15 Inspiring Pencil Mustaches from Past to Present


Pencil Thin Mustache Styles

For centuries, artists, musicians, and legends of old have rocked the pencil thin mustache. This easily identifiable mustache style is just as you’d expect: a mustache so thin yet thick that it almost appears drawn above the upper lip.

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What is a Pencil Mustache?

A Pencil Mustache is a sophisticated thin mustache grown bordering or floating just above the upper lip. The style is precisely trimmed in the shape of a thin line and some variations include a mid-line gap, creating the appearance of two halves. The “pencil” reference comes from its visual style, as if drawn in with a pencil.

When trimmed and styled to perfection, this dapper mustache sets its wearer apart from all others, aligning himself with famous men like Clark Gable, Vincent Price, and Billy Dee Williams, AKA Lando Calrissian, who referred to it as a “forgot it was there mustache.”

Want to style your upper lip with a pencil mustache? You don’t necessarily have to follow any strict guidelines.

Celebrities with Pencil Thin Mustaches

1. Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt Pencil Mustache Goatee
Brad pairs a pencil mustache with a goatee.

2. Pedro Pascal

Pedro Pascal Pencil Thin Mustache and Patchy Beard
Pedro Pascal Pencil-Thin Mustache and Patchy Beard.

3. Henry Cavill

Henry Cavill Pencil Mustache
Henry Cavill Thicker Style Pencil Mustache.

4. Diego Luna

Diego Luna Pencil Mustache and Scruff Beard
The Narcos star Diego Luna Pencil – Mustache and Scruff Beard.

5. Orlando Bloom

Orlando Bloom Thin Mustache and Chin Beard
The always suave Orlando Bloom – Thin Mustache and Chin Beard.

6. Milo Ventimiglia Pencil Mustache

Milo Ventimiglia Pencil Mustache
Milo Ventimiglia Pencil Mustache. Image source: GQ

7. Clark Gable Pencil Mustache

Clark Gable Pencil Mustache Style
The Famous Clark Gable Pencil Mustache

8. Vincent Price Pencil Mustache

Vincent Price Pencil Thin Mustache
Mr. Macabre, Vincent Price with a Classic Thin Mustache.

9. Andre 3000

Andre 3000 Thin Style Mustache
Andre 3000 looking cool as ice with Thin Style Mustache and neon beanie.

10. Antonio Banderas

Antonio Banderas Razor Thin Mustache
Antonio Banderas sporting just a thin line of hair in this Razor Thin Mustache. Image source: Spy Kids Wiki.

11. Salvador Dali Mustache

Salvador Dali Unique Pencil Mustache
We’d be remiss not to post Salvador Dali’s unique pencil mustache.

12. Johnny Depp Mustache

Johnny Depp Pencil Mustache & Goatee
See more Johnny Depp beard styles.

13. Errol Flynn Pencil Mustache

Errol Flynn Thin Mustache
Errol Flynn with his Old Hollywood Thin Mustache.

14. Sammy Davis Jr

Sammy Davis Jr Mustache
Rat Packer Sammy Davis Jr Mustache.

15. David Niven Pencil Mustache

David Niven Mustache
David Niven Classic Style Mustache.

What Face Shape is Best?

We believe that anyone can shape a mustache to fit their upper lip, but our research suggests that round, oval, and square faces look their best with this style.

See our Definitive Guide to Face Shapes

How to Get the Pencil Thin Mustache

If you want this neat, trim mustache, you’ll need an electric trimmer and barber shears to style this look neatly. See our Complete Guide to Mustache Trimming.

In addition, you want to let your mustache grow out until it’s quite long so you have some room to shave without the fear of cutting too much away.

Here are some tips to get the perfect pencil moustache:

  1. Start with a high guard or comb on your electric trimmer with sharp razor blades
  2. Pick the pencil mustache shape you like best
  3. Wash and dry your mustache hair first
  4. Comb out your mustache hair with downward strokes

After growing a pencil mustache, you must trim your facial hair daily. You’ll shape out the thin moustache just above your upper lip, then trim around the edges and bottom lip. Remember to go slowly to prevent uneven edges. 

  • Start with a longer guard (#4 or higher) and shave over your mustache until it’s all one length – use shorter guards until it’s the right length
  • For the most clean shaven edges around the pencil mustache, remove all guards and place your trimmer under your nose, then shave down slowly – just a half-inch to start with
  • Carefully trim around the top of the mustache and the sides, making sure they’re even with the corners of your mouth
  • Keep your mustache flush with the top of your lip, or use barber shears to trim beard hair away, a very slender line just above the upper lip
  • Apply a dab of mustache wax or beard oil to shape and shine your facial hair

The key to this style is not shaving more than you have to and keeping it aligned with the shape of your mouth. Anything too short on the sides, above, or below may throw off the shape of your face.

Step-by-step visual guide – video from Gillette


What is the most famous mustache?

The most famous mustache is arguably Salvador Dali’s, the renowned surrealist painter. His distinctively curved mustache, styled after that of 17th-century artist Diego Velazquez, remains an enduring symbol of his flamboyant personality and innovative artistic style.

Is a pencil mustache attractive?

The attractiveness of a pencil mustache is subjective and varies from person to person. Some may find it stylish and refined, reminiscent of classic Hollywood era glamour. However, others might not favor it. Ultimately, personal preference and individual style play a significant role.

When was pencil mustache popular?

The pencil mustache gained prominence in the 1940s and 1950s. Iconic figures like actor Clark Gable and musician Little Richard wore this style, influencing many men’s grooming choices. It’s characterized by a thin line of hair just above the upper lip.

Who is the famous man with a hat and mustache?

The famous man with a hat and mustache is typically recognized as Albert Einstein. Known as a theoretical physicist, Einstein’s influential work revolutionized our understanding of physics, earning him a Nobel Prize and global recognition.

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I'm the founder of Bald & Beards, an amateur barber and I've been obsessed with men's grooming, styles, and trends for over 20 years.