Soul patch

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Howie Mandel's soul patch.

The soul patch (also known as a mouche or a jazz dot)[1] 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.[2] Jazz flute players who disliked the feel of the flute mouthpiece on a freshly-shaven lower lip also sported the look.


A longer version is known as an imperial, after Napoleon III of France (an heir and lesser light of the better known emperor), especially when worn with a handlebar mustache.[citation needed]

Frank Zappa claimed his was called an Imperial in honor of Little Anthony.[citation needed]

Stevie Ray Vaughan sported a version called a "soul tip", which was small and triangular.[3][unreliable source?]


  1. ^ "mouche, n." OED Online. June 2003. Oxford University Press. Accessed October 11, 2010: "a small patch of beard shaped and allowed to grow under the lower lip".
  2. ^ Maggin, Donald L.: Dizzy: The Life and Times of John Birks Gillespie. HarperCollins, 2005
  3. ^ "Stevie Ray Vaughan FAQ - Section 5: Page 2 of 2". Retrieved 13 September 2015.