From prints to crystal-embellished to exotic embroidery, here are the latest mask trends every fashionista is trying in 2020.
For the foreseeable future, it looks like we are going to be wearing face masks for a while. Whether it is going on errands or heading to the pharmacies or grocery store, we all need one.
Up until now, masks have not been a must-have fashion accessory. And one of our major complaints with FW20 couture collections was the obvious lack of stylish masks. However, many designers and fashion brands, both big and small have been introducing trendy face masks now. We admit it does take away a fair amount of your style, so it’s not surprising if you are partial towards aesthetically pleasing stylish ones. So we have garnered all the latest mask trends we have spotted in fashion.
Masks have become the new canvas for designers and artists. Brands are also flooding the markets with vast arrays of flamboyant and edgy designs and boy, can we stop drooling over these latest mask trends. These protective coverings are usually personalized or pre-designed, and we have seen a wide variety. From Lady Gaga’s ‘Chromatica’ face mask to the vast categories of designer face masks by popular brands like Off White, there’s a wide array of designs that we can add on to our wardrobe.
We’re also seeing masks at every price point. There’s locally available masks in the market that are barely $5 to Marc Jacobs upcycled masks that are a whopping $100 apiece. While the street shops might be closed in some locations, e-commerce sites like Etsy, Redbubble and Myntra seem to offer a variety of stylish masks at great offers and discounts. Online or offline, we have seen a great selection of latest mask trends in fashion that are being embraced by our favorite celebrities and influencers.
Let’s check out the top trends in stylish masks.
Latest Mask Trends in 2020
For our team here at ShilpaAhuja.com, analysing trends in masks was no different than analyzing any other accessory trends. We looked at hundreds of designs, celeb styles du jour, fashion weeks around the world, artists’ work and brand collections. Starting from the plainest and moving on to some really exciting trends, we have listed them all here. So gear up ladies, let’s take this journey to the new flashy arenas of trendy face masks.
For casual outings, the safest option will always be to have a basic or simple mask that goes with most of your casual outfits. For casuals, we are seeing solid colors, light patterns and color blocks. Neither too lame nor too extravaganza. Solid color masks are the top trend for minimal style. I love monochrome attires the most, so solid colored masks are my personal favorites.
If you want to have a bit of fun, light patterns like polka dots or repetitive minute motifs can work best. But for a balanced or crisp look, color blocks can grab little attention to your look. I personally play safe with color blocks that go with most of my t-shirts and sneakers. It’s better to have a good selection of colors if you like to mix and match. Solid-colored masks work best with print tops and everyday basics.
Patterns and Checks
Patterns and checks add fun to any outfit. Most popular among celebrities like Emily Ratajkowski and Mindy Kaling, patterns and checks like gingham, tartan, plaid and buffalo work best with a well thought or balanced look. They go with casuals, work wear, brunches and outings, all kinds of day wear outfits. They are either matched with a top or bottom piece or styled in print-on-print.
Patterns and checks are great for formal outings. For example, Nicola Sturgeon brought the tartan print mask in trend by styling with pant suit. These styles have already been seen on runways before but we will surely be seeing a lot of these designs in the shops as the work culture commences soon with countries reopening. They’re a bit of a risk as they don’t quite go with everything. But risky or not, they are one of the latest mask trends that you can try out for all seasons.
Logos and Corpocracy
Logos are back – yay, consumerism! Masks with logos and statements for a purpose are a latest mask trend in fashion. Plus, we are also seeing logos of businesses (restaurants or retail stores) or masks with political quotes and statements for campaigns. You must have often seen these masks worn by political leaders like Donald Trump or protesters of recent movements with campaign agendas who have made these masks a new trend.
However, even though these might be one of the latest mask trends in the past couple of months, but can be quite monotonous for everyday style. So, to make it more interesting try them with bold colors and accentuate your look with hair and makeup. Or you can neutralize the mask with complimentary outfits for a fun casual look. You can look sharp and chic with these masks if you play with the right palette.
Must Try Prints
Prints are an undeniably eye catching fashion element, which makes them the most popular in the latest mask trends of 2020. Fashion masks with fun and enticing prints are most attention grabbing compared to others. There is no limit in this category. Following up last year’s prints-on-prints trend, masks with animal prints, tie-dye, florals, tropicals, camos are popular. If you’re experimental and wild with your choices, go for something bold.
Billie Eilish had already started this latest mask trend in her red carpet looks. But during the pandemic, Lebanese singer Dana Hourani took up a notch by making mask styling sexy with her exquisite dresses. Like them, you can style with a neutral/solid look where the print is eye-catching like Dana’s, or go wild with an enigmatic print-on-print style like Cindy Crawford’s. Two most popular choices.
There’s always a new trend coming up every season with prints. So, masks with prints won’t be leaving us for a long time. You can go all downtown with prints like a maximalist icon or get a little wild with a fun print. Style tip: If you are experimenting with a maximalist print-on-print look, try to balance your mask with the similar print. If the print of the mask doesn’t coordinate with the printed outfit, it can end up looking jarring.
Graphics and Quotations
Wearing your fandom on your face is the thing to do in 2020. Nerd or not, we all have that one show or movie we relate to. And let’s face it, our generation communicates with memes more than emoticons nowadays. Which makes this trend the most demanded and hyped among the latest mask trends. It includes masks doused with pop culture references from movies, shows, memes, quotes, art illustrations, etc. There is a separate fandom for these masks.
These masks are great with plain or graphic t-shirts, sweatshirts and jackets. But if you want to take one step ahead, style with a breezy dress or blouse. Usually the masks are the central focus of the look so don’t wear anything that takes the eye away from the mask. Light accessories work well too. I sometimes add a pair of hoops or a thin metal bracelet to elevate the casual look. These latest mask trends are statement worthy themselves.
Metallics and Satins
Metallic dresses are still in, so why not masks? All the previous categories were perfect for daywear. But to shine out at night, this is the trend to try! There are masks with metallic fabrics, holographic prints, shimmery nylons and satin nudes. These fancy face masks are perfect for parties, clubs, events and balls. Best styled with evening make up and glimmering accessories, metallic and satin masks add the sparkle in the entire look.
Once the pandemic saturates, these masks will be a nighttime jewel for most of us. Even though we haven’t seen much of metallics and satins yet, I am sure once the stage is reset, people won’t shy away from being back at the clubs. So if you have already marked a date for the next night out with your girlfriends then pre-order these masks!
Now, we are approaching the artistic side of the journey. This is where we add the ingredient of creativity in the recipe. The dramatic additions in the face masks are the most trending mask designs in street-wear style. Dramatic additions are about the small additional details which make the masks look extra stylish. One large bow at the back, layers of fringes, sewed ruffles and elongated fabrics all of which adds a little spice to the dish. Just with a little of this and a little of that.
Mostly spotted as a high-street accessory and highly recommended by the fashion influencers, this latest mask trend is a pandemic ready way to add drama to any look. I would personally recommend these masks with dramatic makeup. Don’t leave them out looking plain or basic. Put more effort with the overall look with colors and accessories. This trend would certainly create a head-turning look.
Embroidered and Embellished
Ever since masks have become the fashion armor, it doesn’t only limit them to everyday styling. For events and special occasions, embellished masks are the most recommended among all the latest mask designs. With embroidery (lace and crochet included) and embellishments, these masks are designed to match the adornments of the garment.
Be it a bridesmaid or the bride herself, the masks need to look heavy, ornamental and special, just like the outfits they match. Embellishments and traditional embroidery make the best designer masks for weddings. You can ask your tailor or designer to design the mask to match with the outfit. It should give a complete, well-put-together look, rather than mis-matched or self managed. Make these masks a part of your outfit.
The ‘No Mask’ Mask
Apart from traditional or structural styles of masks, other alternatives have been in the limelight as well. Scarfs, bandanas and face shields are few options that are considered as a face covering other than face masks. They are extremely stylish (check out Sarah Jessica Parker collection of scarfs) and effective for protection.
Scarves and bandannas are easier to accessorize and they work in multiple ways. You can cover up your face in crowds and take them down in a private space. Face shields are trickier to style but transparent shields with few patterns can work out with any outfit. A bit hideous, but works fine. These are a few alternatives to masks. As long as they cover and protect, they are great to go.
The Art and the Artist
Wearing artwork on your face is the new trend fashionistas are trying. No, we’re not talking about tattoos, but artsy masks. Various artists around the world, small or big, have been making their own contributions to this situation. For example in India, Vanshika Gupta’s hand embroidered face masks featuring Suf work from Kutch, Gujarat embody the cultural value of traditional crafts and the talent of local artists. Masks with minimal work are easy to pair and style with any outfit.
Local artists create beautiful hand painted or embroidered masks that would enthrall any avid art collector or enthusiast. The art helps in rejuvenating the history and heritage. Most of these masks are very easy to style and are hugely promoted by stylists like Elizabeth Stewart and celebs like Mindy Kaling. If you are looking for something unique and personal, it’s best to go for local artists.
Masks with Function
The masks were unpredictable, yet they play a vital role in our safety. Aesthetic wise, these latest mask trends have been spurring new interests among the consumers and influencers, but the functionality aspect is still uncommon. Masks can be difficult to use on a regular basis with respect to voice and eating situations. I can’t even have some french fries without making sure no one’s in my close proximity.
Brands and designers are working on solutions that we expect to see become popular soon; like masks with zips, neck chains and appropriate slits. Along with the functional features, masks are a new design investment. More prints and patterns are waiting on line and more styles will be taking on the charts with new designs. So we can hope masks will become much easier to wear than they are now.
It was quite predictable with the ongoing global change that stylish face masks will eventually become our fashion armors in 2020. And what I love about fashion the most is that we somehow embrace a necessity and infuse fashion in it. It took a few months to get used to masks but they have somehow made a place in our lives. Masks have become a new accessory for us. Every single day I scroll through my Instagram I see the influence they have made in everyone’s lives and their wardrobes.
I am sure all of you lovely ladies have already included them in your dressers. So share with us how masks have changed your style and which of these stylish and latest mask trends have taken over your wardrobe by tagging us on @shilpaahujadotcom to share your incredible style stories.
Neelima Nayak is a Fashion Journalist Intern at Shilpa Ahuja. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Communication at National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Bhubaneswar. Her interest in fashion grew at a very young age through movies and magazines. Since her high school years, she has been devoted to pursue a career in fashion.
She has worked on multiple college projects on branding, forecasting and new media. She is also working on her own website Dolce and Shabana to showcase her research work and blog about fashion. Apart from blogging, Neelima spends most of her time reading and watching movies, hobbies she has developed since the age of 5.
Having grown up in the city of temples, Bhubaneswar, rich in culture and heritage, she loves to read about history, sociology and mythology. She has been an animal activist and slow fashion enthusiast for a couple of years. Her personal style is very simple and minimal. Her go to look is mostly a tank top, ripped denim jeans, smokey eye and her constant BFF, Maybelline mauve lip crayon.