How Nose Masks Have Evolved From PPE Wear to a Fashion Statement

Fashion and Masks in the Age of Coronavirus - The New York Times

What began as a simple method of COVID-19 protection has turned into the latest trend in the fashion world. Face masks have been gaining popularity steadily, mainly for protection purposes and decreasing one’s chances of catching COVID-19, and now as a means of creative expression likewise.

While many or fashion brands started to create face masks with leftover fabric scraps and the intention to fill a void in the market when these masks were most needed, some brands seem to have developed into more of a fashion ‘trend’ these days. However, there is a range of advantages to buying any of these masks; one of the main ones is the fact that they can be washed and reused.

People need to wear nose masks in public spaces, and it has even been mandated virtually in all countries. With a new law like this, the demand for what was once considered only appropriate for doctors (pre-coronavirus times) comes new and higher. As such, even local brands have started to produce and sell face masks – but as face masks change their place in the consumer market, this questions how successful these branded or trendy masks are, and whether their function will be eventually forgotten or not.

How effective is “Fashionable” Face Masks

The global demand for face masks has skyrocketed since April-and maybe even late March. So much so that Etsy (an e-commerce website) face mask sales dramatically increased in early April, according to GREY Fashion customer reviews.

However, with more and more fashion brands adding face masks to their selection of apparel, one may wonder how successful they are correct. A cloth face covering is recommended, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and there’s even a section on their website that shows people how to make one’s face mask at home.

They note on the official website of the CDC, “a cloth face cover does not shield the wearer, but it may prevent the wearer from transmitting the virus to others.” And so, maybe most people’s disposable surgical masks would not be too different from wearing a cloth face mask. But there are different retail styles and a variety of design considerations that need to be kept in mind.

Feel good, but remember the Purpose

Maybe it’s best to make the most out of the given situation during such unpredictable and stressful times. If you now have to wear a public mask by regulation, why not wear a mask in which you feel both safe and reasonable? Since the face mask becomes a required part of our everyday wardrobe, why not express ourselves as we do with the rest of our outfit through it?

Global and local fashion brands, as they provide face masks that are slightly more ‘inviting,’ can offer people a sense of relief. However, the intent of those masks must not be overlooked along the way and specific aspects of design that still need to be taken into account.

Although some brands may simply be ‘hopping on the bandwagon’ to keep pace with the latest trends and make sales, others (notably smaller local businesses) seem genuinely keen to support their communities. Distinguishing between the two is essential, so as not to allow PPE wear to transform into a mere fashion commodity.