This year has seen the face-mask become an essential part of everyday life, with masks becoming mandatory practically everywhere you go. With life without corona seeming more and more distant, they won’t be going anywhere fast, which is why it’s no surprise that fashion labels have seen there’s money to be made from this new essential item.
There’s nothing the fashion industry loves more than a trend. Its fundamental aim is to get as many people as they can following the latest development. However, it isn’t usually the case that a garment is made compulsory for the entire population, becoming a ‘legally imposed’ trend of sorts. Not one to miss a trick, the fashion industry has transformed the surgical face mask into the ‘must-have’ accessory of 2020, literally.
These days, leaving your mask at home is an error equivalent to forgetting your keys
We have seen fabric masks to match any outfit, co-ord sets that include a mask and scrunchie in the same print, designer face coverings and seasonal masks too. One mask-broker said ‘this is the craziest market I’ve ever seen’ when talking about the huge boom in sales since the beginning of the pandemic. It is certainly safe to say that the mask has not only become one of the things we can’t leave the house without, it is also the object which seems to symbolise both the pandemic and the world of consumerism into which it came.
These days, leaving your mask at home is an error equivalent to forgetting your keys: you can’t get in anywhere without it. As a response to this modern frustration, PrettyLittleThing introduced an item of clothing that means you never have to remember to pack a mask again. Behold the ‘mask dress’. The original black dress, released in October, was a long-sleeved bodycon jersey dress with a roll-neck style and attached ear loops to transform it into a mask-dress hybrid.
Hopefully, these dresses don’t get discarded as quickly as disposable surgical masks… or other clothes from PLT for that matter.
Priced at only £15 and available in UK sizes 4-16, the bizarre new dress sold out in just 24 hours after PLT launched the product. It has since been restocked, not only in black, but in various other colours and prints too after the initial success. The craze has been helped along by celebrities and influencers being spotted wearing the dress, including model Lottie Moss.
Despite how strange this dress may look, it is not entirely unexpected that it was one of the major titans of fast-fashion (PrettyLittleThing) that created it. Their website is constantly releasing new styles so it was only a matter of time before they found a way to react to Covid-19 and the overcrowded mask-market. Never one to shy away from a quick profit, fast-fashion brands love a product with novelty-factor, even if that ‘novelty’ is a global pandemic. Hopefully, these dresses don’t get discarded as quickly as disposable surgical masks… or other clothes from PLT for that matter.
Whichever side of the mask-dress fusion debate you fall on, we can all at least agree that it is better than wearing no mask at all. After it’s unexpected success, it may end up being New Year’s Eve’s most popular look for seeing in 2021.
In-article image courtesy of LeahDewareed. No changes made to this image.
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