July 5, 2019

"I have no patience for contemporary handlebar mustaches. They anger me. They look indulgent and ridiculous."

"If you have a handlebar mustache, that is pretty much all you are. You are a delivery system for a handlebar mustache. I saw a guy in Brooklyn once with a handlebar mustache, pierced ears, a fedora hat and jodhpurs. He was a collage of sartorial attempts at evading himself. It looked as if he were interrupted during a shave in the mid-1850s and had to grab some clothes and dress quickly while being chased through a time tunnel."

From "My Desperate, Stupid, Emotional Hunt for the Perfect Pants" by Marc Maron (NYT, 2013).

90 comments:

Ice Nine said...

>>"He was a collage of sartorial attempts at evading himself."<<

Great line.

Henry said...

LOL

Phil 314 said...

A soapbox everyone.

Give me your bored, your offended,
Your twittering masses yearning to be heard.

chuck said...

Oh, H*ll, just wear shorts.

rcocean said...

Once you got the Handlebar mustache nothing else is required to stand out. It overshadows everything. You're just the guy with the mustache.

john said...

So he wishes he still had his jeans from the seventh grade? Wow. So do I but I probably wouldnt be able to get my arm in them much less a leg.

As far as recommending perfect pants, he should perhaps get in touch with Roy Pearson, who claimed his lost pair of pants were worth $67 million. For that price one should expect nothing less.

Chuck said...

I don’t think Marc Maron was really in Brooklyn. I think he was in the West Village. That would clear it all up, right? Occam’s (ironically enough) Razor. The simplest explanation.

LordSomber said...

It's a little late in the game to still get fooled by hipsters.

CJinPA said...

Ice Nine said...
>>"He was a collage of sartorial attempts at evading himself."<<

Great line.

---

A good line indeed. Would be more interesting to see him apply it to a less-safe target, such as people covered with tattoos. Although that probably includes him.

wild chicken said...

Yeah I kinda hate moustaches generally. I know one young guy who thinks he's found himself with the handlebar shtick. But it's tired. He's really just fat.

And the stupid shortbeards all the millennial guys have now. Or has that fad passed?

Bob Boyd said...

But if the same guy had chosen to dress as a woman...

Ice Nine said...

I've worn Levi 517 boot cut jeans all my life, mostly without boots. Always liked the slight flare at the ankle. Though I've known of the bathtub deal, I've never done it. All the hassle aside, I just didn't want them *that* tight.

The young hotshots in my family, wearing their ridiculously too-tight, too-short pants give me the look I used to give old guys wearing pleated pants and wide ties, and gently deride my "bell bottoms." "When you going to stop wearing those baggy things?", etc.

I say something to the effect of, "Cool...I'll wear my comfortable jeans and you go ahead and wear your uncomfortable pedal pushers and go strike a pose." They interrupt whatever banality they are engaged in on their iPhones and look up "pedal pushers"...

Birkel said...

I was just twirling my mustache wondering how many people got jobs last month.

Fen said...

Paywall. But I've never heard a man desperate to find "the perfect pants".

He's probably a tranny or a gimp.

Lucid-Ideas said...

Well no mustache rides for Marc then. I guess.

Bay Area Guy said...

Lighten up, Francis!

tcrosse said...

But if the same guy had chosen to dress as a Regency dandy....

Narr said...

My horseshoe 'stache goes well with my monocle.

I've never understood men's fashion (as any woman and a lot of men will attest). In my opinion, any man that spends more than $400.00 and 90 minutes a year shopping for clothes (shoes included) needs a swift kick.

Narr
I like hats too, but I'm vain of my hair

Fernandistein said...

Maron's own standard-issue mustache is completely different.

J. Farmer said...

Marc Maron’s podcast is tolerable if you skip past his 10-minute intro and the guest is interesting. Otherwise I find Maron untakeable.

Automatic_Wing said...

Rollie Fingers could pull it off. But most of us are not Rollie Fingers.

rcocean said...

Mustache - check
Monocle - Check
Cane - Check
top hat - Check
Spats - Check

OK - I'm ready for In-and-out burger.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Another data point that times are so good we can bitch about others’ facial hair as if it might be important or interesting. It’s neither.

AllenS said...

As a man grows older, he may be seeing thinning hair on the top of the head, but do not worry, you're not really losing hair, it's just growing faster on your eye brows, out your nose, on your ears, and on your back. If I quit trimming my nose hairs, I could have a nice handlebar mustache in about, oh... six months.

Temujin said...

I love your sartorial posts. A great line from this one: "You are a delivery system for a handlebar mustache."

Levis. We used to wear them until we wore through the denim to create our own rips and shreds (instead of buying them pre-shredded). And we would continue to wear them long after there were large holes, rips, and threads hanging from around the holes. With shredded bell bottoms. And yes, they stank after a night of beer, tequila, and constant heavy marijuana smoke in the air.

But we still wore them the next day.

tim maguire said...

Handlebar mustaches are cool because they are rare. If they stop being rare, they will stop being cool.

mockturtle said...

So he has "no patience" for someone else's choice of style? Now, I can see remarking that he doesn't like the look but this dictatorial attitude is just silly, as is he.

buwaya said...

Pants are easy. Off the rack.
Shirts are easy, ditto. Just make sure of collar and cuffs.
These can be very bad with cheap shirts.
Shoes - well, expensive shoes look it, but fortunately good ones, if not overused, last forever.

Now, unless you are very lucky you will have to work at your jacket.

mockturtle said...

Give me your bored, your offended,
Your twittering masses yearning to be heard.


Nice, Phil 314!

Marc said...

This post made me smile (not that I'm going to listen to Marc Maron) because as I was returning from the marketing and the morning's walk & stopped at the crossing light on Gilham a man pulled up in his car at the intersection wearing... a handlebar mustache and smoking a cigar. This would have been at about 7:30 a.m.

Henry said...

Does he have kids? Nothing like looking at old photos with your kids.

"Did mom give you that haircut? It looks really bad."

Henry said...

As for the perfect pants ... find an off-the-rack brand that fits right and stick to it.

tim maguire said...

I'm not sure why I like Marc Maron. He's a dick. His politics are standard issue idiot liberal. He's not that funny. Probably the quirkiness--I will often give some show or other a try just because he's in it. There will at least be something cynical and odd about it.

GingerBeer said...

Forget about it Marc. It's Brooklyn.

RobinGoodfellow said...


Blogger Narr said...
My horseshoe 'stache goes well with my monocle.

I've never understood men's fashion (as any woman and a lot of men will attest). In my opinion, any man that spends more than $400.00 and 90 minutes a year shopping for clothes (shoes included) needs a swift kick.


I’ve never given it much thought before, but I believe Narr is correct. As a man I shop when necessary. And I am a targeted shopper, so I focus in on the one item I need and them I’m gone.

Big Mike said...

I grew my mustache as a young soldier in 1969, and only shaved it off last year when I saw pictures of myself wearing a mustache that had turned white and realized how old it made me look. Frankly I did not then, nor would I today, give a rat's patootie whether other people liked it or not.

Infinite Monkeys said...

Who's evading himself more, the guy who found a look and is going all in on it or the guy who sits down and writes about another guy's style?

Nichevo said...

Chuck said...
I don’t think Marc Maron was really in Brooklyn. I think he was in the West Village. That would clear it all up, right? Occam’s (ironically enough) Razor. The simplest explanation.


Fascinating! Now do President Trump.

The Drill SGT said...

Two words

Robin Olds

The last guy who made a handlebar look great.

Bill Peschel said...

Nice to see Marc moving on from when he called Trump voters "evil" on his podcast.

I used to listen to him, but more and more his personality repelled me.

His toxic personality had tanked his comedy career until he found his podcast. He's a good interviewer, willing to let his subjects talk. But when he tried to engaged with Roseanne about politics, she pushed back and he ran from the subject like a sissy. He knows what he knows and he will not be open to discussion about it.

Then there was the time he got this old friend who he shafted back in the old days. They talked out how Maron dumped him and he promised to stay in touch with him. A year later, the guy was back on his show as part of a retrospective and he said, "Why didn't you call me? I was waiting to hear from you."

And that's when I realized that no matter how much he whines about what he did, he's still an asshole at heart.

walter said...

The same can be said about the overly dark and thick eyeglass frames a lot of hipsters embrace.
Feels like the frames enter the room 3 steps ahead of the wearer.

gilbar said...

my opinion, any man that spends more than $400.00 and 90 minutes a year shopping for clothes (shoes included)

HEY!
A decent pair of waders are like, $250
,and the boots at least $200

I don't need new waders Every year. but it's close

mezzrow said...

I don't need new waders Every year. but it's close

Waders qualify as tools, anyway. Proper boots as well. Function and comfort over form.

Nobody is going to use my body to make fine art or fashion at this point.

Bay Area Guy said...

This summer, I would like to see Meade grow a handlebar mustache, get a manbun, and wear shorts all summer long. Just as a sociological experiment, of course.

mezzrow said...

I know the Althouse position re: men's shorts.

I'm in Florida, where we're all wearing shorts now, and Althouse probably won't come here anyway, so it's not a problem. I promise not to post a picture of me in shorts.

mezzrow said...

I wish I had a pencil thin mustache
The boston blackie kind
A two toned ricky ricardo jacket
And an autographed picture of andy devine

I remember bein buck-toothed and skinny
Writin fan letters to sky king and penny
Oh I wish I had a pencil thin mustache
Then I could solve some mysteries too

Fen said...

Now now.

Hercule Poirot rocks a handlebar mustache

Great mystery theater, best ever. It's what got the wifey and I plotting The Perfect Crime as a mental exercise (spoiler: no such thing)

We also learned why the French are so obnoxious and pretentious. It's an inferiority complex from have Belgium as a neighbor. Like new money vs old money. Explains alot.

Fen said...

I know the Althouse position re: men's shorts.

Remind me, for when we kidnap Meade, the ransom video must threaten to put him in shorts.

mezzrow said...

Remind me, for when we kidnap Meade, the ransom video must threaten to put him in shorts.

Check.

readering said...

When are perukes making a comeback?

Bilwick said...

Maybe the handlebar guys are fans of Wyatt Earp. In any event I prefer handlebars to those stupid hipster beards.

Bay Area Guy said...

I think Sam Elliot (actor) is held in high regard by the ladies (and is still married to actress Katharine Ross) and I think he sports some kinda handlebar mustache.

So, take that!

walter said...

I'm hoping Meade surprises Althouse by returning from yard work sporting a Beijing Bikini.

john burger said...

Great comments.

jvb

James K said...

A handlebar mustache is just a more dramatic version of a bow tie.

n.n said...

Judgement, because.

Automatic_Wing said...

What about merkins. You don't hear much about merkins anymore.

Birkel said...

I have no patience for mustache wax or ignoring the terrific jobs numbers.
Anybody else feel that way?

traditionalguy said...

Sideburns are worse. The worse General Lincoln ever had sent 15,000 men into a slaughter at Fredricksburg ordering 6 consecutive charges up a hill with a stonewall at top with Lee's Army behind it shooting as fast as the soldiers and the artillery could reload..

So that dandy dresser Ambrose Burnside was ever after immortalized only for his haircut.

Bilwick said...

"What about merkins. You don't hear much about merkins anymore."

Ah, merkins . . . those were the days! My mother wore a merkin, and her mother before her. Good times.

Rabel said...

Handlebar moostaches, man buns, skinny jeans... The resemblance to days before The Seventies is chilling.

The forms and formats may look a little different, but the slide has begun.

Narr said...

President Merkin Muffley, in Dr. Strangelove, IIRC.

Narr
Mmmm, muff

richard mcenroe said...

If you own a Spitfire or Lancaster, a handbar mustache is appropriate. If you are cosplaying Doc Holliday at a Single Action Shooting Society event, it's acceptable. If you're playing Snidely Whiplash at ComiCon, it's permissible. If you're in a barber shop quartet, it's work-related. Otherwise, nah, bro.

walter said...

Make A Merkin Great Again

RH said...

There are always exceptions. Yes, handlebar mustaches can be silly, but there are those that can pull it off . For example, search Aaron Feld(Oregon U strength coach). Sporting a beard for last 30+ years, I'll give my fellow Alabama resident his due.

The Vault Dweller said...

I'm not a fan of the more esoteric facial hair styles. I vacillate between full beard and shaved. Though when I am full beard (currently I am) I always keep it well trimmed, so it never looks shaggy, and I make sure to touch up the neck line every other day or so. However, about 5-6 years ago while switching from full beard to shaved I decided to experiment with some of quirkier styles in between. My favorite one, that made me laugh out loud looking at it in the mirror was the friendly mutton chops.

https://bespokeunit.com/grooming/beards/imperial/

I felt like if I had been wearing a dress shirt, vest, and a black Kentucky colonel tie, I would fit right in tending bar in an Old West Saloon, pouring lord knows what from a jug with XX on it. I of course never went out in public with any of the weird facial hair styles and cleanly shaved down to a bald face. However photographic evidence remains.

Howard said...

Nietzsche and Hitler ruined mustache styles at both extremes. The handlebar is all they got. Just avert your eyes.

tim in vermont said...

Wear what you like, where your hair how you like, that way, if somebody is attracted to you, it’s you they are attracted to.

BJM said...

Bay Area Guy...Elliott's fullsome 'stach and mellow swagger are part of the attraction...but it's his voice. Elliott has the ladies at "Hello".

It's said that the Coen Bros kept him working because they like to hear him talk.

BJM said...

Maron's a judgmental twat. Brit Zack MacLeod Pinsent's Regency wardrobe is kind of cool.

Char Char Binks said...

I have no patience for Marc Maron. He's a leftist jackass, and not a very funny comedian.

Mr. Forward said...

I was a delivery system for handlebar mustaches. Every villain in Hollywood had Mustache Pete on speed dial. Pete had bought a small fleet of used ice cream bicycles. If you didn’t keep the ‘staches cold they would lose their twirl. I actually delivered our Salvador Dali special to Salvador Dali. He was a lousy tipper.

n.n said...

I have no patience for Marc Maron. He's a leftist jackass, and not a very funny comedian.

He's labeling and judging a choice which is generally inconsequential. On the other hand, what has been normalized with social progress... so very Pro-Choice.

Phidippus said...

I used to work with a guy who had a full beard and a mustache, which he never trimmed. Unless he was talking, he really looked like he didn't have a mouth.

I never saw him eat soup, but I'm guessing a fine-tooth comb was involved in addition to a spoon.

Bay Area Guy said...

Could be worse - in Berkeley, the women have handle-bar mustaches.......

Annie C. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Annie C. said...

gilbar, I'm losing my patience with waders and am going with wetsuit bottoms.

No drag from the current, all that flappy material gone, and I found a pair with a high waist

Howard said...

Farmer Jane wetsuit may be better Annie.

https://www.amazon.com/NRS-Womens-Farmer-Jane-Wetsuit/dp/B01NCTMS2G

mockturtle said...

When I kayaked in winter, the Farmer Jane wet suit was what I wore. I would hate to wear it in summer, though...

The Vault Dweller said...

At least the guy from the "Signs" song could tuck his hair up under his cap when he wanted to apply for a job. What is the handlebar mustachioed gentleman to do to sneakily get approval from someone like Mark Maron?

BJM said...

The Vault Dweller said...

"At least the guy from the "Signs" song could tuck his hair up under his cap when he wanted to apply for a job. What is the handlebar mustachioed gentleman to do to sneakily get approval from someone like Mark Maron?"

Engage a discrimination attorney and sue?

Ydobon said...

A different way of dealing with a handlebar moustache would be "hm...handlebar moustache...not my idea of attractive but I guess he feels differently" and then going on your way.

Ydobon said...

A different way of dealing with a handlebar moustache would be "hm...handlebar moustache...not my idea of attractive but I guess he feels differently" and then going on your way.

Narr said...

Wife says my 'stache and to a degree my hair are actually looking blonder. We know it's sun and chlorine, and my head is still mostly grey, but I'll take what I can get.

I sported the Franz Josef or Hindenburg (not too downy little) sidies for a few months, but even that is too hot most of the time; comfort is all.

There was a narrative around a few years ago 'splaining how all the steampunk hair harkened back to 19th century white racism, when there was so much distrust on the part of white men that they stopped going to black barbers.

Narr
No, really

n.n said...

Engage a discrimination attorney and sue?

Not unless it has democratic support (i.e. votes) or is politically congruent ("=").

Francisco D said...

Years ago, I had to shave my beard for a job, but kept the mustache. I tried to give it a handlebar twist, which is much harder than it seems, even with wax

I am also annoyed by handlebar mustaches and guys like Sam Elliot (who I saw last night in Gettysburg).

It's pure jealousy.

Marcus said...

In South Florida, men wear shorts in certain situations because it is HOT AF.

THEOLDMAN

Howard said...

Blogger Marcus said...

In South Florida, men wear shorts in certain situations because it is HOT AF.

THEOLDMAN


Sounds like something Titus would say. nttiawwt

MacMacConnell said...

I'm Althouse's age, I grew a handle bar mustache for some breast cancer fund raiser a decade ago and kept it. Every time I think of shaving it off friends and family protest. I don't wax or glue it, it just curls on the ends naturally.

I've dressed the same way since I was ten years old, spent my life in 501s or khakis and button down shirts. I've worn the same brand of shirt since the early seventies when Gant decided fuck up and go poly cotton. I spend little time shopping, I buy my shirts and trousers from a shop in Buffalo, NY on the web. They have my particulars on file. The only time consuming purchase is a new suit.

As buwaya said, good expensive shoes last a very long time. I've got Alden dress shoes I wore to the office today, never been resoled, I bought them in 1975.



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