This 17th-century style was introduced by the Flemish painter Anthony Van Dyke. It consists of separated mustache and a goatee with clean-shaven cheeks. There are a lot of small variations in this style that include handlebar mustache, soul patch, and the various goatee styles. Most famous variations are the “Doc Holiday” and the “Mistletoe” although they never did gain a lot of fame.
The Van Dyke is a style best suited to the artistic type of personality. It’s a bit narcissistic style because of all the flattering that comes with it. I would say that square and round faces would benefit more from this particular mustache style. The two lines descending past the mouth add some vertical direction to the face, making it appear longer.
The oldest recorded mustache dates back to at around 300 B.C.
Shaping and Trimming Your Van Dyke
Its best to grow a full beard, so you’ll have plenty of material to work with. The main tools that you will need are a trimmer and a razor if your trimmer doesn’t have an edge function.
Start with trimming your beard to about 1.5 cm in length. The whiskers should be no longer than 2.5 cm
Use the trimmer to create a straight line from the outside and inside corner of your lips to your chin. The line should be distanced about 5 mm from your lips. You choose how thick you want to be your whiskers.
Make sure the upper edge of your mustache is also nice and clean.
When you are all done stylizing the mustache, depending on your preferences you should shape your soul patch or goatee. The form and length can vary and is left to the wearer to chose.
Keep in mind that this beard style requires regular maintenance. You should shave the neck, chin, and cheeks every few days to keep it clean. Also, don’t forget the regular oils and balms treatment. Find out more in our in-depth grooming guide.