A quick Google search for “face masks for men” returns over a billion results. Many of the results are for disposable, one-size-fits-all masks with a sterile, medical appearance. With the CDC reporting that COVID-19 may affect the United States for at least the next year and Americans newly concerned about how future viruses may spread, it appears that masks are here to stay. So, how can discerning men turn this necessity into a style statement rather than an odd outfit after thought?
First and foremost, the disposable mask has to go. Not only do these masks clash with everything other than physicians’ scrubs, but their disposable nature also has an ill effect on the environment. In fact, Guardian has reported that there are now more masks than jellyfish in the ocean – not cool.
You can evaluate the durability of a reusable mask based on two main factors:
- Materials: Some
mask materials are sturdier than others and can stand up to the elements. Opt for masks made out of stronger materials like bamboo to be sure that your mask won’t need to be replaced sooner rather than later.
- Manufacturer: Is
your mask hand-stitched, or was it made by a company specializing in mask production? While you may want to support a small, independent seller, hand-stitched masks may not provide the same layers of filtration and same durability of materials that a professionally manufactured mask can provide. When it comes to durable personal protective equipment, it’s best to opt for a producer that is well versed in face masks.
Aside from eco-friendliness, it’s crucial that your face masks fit correctly. You wouldn’t wear one-size-fits-all pants, and face masks are no different. However, most face masks on the market today are only available in one size; in the best cases, they may come with clips to tighten your ear loops. Would you wear a drawstring pair of pants to the office? We thought not.
Your fit depends on both your weight and facial shape. Make sure the face mask company you use offers a variety of sizes as well as a sizing chart to help you find the perfect fit. If you have larger facial dimensions, you may need to size up to make sure your mask fully encompasses your nose and mouth to avoid any gapping around the cheeks, jawline, and/or chin.
Finally, let’s talk about style. As you know, the key to accessorizing is to choose colors and materials that best reflect you and your personality. It may be tempting to opt for one single, neutral-colored face mask to use every day; however, this doesn’t provide you the opportunity to wash your face mask appropriately or to truly let your personality shine through.
Instead, opt for at least three face masks in navy, black, and white or grey. You can swap them in and out of rotation whether you need to match a t-shirt or a tie. If you’re feeling a little more daring, bright colors don’t just have to be reserved for your socks. There are many reusable face masks on the market that come in a range of colors (like green, yellow, blue, and more!) to make your face mask the focal point of your outfit.
And besides, couldn’t we all use a little more fun right now?