Cross cultural Fashion,  Must-have,  Trends

Masks — the only must-have accessory in 2020

Are you choosing a new it-bag for the upcoming season? Cancel it! We offer you the best accessory. The little piece of clothing, also known as a surgical mask by any means, will serve us the most this year. Straight from the doctors’ office to our closet, how did the society end up styling this new attire? How should one protect the mask from bacteria? We are here to help you with the answers. 

The current global health crisis affected numerous industries. However, the most vulnerable became fashion. This industry almost shifted it’s all values striating from trends ending with formats of the fashion events. Some of the most prominent figures in the fashion gang even switched their production from making clothes to convoying essential kits: masks, hospital gowns, and sanitizers.

Most governments around the world made the masks mandatory. This step pushed even further the «pandemic styled» trend. People in Europe and States have come up with a wide variety of styles for this small, yet essential accessory. It is necessary to stress that some brands used to produce the stylish Anti-Coronavirus piece way before the pandemic, such as the all-time favorite street-wear brand — Supreme. But nowadays, people have access to high-end couture masks from Alice+Olivia, Gucci, or even Louis Vuitton.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA — JANUARY 26: Billie Eilish attends the 62nd Annual GRAMMY, wearing Gucci. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

However, let’s not forget the true origins of this highly-demanded trend. The roots go deep to the street art culture, where a piece of clothing was protecting the artist from the toxic smell of paint. However, the most common and world-famous mask trendsetters have originated in East Asia.

It is not a secret that Asian fashion has always been ten steps ahead of the rest of the world. The masks are a specific piece of evidence. People in East Asia pivoted this accessory way before the COVID-19 took over the world. There are several reasons for east Asians to make this accessory an essential piece in their wardrobe.

  • Firstly, respect the culture. During the flu season, in fall and winter, people in East Asian tend to wear masks almost daily. This is astonishingly simple: they do not want to transmit their germs to other people. Thus, make anyone else catch the flu and, maybe, eventually cause a global pandemic. This behavior might seem shocking to Europeans or Americans. However, it is an excellent practice that many of us should follow.
  • Secondly, avoid a pollution. Besides being the most densely and heavily populated countries in the world, China, Japan, and South Korea are leaders in the global production industry. Thus, making these places extremely polluted for humans. Masks help the inhabitants of these countries to decrease the inhalation of the CO2 (carbon dioxide). Therefore, it increase the lifespan of the citizens.
  • Thirdly, hide from society. Some of the east Asian youngsters tend to use an accessory as a coping mechanism. Personally, being an easter European trying to keep up with the fast and furious lifestyle, I can state that this is exhausting. One might not imagine how hard life might be in the world centers of human development. While our culture is still new to the mask trend, I can say that if I were born in Asian, I would wear masks 24/7.

The mask trend has evolved to unimaginable extremes in East Asia. For example, Japanese manufacturers came up with masks for makeup lovers. The shape of the accessory will prevent lipstick stains. Additionally, the piece has moisturizer and some fragrance in it. For people who feel sick during long-distance rides, the inventive Japanese enthusiasts also came up with a solution. In this case, there is no need to say how original the Asians can be with the simple styling of this must-have accessory; everything is crystal clear. These guys know the deal.

What about the rest of the world who just acquired the trend? The answer is easy to deduct, at least if one keeps up with the news. The mask trend is unfamiliar and new to the non-Asian market. However, it will stay with us for an extended period. For those who doubt this statement, I highly recommend checking Apple’s announcement, where they say that their products will process face recognition with a mask on. Getting back to the topic, I would say that one of the reasons for this is that on a psychological level, our brain has made a habit of putting on a piece of clothing every time leaving the house. Besides, after the pandemic, people will, hopefully, become more cautious about their behavior during the fever season. Therefore, the European and American societies perhaps will follow the practices in Asia.

Russian brands: Bella Potemkina, SORRY I’M NOT.

There is no need to think of the future because, in a situation that the world is facing today, everything is unclear. But currently, any observer can state that masks are becoming a fashion statement rather mean of protection. Designers worldwide came up with various designs and styles to please the needs of beloved customers. But let’s not forget about the real purpose of this piece of clothing. There are a couple of rules that will help our reader to choose the perfect way of protection against Coronavirus.

  • Choose a mask that is slightly thick and does not leak water. To see whether the mask truly protects from germs use this trick. Take a tablespoon, pour some water, and then pour it out on the mask. If the mask leaks, then you probably need to buy another one.
  • Choose a mask that covers from the chin up till nose area. Do not play with the germs, kids. They can be easily transmitted from the mouth and then inhaled from the nose. Therefore, to reduce the risk of infection, try covering these two parts of the body.
  • Choose a mask that does not have any metal accessories. For some people making a fashion statement is vital. However, when you are on the verge of choosing between health and style, the heavier weight falls on the first option. All these small metal pieces might seem eye-catching, but they will catch the infection even faster than some looks on the streets. Moreover, the germs can stay on the metal up to 3-5 days.

Finally, it is necessary to stress that no matter, what kind of mask you eventually choose, the piece of clothing does not protect from infection invasion for 100%. In reality, nothing does. The only way out in this situation would be merely following the rules of hygiene: wash your hands quite often, do not touch your face, and try to keep social distancing for a while. Besides, some vitamin C can be helpful as well. Before taking it, consult with your local pharmacist. Share the tips with the friends and comment below!

Text: Victoria Pisarenko

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