Since face masks and respirators are here to stay in our continuing fight against COVID-19, many brands are integrating fashion with function in their products, leaving many to wonder if these essentials can be turned into fashion statements.

According to fashion magazine Vogue,  more luxury designers are already producing masks that go with trendy ensembles. While fashion experts acknowledge that face masks and respirators are something all of us will be wearing way beyond the near future, more factors are needed to be considered than just making something pretty out of a medical essential.

Of course, experts will be unanimous in encouraging the general public to wear respirators and face masks that pass government health standards instead of experimenting with new trends that often include lower-grade fabrics and ineffective filtration systems. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has remained consistent in urging the public to examine the face masks and respirators they wear for protection levels, fit, and safety standards. Mask varieties such as KN95 respirators go through strict and rigorous efficiency tests under federal authorities and third-party ICS laboratories. Such American-made products are those produced by The USA Mask Company which is currently undergoing certification for CDC and National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) certification. 

Given this, designer face masks and filtering respirators are not at all highly recommended by health experts against COVID-19. Though these types of masks do provide a certain level of protection (not to mention trendy), medical-grade respirators are still your best options to ward off the spread of COVID-19 when you go out of the house. With more variants of concern (VOC) emerging across the globe increasing new cases worldwide, and inoculation efforts are still way out of sight, protection is the only key we have to focus on right now more than anything else.