You might be tired of hearing this already, but masks are part of our ‘new’ normal. But beyond just a way to protect ourselves and show empathy and help in protecting others, we’ve also adapted to this ‘trend’ — loosely speaking — by using masks to still express individuality. Need proof? Here are just five ways people have styled protective masks fashionably for you to check out.
In case you missed it, around March 2019 — which is almost exactly a year before COVID-19 hit the world in full swing — masks were all the rage on runways as ‘the next big thing’. The trend took inspiration from many pre-existing trends, like steampunk, retro fashion and even K-pop — perhaps foretelling that masks can fit perfectly into our future. Sure enough, the trend became a reality — but it didn’t just end there. Face shields have also become a part of today’s ‘aesthetic’, mimicking a vibe that looks straight out of sci-fi books. So what better way to channel this android-like look than to style protective masks along with a sleek monochromatic outfit?
Tie the look together entirely with precise colour coordination to give the outfit a sharp, edgy and well-thought-out feel, all while being foolproof and versatile for any type of agenda.
Level up the look: Metallic accessories like a silver belt or a wallet-chain hanging from your belt loop to your pocket are so ‘90s, but it would ironically give the perfect ‘futuristic’ or ‘robotic’ vibe to your look.
Speaking of coordination, we’re sure that one of your worries (aside from staying safe, of course) is having your mask look so out of place from your entire outfit. Thankfully, with fashion brands also adapting to today’s situation, masks that perfectly complement your outfits now exist. Forget about coordinating your top to your bottoms; this time, it’s all about styling protective masks by matching them with your dresses. Not only does it give one’s look a sense of cohesiveness, but it also rejects the slightest notion that today’s mask culture can’t be protective, adaptive and fashionable all at the same time.
Level up the look: Matching your mask with your dress is definitely cute, but it can easily look tacky when you go overkill with the coordination. Lay low on the accessories when going for this number just like Clozette Ambassador Qi Yun to keep the chicness on point.
Headband and mask duo
If you think that styling every outfit with a matching protective mask is a bit too much to handle, here’s something that requires less commitment: the headband and mask duo. Another way to coordinate your mask with a look, it’s all about framing your face with the use of this matching head-and-face accessory. It can also give great emphasis to your eye makeup, which is the current star of the show beauty-wise since your choice of lippie can’t do much of the talking for you this time around.
Level up the look: If you’re going for a bright-coloured or heavily designed matching headband-and-mask set, make sure that it still works well with the colour palette of the outfit you’re going for. Carefully curating your look is key if you don't want your headpiece and protective mask to look like after-thoughts in an otherwise stylish ensemble.
Speaking of matching colour palettes, you don’t always have to wear a mask that follows the scheme of your entire look. Another effective way to style protective masks is to consider ‘smaller’ or ‘supplementary’ accessories like bags, bangles, rings, belts etc., that help connect your mask with the rest of the outfit. This way, there’s still a sense of harmony in the look despite the subtle tweaks — just look at how this was showcased by Clozette Ambassador Hilary.
Level up the look: Make the colours look visually alternating. This means if you’re wearing a one-piece dress, your mask will match your bag and shoes and other smaller accessories. Meanwhile, if you wear a two-set outfit, your mask with match your headpiece (if any) and your bottoms, while your shoes would match your top, bag, and other smaller accessories. This allows each piece to shine, while still making everything look complementary as a whole.
Colour block wisely
We’ve already established that coordination is key at this point, but don’t think that choosing ’clashing colours’ already means you can’t make a look work. Remember that the key to colour blocking is choosing complementary colours from two ends of the colour wheel. That said, style your protective masks in a way that they become one of two strong pieces of an ensemble that contrast yet visually complement each other. This also works with matching prints under different colour schemes, much like this camo-on-camo look by Star Clozetter Feijing Ong.
Level up the look: Keep the rest of the look, including your makeup, clean and simple. As much as colour blocking is fun, too many things happening in one outfit will take away the attention from your chosen focal point, be it your mask or the central piece you’re wearing. Make sure that despite all the elements you put in your look, you have a statement piece you want to prioritise and champion so that each component still supports the aesthetic of the main piece.
Moving on to other types of masks, here's everything you need to know about which facial masks to use according to your skin's needs.