face mask unsplash

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the use of cloth face coverings in public settings to limit the spread of COVID-19. (Bára Buri via Unsplash)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the use of cloth face coverings in public settings to limit the spread of COVID-19. However, some people may still be wondering how to make face masks a fashionable part of their daily lives.

The Red & Black has compiled a list of three style tips to incorporate face masks into your wardrobe.

Coordinate with your outfit

The combination of a striped polo shirt paired with plaid Bermuda shorts is an undeniable fashion faux pas of clashing patterns. If you want to avoid such classic fashion mistakes, your face masks should coordinate well with the rest of your wardrobe.

Paying attention to designs and colors can make your outfit look more put together, but you don’t need to be an expert in color theory to figure it out. Pair a neutral-colored outfit with a pop of color in your mask, or vice versa. If you’re ever stuck, a universal rule of thumb is neutral colors like black, white and gray look good with almost anything.

If you tend to wear more clothes with patterns, you might want to look for face masks in solid complementary colors for a cohesive style. If you tend to wear more solid color clothes, you might want to spice up your look with a fun patterned mask.

Pick styles to suit your lifestyle

Where will you be wearing your mask during the day? To the gym? To work? To the grocery store? Some masks are designed specifically for athletic activity with a secure fit and moisture-wicking fabric, while others are designed to be more comfortable for long-term and low-impact wear.

If you know you’ll be wearing your mask for an extended period of time, like at work, you may want to look for masks with ties instead of elastic loops. Elastic bands can provide a more secure fit for high-impact exercise, but they can also cause pain to your ears if worn for a long time. Tied masks are also an option for those who are allergic to latex.

Take care of your masks

Face masks can be washed normally with your laundry or by hand, and the CDC recommends washing them after each use. If you don’t want your masks tangled up in your clothes, you can zip them up in a mesh wash bag — like the kind meant for washing bras — and throw them in with the rest of your laundry.

Your mask can then be dried on the highest heat setting in the dryer, or it can be laid flat and allowed to air dry in direct sunlight, if possible, according to the CDC. Something to remember when caring for your masks is some fabrics, like cotton and linen, shrink in high heat.

To prevent contaminating your mask further, remember to sanitize your hands before touching it. When you’re not wearing your mask during the day, you can take it off, fold it in half so the outside surfaces are touching each other and store it in a paper or plastic bag, according to the Sarasota Memorial Healthcare System.