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    This article originally appeared in the November 2015 issue of Louisville Magazine. 
    To subscribe to Louisville Magazine, please click here.

     

    Patrick Fette leaned forward, inched his face closer to the judges, eye-level. This would be the third and last time the judges at the 2015 Just for Men-sponsored World Beard & Moustache Championships would inspect Fette’s English ’stache. He had worked hard to perfect his four-year-old whiskers: 14 inches across tip-to-straight-out-tip. Trimmed the mustache down a couple inches so it wouldn’t sag. Rid it of stray hairs. Made sure to buy a fresh tube of Clubman’s Moustache Wax before the competition, applied it, then added a layer of the crazy-sticky Firehouse wax on top for extra hold. 

    The 29-year-old search-engine evaluator completed his look with a Downton Abbey-esque costume: white button-up, white vest, black tux (unlike the Civil War generals who inspired his facial-hair obsession). Last month, Fette was the only Louisvillian among the 300 competitors in Austria for the competition. (There were many mustachioed and bearded categories.  “I can’t grow a beard,” Fette says.) None of his dudes in the Derby City Whisker Club — with an active 20 or so members meeting monthly at Za’s, talking all things mustaches and beards and their July charity event, Whiskermania — could cross countries, but they cheered from home. Fette had won many competitions before.

    One last look, and the judges’ Olympic-style score cards went up: five 10s, a nine and an eight, highest and lowest scores dropped: 49/50. Damn near perfect. First place, and an Alps-inspired quartz trophy, a pat to the heart, a giant hand-wave, and mouthing to the judges, unsure of the languages they spoke: “Thank you.” 

     

    This article originally appeared in the November 2015 issue of Louisville Magazine. 
    To subscribe to Louisville Magazine, please click here.


    Photo by Lain Crockart

     

     

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