There are some things you have to wear in public: shoes, shirts, and now, thanks to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, face masks. And while you understand why you have to wear all of the above, when it comes to the latter, you have to admit that the average medical face mask isn’t exactly the most attractive of accessories. Which is why, in an attempt to make the “new normal” a little bit brighter, so many retailers have begun selling fashionable, even funny face masks. After all, if you have to wear a face covering, you might as well look good doing it, right?
Whether it’s a chambray earloop face mask from Madewell or a retro tie-dye mask from Anthropologie, there are plenty of stylish options to choose from that will give you something to look forward to on your next trip to the grocery store (and not scare any kiddos you encounter at home or on the way). To help you choose the best face mask, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite—and most fashionable—masks below. Psst: Just remember that these masks are for non-medical use only.
Think about why you love your favorite pair of yoga leggings: they’re likely breathable, fast-drying, stretchy, and soft, right? Sounds like qualities you’d also like to have in a face mask—and now you can, thanks to these “Mindful Masks” from Onzie. Made with the same spandex material as the beloved yoga brand’s leggings, the masks are constructed with multiple layers of high-performance, breathable fabric and stretchy elastic straps that loop comfortably around your ears. And with patterns like leopard print, tiger stripes, and florals, they look as good as they feel—so whenever your Pilates studio or gym does happen to open back up, you’ll be able to (safely) sweat in style.
The only thing more rewarding than spending money on something (it’s called retail therapy for a reason) is spending money on something that gives back at the same time. And that’s what happens when you buy one of these face mask sets from Everlane. For every three-pack that that Everlane produces, the cult-favorite brand is donating another mask to Feeding America to help with their COVID-19 relief efforts. The masks themselves are made of a double-layer knit fabric (which can be machine-washed!) and have cotton-Lycra loops that won’t itch or irritate your ears. And while there’s a five-pack limit per customer, these masks sell out quickly so if you want them for yourself, we’d recommend acting fast.
“Rainbows make me sad,” said no one ever. That’s why kids are putting them on windows across the country to inspire hope and cheer people up—and why they’re now putting them on masks, too. These colorful cloth face coverings were designed by 12 New York City kids and come in four different hand-drawn rainbow patterns. For just $25, each pack includes two masks (so you can wear one and wash one), each of which boasts an overhead strap along with tie-on strings so you can adjust it to fit your face. Bonus: All of the proceeds are being donated to NYC Health + Hospitals to support those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wear your heart on your sleeve? More like wear your heart on your mask—literally. These budget-friendly masks from Amazon feature a simple yet stylish design that—if you’re worried about your #OOTD—will go with any outfit. All black with a tiny red heart in one corner, the masks are both machine-washable and reusable and can easily be folded up (which is perfect for tossing in your purse on the way out the door). Even better, you won’t have to worry about itching or irritation since the masks are made of super soft cotton. They’ll be back in stock before the end of the month and are eligible for free Prime delivery so you might want to order them now before they sell out again.
Madewell fans rejoice—the popular denim brand is now selling face masks. And they’re just as cute as you’d expect. Currently available in either indigo stripes or gray and blue plaid, the masks are made from leftover fabric scraps from other Madewell pieces, which means once a print is sold out, it’s gone for good. I.e. you likely won’t run into someone else wearing the same mask at the grocery store (is this the 2020 version of wearing the same dress to a party? le sigh). Each mask—which boasts three tightly-woven layers of fabric—also has a built-in filter for added protection. However, keep in mind that because they contain said filters, these masks are hand-wash (and air-dry!) only.
Go to Old Navy for the cheap flip-flops (IYKYK), stay for the pretty face masks. Each of the masks—which are designed according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s guidelines for face coverings—have elastic over-the-ear straps and three layers of 100 percent cotton poplin. Even cooler, that soft and breathable fabric is recycled scraps from some of the retailer’s most popular pieces—hence the adorable patterns. And while the masks come in everything from chambray to plaid to floral, Old Navy only sells “surprise” packs, so unboxing the five masks that end up at your doorstep will feel less like yet another brown package and more like Christmas morning. Fingers crossed for that trendy denim mask…
The next time your husband asks if you really need to be spending more money at Anthropologie, you can firmly say yes, you do—because you’re buying essential face masks for the family (plus a few sundresses, those hand-painted wineglasses you’ve had your eye on, and that agate cheese plate, but he doesn’t need to know that). At just $14 a pop, these floral tie-dye masks are made of super soft cotton and designed with your comfort in mind. I.e. they have stretchy elastic loops that slip easily over your ears and a cushioned nose wire. Plus, each mask has an opening where you can insert the filter of your choice if that’s your thing.
Think a heavy-duty respirator mask can’t be feminine? Think again. This budget-friendly mask from Amazon is as pretty as it is protective, with a blush pink and sky blue camo pattern and a dust respirator that blocks out 99 percent (!!) of fumes and particles. Not only that but it’s made of a very breathable light nylon (so you can wear it while you’re out and about without feeling like you’re about to die) and has valves on the sides to release air, which is perfect for anyone who wears glasses (goodbye, fog!). As if all of that wasn’t enough, the mask also has a built-in layer for holding a filter if you want that extra level of precaution.
Want to shop for something besides the essentials? Browse all our favorite fashion picks here, from loungewear to swimsuits.