The Age of Mask Fashion

Who knew that all the spring fashions for 2020 would include… face coverings.

Haute couture face masks at Paris Fashion Week highlight hypocrisy ...
well ok, the designers at Paris Fashion Week knew it

Austin became the latest in a long list of cities to issue a mandate requiring residents to wear a face covering in public. I live in the next county over, which hasn’t made it a requirement quite yet, just an official “strong urge”. I do work in the city normally when I’m not working from home, and from the sound of things it seems like the face covering requirement will become more widespread and could last for quite some time.

People should be prepared for coronavirus face-covering mandates issued Monday to last well beyond their current May 8 expiration date, said Dr. Mark Escott, interim health authority for Austin and Travis County.

Welcome to the dumpster fire called 2020, where everyone will need to own a couple options for face coverings/masks that have to be worn when in public for the forseeable future. Out of all the dystopian nightmare possibilities I’ve been picturing since the 2016 election, I have to admit I did not have this one in my top 10.

Bobby bought this shirt as a souvenir

Luckily we also live in the age of the internet, and all these crafty people are stuck at home like the rest of us. That means we definitely aren’t lacking for fun, creative options when it comes to masks, if we want to try to inject a little levity into this otherwise horrific situation.

Some of the equestrian shops, like Modern Mare Goods, were quick to offer cute face covering options with horse-themed fabrics.

Of course, there’s also Etsy. And true to form, Etsy has just about anything you could possibly dream up. There are gaiters, scarves, large face masks, smaller face masks, bandanas, tie-on, elastic loop ear, wire nose for better contour, triple layer, cotton, flannel, etc etc. Those of us in non-medical fields are learning so much about mask options these days. But my favorite thing (since we have been dropped into a dystopian dumpster fire beyond our control) are the wide variety of themes available.

Like, say… Tiger King. What better way to commemorate this weird time in history than by wearing Joe Exotic on your face while you do some grocery shopping (preferably not for expired Walmart meat)?

Tiger King Fabric Cotton Face Mask Washable Non-Medical image 1

Face Masks Hey All You Cool Cats And Kittens Black Face Mask image 0


Carole Baskin Funny Facemask Tiger King Inspired Neck Gaiter image 0

Perhaps you’ve binge watched 4 seasons of Schitt’s Creek and are totally okay with that.

Or, ya know, maybe you’re more into the news and want to pay tribute to the only person in the White House press briefings who doesn’t make you want to bang your head against the wall.

Fauci Face Mask  Dr Fauci Face Mask Fauci Swag Fauci 2020 image 1

There are a lot of horse-themed options on Etsy too, from sleek to goofy.

Equestrian design Neck Gaiter face mask head band image 0

Horse Neck Gaiter Horse Face Mask Pet Lover Gift image 0

I’ve even seen a few pictures of people on horseback with face coverings that coordinate with their riding outfits. That is dedication, people. Will this become an actual thing for the forseeable future?

I figured I’d start with a couple of different options – one mask, since it seems like it would stay in place better, and one gaiter, because it seems to have more all around uses. We’ll see how I like these first two acquisitions and then go from there.

I am Never Gonna Financially Recover From This Hey All You image 2
“I’m never gonna financially recover from this” is the best line in Tiger King and applies to my life on a regular basis
Washable Face Mask Protection Cotton Fabric Homemade Skull & image 0
I would like to remain cheerful, positive, and approachable in the face of a pandemic, so skull and crossbones it is. Ok really this was the best option from the seller that could get one to me the fastest, because I don’t do plaid or ladybugs or floral prints.

How about you guys? Are you wearing face coverings in public yet? Any “fun” mask procurements?  One of my coworkers has a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles mask, so extra points to him. May as well try to make a little lemonade out of this truckload of lemons.

24 thoughts on “The Age of Mask Fashion

  1. We don’t own a sewing machine. Husband is a bit of a do-it-yourself kind of guy. He does bookbinding as a hobby (I know), so he knows how to sew. I haven’t sewn anything since I made a deformed turtle rice bag in seventh grade.

    Well, test your marriage/relationship by having your husband/SO walk you through hand sewing a mask. But not just any mask. A mask with a special strip to insert a bendable nose band thing AND two pockets on either side to insert filters. He has made two. I “finished” one. I won’t be wearing it in public.

    Stay-at-home has been a joy. 🙂 But we are wearing masks to grocery stores and the like. I haven’t worn one to the barn yet.

    Really though, I appreciate his industrious, can-do nature. But don’t ask me to hand sew anything. Ever.


  2. “Fun” isn’t what I would call having to wear a face mask for 10 hours at a time for my work shifts, but that’s what we are doing, and it’s what we’ve been doing since before the states started requiring Americans wear them while inside buildings. My ears are raw by the end of the shift and I find myself drinking far less water than I usually do (since it involves removing the mask to drink) so I have a fun little dehydration headache at the end of 10 hours working on my feet. Currently alternating ear loop masks with tie-on ones to help alleviate the ear pain, and wearing double masks or a filter in the fabric mask when I have to be closer than 6′ from my coworkers (which is a must in vet med. Can’t place IVs or draw blood from dogs unassisted, which means they are impossible to do with help while maintaining a 6′ distance.) Mine are not fashionable. I have a hard time thinking of them as “fashion” when the reason why I wear them is to protect my coworkers from my own potential germs if I was to become an asymptomatic carrier. It’s why each of us wear them: to protect one another, not ourselves. Three of my masks were made with love and given to me by friends and family with the fabric that they had at that time, and the other two I bought on Etsy because they had the filter pockets. Paid $10 and $15 for them, and they are in solid colors. I don’t need to be frightening my canine patients even more than they already are among us faceless strangers by approaching them with a face half covered in a crazy printed fabric. But that’s also me being practical.


      1. I understand. ❤ The perspective is so different when we have to be out in this all the time; I feel like my husband and I live in a parallel universe right now. Honestly, I'm a little jealous of the WFH perspective on this, where masks are just an inconvenient necessity on the infrequent occasions they leave the house. It turns the trendier masks into a status symbol of sorts. But I guess turning the masks into a fashion statement and status symbol is a way of getting more people to accept the idea of wearing them in public, which right now is a good thing. 


    1. I hear you on this one! I work in pharmaceutical manufacturing, and have to wear a mask all day for 10 hour shifts, and can’t distance 6′ at all times either. If your hair is long enough, try tying it back into a low bun and looping the ear loops around the bun: that’s helped save my ears (obviously, the ear loops have to be fairly stretchy or long for this to work). I’ve also seen headbands with buttons on them behind the ears to hold the ear loops, which would be a fairly easy DIY if you have or can get a headband and buttons. You could totally glue the buttons on if you don’t sew! I had a coworker get one of those flat S-carabiner ( to clip the ear loops together, and another used a simple claw hair clip.

      I bought a cloth mask a couple years ago to wear on airplanes, after I realized that literally every time I flew somewhere I would get sick. I never imagined I would wear it anywhere other than on an airplane/in the airport…it’s lab-tested down to 1.0 micron, which is MUCH better than most homemade masks, and it’s black with rainbow paw prints on it. I wear an actual surgical one at work (provided by work), but I wear the cloth one if I’m out grocery shopping or whatever. I don’t wear one at the barn because A) I need to give myself a break at SOME point) and B) I’m never closer than like 15+ feet to another human. I tend to go at really slow times, so there’s usually 3 people there, and we’re all well away from each other.


  3. I hand-sewed a mask for myself a week or so ago. It’s got a pocket where I can insert a medical mask or N95 mask. As I don’t have to leave often, having one has been just fine so far. It’s nothing fun, just simple chocolate colored duck cloth. The inner layer is cream colored duck cloth. Pretty dense!

    I’m not entirely certain where WV stands on recommending them – and honestly don’t care because our governor is a joke and I don’t trust him one bit and will continue to follow more conservative recommendations that exist elsewhere – but I had two older farmers laugh out loud at me in my mask/gloves when I was in TSCo and Southern States getting horse/farm stuff last weekend. They weren’t wearing anything and, presumably, think this whole ordeal is a joke.


    1. Yeah, I haven’t been to the closest small town in a while for anything that required getting out of the car, but judging by the amount of traffic it doesn’t look like anything is being taken very seriously there. I will wear a face covering next time I go for groceries, even if not required yet. Might not help but it can’t hurt.

      I will probably have to go back into the office for a day in the next week or two, so I’ll have to wear one all day then. We’ll see how it goes. Definitely new territory for most of us!


  4. Do you go out in public that much? I would think not. The only time I go out is to pick up groceries, or get gas or donkey stuff and I rarely get out of the truck when I do go out. But i have not had a mask but do have two coming from Outfoxed (ordered Sunday they will be here tomorrow!).

    i feel for the people that have to wear them all day especially the health workers (including vets etc) UGH I have an appt with my three dogs this Friday for heartworm check and shots and have to stay in the car while they go in with them. Ollie hates having blood drawn without me and i cant imagine with the masks he is going to feel good or be good about it all: (


    1. I don’t go out in public much yet, but they’re talking like this face covering requirement could be in place for quite a while, like beyond when everyone starts going back to work. Everyone still in the building at my office is wearing a mask all day as of this week.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Love your take on this. Like you, of all the nightmares I could have predicted after the 2016 election, this one was certainly nowhere on my radar. Here in central Florida, most people are wearing masks in public, many are homemade. I made no-sew ones for myself and husband, out of bandanas, which I had several already. There are some good how-to videos on youtube and then I added a coffee filter inside of it for additional filtration. I have not needed it for the barn but wear to the grocery store and yesterday to the post office. I never thought to look on Etsy and had not seen these places you have shared, who are selling them so appreciate your sharing. It seems this will be our new normal for the foreseeable future so we may as well get used to it and embrace it as another form of self expression. Stay safe.


  6. I bought one for my daughter (who works in a bank) from Stockbubble on Etsy. Jack Skellington on the front, Darth Vader on the opposite side.

    Perri’s Leather is also offering 3 free for healthcare workers (just cost of shipping) plus a pack of 3 for 10. I ordered those too, just waiting to receive them.


  7. I just ordered one from outfoxed. I try to go to the store once every two weeks and if I need a few things on the between week I’ll go then as well. The mask from outfoxed will be my first face covering. Quite a few people are wearing various masks while out and about around here, but plenty of people aren’t wearing them.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ha! Called the couture masks on runways scenario texting with my sis a while back.😆

    Masked up for the first time over the weekend to grocery shop and hit the hardware store. Felt weird at first – glasses fogging issues + had trouble recognizing people – but like every other obnoxious life-change we’ve had to accept since 2016 – you move forward and carry on because what is the alternative?

    Really enjoyed the latest vlog – you have done a beautiful job with Presto – so much fun to watch his development!


    1. If you get one with a wire across the nose and give it a tight pinch, and wear it as low on your nose as you can (while still covering your nose!), both of those will help with the glasses fogging issue!


  9. I’ve got some unicorn fabric I was going to sew up into masks this weekend and probably sell them in a limited batch to benefit our local food pantry.

    I made a whole big batch of them last week for people in my life, including my husband, who works at a hospital, though thankfully without direct patient contact. He’s had a mask requirement for a little while now.

    I so rarely leave the house that I haven’t really worn one a whole lot yet, but I do have one for myself. I don’t love it, but I also don’t want to be that asshole that pretends this is all fake.


  10. Our government just suggested masks be worn last week – so I purchased some hand made ones from a neighbor who had some left over from making then for front line workers.

    My husband was so happy he got to pick his out which was like an outdoorsy woodland background. He wore it to the grocery store and a couple guys actually asked him where he got it as they were sick of wearing ones they’re wives picked out lol


  11. I made some masks. Since we rarely leave the property, they don’t get much use, but I have worn them while taking trash to the dump and doing curbside pickup. Because of mask depletion in the market I couldn’t buy the dust masks I use for cleaning stalls/barn chores every day because I’m allergic to hay and dust. The cloth mask is actually nicer (less glasses fog, more comfortable, etc) than the dust masks for stall cleaning so I’ll probably keep using them for that even in the future.


  12. Right now we’re incredibly lucky in that we literally haven’t had to leave the house. Both my BF and I can work 100% from home at this point. We do have a couple of masks that a friend made for us and I actually ordered masks from EquiFit to support the equestrian community so we have 5 masks coming from them (when you buy they also donate which is awesome). I am planning to wear them whenever we do go out in public which will be extremely rare. If/when I’m able to go to the barn I’m hoping to not need to based on the ability to social distance but I’m planning to bring a clean mask with me and if it seems like there are a lot of people at the barn or riding I’ll put it on.


  13. I have some disposables since they’re what I sell, but did grab a couple from mare goods. I use that type running as an ear cover in the winter, so figured they’d be useful for awhile either way.
    Masks in public are required here now, and truthfully anything to keep us all a little safer is okay with me.


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