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Face masks: function, fashion and the future

How facial coverings are already impacting the fashion industry, and our personal style.

To mask or not to mask… these days, it’s not really a question.

As official guidelines continue to suggest the wearing of face masks…it looks as though this unexpected accessory will be with us for some time.

Stylist Hallie Abrams, The Wardrobe Consultant, told 3News, the fashion industry is adapting quickly as we come to terms with the idea that masks will be with us for awhile.

"I always say of smile is a woman’s best accessory, so if that's all going to be covered there's a practical part of it - but then, there's also the how are you going to express yourself," she explained.

Though this is something most of us never expected to see in our lifetimes, Abrams says, it isn’t unprecedented.

"If you look back to 1918 ,1919 after the Spanish Flu, people were all dressed in their outfits and there were all these different kinds of masks."

Now in 2020, from big fashion houses like Louis Vuitton, to crafters taking on handmade versions, there are no shortage of styles to fit your budget, fabric preference and personal style. 

And here in Northeast Ohio, well-known brands like Fount, Yellowcake Shop, and even organic mattress manufacturer Naturepedic are all rising to the occasion by producing masks - offering another way to support local business.

So, if you want to infuse some style into something so practical,Abrams has a few suggestions.

First, when it comes to prints, consider size and scale.

"You want to make sure that the scale of one piece is on the opposite end of the scale the other. So that being said, if you're wearing a floral dress and it has small flowers, your mask can have a bigger print," said Abrams.

Next, pay attention to color.

"You want to have things that are in similar or complimentary color palettes."

And most importantly, if you've got to mask up anyway, why not make it fun.

"I think it's almost going to be like the new graphic t-shirt - you know, a way to express yourself that's just going to become part of the norm. And maybe ... masks, that's going to be the focal point and then the rest of outfit is going to get built around it."

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