As the Vanderbilt community prepares to return to campus August 24, there is one major change that is on everyone’s mind: face masks. Instead of sporting their usual smiles, Vanderbilt students, faculty and staff will be required to wear face masks/coverings on campus at all times in public settings during the fall semester. Although the university will be providing each of its members with one cloth face covering, there are many alternatives for individuals who are looking for a face mask that is a little more fashionable.
There are plenty of DIY face mask options that require few materials, in addition to masks that can be purchased from stores.
For a quick no-sew face mask, a t-shirt can be cut horizontally from the seam 8 inches from the bottom. After this horizontal cut, a 6 inches tall and 7 inches wide rectangle is cut out from the right seam of the shirt, towards its center. This rectangular cutout should be placed 1 inch from the top of the 8 inches tall piece of fabric, and 1 inch from its bottom. At this stage, the mask is folded in half, bound at the t-shirt’s right seam by the 1 inch tall strands of fabric surrounding the rectangular cutout. The mask should then be cut along its right seam to reveal four tie strings once the mask is unfolded. The top two strings can be tied at the back of the head, while the bottom two strings can be tied around the neck. This face mask can be easily customized by selecting t-shirts with bright colors and fun designs.
Another easy face-covering alternative is the creation of a mask using a bandana. As opposed to simply tying a bandana to cover your nose and mouth, this option entails a coffee filter for increased coverage. The coffee filter is folded in half and placed horizontally in the center of the bandana that is laid flat. Next, the bandana is folded into thirds with the height of the coffee filter indicating the height of the middle third. This step is done by folding the bottom third up, and the top third down, to enclose the coffee filter in the middle third. Lastly, a rubber band (or hair elastic) is placed at each end of the folded bandana (approximately 6” apart), and the ends of the bandana are folded towards the center, over the rubber bands, and are tucked together. After the ends of the bandana are tucked, the rubber bands should be looped around the ears. Similar to the t-shirt face mask, this style can be customized by using any bandana of your choice.
For those who would like to purchase a stylish mask to wear on campus, there is a wide range of options available from popular retailers.
Bloomingdales released a face mask set through the brand Echo, which is inspired by their signature “Little Brown Bag” shopping bags. Their website also features reusable masks in a variety of prints (such as leopard, floral, stars, and tie-dye), in addition to sets of 5 disposable masks by Medipop, which come in denim, striped and solid-colored designs.
Revolve also has a large spectrum of reusable face masks available on their website. Unlike other retailers, Revolve has mask accessories, which include beaded and rhinestone additions for the standard mask. In total, the brand has over seventy reusable face masks for sale, which come in a variety of different designs and graphics such as snakeskin, bandana print and lace.
Lastly, many notable athletic brands have released face masks, such as Under Armor and Adidas. These masks are designed to be breathable and durable for all-day wear, and they feature a sleek solid color design for comfort while exercising. Adidas is sharing $2 from every pack sold to Save the Children’s Global Coronavirus Response Fund.