As Kate Middleton Proves, We’ve Entered A New Phase Of Face Mask Wearing

Face masks have fully transitioned from medical necessity to wardrobe basic - I guess we've accepted that they're here to stay


by Rebecca Holman |
Published on

As the latest pictures dropped of The Duchess Of Cambridgevisiting baby bank Baby Basics UK in Sheffield last night on Kensington Royal’s Instagram we read about the charity she had chosen to support by paying a visit, had a look to see where her shoes, dress and earrings were from and then, something new, we had a look to see where her face mask was from.

Will Wearing Face Masks Now Become The New Normal For Us All?

The Duchess was, incidentally, wearing a £15 floral face mask from childrenswear brand Amaia. It’s the first time Kate’s been pictured in a mask, and apart from the striking sight of our future queen consort wearing a face covering in a non-medical setting, the fact that her mask is getting more coverage from her shoes (and the fact that the mask is now sold out - clearly people wanted in) shows that we’re moving Into a new phase of the Coronavirus. And there’s no way that the Duchess (ok, her stylist) won’t have put as much thought into the mask she was wearing as the rest of her outfit - potentially more so given that this was her first public outing in a face covering and clearly, nothing was going to be more on display than the mask covering the bottom half of her face, right?

READ MORE: Where Can You Buy Stylish, Reusable Face Masks Now That They're Mandatory In Shops?

Back in May, the other Kate - Moss - was pictured out for the first time since lockdown began with daughter Lila Grace, wearing a surgical mask. But the days of the celeb in a hastily bought disposable mask are already long gone, just three months later. Instead we pour over pictures of Amber Heard wearing a scarf as a covering as she walked into court for Johnny Depp’s libel trial, or Chloe Sevigny’s frilled face mask, and we look for hidden meanings in face mask choices of members of the royal family. Remember when we wondered if Meghan Markle’s jewellery choices were sending a hidden message to the press? Now we’re analysing Kate’s choice of ditsy-print floral face covering versus Meghan’s plain, relatively utilitarian choices.

Essentially we’re already treating masks like fashion, because just like that they’re part of life, and will be for the foreseeable future. We have to wear them on public transport, in shops, museums and galleries and places of worship. I used to specifically take a mask on the rare occasion I got on a train during lockdown, or if I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to socially distance in a small shop, but now I shove one in my pocket every time I leave the house, just in case. And if I’m actually going properly out, I’ll plan which one of my five different masks will go best with my outfit of choice. I’ve since been told that having just five patterned face masks is relatively minimalist by August 2020 standards.

As, like most people, I’m leaving the house far less than I usually would at this time of year, a huge chunk of my summer clothes are going unworn - and while the rest of my wardrobe has shrunk, my mask wardrobe has only expanded.

Until recently, we were only seeing our lives open up as the restrictions from our strictest lockdown started to ease. Now we’re facing the possibility that things are going backwards (and in some parts of the country they already are) or at the very least, stay where they are for the foreseeable future. That means masks are here to stay just as much as social distancing and judicious amounts of hand sanitiser. Kate Middleton’s face mask was a pivotal part of her outfit yesterday and, we hate to say it, but that’s just a sign of the times.

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