Looks like we’ll be wearing face masks for a while longer, which is all the more reason to find one you like. The CDC has begun advising people to reuse masks in indoor public spaces, even if vaccinated, as the delta variant causes spikes in cases. The vaccine is very effective in preventing COVID19 hospitalizations, and although breakthrough cases are rare, they do occur and are likely to be contagious. Wearing a mask as a civilian is common sense today.
The best face masks to use are made of two layers of breathable material that hugs your face, either cloth or disposable. Of course, the N95s, preferred by healthcare professionals and key workers, are also an option. But designers have been in the cloth mask game for a long time. Billie Eilish wore a Gucci face cover (which probably wasn’t approved by the CDC) for the Grammys before the coronavirus was a pandemic in the United States. Fendi, Palm Angels and Marine Serre made masks. And in early 2020, Christian Siriano turned his store into a hospital mask machine. And many, including Hillary Taymour of Collina Strada, have offered tutorials on how to create one at home.


Taymour, like many other fashion designers, saw a possible solution. We needed to wear masks to stop the virus from spreading—but why couldn’t we wear ones that were dementedly happy? She set about translating her line’s psychedelic exuberance into $100 face coverings. They featured whimsical patterns made from deadstock fabrics and tied with theatrical bows. “It helped me stay optimistic during a really dark time for fashion,” she recently said.


From the mask, another range of accessories began to evolve about six months ago: jewelled lanyards. From evil eye beads to pearls, you name it and an online search will find it for you. Clearly, masks are now being designed for specific activities and ages. Popular sports apparel brands have introduced masks for runners.


In times of the coronavirus, face coverings, whether they be cloth or medical masks, neck gaiters or face protection, are always on hand when you are away from home. In fact, masks become our style and how we express it, like any other accessory in our wardrobe. This includes men, many of whom have beards or facial hair, or are taller in stature, so look for oversized male face covers or face masks specifically designed for men.


There are monochrome masks but if you love a bolder fashion print, you can find masks in Versace-style baroque or the bestselling Off-White designer face masks which immediately sold out and are now back in stock.

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