Is Facemask Fashion Too Gauche to Talk About?

You are surfing your favorite fashion websites when you come across an article discussing how to best match a facemask with a pair of designer sunglasses. You are intrigued, at least at first. But then it dawns on you that facemask fashion might be too gauche a topic to discuss. Is it?

Something that’s gauche lacks grace and social polish. It is lacking in tact. It is awkward, at best. All of these words accurately describe linking facemasks with high fashion. And yet, the link is still being made. A Guardian piece from the summer of 2020 illustrates the point perfectly.

The piece discusses how to achieve a good summer look by marrying your facemask with the right pair of sunglasses. Author Jess Cartner-Morley accurately points out that the need to wear facemasks doesn’t equate to a need to be ugly. Still, turning masks into a fashion statement seems to be a bit much.

Fashion Becomes the Norm

Perhaps we are uncomfortable about facemask fashion because we are smart enough to know that what is fashionable often becomes the norm. For purposes of illustration, let us briefly talk about sunglasses. We all know that sunglasses are trendy. Whatever trend is currently being pushed by A-list trendsetters is quickly adopted by the culture.

Olympic Eyewear says the trend issue has been part of marketing designer sunglasses for decades. Companies like Olympic Eyewear live or die based on their ability to capitalize on trends. Thus, marketing designer shades must be taken out of the medical arena and put into the fashion arena instead.

Never Waste an Opportunity

We can draw a correlation between fashion sunglasses and facemasks by considering the manufacturer’s and retailer’s point of view. Both manufacturer and retailer do what they do to make money. That is what business is all about. So it’s only natural that they would want to sell as many masks as possible. How do they do that?

One way is to perpetuate the fear associated with coronavirus. However, manufacturers and retailers don’t want to go that route. They would rather leave the negative stuff to government officials and health experts. That leaves them with only one choice: promote the fashion side of masking.

Manufacturers and retailers are merely glomming on to the tried-and-true principle of never wasting an opportunity. The reality is that facemasks are the norm. They will remain so for at least the foreseeable future. Therein lies a golden opportunity to sell.

Fashion Can Be a Positive Thing

Those who insist that facemask fashion is not gauche point to the possibility that promoting fashion in the mask arena could be a positive thing. They ask the rest of us to consider how best to encourage non-wearers to begin donning masks whenever they leave home. If making masks fashionable does the trick, is that bad?

Facemask fashion may be gauche only in the sense that it might cause some people to think we are not taking coronavirus seriously. Yet Cartner-Morley is correct about facemasks not having to be ugly. They don’t have to be any uglier than the new pair of sunglasses you bought to go with your masks.

Some people might be self-conscious about going out in public in a plain disposable mask. But give them a high-fashion replacement perfectly complemented by new pair of shades and they might be happy to go along with it.

Is facemask fashion too gauche to talk about? That depends on your perspective. Hopefully, this will all be moot at some point in the near future. With any luck, we will be saying goodbye to facemasks before summer arrives.

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