10 stylish face masks you won't want to leave the house without
The UK government has announced that today (15th of June) face masks will become mandatory on public transport - and recommend you wear them, 'in enclosed public spaces such as shops, trains and buses to help reduce the spread of coronavirus', with fines being issued if you are seen not wearing one.
Face masks are the visual metaphor for the unseen viral enemy that we are all trying to avoid. At the beginning of this year, if you had worn a face mask on the London underground or at your local store, you would have drawn unwanted stares. Face masks are a daily reminder that these are unusual and unprecedented times, and as unnerving as they may appear, they will probably be here for the long-haul so it is best to decide on one that you will want to actually wear.
I suggest staying away from the traditional surgical mask, as we don't want to take away the already limited supply, from NHS and essential workers. While many of you may have got crafty during lockdown by making your own, others (myself included) are opting to buy them.
These are my top picks of the 10 most stylish face masks on the market that you'll love so much you won't want to leave the house without them.
Florence Bridge is a London-based fashion label that specialises in digitally printed silks, patchwork leather and shearling textures. This mask is a beautiful cotton unisex face covering that ties at the back. A portion of profits from the sale of this mask will be going to @fuelourfrontline charity who are delivering essential groceries to hospital workers around the UK.
Florence Bridge, £12, www.florencebridge.com
AEIBE is the UK's first filtered designer mask, created by husband and wife duo Tim and Ara, who made the most out of a bad situation and decided to make masks when their original collection had to be put on hold due to the pandemic. All of the masks are made with Liberty London fabric and safe certified lining cotton and the much needed mask filter from Korea.
AEIBE, £45, www.aeibe.com
The Mighty Company is a Los Angeles based luxury outwear brand founded by visual artists Jessie Willner. If you are worried that your face mask will make you stand out, maybe these aren't for you. Made from the companies fabulous fabric archives, there is a large array of bold and vibrant colours, and, with every mask sold, one will be donated to The Midnight Mission (a homeless shelter in downtown LA).
The Mighty Company, £20, www.themightycompany.com
Boden has released a range of face masks that you can pre-order now. Each set of three has a mysterious mix of their classic vibrant colours and prints that have been made with the end of fabric rolls, making them eco-friendly masks. They also have a wire across the nose, to ensure they can fit properly to your face. £5 from each pack is donated to Helpforce – a charity that helps support NHS staff and patients.
Boden, £20 (for 3 masks), www.boden.co.uk
NOJO is a premium product and sub-brand, designed and hand manufactured by THE WORKSHOP, established by professional seamstress and designer Nova Clarke Khalifa. NOJO's face masks, shape and colour palette perfectly go with everything in your wardrobe, and through the brands desire to reduce waste by reusing and upcycling off cut materials as well as having their own fabrics designed and sourced locally. For every mask sold, NOJO will be donating a portion of profits to Age UK who, with NHS are leading the fight to protect our elderly during the global pandemic.
Nojo, £14.99, www.nojobytheworkshop.com
Newt point out on their website that this mask is for all you, 'cool cats and kittens'. If a Carol Baskin reference isn't enough to intrigue you, their eco-friendly and fabulous face mask prints will. Their sustainable and reusable face mask has three layers: inner and outer layers composed of fabric made from recycled waste plastic bottles, and one inner layer of non-woven, bonded interlining. It's reversible as well, so you get two prints for one mask!
Newt, £15, www.newtlondon.com
Pearl Lowe is a British brand making beautiful masks with left over Liberty London fabric from her dresses. These double lined masks are hand made in Somerset by local seamstresses, and the majority of profits from her masks and dresses are going to the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, in support of all the amazing paramedics, health care workers and the communities that use these services.
Pearl Lowe, £25, www.pearllowe.co.uk
Tucca Swim, founded by sisters Helaina and Chloe Thomas, have launched bright and colourful non-surgical face masks to help fight against Covid-19. These hand made face masks are made with Tucca's sustainable swimwear fabric (ECONYL® - a regenerated and recycled nylon made from waste), as well as a breathable cotton fabric.
Tucca Swim, £6, www.tuccaswim.co.uk
Alex + Nova is a children's brand born in San Francisco. These beautiful masks have been made to help not only the purchasers, but also communities within San Francisco and America (here is a link to see the organisations these masks are helping). Each one is individually hand made, and fitted with a nose wire for an extra snug fit.
Alex + Nova, £23.16, www.alexandnova.com
Isabel Manns is a contemporary British womenswear brand that produces timeless pieces that are almost always reversible. The eponymous brand has a wonderful array of lovely soft cotton, that is perfect for the summer months. Profits made from the sales of the masks are going to the NHS.
Isabel Manns, £12, www.isabelmanns.com