Face masks are a study of form and function
As the world takes cover, protecting ourselves and those around us becomes a study of form and function
HUMANS ARE TRULY two-faced creatures. Throughout history, masks have been adopted by various cultures for a variety of reasons. They’ve played a role in ceremonial rituals, battles, religion, entertainment, sports, fashion and in the medical and scientific communities.
But never before has the world collectively adopted the mask for a single cause – the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Despite becoming a divisive issue, wearing a non-medical mask should be one of the tools in your arsenal in the battle to end this pandemic. The mask should be viewed as an extra layer of protection – since we’ve learned that some people are asymptomatic, wearing a mask in public limits the spread of infectious droplets and protects others. But face coverings alone are not enough. Stay the course with the frequent washing of hands, avoiding touching your mouth, eyes and nose and continuing physical distancing – all vital measures.
With mandatory mask laws all but a reality at press time, buying a reusable, washable non-medical cloth mask has never been easier and with an array
of options. This has paved the way for a burgeoning fabric mask industry as retailers and designers pivot to keep pace with this new musthave. Consider a mask not unlike your reading glasses. For some individuals, esthetics will play a part in the design of an item that is displayed on their faces every day.
And it’s important to note that the readily available, standardissue blue face masks typically worn in the medical community are disposable and should be discarded after wearing once, as the inside is absorbent and can collect bacteria and moisture.
If those types of masks are too clinical and environmentally unsustainable for your taste, a creative choice is the perfect canvas to convey various traits – from personal style to cultural identity. And like coveted accessories, some masks have already hit bestseller status. After Marc Jacobs and Gwyneth Paltrow posted pics of themselves wearing the futuristic Airinum mask, the Scandinavian brand now has a waiting list for their pricey multi-layered masks, which claim to filter air pollutants, bacteria, wildfire smoke and more.
Karyn Ruiz of Lilliput Hats is renown for her fanciful chapeaus, and her face masks are equally spectacular. Lace print with red rose, $70, lilliputhats.com
A plastic l if face shield hi ld propped d up on a classic ball cap design can be an alternative to a cloth mask for situations where you need to communicate with someone who relies on reading your lips. Gemelli hat with removable PVC face cover, $48, shopbop.com