Fashion is forever changing, as is its nature, but some things come in and out of fashion quicker than others. In the world of facial hair, moustaches have been on the out swing for a long time, but are they being let back into our lives, or will they remain shaved off our faces forever?
20th Century ‘Tache
One of the easiest ways to tell how the facial hair has fared in the fashion world is to take a look at the movies of a particular time and assess how many characters are seen sporting the upper lip fluff. Back in the early 20th century, it was uncommon to see a star ‘tache free, with the likes of Errol Flynn, Charlie Chaplin and Clark Gable all rocking the mo’. At that time, until 1916, and before in the 19th Century, moustaches were actually a requirement in the military, seen as the mark of a fighter. Those with the manliest of moustaches were pushed right to the front of the march, with the belief that the furry faces would fill the enemies with fear.
After the Second World War, moustaches, somewhat unsurprisingly, took a dip in popularity. Faces remained clear on the big screen, with actors only tashing up when the character called for it, or when used for comedic effect. Despite being the face of rebellion, even James Dean remained clean shaven throughout his career. Facial hair grew back with a vengeance in the 70s, but this was a look that wasn’t to last forever, Tom Selleck aside. Stars of recent years have remained clean shaven too, with the moustache only being stuck on for the occasional period drama.
Things changed for advocates of the moustache back in 2003, when Movember was launched, acting as a catalyst for the resurgence of the ‘tache- if only for one month a year. However, this moustache acceptance could be more to do with the ever-growing popularity of the beard, allowing men the chance to play around a little more with their facial hair. Yet the bushy beards of old haven’t hit it off on every man’s face, with many men still opting for the smooth shave, or at absolute best ‘designer’ stubble.
Murder on the Orient Express
But if we’re looking at movies, moustaches seem to be coming back into fashion for the new year. Murder On The Orient Express, the 2017 remake of the Agatha Christie classic, displays a whole host of different ‘tache styles. While Hercule Poirot himself obviously wears the whiskers, every other male character in the cast has grown them too. The chief make-up artist on the film reckons that moustaches are definitely on the way back to fashion status again, hence why she made the facial hair so prominent in the movie.
In the new version of Orient Express, Poirot, played by Kenneth Branagh, sports an almighty moustache that spans the width of his face, bushy, yet perfectly smooth and styled. Made from cashmere, mohair and a little bit of Branagh’s actual upper lip fuzz, the ‘tache is truly a sight to behold. Also seen with a mo’ is Johnny Depp, styled with a sleek and finely cut do, reminiscent of the silent movie era, whereas Derek Jacobi displays light tufts of greying ‘tache.
When styling the moustaches during shooting, a barber came on set to shave away the rest of the facial fuzz grown by the actors using a straight cut razor every day, ensuring those well-sculpted ‘taches featured as prominently as they deserved to be. Are these magnificent beards and moustaches back in fashion because men have less time to shave or because they have more time to groom; and will they stick as the fashion for much longer? We’re not sure, but if you want to get some more moustache inspiration for this month, or if you want to make your moustache a long-term commitment, check out our top tips and five favourite styles.