Mustache? Yes or no
August 5, 2011 10:22 PM   Subscribe

Should I keep my mustache?

I have grown a mustache. It is strikingly robust. It is almost exactly like Ron Swanson's mustache on Parks and Recreation. The problem is I am not yet 40 and it feels a bit ironic to have a mustache. Is it acceptable to have Ron Swanson's mustache?
posted by Ad hominem to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (59 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
No. Be done with it.
posted by The World Famous at 10:24 PM on August 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


Response by poster: This is the character I am talking about for those who haven't seen the show.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:25 PM on August 5, 2011


Very, very few young men can pull off the robust mustache without looking ironic. Please shave that thing off.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 10:31 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ironic mustaches kinda tick me off. And this is coming from a younger bearded fellow. Shave it off until there is no longer any trace of irony.
posted by Homo economicus at 10:33 PM on August 5, 2011


Response by poster: If it helps I'm 36, should have mentioned that.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:34 PM on August 5, 2011


Unless you have a particular need to hide your upper lip, the answer to this question is always no.
posted by Logophiliac at 10:35 PM on August 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am imagining some clam chowder caught up in your mustache. That mustache is a bit porny. Please get rid of it unless you are a 70's porn star. Yes I'm drunk. Please post a pic for better responses.
posted by mokeydraws at 10:39 PM on August 5, 2011 [13 favorites]


I'm not a fan of facial hair, but if you like it, go for it. If it turns off your partner or you're getting less attention from potential dates, get rid of it.
posted by studioaudience at 10:40 PM on August 5, 2011


Honestly, if you like the mustache, keep it. At 36, you can pull it off without looking horribly ironic. Doubly so if you are a union worker. For some reason, it doesn't matter which job it is, men whose job involves a union seem to have a much higher rate of mustaches. If you're a suit and tie guy, it's a bit trickier. You could be seen as trying too hard.

Take this advice with a grain of salt, as it comes from a man who at ten years younger than yourself, resembled Gen. Ambrose Burnside.
posted by Saydur at 10:50 PM on August 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Do you wear a bowtie? Can you wear a bowtie? Do you have an inherently unimpeachable trustworthiness and stolidity of character? Are you and the word "creeper" inadmissible to the same cognitive space? Would your friends not recognize you if you showed up, with the mustache, in skinny jeans or otherwise ala mode attire? Are you aware of the entire spectrum of facial hair trustworthiness? Are you wiling to skirt that delicate line between cop 'stache and handlebars?

If the answer to any of the above questions is "No." or even "wha?" than yes, you need to shave the mustache.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 11:01 PM on August 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


Yes.
posted by surewouldoutlaw at 11:05 PM on August 5, 2011


My friend and I saw someone with a mustache similar to yours at the bar the other night. I pointed to him and whispered, "Hey look, porn star guy!" We're in our early twenties so YMMV.
posted by biochemist at 11:07 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes! (:{)
posted by Room 641-A at 11:43 PM on August 5, 2011


no.

as a matter of fact, it is the 1970s all over again and you're on way to becoming uncool.
posted by philip-random at 11:44 PM on August 5, 2011


"Should I keep my mustache?" Probably not if you're a lady!

Seriously, I like them on men. If you like it, keep wearing it. I saw a great one once on a guy from Germany - he'd arranged it as if it were a set of horns, rather like in the Victorian/Edwardian times. It was good to see someone wear something different.
posted by stenoboy at 11:51 PM on August 5, 2011


I am 39 and at present, I have that mustache*. It's only ironic if you think it's ironic. We're not talking about a forked goatee with bleached soul patch—yours is a pretty conventional way of not-shaving part of your face. If you're self-conscious about it, then no, you shouldn't have that mustache. That mustache belongs to people who know that they can wear that mustache.

* I am also as-good-as married and am not looking for a job. These might be mitigating factors.
posted by mumkin at 11:57 PM on August 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Please grow a beard. If your mustache is as luscious as you say it is, then you probably have above average beard growing capabilities. I love a nice, bushy beard.
posted by kitty teeth at 12:32 AM on August 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


You are the world's sexiest cat. And while cats with moustaches might suffer more than most, if you're the world's sexiest anything, you get to make the rules.
posted by Ahab at 12:40 AM on August 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


When you look in the mirror, do you see Your Face, or do you see Your Face With a Mustache?

If the former, keep it. If the latter, shave it down to a Hitler 'stache, take an amusing picture for future lulz, and then extirpate it entirely.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:02 AM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: This is the best I can do at 4:30 am, I am surprised I look as functional as I do.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:42 AM on August 6, 2011


Vote for keep
posted by theredpen at 2:10 AM on August 6, 2011


I vote keep, but I'd grow the rest of the facial hair in that picture out to match. Too many facial hair lengths on one person is like too many font sizes in one document.
posted by mercredi at 2:15 AM on August 6, 2011 [18 favorites]


if you have to ask on the Internet? c'mon.
posted by tremspeed at 2:18 AM on August 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


You also look like you have the potential to grow a Zappa (but not black obviously). so yes
posted by singingfish at 2:34 AM on August 6, 2011


Response by poster: I vote keep, but I'd grow the rest of the facial hair in that picture out to match

I started with a beard, but I haven't shaved in a few days I gotta either go back or commit to the stache.

Keep, but for the godz sake, lose the soul patch. Lose it hard, as if your life depends on it being gone

You are right, I think I have got to commit instead of trying to half ass it.

You also look like you have the potential to grow a Zappa (but not black obviously). so yes
That is it's natural state, I have been trimming it a bit so it's not too Zappaish right now.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:48 AM on August 6, 2011


I can't tell if you should keep it because there's too much else going on.
posted by smokingmonkey at 2:54 AM on August 6, 2011


Well, the numbers speak for themselves. There is more than just a moustache at stake here.
posted by dougrayrankin at 3:22 AM on August 6, 2011 [8 favorites]


Unless you're starring in an early seventies action/adventure series and your name is Peter Wyngarde then no, mustaches are silly and you should shave it off.
posted by joannemullen at 4:06 AM on August 6, 2011


Alright, two bites o this cherry. It's like long hair. You can always cut it shorter, or get rid of it entirely, if you have a pressing need. But it's much harder to go the other way. Should you suddenly need to impersonate an Italian renaissance nobleman or a British gym teacher or something - you're looking at buying a fake moustache. They're never a good look. Keep it.
posted by Ahab at 4:11 AM on August 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Unless you're starring in an early seventies action/adventure series and your name is Peter Wyngarde then no, mustaches are silly and you should shave it off

But if you've ever wanted to star in an early 21st century series about science and explosions then I repeat my call to keep it.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:31 AM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


The minute one doubts one's facial hair, remove said.
posted by scruss at 4:35 AM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I vote for keep. Of course keeping the beard evenly trimmed would help (so ixnay on the oul patchsay) but removing it entirely to highlight the mustache is veering into the porny - and can be quite traumatic for some (NSFW swears and underwears).

Mustaches aren't inherently ironic, and I think it lends you a certain maturity that is commensurate with your age. You won't be winning a mustache championship any time soon, but it sounds like you want to stay away from that particular demographic.
posted by Chichibio at 4:53 AM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I had a mustache for my late 20s and early 30s, shaved it because I realized I looked too much like Jesse Ventura, and I have never looked back. As a bonus, it makes me look somewhat younger than I am. Well, that and all the clean living. I would vote for losing the mustache, if we are voting. Otherwise, do what makes you happy. You can grow it back, though, if you regret the shave.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:28 AM on August 6, 2011


Shave it. You could always grow it back later!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:46 AM on August 6, 2011


I say this as someone who loves facial hair, and is still a bit wistful about my dad shaving his moustache 20 years ago... I'm not crazy about the thick 'stache all by its lonesome. I do think you'd look great with a decently groomed beard and moustache though. Maybe trim up the 'stache to uncover your upper lip a bit, grow out the soul patch into a chin tuft and shave the rest of your face smooth. (Don't hook mustache to goatee, you probably don't want a face mullet.)
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 6:10 AM on August 6, 2011


Keep it, for now. In 10 to 15 years, it'll start turning grey, and you'll shave it to look younger, for the few years that works.
posted by paulsc at 6:12 AM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


My theory is that through the late twenties to mid-forties many people can easily look either a lot younger or a lot older than they actually are. I base this on experience with the activist sector (folks look younger) and the Serious Important Nonprofit Sector (folks look older). It has a lot to do with mannerisms (activism skews young, so older activists tend to be more au courant with slang and fashion by sheer default, while Serious Nonprofit folks have some power and wear suits, both of which age them up a bit) but also a lot to do with haircuts. This mustache makes you look like an old 36 and relatively authoritative in a sys admin/social studies teacher/dad way. For those purposes, it looks pretty nice. (Although I personally would modify the goatee a bit - more beard-ishness would look better.) If, however, you're a grad student who is still making the scene or something, you may want to shave it off.
posted by Frowner at 6:36 AM on August 6, 2011


The key to a mustache that doesn't look ironic or out of place is the level of grooming. If one comports themselves as a slacker, having a perfectly groomed mustache looks silly. Similarly, if one is wearing formalwear, having a less than perfectly groomed mustache looks silly.

Yours looks fine to me.

(Same for beards in general.)
posted by gjc at 6:47 AM on August 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wear it proudly.
posted by beandip at 7:36 AM on August 6, 2011


I like it. It's good.

Knee-jerk advice that seems to be based on something being implausibly bad is rarely good advice.

The soul patch works; I don't personally like soul patches without a proper context, but it works well here.
posted by krilli at 7:42 AM on August 6, 2011


I had one, for a very long time. I shaved it off in 2005 and I've never regretted it. You won't either.
posted by tommasz at 8:34 AM on August 6, 2011


It doesn't take too long to grow back. Perhaps try shaving it off and then if you don't like it, at least you an be surethat growing it back is the right thing to do. It's a question that you moustache yourself.
posted by dougrayrankin at 8:42 AM on August 6, 2011


I'm also in the camp that thinks mustache-only is not a great look (better than beard-only, but that's not saying much). I think you'd look good with more beard, depending on how you chose to shape it. Whatever you do, do not cultivate the "friendly chops" look on that "trustworthiness of beards" chart — "friendly chops" a.k.a. "Colonel Puff-Puff" a.k.a. "I don't mind if I never get kissed again because my partner bursts out laughing whenever they look at me" (an attitude my husband realized he did not, in fact, have. Ahem).
posted by Lexica at 9:09 AM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Search your feelings: Do you like it? Do you know that it's not ironic? Then rock it!

No need to bother with anyone else's opinion. If it makes you feel good, then do it!

From: a dude with a bushy, stand-alone stache who feels pretty good about it.
posted by wemayfreeze at 9:11 AM on August 6, 2011


Remove it and post a picture, and then we can REALLY vote.

Before I saw the photo, I would have said "shave it, OBVIOUSLY, the only person allowed with that kind of mustache is my dad" but now I'm torn. Actually, shave the beard/soul patch/whatever the other hair is called (I'm a girl, I don't know) and take a photo, then shave the 'stache.

That's the nice thing about hair, if you don't like what you've done to it, it'll grow back!
posted by AlisonM at 9:16 AM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I say... keep the mustache if you grow out a lovely, full beard AND get a nice, short, tidy haircut. (Because you have long hair pulled back in a ponytail right?) This would be a very handsome look for you.

If you keep the long hair, then shave.
posted by bluedaisy at 9:23 AM on August 6, 2011


Definite keep. You have the sort of face that totally works with a mustache without looking gross or ironic or even slightly anachronistic. It looks timeless, not dated. (The glasses help.) Like Jamie from Mythbusters. Lucky you!

(The preceding is a nice way to say you look great with the moustache, but I suspect you might not look so great without it. Kind of like how Louis C.K. looks perfectly fine with a goatee--to the point that you don't even go "What, is it still 1996?"--but looks, um, less good without it.)
posted by Sys Rq at 10:15 AM on August 6, 2011


I think it depends how you dress. If you're a Levi-jeans-and-Harley-t-shirt kind of guy, keep it. If you wear polo shirts, get rid of it. If your job calls for a button down shirt (or if you're looking for a job) then for the love of god shave it right now.
posted by desjardins at 10:40 AM on August 6, 2011


Yes!
posted by Sphinx at 10:41 AM on August 6, 2011


I'm a 34 year old moderately attractive single gal and i think that mustache looks terrible.

I actually ALWAYS think they look terrible - cheesy, and like the owner of the mustache is completely clueless about what's been fashionable for the last few decades.

I say full beard or nuthin'.
posted by Kololo at 10:51 AM on August 6, 2011


Response by poster: This mustache makes you look like an old 36 and relatively authoritative in a sys admin/social studies teacher/dad way.

I'm a programmer for a relatively large company, that being said I don't have face to face meetings often so looking authoritative for work really isn't a big deal.

If you keep the long hair, then shave.

I don't actually have long hair, my hair just looks like that when I get in as 4:30 am.

If you wear polo shirts, get rid of it. If your job calls for a button down shirt (or if you're looking for a job) then for the love of god shave it right now

Yeah I wear business attire in the office, but I am only there a few times a month.

and like the owner of the mustache is completely clueless about what's been fashionable for the last few decades.

I am a bit worried mustaches are too fashionable.


Thanks everyone, I think I am going to get rid of the soul patch and clean the rest up and see how I feel about it, I am not too worried about looking like a porn star, I am more worried about looking like Wilford Brimley or Ned Flanders.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:56 AM on August 6, 2011


can't decide based on evidence given. clean up the facial hair and then take another picture.
posted by woodvine at 12:18 PM on August 6, 2011


omigosh, get rid of it. Mustaches are NEVER good.
posted by never.was.and.never.will.be. at 12:29 PM on August 6, 2011


Keep it, keep it well groomed, never carry yourself like you're being hip.

Mustaches rock and people who don't get it... *shrug* Whatever, man.
posted by codswallop at 1:15 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: Cleaned Up somewhat. I think it is awesome, I look like Mr. Whipple the friendly grocer who is always telling people not to squeeze the charmin. If I can grow something like this I should be allowed to keep it.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:07 PM on August 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


I think it looks good. Facial hair can go a long way towards giving guys more definition in the face, as well as some general personality. I think it's got more character if not combined with the beard, which looks more like, "I'm a programmer, do you think I actually bother shaving?"

Facial hair is something that to me stops looking even possibly ironic once you hit 30 or so. It's one thing when you're 21, it's another thing when you really are the age your dad was when you remember him having the mustache. (Or, okay, the age *my* dad was, one or the other.)
posted by gracedissolved at 5:26 PM on August 6, 2011


Keep it and I'll have sex with you.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 7:13 PM on August 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Lookin' good AH and glad you're keeping it. If I can grow something like this I should be allowed to keep it is my new favorite justification for anything.

As a long-time mustacher, I recommend playing with different lengths to find the one that works best. One of the biggest things you can try is changing how far over the top lip your mustache comes—or if it doesn't cover the top lip at all. Given that pic, I think a shorter 'stache would be worth a try for you.
posted by wemayfreeze at 2:19 PM on August 7, 2011


It's nice and neat but I personally thinks it makes you look older than 36. If you don't mind looking older than 36, then keep it. It is definitely not fashionable on you, in which I mean to allay your fears that mustaches are "too fashionable". Sometimes they are, but not on you. You look like you were born with it. (but not necessarily in a good OR bad way. It just looks natural and unironic.)

If you wear a green pullover with a shirt and tie you will look kinda like Ned Flanders. Especially if you walk around saying "okily dokily" and carry around a bible. So I think I just sorted out your Halloween costume.
posted by like_neon at 5:48 AM on August 8, 2011


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