Masks: we are all wearing them. I mean, we have to, but being forced to protect ourselves and the people around us has opened up a previously untapped fashion trend. We as a society have progressed past the basic, boring medical-grade masks that we were all grumbling about in March and have now begun to personalize, stylalize, and beautify our once-strictly utilitarian face garments. Tired of putting on that same blue medical mask? Wanting to impress your friends with your facial fashions? If you’re looking to liven up your plain collection of face masks, try some of these chic new designs that are starting to catch on.
Bold Print Masks
Masks are meant to make statements. Originally that statement was “I am a healthy and empathetic person who doesn’t believe that the coronavirus is a conspiracy theory”. But now those statements are more fashionable, and some of the most fashionable are the bold prints of landscapes, night skies, and space. So how do you choose from all the cool designs out right now? A good rule of thumb is that if the design looks like something you would use as your background on a phone or laptop, then it’ll make a big impression out in public. Expect compliments and jealousy from the people who have on plain masks because you’re styling without even trying.
Holiday Themed Masks
Just in time for Christmas, these masks will make the perfect gift for literally anybody. With any luck, this will be the only holiday season where these kinds of masks will be necessary, so stock up on them while you can. Masks are destined to become the new scarves anyway, so this is your chance to get ahead of the curve. The fun styles are endless, from reindeer to elves to making your mouth look like Santa’s, so this holiday season make sure you don’t leave home without letting everyone know how festive you are.
State Themed Masks
If, like me, you hail from the great state of Maryland, you know we put our flag on everything. Why should our masks be any different? Show you state pride by decking yourself out in the colors and the iconography that makes your home so unique. Not everyone has a state flag as bold (or as divisive) as Maryland’s, but the masks of Arizona, California, and Colorado are great go-to’s if your own state is lacking in excitement.
Solid Black Masks
Sometimes simplicity is the best policy. But that doesn’t mean you have to stick with the white face masks. If you want to keep it paired back while still making a striking fashion statement, try the blackout mask. A little more interesting than the blue medical masks and a little more mysterious than the plain white masks, the black mask is a perfect combination of class and edge, bringing the uncomplicated cool without lapsing into looking too basic. Even better, they match literally any outfit, so that will be one less thing to think about as you are walking out of the front door.
We all turn into nerds about something. Whether that something is Star Wars, Supernatural, supernovas or Super Furry Animals, it is universal to want to celebrate our fandoms. And what better way than to deck yourself out in the most intricate of pop culture merchandise: nerdy face masks. Show off how much you love Baby Yoda or prove to the world how big of a fan you are of Taylor Swift’s new album by protecting your mouth with these masks. It’s the best way to tell others what kind of music, movies, memes, or any kind of pop culture you like. These are the masks that are guaranteed to scream “Number One Fan”.
Wine Themed Masks
Cheesy? Absolutely. Goofy? Of course. The perfect embodiment of how exhausted we are all and how much we could all use a drink right about now? Now we’re talking. Much like the “Live Laugh Love” wall decor or the name Karen, wine-themed gifts get a bad reputation and have been co-opted by a generation of older white women who base their whole personalities on them. The good news is if you avoid that kind of behavior, having a mask like this in your collection is really fun, silly, and totally relatable to all of us who, now that you mention it, would love a nice glass of red. If you are offering.
Horror Movie Masks
Perfect for the upcoming Halloween season, horror face masks are that ideal final touch to your villainous costume. Whether it’s Freddy Kruger or Jason or Hannibal Lecter, complete the outfit while staying safe and keeping the other guests at the Halloween party from worrying about catching your coughs. The possibilities are as endless as the number of Friday the 13th sequels there currently are. These goofy masks may be one-use only, but wouldn’t it be interesting to see someone casually walking down the street with a Pennywise smile outside of the spooky seasonal context? I certainly think so.
Hop on the trend before it retreats back into the recesses of the interwebs: the vaporwave aesthetic is full of neon, 80s references, and icy synths that soundtrack everything you do. Somehow look both into the past and towards the future with a vaporwave mask that gives off the chill vibes we’ve all been craving lately. You don’t need to know who Ariel Pink or Macintosh Plus or Vektroid are to embrace the nostalgia going on here. Just like the media that comes with the aesthetic, it’s as silly as it is cool, which makes it pretty cool.
“Whatever The Hell These Kinds of Masks Are” Masks
All the masks up to this point have been interesting, but still confined to a 2D canvas. But there are mask innovators bringing the designs off the cloth and into the future. Maybe you have a friend who likes to knit. Maybe your tastes are a little less “chic” and more “freaky”. That’s fine, because what we are collectively learning is that face masks are now the fastest growing forms of self-expression in the world today. Bands are selling face masks instead of T-Shirts. You can get your face mask bedazzled, embroidered, or branded if you want. The point is: if you have the option to customize your mask to match your personality, go big. Let the world know that you’re not just a weirdo, but a weirdo who follows CDC guidelines.