Fashion has always had a way of taking our core wardrobe essentials — outerwear, underwear, and everything in between — and turning them into statement pieces. Consider the trusty trench coat, for example, which was originally created to shield soldiers from the elements but, over time, turned into one of the most distinctive utility apparel items a person could own. And don't get us started on how the functional bike short has morphed into a top streetwear trend that will not go away (even after its initial rise and fall in the '90s). It's no surprise, then, that the protective face coverings we've been advised (and in some cases, ordered) to wear outdoors to curb the spread of the coronavirus have quickly been embraced and beautified by the fashion world.
"It just felt like there was a need [for a stylish face mask]," says Hillary Taymour, founder of the sustainable clothing brand Collina Strada. "I was wearing brightly colored masks walking over the bridge daily to the studio and it put a smile on everyone’s face. So why not bring that to the general public?"
Taymour began producing non-medical face masks in mid-March, drawing on the crafty skills of model and friend Sasha Melnychuk to design something protective yet personal. The final product was a remarkable marriage of motifs featuring Collina Strada's signature ribbons — a fixture of the brand's runway shows — and the vibrant patterns of already available deadstock fabric. This kind of creative take on meeting consumer needs during the pandemic allows shoppers to adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guidelines without losing touch with the familiarity of their personal style. Masks may still feel like an unusual addition to our daily routines because of the way they conceal the parts of ourselves that are normally exposed, but that doesn't mean our identities have to be hidden too. By opting for the right print to suit your own aesthetic and making a purchase you know will benefit those in need, wearing a face mask can become more than just our collective responsibility — it can be an entirely new form of self-expression.
"With every purchase [of a Collina Strada mask], you are donating five masks to healthcare workers," Taymour says. "The design just brings a little sunshine during one of the most difficult times we have seen in this lifetime."
Taymour was one of many designers to pivot to non-medical face mask production with the goal of giving back as the coronavirus crisis hit its devastating crescendo. Companies like Reformation and Sanctuary also reacted quickly by organizing local manufacturers to do the same using fabrics from their warehouses. New York-based label Alice+Olivia announced that it would donate 5,000 face masks to medical centers around the country while selling consumer-friendly options online. In addition to equipping customers with the coverings they need, founder Stacey Bendet pointed out a greater purpose of this initiative: "Let's show support for our community and the doctors, nurses, delivery workers, and first responders who are combatting this crisis on the front lines,” she said in a press release. The more non-medical face masks made available to the public, the less of a strain there will be on the medical-grade materials our heroes on the front lines require to protect themselves on the job.
Ahead, we've rounded up a list of fashion brands that are enhancing the process of mask manufacturing with their unique brands of sartorial savoir-faire. Face coverings are a crucial way for us to keep one another safe when we're in public, and they aren't going anywhere. So go ahead and get comfortable with one that speaks to your own style, be that in the form of something upcycled, a badass camo print, delicate florals — even toile, if that's your thing. You do you, as long as you're doing it responsibly.
COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic. Go to the CDC website for the latest information on symptoms, prevention, and other resources.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?
Since the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that all Americans wear some kind of face covering when out in public, we've been stocking up on cloth face masks. Now that we've gotten a few, we're starting to figure out what we like and what feels comfortable to us. We know that, generally, we like masks with elastic hooks over the ears because they're comfortable. We've also tried masks with fun prints, but we really like plain black options. Black goes with everything, and it's just more streamlined than colorful prints. They're also great options for kids and family members who may be feeling reluctant to get on board with wearing a mask. You won't regret having a few of these on hand. Just keep reading to shop our picks! Related: 19 Cloth Face Masks That Have Filter Pockets
The Centers For Disease Control (CDC) has advised Americans to wear cloth face masks while out in public to help minimize the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). These precautions were put in place to prevent the spread of the virus by those who are infected with it and are asymptomatic. The CDC advised wearing a cloth face covering when you're out in public places, like grocery stores and pharmacies, where the social-distancing guidelines are harder to follow. For many before the pandemic, face masks were not a part of their at-home collection. Luckily, a selection of retailers have now made protective face coverings available for purchase. For those who do not have masks already or prefer not to make a DIY face mask, buying one is an easy alternative. In order to properly wear a face mask, it must fit closely against the face, be secured with ties or ear loops, include more than one layer of fabric, allow for breathing, and be able to be washed without getting damaged. It's worth noting that while these cloth face coverings are not medical-grade masks like the N95 respirators and surgical masks, which are being reserved for healthcare workers, they are still useful to put on when out in public. Wearing a cloth mask will not ensure protection against ingesting droplets, but it's a precautionary safety measure worth taking. Ahead is a curated list of face masks that are available to buy online, including companies and brands that are doing their part by donating proceeds and masks to charities and hospitals to help those working against the virus. If you don't already have a mask or need another one for yourself or a loved one, shop these picks now and help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Looking for even more options? Check out masks for kids, masks for working out, comfortable masks, masks under $10, masks with ties, masks with filter pockets, and tie-dye masks. Related: Bill Nye Shares a PSA About the Effectiveness of Different Face-Mask Styles
Doctors, leaders, celebrities, and even the timeless Bill Nye are all banging the drum, encouraging people to wear face masks during the coronavirus pandemic. That's because, based on current information, wearing a face mask is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of coronavirus, especially as parts of the country attempt to reopen and ease up on shelter-in-place guidelines.
When we leave the house, we're wearing face masks. When it comes to masks, the options are twofold; you can either wear a disposable mask, or one that's reusable. We prefer reusable masks because they can be washed, they're better for the environment, and we find them to be a bit more comfortable than the disposable options. We keep a stash of masks that we can wear and wash at any time, both in our home and in our car. These 18 masks are what we've been wearing. Some have filter pockets, some have elastic ear loops, and some are vibrant and colorful. No matter which one you choose, though, you'll be more protected. Keep reading to shop our selects. Related: 22 Face Masks That'll Go With Everything You Own
The Magic Kingdom Park in Florida has adopted a “no mask, no photo” policy, refusing to provide ride photos to patrons who aren’t wearing a protective face covering Over the weekend, Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park reopened in Orlando, Florida, despite the state’s record-breaking surge of COVID-19 cases. As part of their reopening plan, the park 
Bill Nye does not mince words in TikTok mask PSA As the “mask debate” wages on with conspiracy theorists spouting off false facts about carbon dioxide and masks “not working,” the anti-mask community can’t seem to wrap their heads around the fact that you don’t wear a mask to protect yourself from contracting COVID-19, you 
After months of refusing to mask up, the President of the United States has been photographed wearing a CDC-recommended face mask Way back in April, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — the county’s leading authority on all health-related matters — issued a recommendation that all Americans wear a cloth mask 
With the weather getting warmer and gyms reopening in many parts of the country, you may understandably be anxious to get back to your workout routine. Of course, like everything else, exercising during COVID-19 is different than what we're accustomed to.
Although wearing a face mask in public is the responsible decision during a global pandemic, let's not allow the need for such a precaution to overshadow our eco-conscious judgments when deciding what type of non-medical covering to buy. As discarded single-use face masks pile up on beaches and nature trails, the environmental threat posed by these COVID-19 essentials is a fast-growing concern. Luckily, there are sustainable-style alternatives to help curb the impact of this issue — and if your current face covering (fashion-forward or otherwise) is washable and reusable, then you're already on the right track. Things like breathability and personal expression matter when picking out a mask that's best suited to our particular lifestyles (and faces) — but it's also important to consider how a mask is made, what materials it's crafted from, and, ultimately, what impact that has on the environment. By paying attention to the fabrics and production methods used to create these masks, we can make more eco-friendly choices when it comes to protecting ourselves, others, and the planet. A handful of top sustainable-retailer favorites (like Nisolo and Collina Strada) are already a step ahead of us; offering durable options made from up-cycled materials, deadstock fabrics, and/or natural fibers that are designed to last longer. Even a quick Etsy search will direct you towards an impressive selection of handmade face masks from smaller vendors — which translates to less energy and resources wasted. We've rounded up 11 such sustainable styles ahead that are ready to get the germ-shielding job done — without harming the planet in the process. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. The product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?The Most Breathable Face Masks For Hot Summer DaysHere's Where To Shop Fashion-Forward Face MasksHere's Where To Buy Non-Medical Face Masks Online
When a 50-year-old woman steps out in public wearing a face mask in the midst of a global pandemic, it’s generally not noteworthy. But when said woman is the president’s wife — it’s a national news story. On Sunday, five months into the COVID-19 outbreak that has claimed more than 137,000 American lives thus far, First Lady Melania Trump stepped out in public wearing a mask to safeguard against the spread of coronavirus for the first time.In a video posted to the First Lady’s official Twitter account on Sunday, Trump can be seen touring the grounds of the Mary Elizabeth House, a Washington, D.C., ministry that works to support young mothers who are in or have aged out of the foster care system.“It was a pleasure to spend time with the staff, mothers & children at The Mary Elizabeth House, a place that helps strengthen families & provides life skills, counseling & educational resources to help vulnerable single women & their children. BeBest,” Trump wrote in a tweet alongside the video.> Today I visited The Mary Elizabeth House, an inspiring place & supportive community for young women & children. I met w staff, mothers & children, & dropped off boxed lunches & BeBest items to show my appreciation for their efforts to strengthen families in our community. pic.twitter.com/lR8vTfrx8u> > — Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) July 9, 2020Although the First Lady posted about the importance of wearing a mask to stall the spread of coronavirus back in April (“Take social distancing & wearing a mask/face covering seriously. COVID19 is a virus that can spread to anyone,” she wrote on Twitter), neither she nor her husband, President Donald Trump, had sported the protective face coverings publicly until last weekend. Trump, in all his presidential power, has previously stated that he won’t be wearing a mask in public saying that he doesn’t “see it happening.” The president also mocked assumed Democratic nominee Joe Biden for wearing a mask before.But it looks like things have changed, as wearing a mask has become a political debate in the months since the pandemic started. On Saturday, Trump wore a mask — publicly — during a visit with wounded veterans at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.The reversal brings the Trumps into line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance on continuing to wear the masks in public in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus, which is believed to be highly transmissible through respiratory droplets released into the air, even when a potential carrier is asymptomatic. The president has been notoriously averse to heeding the conventional wisdom on mitigating the spread of COVID-19, and has even gone so far as to host his infamous open-air rallies despite the fact that new instances of the virus continue to surge across the country.Melania Trump, despite her previous insistence that wearing a mask is necessary, has remained quiet in the face of her husband’s protest against them. The Trumps, it’s worth noting, are no strangers to flouting traditionally observed sartorial norms. During a trip to visit children detained in a border camp amid the Trump administration’s immigration fiasco of 2018, Melania famously wore a jacket emblazoned with the phrase “I really don’t care, do you?” And the president himself, famously, once defied the advice of medical professionals and opted to forego protective glasses in order to stare bravely into the sun during a solar eclipseLet’s not commend the Trumps yet, though — after all, they’re just doing what we’re all supposed to be doing amid a pandemicLike what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Hell Is Donald & MelaniaWhy Ivanka Brought Her Purse To A Tear-GassingCan Trump Really Threaten To Defund Schools?
As we continue to battle the coronavirus pandemic, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is currently in the process of lining his home with wall-to-wall posters of an illustrated mountain. Well, probably that’s not actually what he’s doing, but we wouldn’t be surprised if he were. After presenting his top prize science fair model of the New York COVID-19 “curve” two weeks ago, Cuomo has now unveiled his latest project: a Pandemic Poster™. During a Monday briefing on New York’s COVID-19 response, Cuomo kicked things off by discussing his love of traditional poster art (ok!), and explained how he drew inspiration from the 1900 campaign poster of politician William Jennings Bryan. He then dramatically revealed his latest arts and crafts feat in the form of an illustrated “timeline” of the coronavirus impact on New York in the shape of a mountain with the words “New York Tough” strung across the top.Created by Brooklyn-based artist Rusty Zimmerman, the artwork was meant, according to Cuomo, to show how far the city has come and what work is still left to do. But the poster — replete with illustrations of a giant nose being swabbed, a bottle of hand sanitizer, an octopus flopped next to a cruise ship, and even a fire emoji — immediately became the subject of internet fodder. > NewYorkTough pic.twitter.com/jGIEMMxBLu> > — Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) July 13, 2020While Cuomo may have delighted in this artistic depiction of a pandemic that has killed thousands in New York, others were just confused, and left asking questions, like: What — and I cannot stress this enough — is the “Boyfriend Cliff?”On the right side of the COVID mountain, just above where Cuomo’s daughters Cara, Mariah, and Michaela (and his dog, Captain) are apparently pulling the city’s curve back to normalcy, appears a tiny cliff where a figure can be seen dangling off. This is labeled the “boyfriend cliff.” There is no explanation for what the cliff is, or why it exists, but the Internet’s imagination knows no limits. > me and my friends hanging out at the boyfriend cliff pic.twitter.com/UaPVTSU37c> > — himboist (@kamilumin) July 13, 2020> found boyfriend cliff pic.twitter.com/2euZ6xcBFs> > — Geoffrey (@geofflapid) July 13, 2020Some pondered whether the Boyfriend Cliff could be referring to Tellef Lundevall, who is dating Cuomo’s daughter Mariah, who was quarantined with the family in Albany. Lundevall has been the butt of a few jokes from the governor over the last few months. Still, though, why is he hanging from a cliff? What does it all mean? Let’s circle back with Twitter to find out:> the “Boyfriend Cliff” is when you date one of Cuomo’s daughters and he doesn’t like it so he draws you dying on a public poster pic.twitter.com/Ubq8m17veZ> > — Katie Sicking (@KatieSicking) July 13, 2020While the boyfriend cliff is still — and may always be — shrouded in dark mystery, Cuomo’s poster has tons to unpack that don’t involve people hanging off cliffs at all. Like, why is Donald Trump sitting alone on the moon?Perhaps the answers to all our Pandemic Poster™ questions will be revealed once New York has fully reopened — if, you know, that ever happens. It’s hard to say if it will, though, considering our governor is so busy with his art projects.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Andrew Cuomo's Press Conference Was A Bad JokeNew Yorkers Protest Rent In Front Of Cuomo's HouseWhat Andrew Cuomo's "Tracing Army" Will Look Like
At a press conference earlier today, California governor Gavin Newsom made an announcement calling for the re-closure of indoor service operations, including hair salons and barbershops, in 30 counties, to curb a new spike in COVID-19 cases. But not long before the order was enacted, actress Mandy Moore visited Nine Zero One, her go-to salon in Los Angeles, for a summer haircut and color.The 36-year-old TV star (and singer) debuted a fresh mid-length lob with light brown highlights on Instagram, with her stylist, colorist, and Nine Zero One’s co-owner, Nikki Lee, posting the glam shot on her own account. Even with Moore’s nose and mouth safely covered by a paisley face mask in the photo, her signature features — green-blue eyes, strong brows, and shiny brown hair — are on full display, only enhanced by her dusting and honey-brown balayage.> View this post on Instagram> > A post shared by Nikki Lee | Hairstylist (@nikkilee901) on Jul 13, 2020 at 10:51am PDTTo Lee’s credit, the best part about the cut and color is the fact that it’s not a major change for the This Is Us star. Instead, it’s proof that a few foils, freshly-snipped ends, and a little texture spray is all it takes to freshen up your hair this summer. With the latest news out of the local government, it looks like Nine Zero One and hundreds of other salons in the area will be forced to suspend business once again in the interest of public health and safety. If you’re a California resident like Mandy Moore, you’ll just have to wait a little while longer for your next appointment — a small price to pay for the greater good.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Light Pink Is The Hair Color Of QuarantineThe Best Hydrating Conditioners For Dry HairWhy You Should Be Asking For "Teasylights"
The goods that we buy on a fleeting basis may not ultimately wind up on our monthly most wanted list, but that doesn't mean they're not worthy of their own shopping spotlight. Welcome to our newest series that details just that: peeling back a more of-the-moment curtain on the top weird to wonderful items that people purchased this week. Each of the products ahead was anonymously sourced from both top-performing R29 stories as well as shopping data that details the most current bestsellers. This means that everything you'll find featured — from the $5 blemish-fighting formula to the pair of waterproof sandals — is a freshly baked slice of what's trending in virtual carts across the web at this very moment. Scroll on to see what else is in store (spoiler: it involves sale scores and salad containers). At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?The Best Buys Of 2020 — According To YOUWhat To Shop From Lululemon's Warehouse Sale17 Cute Dresses You Can Live In All Summer