Face mask fashion: how masks are becoming both sensible and stylish choices

Photo by Alyssa Di Sabatino

Beyond its obvious benefits (i.e. blocking respiratory droplets that could potentially be carrying COVID-19 bacteria), the humble face masks has suddenly become a useful fashion staple.

UK-based fashion retailer PrettyLittleThing recently released a face mask bodycon dress for the affordable price of fifteen euros, which sold out quickly after model Lottie Moss was seen sporting the outfit. 

The black long-sleeved dress includes turtleneck-like fabric at the neckline which can be secured over the mouth and nose using the sewn-in ear straps.

While I’m not able to comment on how practical this dress may truly be to wear, it’s clear that face masks are evolving past their medical use. 

Culturally, Canadians have yet to fully and permanently adopt the face mask-wearing practice, unlike some other Asian countries where the practice is more common. 

With the Waterloo region extending the face mask bylaw until May, it looks like we’re going to be wearing face masks for a while. That’s all the more reason to find one that you really like. 

If you think about it, sunglasses, hats and umbrellas are all items that have practical and protective uses, but throughout time they’ve become fashion accessories more than anything. Who’s to say that this won’t eventually be the case with face masks as well? 

Now that we are approaching month nine of the pandemic, most people have decided to reserve medical masks for frontline workers and have begun the transition of wearing cloth ones for everyday use. 

With this, the act of wearing a face mask has become more sustainable and normalized, it’s even becoming trendy. 

Personally, I am not against a world where people who show cold or flu symptoms are considerate of others and choose to wear a face mask in public, even once we are well past the threat of COVID-19. 

Regardless, until the threat of this pandemic has been lowered, people should embrace the protection that masks give them as well as the stylish potential that they have.

One of the interesting things about the new demand for face masks is how small businesses, local retailers and home-made crafters have been able to capitalize on this need by producing their own homemade masks for purchase. 

At this point you can walk into any store, from 7-11 to H&M, and expect to find some face masks placed cleverly among the rest of their merchandise.

Face masks are also awfully convenient for when you want to play it low-key and don’t particularly feel like getting ready (we love a good air of mystery).  

Essentially, you can spruce up any outfit with a face mask in a matter of seconds. Think of it in respect to how you may conceal your “bad hair day” with a hat. 

So, although it is polarizing to some, wearing a mask means you value your health and the health of those around you.

While some people may think they’re protecting their personal liberties by refusing to wear a mask, isn’t it better to use your mask as a statement piece rather than making a statement by not wearing a mask? Think about that, mask-deniers.

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