Chicago’s legendary coaches and managers all had furry upper lips when they clinched championships. Mike Ditka of the Bears. The Bulls’ Phil Jackson. Ozzie Guillen from the Sox. And the Blackhawks’ Joel Quenneville. Must be the luck of the ‘stache.
“There’s no denying the performance-enhancing ability of the mustache,” said Aaron Perlut, president of the American Mustache Institute. Related Can you guess that celeb ‘stache?
The so-called facial hair think tank and faux advocacy group on Wednesday is set to announce Chicago as America’s most “mustache-friendly” city, citing our reputation for harboring the likes of firefighters, police officers and athletes with lip fuzz. The style is expected to get more attention in November as Chicagoans grow lip sweaters for fundraisers such as Movember and Mustaches for Kids.
But is the ‘stache – which undoubtedly has seen its popularity climb in recent years—still cool? “I think it’s sexy,” said Erica Badie, 27, a social worker who lives in the Loop. Badie, whose boyfriend had a mustache, is all about it. She carries a mustache-shaped mint case and even has a mustache-design pillow at home. And the trend doesn’t seem to be fading.
Look no further than Urban Outfitters, where shoppers can buy mustache mugs, pint glasses and even bandages sporting the motif. And a number of bars have hosted mustache-themed parties. The American Mustache Institute, based in St. Louis, will host its annual ‘Stache Bash on Oct. 28 at Joe’s Bar near Goose Island. That’s when the Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year will be announced.
Although the mustache has had a dry spell for years, evidence of an uptick abounds. Celebs such as Brad Pitt and George Clooney have been known to groom their upper lip whiskers, as have hipsters and millennials. Last month, the Chicago Beard Union sprouted up as a local chapter of Beard Team USA, a competitive facial hair group that has had members featured on IFC’s reality show “Whisker Wars.”
Q101.com pal Jeremy Scheuch, 32, of Humboldt Park, grew his handlebar mustache eight years ago for a theme party. He decided he liked it and has kept it ever since. Not even Scheuch’s wife, Maya, who has been with him for three years, has seen him without his ‘stache—except in pictures.
“It’s really playful. It’s a nice feature for his face,” she said. She, interestingly, has her own instant mustache – in the form of a tattoo on her index finger. Scheuch’s stache is definitely a conversation starter. Some people tell him it looks horrible. Others ask how he gets it to stay on because they think it’s fake, especially around Halloween. Guys congratulate him on it. When a girl says, “I like your mustache,” he sometimes gives her a smart-ass remark: “I like yours too.”