Can Face Masks Be Safe and Stylish?

This year, the most important item in your wardrobe probably isn’t going to be a bespoke custom suit or even a pair of custom men’s jeans. The most important thing you will be wearing for the foreseeable future is a face mask. 

Fortunately, when it comes to face masks, there is a lot more information currently available. You’ll also find, you have a lot more choices when it comes to the kind of mask you wear.

In fact, The Gap worked with medical experts to put together a guide for face mask safety and style that has lots of easy to understand information. We turned to their guide for some basic info to help get you started.

Should You Be Looking for an N95 Face Mask?

No. N95 masks and other medical grade masks are still in short supply and should be left to the medical professionals who truly need them. An N95 mask is designed to help protect them from breathing in dangerous germs. The exhaust port – the little bump you see on the N95 mask or the little vent you might see on other masks – allows you to breathe out freely. It does not filter the air you exhale.  

As Nick Dawson, Co-Founder of the Emergency Design Collective and Former Executive Director of Innovation at Kaiser Permanente, explains, “What we’re really trying to do is keep our breath, our spittle from aerosolizing and potentially infecting someone else.” In other words, avoid masks that have an exhaust port. “They are not as good for what we need right now in this public health emergency.”

What Features Should You Look for in a Face Mask?

Dawson recommends getting something comfortable, particularly if you’re going to need to wear your mask for a long period of time. “If you’re going to be out and about, if you’re going to be interacting, even if you’re going to be exercising with a mask on, your incentive to keep it on is really closely tied to comfort,” he says. 

We haven’t had any requests for custom face masks – yet, but we expect it’s only a matter of time before our customers come into our unique location in Dallas for custom suits, men’s custom jeans and coordinating custom face masks.