Need a mask? These stylish cloth face coverings are effective — and in stock

Nicole Sforza

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Wearing a mask doesn't mean you have to sacrifice style. (Photo: Sanctuary)
Wearing a mask doesn't mean you have to sacrifice style. (Photo: Sanctuary)

At this point, we know that wearing a face mask is key to help stopping the spread of coronavirus. But that doesn’t mean we can’t look good while doing so.

While certain retailers and restaurants are slowly opening up, Walmart and Starbucks are leading the way with new policies that require all employees and shoppers to wear face coverings upon entering their stores. So it’s more important than ever to find a mask you feel great in to help curb coronavirus.

It’s important to know what kinds of fabrics work best, though. According to a study from the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory, cloth face masks made from fabrics with tight weaves, like cotton, natural silk, flannel and chiffon, can provide significant protection by filtering out aerosol particles.

Combining fabrics—high thread count cotton with two layers of silk or two layers of chiffon, for example—is also effective, according to the study. What’s not great? Porous fabrics and low thread count cotton (80 thread count was tested). 

Fit is critical, as well. The study found that big gaps can lead to a 60 percent decrease in filtration efficiency.

And as you’ve probably heard, N95 respirators and surgical masks should be reserved for medical personnel. If you have any in your home, consider donating them to medical professionals in need through services like Mask Match. Don’t forget to also wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, carefully disinfect surfaces and practice social distancing, too.

Let’s face it: Masks cover at least half your face, so it makes sense to pick one that suits your style. Scroll down for the chicest masks on the market.

5X Masks—L.A. Protects

5X Masks — L.A. Protects. (Photo: Reformation)
5X Masks — L.A. Protects. (Photo: Reformation)

Reformation is using cotton, viscose, and Tencel to create these simple masks with straps. The black one is like the LBD of face masks—you’ll receive a random assortment of solids, prints, or both.

Shop it: 5X Masks—L.A. Protects, $25 for five, thereformation.com

Protective Mask

Protective Mask. (Photo: Vida)
Protective Mask. (Photo: Vida)

Made of two cotton layers, this charming check mask sports adjustable straps and an integrated metal nose-piece for a snug fit. Each mask comes with a PM2.5 filter; filters should be replaced every seven days. 

Shop it: Protective Mask, $10, shopvida.com

Fashion PPE Masks (five-pack)

Five Pack Fashion PPE Masks. (Photo: Sanctuary)
Five Pack Fashion PPE Masks. (Photo: Sanctuary)

Complete with a nose wire for comfort, these chic cotton muslin masks feature a double inner layer and a polypropylene filter. And the company gives back: for each mask bought, Sanctuary will provide masks to organizations in need. 

Shop it: Fashion PPE Masks (five-pack), $28, sanctuaryclothing.com

Custom Smile Mask

Custom Smile Mask. (Photo: Cool for School Photo)
Custom Smile Mask. (Photo: Cool for School Photo)

Walking around wearing a mask can be kind of lonely—you can’t see anyone’s expression. But these masks give us something to smile about. Upload a photo of your smile and this genius company will print it onto cotton twill. Also choose from famous smiles ($20 each): Michelle Obama, Barack Obama, Julia Roberts, and Jack Nicholson.

Shop it: Custom Smile Mask, $30, coolforschoolphoto.com

Cotton Mask (five-pack)

Cotton Mask (5 pack) (Photo: Citizens of Humanity)
Cotton Mask (5 pack) (Photo: Citizens of Humanity)

You’ll receive an assortment of colors—dark denim, light denim and natural/white—when you order these dual-layer cotton face coverings from Citizens of Humanity, which has repurposed its sewing facilities to make masks during the crisis. 

Shop it: Cotton Mask (five-pack), $25, citizensofhumanity.com

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