Quotes about Mustaches

A man without a moustache is like a cup of tea without sugar. ~English proverb

A kiss without a moustache is like beef without mustard. ~Italian proverb

But he wore a moustache — a shaggy moustache too: nothing in the meek and merciful way, but quite in the fierce and scornful style: the regular Satanic sort of thing — and he wore, besides, a vast quantity of unbrushed hair. ~Charles Dickens, The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit, 1843

His face wore a pleasant expression; his lips parted in a smile beneath his budding mustache. ~M. E. M. David, “A Miracle,” in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, June 1895

But, to a brave man, honour is dearer than life; and to the major, his whiskers were dearer than honour itself! ~Cassio, “Memoir of a Pair of Whiskers,” in The Parterre of Fiction, Poetry, History, Literature, and the Fine Arts, Vol. I, 1834 [This short story is hilarious, about a woman who sabotages her man’s mustache to prevent him from marrying another woman who is attracted to his facial hair! –tg]

You’re a model gentleman…. Bon jour, Seigneur Don Monsieur Moustache Whiskerando! ~May Agnes Fleming, The Gypsy Queen’s Vow, 1875

He is weak in two places who shaves his whiskers and wears a moustache — he insults Nature to please the women. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897

The man with a moustache is blamed for the thieving of the moustacheless. ~Bihār Proverbs (India), compiled & translated by John Christian, 1891

A particular face shows determination merely by the turn of the moustache; but the moustache is robbed of all its expression unless it be worn by itself. Accompanied by the other parts of the beard, it loses its originality, it ceases to be a marked characteristic of will or temper. ~Charles Blanc, Art in Ornament and Dress, 1875

His mouth as perfect as Cupid’s bow in form, and as cherry-red in colour as hers. Bright curly hair; bright sparkling blue-gray eyes; a boy’s blush and manner; neither whisker nor moustache, unless a little light-brown fur on his upper lip deserved the latter title… ~Thomas Hardy, A Pair of Blue Eyes, 1872

The variations which this appendage throws into the expression of the face are numerous. Molière, following the King’s example, cultivated on his upper lip a thin thread of moustache, which showed the entire outline of his amiable and sensitive mouth, and it only wanted a few cuts of the scissors and razor to give an external form to the refinement of his genius, to that raillery without bitterness, to that extreme kindness, which characterised him. ~Charles Blanc, Art in Ornament and Dress, 1875

He had an almost swarthy complexion, with full lips, badly moulded, though red and smooth, above which was a well-groomed black moustache with curled points, though his age could not be more than three- or four-and-twenty. Despite the touches of barbarism in his contours, there was a singular force in the gentleman’s face… ~Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles: A Pure Woman, 1891

If they were richer, one would say, “They are dandies”; if they were poorer, one would say, “They are idlers”…. At that period a dandy was composed of a tall collar, a big cravat, a watch with trinkets, three vests of different colors, worn one on top of the other…. Add to this, high shoes with little irons on the heels, a tall hat with a narrow brim, hair worn in a tuft, an enormous cane, and conversation set off by puns of Potier. Over all, spurs and a mustache. At that epoch mustaches indicated the bourgeois, and spurs the pedestrian. The provincial dandy wore the longest of spurs and the fiercest of mustaches. ~Victor Hugo, Les Misérables, 1862, translated from French by Isabel F. Hapgood

When it grows naturally, the moustache is always a sign of a manly temperament. It never, or at any rate seldom, happens that it is bristling, hirsuta, in gentle and thoughtful characters, and it is rarely rounded, turned under, or softly curled in men of rough natures born for contradiction and conflict. ~Charles Blanc, Art in Ornament and Dress, 1875

To draw it to a fine point, as was done under the Empire… is to give the face of the wearer a factitious and evanescent expression, since the points cannot be kept stiff without the use of a cosmetic, easily detected and soon melted. ~Charles Blanc, Art in Ornament and Dress, 1875

Although I’m at a loss as to what’s behind this specific spike in mustache mania… I have noticed a particular proliferation of one very specific style of tonsorial topiary — the meticulously groomed and shaped, hipster-appropriated handlebar — which has become so ubiquitous in popular culture that walking down the street is starting to feel like venturing into a carnival tent into a Wild West saloon and out through a blacksmith’s shop of yore. ~Adam Tschorn, “What’s behind the modern-day mustache mania?,” 2013 June 19th, Los Angeles Times