By Kaitlyn Bell
Face masks: a staple in society and a symbol of the time.
At the start of the pandemic, the latest quarantine fashion consisted of sweatpants and hoodies. What many could not have predicted is that masks would become such a vital part of people’s day-to-day lives. Face masks now provide an outlet for self-expression and have become a piece for people to match with their outfits. In a sense, the rise of masks has become a way to “add style to PPE” while also keeping everyone around safe.
Source by Nasheed Choudhury
Celebrities such as Billie Eilish, Taylor Swift, and Harry Styles sported masks that matched with their outfits at the Grammys to make their entire presentations fashionable and cohesive.
As a way to pull an outfit together, some match their masks to their outfits, which was most recently seen at the Grammys with Harry Styles, Megan Thee Stallion, Billie Eilish, Taylor Swift, and several other celebrities who attended. For decades, the choices of celebrities have made an impact on trends, society, and the public media.
It is no surprise that the bold outfit choices of these celebrities have impacted the media and the fashion industry. From Harry Styles’ coordinated yellow plaid mask and jacket to Taylor Swift’s floral outfit, matching masks were considered the ultimate Grammys accessory of the year.
There are items that cannot be forgotten when leaving the house in a rush; typically it is one’s phone, keys, and wallet, but now a mask can be added to the list. For students at NHP, pairing their masks can be seen either as an extra step to an already prolonged and irritable process or a fun step to start the day.
Source by Gregory Marzano
Seniors Nasheed Choudhury and Saanvi Mirchandani match their masks to the color of their shirts in order to easily pull an outfit together.
“I find that I feel slightly uncomfortable when [my face mask] doesn’t match. The mask has been adapted as a part of my whole outfit now and therefore I think I feel much more inclined to make sure it matches,” said freshman Mia Cho.
For many, a mask has also become a way to express themselves, specifically for the Black Lives Matter movement. Many found a way to use their mask as a means of expression or speech, and it symbolizes a time of loss, grief, and fear, but many have turned it into an item that allows them to express their opinions while also staying safe.
“Personalizing and designing masks have allowed them to be seen more as an accessory rather than a necessary commodity...”
“Yes, I consider the mask to be an accessory, I like how you can express yourself through your mask,” said freshman Betzy Salmeron.
The concept of the mask becoming a trendy accessory and an extension of one’s outfit has also become a worldwide marketing strategy to help fashion businesses boom. Personalizing and designing masks have allowed them to be seen more as an accessory rather than a necessary commodity. Retail businesses and designer brands have become big producers and sellers of masks. Clothing stores such as Gucci and Old Navy have taken advantage of the rise of masks in fashion, selling branded and colorful masks.
“Look at clothing stores, most sell masks now like they sell socks and other accessories,” said Cho.
The face mask has changed the way people have come to interact, present themselves, and style their wardrobe. The way celebrities and the fashion industry have endorsed stylish masks has created a big impact on the world of accessories. In a way, masks have come to symbolize more than the fear and loss created during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and now also represent community, expression, understanding, and compassion.