The latest fashion trend right now isn't a style of clothing or a retro piece, it's the face mask. With air quality dipping because of alleged man-made forest fires, increasing demand for this accessory prompted a stylish makeover. Far from the boring painter's and surgical mask, the latest versions took different forms ranging from sleek and technologically advance to cutesy with dainty designs. Can you believe that it even made an appearance during fashion week?
But while it's a relatively new thing to treat this once boring piece as a style statement on a global scale, in East Asia, masks have already been fashionable for quite some time all thanks to local pop stars who sport it not just for health reasons but also to conceal identity while in public areas. During the winter, masks are also used to protect parts of the face from drying out.
Now, the trend has spread all over the world even in tropical areas most especially in South East Asia where the haze is still being experienced in Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia. Ahead, where you can buy (and try) stylish masks.
Want a chic and sleek mask? You should check out Pitta Masks. They come in neutral and pastel colours which can go well with any outfit and are made from a comfortable, lightweight and washable material called polyurethane. But unlike other newly launched mask brands, the Pitta Mask isn't built for combatting air pollution. Instead, it was made for preventing allergies due to increased pollen count during the spring season. You can also use this for protection against dust when you're cleaning the house.
Alan Walker Ft. Airinum (SGD139/~USD100)
If street style is your aesthetic, then you'll love Airinum masks. Just recently, they even had a collaboration with DJ Alan Walker! The masks are KN95 certified with changeable filters that use a three-layer filter technology to protect against the smallest airborne contaminants and reduce exposure to bacteria. It also comes in different sizes and has an adjustable head-strap and earloops to ensure a perfect fit. In Singapore, you can find Airinum masks at Ante, and in the Philippines, you can check it out at Assembly.
Those who love playing with patterns and prints will be charmed by Vogmask's unique mask designs. The selections are wide: cute pandas, plaid, abstract and more. But it's not just all for show, Vogmask is certified to protect against airborne particles such as PM 0.3, PM 2.5, PM 10 and allergens. However, since this brand is based in San Francisco (but offers international shipping), it may take a while for you to get your hands on it.
The O2O2 is a mask like no other. Imagine a face mask that has the ability to clean the air you breathe, detect air quality, the status of your air filter, and possibly also information about your health. Hypothetically, data gathered from users can be used to influence legislation into advocating environmental efforts. This promising Black Mirror-esque mask is still in its development phase and you could be one of the first to try it by filling out a form on their website.
P.S. Here are our articles on how you can reduce your carbon footprint and live a more eco-friendly lifestyle.
(Cover photo from: @pitta_mask.id)
Next, check out tips on how to wear white in a polluted city.