Wearing a face mask is now second nature to most of us since becoming mandatory on public transport, as well as all shops and any space where social distancing isn't possible. What might not be second nature is the idea of a fashion face mask, a search term that is currently sky-rocketing on Google.
Of course, the idea of a fashion face mask has been steadily gaining speed since celebrities, snapped going about their daily lives wearing all manner of face coverings, became unwitting ambassadors for staying safe and looking stylish while doing so. As far back as April 2019, the demand for masks meant the searches surged by 496%, according to global fashion search platform Lyst. ‘Fashion lovers are seeking masks that express their personal style, in some cases looking to the world's most powerful fashion brands for this highly personal item. With demand skyrocketing as face masks become a necessity around the world, the most-wanted styles are now listed for many times their original price on resale platforms,’ said Katy Lubin, Lyst’s VP of communications, at the time.
While some were quick to suggest that the fashion world was capitalising on the coronavirus, in actual fact there were many brands making face masks as part of charitable initiatives. Many also offered tutorials on how to make your own mask as an alternative to spending money on one, while others just struggled to keep masks in stock. The Vampire's Wife, for example, found its masks had sold out within minutes of landing online.
Concerned about fogging up when wearing a mask with your glasses? At the end of last year, searches for wearing specs with face coverings increased by 242%. Giles Edmonds, Specsaver's clinical services director, shares his tips for tackling steaming and slipping:
How Do You Wear A Face Covering With Glasses?
- Stop slipping by wrapping the string of the facemask around the sides of your glasses, rather than your ears – just make sure you’re careful when taking off your glasses as your mask will be attached
- If you can (and it’s comfortable), pull your mask further up your nose and place glasses on top. This will help seal the mask around your nose, stopping the warm air from your breath escaping and steaming up your lenses
- Try using a piece of surgical tape to hold your mask in place on the bridge of your nose and give your specs additional grip
As masks become our new normal, more high street brands have started to sell their own reusable masks, from Mango to ASOS. It makes sense that people are seeking out styles that they feel comfortable wearing. Just like the shoes on our feet or the gloves on our hands during winter, practical, protective clothing can also be a signifier of personal style.
SHOP: Stylish, Reusable Face Masks
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