Saving the Kaiser's Legacy: The Imperial Moustache Saving the Kaiser's Legacy: The Imperial Moustache
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Saving the Kaiser’s Legacy: The Imperial Moustache

Beard and moustache championships all have their rules for the many styles of facial hair. I have found myself a bit perturbed by the non-enforcement of the rules established by the most prominent contests for a much neglected style, the Imperial Moustache.

Erster Weltkrieg - Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Kaiser Wilhelm II with his up-swept moustache.

The US Nationals and World championship’s definition of an Imperial Moustache style define it as “Small and bushy with tips arching up.” yet the pictures we see of winners in this category do not at all conform to the bushy requirement. The difference is glaring. They are all waxed into solid curls and don’t resemble the Kaiser’s mo at all. They look like a normal handlebar moustache waxed into curls.


Myself with a curly Imperial style. The curls are expanded, not waxed solid, and styled upward as much as possible.

Secondly, I think the definition is faulty, regardless of where they got it. When you look at photos of Kaiser Wilhelm II, the inspiration for the style, a majority of them have no evidence that the hair was trimmed back to the corners of the mouth. Some very clearly show a wide growth area and are not at all “small”. Judging by the proportions I would say he included the entire upper lip hair growth pad out to the smile lines. It was also clearly not waxed into curls or sharp points.

My definition would be: bushy and up-swept, with little or no hair below it’s roots, with only tips held together with product. Growth area extends out to the smile lines.

I don’t know what it would take to get this category set right. From what I hear, competitions don’t always operate as people would hope. I’m just a stickler for some modicum of accuracy. How can you compete when the standard is not held up? If the Imperial style was better defined and enforce it would encourage more men to participate as many, like myself, do not care to trim in the sides of their moustaches in order to qualify for this category.

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