist says, “It’s meant to be ironic.” He shaves it a few scenes later.
3. To Show How Original You Are
If Jack Black can’t start a new moustache trend, neither can you. But here’s some further insight into the moustache: They do offer the opportunity for a signature look, perhaps because they come into style about as often as full eclipses. The problem is you have to be committed long term to establish the signature look and make it your own. In most cases, no other facial hair says, “I’m hiding behind a façade” more than the moustache. That would be ironic for all the wrong reasons.
4. To Try and Look Older
As I grew tall and lean and my blond hair lightened in the summer sun, someone mentioned that I resembled the Val Kilmer who played Ice Man in Top Gun. I was also told that I looked like Ricky Shroeder from Silver Spoons, and also the brother of Robb Lowe, Chad Lowe, who starred in his own sit-com for a brief stint, Spencer. I especially like the idea that I looked like Chad Lowe since we shared the same first name. Just a year later, as puberty really sunk in, I far more resembled Goose played by Anthony Edwards than any of the above. I had yet to come to terms with a feature I inherited from my father, a feature I had overlooked in my father and a feature that really kept my father from resembling Tom Sellek. That feature was a weak chin. I inherited my father’s jaw line, and had the double misfortune of inheriting my mother’s long neck. Whereas a long neck is graceful on a woman, it tends to produce chicken-like necks in men whose Adam’s Apples stick out almost like a second nose. I was also slow in developing the substantial facial hair of my father. It closely resembled Derek Holland’s, the left-handed pitcher for the Texas Rangers. Let’s just say there are numerous reasons why I was never popular in high school.
5. You Think the Answer is to Darken It
One of my issues is related to the shade of the hair itself. Whereas the hair on my chin was a dark brown, the hair on my upper lip was blondish, virtually undetectable unless one got up very close. When I was 21 and serving as a Youth Minister at Williams Trace Baptist Church in Sugar Land, Texas, I had had enough of my moustache’s fairness, and decided to darken it. By darkening the blond hairs, I believed I would finally achieve that Tom Sellek-like handsomeness, possibly appearing more generally distinguished and even perhaps a bit biblical. Two treatments of the Just-for-Men dye didn’t do much, so I treated it again and again until I believed it evenly matched the color of my eyebrows. I actually went around with an almost black moustache at the age of 21 for nearly two weeks.
6. Need to Look Up a Moustache Type
Actually, that may not be the worst idea. At least you can know what baggage might come along with your style choice. For instance, thinking about a moustache combined with a soul patch? Well, you may not know that’s called The Balbo. It owes its name to the Fascist ￼Italian leader Italo Balbo, who wore the unique style as early as the 1920s. See what I mean? ￼￼Generally speaking, the need to look up a moustache style indicates that one is already trying ￼too hard. Today, in fact, only the ultra-groomed, uber-self-conscious can pull off the moustache in a way that women find remotely appealing. Few can rise above the stereotypical associations in any of their myriad styles, the push broom, the pencil, the devil, mistletoe, major, boxcar, the American Standard, etc.
If you still want to self-select just know what you’re getting into. Someone with real vision and guts will one day start a new moustache signature trend. It will happen again one day. Won’t it? Maybe that someone is you.