Be Safe, Be Stylish: How to rock a cloth face mask

Updated: May 27

If you'd told me six months ago I'd be writing a blog post on how to look stylish in a cloth face mask I'd have given you the " you must be crazy look". But here we are, in the midst of a global pandemic and for most of us, face masks are the new must-have accessory we need to purchase in multiples and wear whenever we go out in public. They even appeared on the runway during Paris Fashion Week.

It appears the best choice for non-medical folk is a washable cloth mask (absorbent, washable, good for the environment, can be made to fit) which leaves a huge number of options for you to choose from whether you make your own or buy them online.

Etsy has over 500,000 masks to choose from and many other designers and companies are selling them also. So here's how to look a little more stylish in this new must have fashion accessory.

Choose masks that match the colors in your palette. With so many masks to choose from (and many small businesses willing to take custom orders), matching them to your palette is going to be pretty easy. This way, you'll be able to co-ordinate your mask with your outfits. Your dramatic color will make sure you get noticed and your skin tone will make you appear approachable. You may even want to wear your quiet color if you know you'll be in a role where tensions are high.

You can't go wrong with emphasizing your eye color -- since that's our only visible means of facial expression, a mask in your eye color will help others to focus their gaze there. Ditto for co-ordinating them with your eye glasses.

For the most inherent look to you, the scale of your prints should match the scale and shapes of your facial features.

Choose masks that express your personality. One of mine has a garden motif with the words, "grow in love, plant in kindness" which reflects my personal love of gardening as well as the one of the sentiments I wish to share with those I meet. But there are lots of great masks out there with messages of all kinds so say it with style.

Need to appear a little more formal? Choose a solid colored mask in one of your formal neutrals. Want to spread a little cheer? Look for a mask that will make people smile.

Choose masks that match your level of refinement. A casual denim outfit might pair well with a bandana style mask, but if you are dressed for a corporate office job, you'll want to choose a solid neutral, perfect fit mask that will give you an air of authority.

If you'll be wearing a head covering (be it a hat or scarf) co-ordinate your mask with it.

Working with the deaf community? Make sure you choose a clear mask so your lips can be read. Ditto for working with young children who will need to see your smile to get them through the day.

And since lipstick is no longer an option and even foundation and blush are covered up, this is the time to really play up your eye make-up. Draw as much attention to your eyes as you possibly can.

Whether you love them or hate them, it appears that face masks will be a necessary accessory for the foreseeable future. So, make sure that yours are a true reflection of both who you are and the message you want to send to the world.

Important note: The thoughts and images shown in this blog are for illustrative style purposes only. Please ensure all your stylish masks are also compliant with the CDC guidelines.


Joan Kosmachuk

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