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Face mask fashion and function

What's the secret to looking friendly?

Ed opts for functionality with his ultra protective mask.
Ed opts for functionality with his ultra protective mask.

We’re living in a time when the latest “must-have” accessory is a face mask, though not by choice. Many people are adapting to this new norm and making face masks a fashion statement, while others are opting for functionality. So, I decided to interview a few people to hear their thoughts on this new trend.

First, I asked my fellow Street Style contributor, Miranda, to show me her personal favorite. Most days, you can find her rocking her black and orange ZHU cloth mask. ZHU is one of her favorite electronic music artists, and when the pandemic hit, he launched an entire line of masks so that his loyal fans could represent him all around the globe. She purchased it on zhumerch.com for $25. Miranda explained, “I love that the purchase supported a musician in a time when they aren’t able to perform to make a living like they usually do during this time of year (festival season). The fact that it shows a bit of who I am and what I like to people out in the world is an added bonus to that.”

Miranda proudly represents one of her favorite electronic artists, ZHU.

Miranda leaves her house at least once a day, whether it’s to go on a walk, exercise, or grab something to eat. But she still finds herself at home most of the time, so she wears her mask for only about an hour daily. She noted, “I honestly still have trouble remembering it! I purchased a bunch of different masks so that I can store them in various places like my car, my backpack, etc. Even if I forget one, there’s an extra lying around somewhere that I can use when I’m out.”

Next, I asked North Park resident Ed, to show me his go-to mask. For Ed, it was all about functionality, safety and comfort. His stepdad works as an electrician, so he was able to give Ed a few masks to take home. Ed mentioned that what he likes most about his mask is that it completely covers his nose and feels secure, when most cloth masks out there don’t. He explained, “I wear my mask when I see more than 10 people around me or when I have to enter a place where I’m obligated to have it on. I’ve been working from home for the past three months, so the only time I leave my house is for coffee breaks, afternoon walks, or grocery trips.”

Another aspect of the mask Ed particularly likes is that the elastic band goes over his head, rather than looping around his ears. It makes it much more comfortable to wear for an extended period of time, since it rarely slips down or wiggles around like cloth masks.

Lastly, I reached out to my friend Mandy. Mandy explained that she has two masks. One is an N95 mask, and the other (pictured) is a fun HiKei cloth mask that she received as a freebie with her delivery order. She elaborated, “I was kind of excited to get it, because the N95 mask is pretty intense and I’d been wanting to get another. This one is cloth, so I have an alternative for when I’m just running to open the gate for DoorDash.”

Mandy lets her bubbly personality shine through with her “Hi” mask.

She mentioned that she prefers her HiKei mask because it’s cloth, and easier to take on and off. It doesn’t leave marks either. She also likes that it’s black and white and so matches with everything. “I love that it says ‘Hi,’ because with these masks, people can’t tell if I’m smiling. This way I can still look friendly. I wish it didn’t say ‘cannabis,’ but what can you do? It was free!”■

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Ed opts for functionality with his ultra protective mask.
Ed opts for functionality with his ultra protective mask.

We’re living in a time when the latest “must-have” accessory is a face mask, though not by choice. Many people are adapting to this new norm and making face masks a fashion statement, while others are opting for functionality. So, I decided to interview a few people to hear their thoughts on this new trend.

First, I asked my fellow Street Style contributor, Miranda, to show me her personal favorite. Most days, you can find her rocking her black and orange ZHU cloth mask. ZHU is one of her favorite electronic music artists, and when the pandemic hit, he launched an entire line of masks so that his loyal fans could represent him all around the globe. She purchased it on zhumerch.com for $25. Miranda explained, “I love that the purchase supported a musician in a time when they aren’t able to perform to make a living like they usually do during this time of year (festival season). The fact that it shows a bit of who I am and what I like to people out in the world is an added bonus to that.”

Miranda proudly represents one of her favorite electronic artists, ZHU.

Miranda leaves her house at least once a day, whether it’s to go on a walk, exercise, or grab something to eat. But she still finds herself at home most of the time, so she wears her mask for only about an hour daily. She noted, “I honestly still have trouble remembering it! I purchased a bunch of different masks so that I can store them in various places like my car, my backpack, etc. Even if I forget one, there’s an extra lying around somewhere that I can use when I’m out.”

Next, I asked North Park resident Ed, to show me his go-to mask. For Ed, it was all about functionality, safety and comfort. His stepdad works as an electrician, so he was able to give Ed a few masks to take home. Ed mentioned that what he likes most about his mask is that it completely covers his nose and feels secure, when most cloth masks out there don’t. He explained, “I wear my mask when I see more than 10 people around me or when I have to enter a place where I’m obligated to have it on. I’ve been working from home for the past three months, so the only time I leave my house is for coffee breaks, afternoon walks, or grocery trips.”

Another aspect of the mask Ed particularly likes is that the elastic band goes over his head, rather than looping around his ears. It makes it much more comfortable to wear for an extended period of time, since it rarely slips down or wiggles around like cloth masks.

Lastly, I reached out to my friend Mandy. Mandy explained that she has two masks. One is an N95 mask, and the other (pictured) is a fun HiKei cloth mask that she received as a freebie with her delivery order. She elaborated, “I was kind of excited to get it, because the N95 mask is pretty intense and I’d been wanting to get another. This one is cloth, so I have an alternative for when I’m just running to open the gate for DoorDash.”

Mandy lets her bubbly personality shine through with her “Hi” mask.

She mentioned that she prefers her HiKei mask because it’s cloth, and easier to take on and off. It doesn’t leave marks either. She also likes that it’s black and white and so matches with everything. “I love that it says ‘Hi,’ because with these masks, people can’t tell if I’m smiling. This way I can still look friendly. I wish it didn’t say ‘cannabis,’ but what can you do? It was free!”■

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