It looks like we’re going to be wearing cloth face masks for a while, which is all the more reason to find one that you like. The CDC has been recommending that people wear masks when going out in public for weeks. And yesterday Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an order that New Yorkers must wear masks in public places where social distancing six feet is not possible. (Cuomo specified that people would not be jailed for not wearing a mask, but fines could be issued.) Similar orders have been issued in New Jersey and Puerto Rico, but wearing a fabric mask as a civilian is now common sense, provided you can afford and access one. So for the foreseeable future, we’ll be wearing masks to the grocery store, on walks and runs, and maybe even after the crisis abates. Given the prevalence of mask selfies, it’s likely that masks will start to become fashion items, rather than merely functional.
The best face masks for civilians to wear are made of cloth. Leave the surgical masks and N95s for the healthcare professionals and essential workers. Besides, designers have been in the fabric-mask game for a long time. Billie Eilish wore a Gucci face covering (that’s, uh, probably not CDC approved) to the Grammys before the coronavirus was a pandemic in the United States. Fendi, Palm Angels, and Marine Serre have all made masks. Christian Siriano turned his business into a mask-making machine for hospitals. And many, including Collina Strada’s Hillary Taymour, have offered tutorials on how to make one at home.
But people are still looking for masks they don’t have to make themselves. Etsy’s landing page has become all about the mask, and the company disclosed that between April 4 and 6, people searched for masks on the site an average of 9 times per second, totaling more than 2 million searches. Supply on Etsy has also exploded, as the number of mask sellers on the site increased fivefold in the last week of March and the first week of April.
Masks are not a fashion accessory, but they do take up a fair amount of real estate on your face, so it’s not surprising that people are looking for aesthetically pleasing ones. With that in mind, below is a selection of the most stylish masks to buy now. Some sellers are even doing a buy-one-donate-one offering.
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