The mustache was intensely popular during the Victorian times. Many men cultivated exaggerated, even dramatic mustache/beard combinations and the cult of waxing elaborate mustaches became a very popular art form. What was it about the mustache that it became such a fashion for dandies in the Victorian times?
With the end of French dominance and the fashion of male wigs in Europe, a new cultural force began to dominate, and with it a new expression of panache. For whereas the gentlemen under French inspiration covered their head in huge wigs, and rouged their cheek almost in competition with women, men of the 19th Century, under the growing Anglo/Germanic inspiration, cast aside the periwig and instead grew a face full of whiskers; their own Anglo-Germanic version of masculine stylish panache.
Thus it was that over the course of the 19th Century that the practice of pogonology (the art of facial hair) was refined as an art form, and gentlemen expressed masculine fashion by growing a fine set of whiskers. Out of the fashion developed an entire industry of facial hair maintenance, with special combs, curlers, dyes, clippers, nets, guards, trainers and protectors....even cups and spoons.
This trend would end with the Belle Epoque when men would value being clean-shaven, but for about a century the mustache had a sort of heyday as the symbol of masculine panache.
Text reference: http://www.thedandy.org/home