The soul patch (also known as a mouche) is a small patch of facial hair just below the lower lip and above the chin. It came to prominence in the 1950s and 1960s, when it was a style of facial hair common among African American men, most notably jazzmen. It became popular with beatniks, artists, and those who frequented the jazz scene and moved in literary and artistic circles. Jazz trumpeters in particular preferred the goatee for the comfort it provided when using a trumpet mouthpiece.
The soul patch has become a common facial fashion among young men.
A longer version is known as an imperial, after Napoleon III of France, especially when worn with a handlebar mustache.
- ^ "mouche, n." OED Online. June 2003. Oxford University Press. accessed 11 Oct 2010 - "a small patch of beard shaped and allowed to grow under the lower lip"
- ^ Maggin, Donald L.: Dizzy: The Life and Times of John Birks Gillespie. HarperCollins, 2005