The Arrival of Mask Style

Mask-wearing isn't going away any time soon, so its time to think about mask style.

As it seems that mask-wearing will be with us for a considerable time to come, maybe it is time to be thinking about what to wear and what it says. There is the OG, the medical surgery-style mask, those lightweight blue and white ones that have a certain purity vibe about them. These are meant to be disposable, good in the sense of less chance of viral transmission, less good in the sense of wasteful consumption. There are the ever desirable N95 masks, either the medical or industrial types. These are not that comfortable to wear for long periods however they seem to do a reasonably good job of protecting the wearer from inhaling bad stuff.

The Paris post-fashion-show look.

Is Your Mask for Protecting Yourself or Others?

As a fashion statement, they indicate a certain seriousness that bandana-wearing lacks. Part of the decision to wear an N95, or something even more serious, comes down to thinking: Are you wanting to protect yourself, or are you protecting others? There is a total head enclosure with fan-based breathing system available on Amazon for around $800 if you’re into the the total-body prophylactic vibe.

If you really, really want to be safe….

The Word Outfit Has Come to Mean the Shoe-to-Mask

But let’s assume that a more moderate route is preferred. You need a mask, but you are not a front-line worker. What are the options? We first started noticing serious mask styles come out of, where else, Paris. The brand-coordinated look, or the color-coordinated look, or the ironic look. President Macron doing TV addresses with a sharply tailored navy blue mask featuring a discrete French tricolor on the side — nice look. Then we started to notice how skillfully Nancy Pelosi has taken to coordinating her scarf looks. Clearly, the word outfit has come to mean not just the shoe-to-neck, but now shoe-to-mask. A future of buying a face covering at the same time one gets the rest of the outfit seems to be in the cards.

Nancy styles.
The repurposed fabric mask.

For the rest of us who just need a day-to-day go-to mask, what should we do? Maybe we can’t be bothered with yet another daily fashion decision and we also want something less puritan than the standard medical issue variety. We reached out to AGEIST’s authority on streetwear, Jonathan Cheung, to get his recommendations. Quick disclaimer: we don’t have any information on how medically useful any of these are, this is just about style.

For the fashionista. These are made from shoe bags. There are tons of versions of these here.
A new look from Everlane.
Everlane 3 mask pack. Currently sold out, but expect more soon.
This what I ordered from Amazon for $11.77.

Show us what your solutions are. Send us images of your mask style and we will run them in the next few weeks. Email us here. 



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David Stewart
David is the founder and face of AGEIST. He is an expert on, and a passionate champion of the emerging global over-50 lifestyle. A dynamic speaker, he is available for panels, keynotes and informational talks at david@agei.st.


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