The introduction of COVID-19 yielded a new accessory to everyday wardrobe: masks. While people use masks to protect themselves from the virus, they also use them to express their personality.
Major brands like Victoria’s Secret, Nike and Under Armour started selling masks on their websites when the pandemic started. Many brands and small businesses started making a profit from this new accessory that people needed to wear out in public.
Sydney Stricker, senior in fashion studies major, is currently living in New York City and attending the Fashion Institute of Technology. She gave some insight on how she styles masks and uses them to her advantage since the pandemic began.
“The main way I have utilized wearing a mask in the fashion industry is by making sure that my mask always matches my outfit,” Stricker said. “When COVID first started, I was all about having enough options to have a mask to match any color I would wear. Now I typically stick to an all-black mask because I love how sleek it looks.”
Masks are having huge impact on how people express themselves — from the patterns and colors to the type of fabric.
“I use masks to show off my personality by showing people I am not afraid to have fun with my outfits and express myself. Some of my masks are definitely fashion-statements in themselves,” Stricker said. “I have two different all-rhinestone masks and a Chanel logo mask. These masks definitely draw attention to themselves, but I love wearing them. I don’t let others’ opinions stop me from having fun with what masks I wear.”
While masks are now considered a fashion statement, there are some things they have made difficult.
“I would definitely want to create and advertise masks that are centered around keeping your glasses from fogging because that is my biggest struggle with wearing masks,” Lydia Vriezelaar, sophomore in elementary education, said.
Sydney Barclay, junior in apparel and textiles said she always considers style when wearing masks.
“Being comfortable is important, but I feel I do my best when I look my best,” Barclay said. “So if I have to wear heels to feel awesome and be on top of my game, so be it.”