Goatees vs Mustaches: What’s Trendier in 2021?

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Goatees vs Mustaches: What’s Trendier in [year]?

Goatees and mustaches have been part of facial hair styles going back centuries, with many men trying them at least once. The goatee is a shapeshifter among facial hair styles. Goatees had their biggest moment in the mid-90s, but they continue to command a following of men of all ages attracted to wearing the style.

To some, it can indicate a certain discomfort with commitment, as a transitional beard style. [year] sees it transition into a number of popular variations, such as the full circle, the balbo, and the extended goatee. Goatees have the upperhand in their ability to structure and shape a face with more masculine characteristics.

Mustaches are also hitting a resurgence in [year] as a style for the bold and confident. Similar to the goatee, the mustache has suffered some negative connotations in the past, but [year] sees it rebranding itself, as men express themselves with strong handlebars, cop mustaches, and even large walruses.

Men’s Goatee Styles for [year]

Many find the traditional goatee to be dated. It’s often thought of as an aging trend, that many younger men have fled from. However, the goatee has brought in popular variations that are going strong.

The Extended Goatee

The extended goatee is a versatile style that extends a dense chin beard across the jawline, as if combining a goatee and chin strap. The style is often complemented with a mustache, which may or may not be connected to the beard. This offers more coverage than a traditional goatee, while also strengthening the definition of the jawline.

The Full Circle (aka Full Goatee)

Perhaps the most common kind of goatee today, the full circle is exactly what it sounds like, a mustache and goatee combination that is fully connected on the sides. This makes a circle around the mouth, creating a strong pointed appearance. The area outside the circle and hair across the cheeks can be shaved clean or left with a little stubble.

The Balbo

While technically its own style with its own history, the balbo shares similarities with the goatee, combining a trimmed and styled chin beard with a mustache and soul patch. Contemporary versions of the balbo allow the soul patch part of the beard to connect with the lower chin beard and thicken the lower line of the beard, which cuts down on the maintenance and provides strong, sharp lines for defining the face.

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The Scruffy Goat

The Scruffy Goat is a style of mustache-beard hybrid that picked up after the goatee boom. It emphasizes a big mustache and big goatee that are connected by about a week’s growth of scruff and stubble on the cheeks. Cleaner versions of this look allow the circle beard goatee to have prominence, and then maintain a more trimmed stubble on the cheeks.

Are Mustaches on Trend in [year]?

Mustaches are finally being liberated from some of the negative connotations that they gained in the 70’s are opening back up as a more widespread phenomena. The elevation of the mustache has happened as a result of the influential Movember and a feeling of backlash against how common and trendy beards have become in the last decade.

Common trends and versions include the hipster mustache that indicates freer spirit and level of self-confidence. The idea behind this is that beards can be grown to mask various parts of the face that someone might feel uncomfortable about. However, a mustache is incapable of masking this way, and instead draws attention as an aesthetic choice or ornament on the face.

Mustaches that Are Big in [year]

The Handlebar

The handlebar mustache is among the most common today. It requires styling and particularly the use of mustache wax to make curls on the ends of the mustache. The styling in this case is a reward in itself of the mustache and this particular kind of mustache tends to be grown for the pure pleasure of having and cultivating it. The associations that go along with the handlebar mustache tend to be twee and hipster, calling back to a traditional English, tweed-wearing style.

The Cop

The cop mustache is a close rival in popularity to the handlebar. This is possibly due to the ease of keeping it clean since it does not grow below the lip, and therefore will not require you to whip out some mustache wax for a midday restyling. Since this is a more clean-cut style, it does require some grooming and trimming.

The Walrus

The walrus is the full beard of the mustaches. This is a bold look for someone who really wants to see what their mustache is capable of. It also tends to be easier to shape and groom, because it’s thick and gives you a lot of hair to work with. You can use wax or other oils and balms with a walrus, but too much can cause it to look strange, when the ideal walrus is more natural.

The Beardstache

The beardstache is a big trend in 2019. This is a distinctive style where the mustache is growing thicker and longer than the beard. Beardstaches are a versatile style that can be adapted to just about any beard style you like. Careful handling of the beard trimmer can allow the mustache maintains distinctive lines as it fades into the beard. One common use of the beardstache style is the handlebar mustache plus stubble.

Tips for Mustache Trimming

  • Comb the mustache hair downward to get a feel for how much needs to be trimmed. If you want to clear away some of the bulk, comb the hair away from your face, and then use your scissors to trim the top layer.
  • Try to relax and maintain your normal face when trimming, as opposed to smiling or making an expression. This will help you make sure that your mustache remains even for every expression.
  • Use mustache scissors as opposed to electric clippers to allow for more dexterity and achieve a natural-looking result.
  • Use grooming scissors to trim the area under your nose (the philtrum).
  • It’s best to make sure that you mustache isn’t going over your upper lips.
  • We derive a lot of information regarding expression and body language from slight observations of the mouth, and particularly the corners of the mouth. This means that mustache wearers who are interested in training and styling their mustache with trimming and wax can really influence how people perceive the things you say and how you speak.

Trends come and go, but for a look to really feel at home on your face, it has to match your genetics, including your ability to grow facial hair and your face shape. So even if it doesn’t necessarily fit the current trends, go ahead and play to your strengths. Making a whole style of your own that you can feel confident in is more important than catching the trend of the day, and who knows, maybe the trends will follow you.


  • Rebecca Moses

    Depending on the day, you’ll find Rebecca in a well thought-out ensemble that she handcrafted herself, or in hiking and rock climbing gear. An avid outdoorswoman, cyclist, and cat lover, Rebecca reminds us all on the Groom+Style team just how much we need to get outdoors. She’s worked in spas and salons off and on before going full-time with the G+S team. Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rebecca-moses-3158b914b/