From working out to lounging around, these masks are ready to be worn for any occasion



Wear a mask to keep you and your community safe

Enforced rules about wearing masks are still ever-present. To slow the spread of COVID-19, a mask is expected to be worn in all public spaces. With the virus being almost a year in, masks have evolved from boring, blue surgical masks to different styles of cloth and patterns. 

Ideally, healthcare workers and COVID-19 patients should be in need of medical masks most, and the public is now recommended to wear cloth masks to prevent overconsumption, which would result in a shortage.

From my experience with masks, I have dislikes and likes from what I consider to be an adequate mask to wear for an everyday occasion. 

The regular surgical mask is a common mask; it gets the job done and has a wire at the bridge of the nose to pinch down and seal off airflow. These masks can be found anywhere and are convenient to slip over your face quickly. One downside, though, is the lack of adjustability. Many times I’ve seen and experienced my mask slipping down or creating large openings at the sides due to the size. I have tried the trick to loop the ears in a figure-eight type of style, but have found there is no perfect size to settle to. 

The infamous Athleta masks have shown up on the internet many times before. I have used Athleta’s Made to Move mask for sports in the past and for everyday use. It is made of a thicker polyester and spandex blend. I noticed that the longer I work out, the more sweat my mask absorbs, essentially making it unwearable. It has a wire lining at the top, designed to keep the mask in place. I also know that every time I pinch the bridge of the mask down, it never stays put. Regardless of this, the mask doesn’t slip either way. It has a low cut at the top of both cheekbone areas which makes it easier to see others. It comes in many different colors, as well as kid’s sizes. The adjustability is easy with a simple rubber ear grip to slide back and forth on the ear loop. Overall, this mask is good for a long day of going out as well as being and feeling protected. 

The Norwex Reusable Face Mask with BacLock is another mask I have tried. This has a microfiber design to filter particles, and the material is cloth but only has one thin layer. This might have a relation to the microfiber material used–that it is not necessary to include two layers–but I don’t feel as protected using it. There is not a top wire to keep the mask in place and there isn’t any structure to the mask. Along with this, the mask doesn’t come with any adjustability to the ear loops, making it a one-size mask. The colors are limited and only come in around three shades of grey. This mask isn’t a personal preference to grab when going out, but if I was in need of a mask, it would serve its purpose. 

Another Athleta style I recently have tested out is the Everyday Non-medical masks. These have a similar style to the regular doctor’s masks with the pleats. They have a cotton material and are thin enough to be able to breathe but still offer protection. The colors are vibrant and they were on sale when I went into the store. I only purchased the black colored pack of five, but I noted there were colors I would later want to come back to buy. 

When it comes to masks, I look for breathability and a sense of protection. I appreciate the adjustability of masks to fit any size as well as a wired nose bridge for placement. As we continue to use masks, I plan to explore new styles that work well with anything.