Rubbish. Many Victorian men of all classes had mustaches. Just look at the photographs. A mustache is not an indecater of economic value. If a man had a cut throat razor, he could still grow a moustache it does not need maintaining. If shaving was expensive every Easter Ender would have had a full beard but they did 'nt.
Yes, I think cheap second hand razors were probably among items sold on street stalls. Very few men were completely clean shaven. Of course some men have very slight facial hair and have difficulty growing a mo. A light wispy one is about all that can be managed.
Richard, as I believe Hutch I like your theory. However, just before Astrakhan man approached Mary she asked Hutch for 'the lend of sixpence'. Would she not have thought she would get more money from her new well-dressed friend when he turned up ? Or was she planning to ditch A man in favour of her old mate Hutchinson if he had some cash?
Considering they were so poor, I find it difficult to believe Mary thought Hutchinson would be able to lend her a few bob. Presumably this fella who walked all the way to Kent to find work wasn't in the business of handing out money hand over fist to acquaintances. Added to that, with Mary being well behind in her repayments it's fair to say that no one else would lend her a few bob either.
The chances of Mary walking down the street and setting eyes upon someone thinking: "he'll lend me a few bob knowing I'm good for it", particularly when most of these people didn't have a pot to piss in between them and were doing their utmost just to survive, is pretty slim.