The mustache hadn’t really been a huge fad since the turn of the 20th century.
During the Depression and the World War II years, most men were clean shaven, especially white collar workers and professionals.
Mustaches were reserved for cowboys and some other country folk, but certainly not urban types.
However, the 70s changed all of that. Suddenly, it wasn’t unusual for professionals to wear a mustache and, for the most part, the women loved it.
In the 70s, mustaches were all the rage - certainly more so than today - though their style was pretty ordinary. No fancy handlebars or curly-cues. Just a nice thick mustache that sat proudly over the top lip, fairly full but nicely manicured with a slight downward turn.
In the 1970s, the mustache was a sure sign that the man sporting it was a sex symbol – or at least he thought he was. The decade’s most popular sexy celebrities made the 70s mustache a must-have for men who wanted the ladies to pay lots of attention to them.
Probably the most famous 70s sex symbol with a mustache was the one and only Burt Reynolds. Reynolds was a star of both television and films and had a large female following, but what really catapulted Reynolds – and his mustache – to fame was his nude centerfold in Cosmopolitan magazine. After that, everyone wanted a Burt Reynolds mustache!
Also sporting that same 70s mustache was Tom Selleck, star of television’s Magnum PI. The sexy TV detective still wears the same mustache today. Like Burt Reynolds, women swooned over Selleck’s famous facial hair.
The other celebrity that comes to mind when talking 70s mustaches is Sam Elliott, whose mustache was quite prominent and attracted plenty of attention. Elliott was best known for his role in a variety of 70s mini-series and then went on to develop an impressive movie career in the 80s.
His mustache was dark and full and sometimes resembled the popular horseshoe mustache of the Wild West, depending on what role he was playing at the time.
Overall, mustaches remained popular until the end of the decade and into the 80s. Since that time, the mustache disappeared and then reappeared again, but no decade ever embraced the mustache as much as the 70s.