Looking Back At A Year Of Face Masks
18 months ago, if you’d told the great British public that they would soon be choosing a face covering to match their favourite outfit before heading out of the house you’d have been laughed out of town. However, roll on to mid-2021 and that’s exactly the situation in which we’ve found ourselves.
It’s been just over a year since the government told people that they should be wearing a face covering when out in public, and the shift in attitudes towards mask-wearing has been dramatic. From shock and horror at being told what we should wear when out and about, the public has, mostly speaking, embraced the wearing of masks and, in many cases, taken the humble face covering to a whole new level. You only need to Google “bridal face masks” to see just how thoroughly this new fashion item has permeated through every aspect of our lives.
Health Necessity Or Fashion Statement?
Of course, when the UK’s government announced that face coverings would be required in public settings, it’s unlikely that the powers that be had any idea how far things would go. Yet, over the past 12 months, masks have progressed from being a basic necessity to a fashion statement. In the early days of mask-wearing, there was an “anything goes” attitude towards face coverings.
Disposable masks were commonplace, while many people would make do with a bandana or scarf wrapped around their face. Fast forward to today and the difference is tangible. While, of course, there are still people who take a pragmatic approach to face covering, they are now in the minority. Many more are embracing the opportunity to express themselves and their personalities through their choice of mask.
Expressing A Personal Message
Face masks have given the public a way to show their affinity with a cause or to make a statement. Black Lives Matter, Protect The NHS and Climate Revolution’s True Punk are just some of the slogans that have featured on face coverings over the past year to enable the wearer to express their message while masks featuring national symbols have given wearers an opportunity to show their heritage.
The Future Of Fashion?
Masks have also given fashionistas of all kinds the chance to add yet another accessory to their outfit. Along with scarves, bags, belts and jewellery, face masks have become a great way to add another element of style to what we’re wearing. From sophisticated silk masks to colourful patterned coverings, and from sequinned luxury masks to classic tweed and paisley, it’s never been easier to show your unique flair in the most visual way.
So, will face masks be here to stay? That’s a question that’s on many lips as we look forward to the easing of lockdown. In countries like Japan and Taiwan, mask-wearing has been commonplace for years. Will the same hold true here? Fashion experts believe that, at least for the foreseeable future, fashionable face coverings won’t be going anywhere any time soon. Bringing the wearer a little more security and comfort, they’re an accessory that is likely to be making a statement for some time to come.