Students, masks, and how they have defined the pandemic experience

Maggie Quinn '22, Copy Editor

As we continue to follow certain safety guidelines in order to curb the spread of COVID-19, many people have been using face masks as a way to prevent themselves and others from getting sick. Since the pandemic started, masks have also become a fashion statement. People now wear masks that tend to coordinate with their outfits or make a statement of some type, and others have a collection of masks in order to match the fashion choices that they make on a daily basis.

“I don’t necessarily have a collection of masks, but I have around two or three masks that I wear, but not a whole set of 20 or 30 masks,” Hunter Moreland ‘22 said. “I usually wear masks that are made from cotton-based fabrics, but one of my personal favorites would be the multi-colored tie-dye one that I have.”

According to an article from Vogue titled “Should Masks Be Fashion Accessories?”, the article discusses how corporations, including many high-end fashion brands, have been making masks as a way to create a fashion statement. From using fabric with patterns on it to even adding gemstones onto them, manipulating the pandemic as an opportunity for people to be stylish while also trying to keep the wearer protected at the same time.

Amanda Frantz ‘23,has been collecting a variety of masks since the pandemic started, often buying in colors and patterns that are both comfortable to wear and match her personality, occasionally making alterations on them in order to help them fit properly and not go to waste.

“I actively like to seek out patterns a lot of the time when I’m looking for masks,” Frantz said. “A lot of the time I’ll get fabrics that can be eventually used to be made into masks, so I definitely have a collection of masks that I use frequently as a result.”

With the variety of masks that are now widely available from many well known-brands, including the ones that have been worn by both Frantz and Moreland, have been considered to be both stylish and useful in helping to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“I don’t have a specific type of mask that’s my favorite, but I like to do patterns and colorful masks, and I guess it kinda expresses that I’m energetic because I’m trying to make things positive during this time, which is something that is nice to have.” Frantz said.

To help students find types of masks that would be able to fit with their personality, there are several pieces of advice that people should follow when trying to find fashion forward masks that are both safe to wear and stylish, while also making sure to follow several guidelines in order to keep them clean as well.

“I would probably tell people to try to buy masks that are made from cotton-based fabric, because they are usually more protective, but also try to find one that you really like so that you can wear it every day, and make sure to wash it several times a week as well if you wear it on a constant basis,” Moreland said.

“I think that having the protective aspect of masks is most important,” Frantz said. “Having something that feels comfortable and protective is important, whether it’s one mask or wearing two, and they’re also very warm, especially when you’re wearing them during the winter months. I’ve been making my own, which is what I’ve done several times, or I find something that’s a little more personalized as well.”