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COVID-19 will transform fashion, one mask at a time


Masks will become part of our fashion landscape, Stacey Hatton predicts.

Masks will become part of our fashion landscape, Stacey Hatton predicts.

Courtesy photo

When I was a kid, I used to imagine what life would be like in the future. I loved watching all of the futuristic TV shows like “Lost in Space” and my cartoon favorite, “The Jetsons.”

Frequently I’d imagine myself as the platinum blonde Judy Jetson, showing off my cute triangular dress, while jabbering into my TV screen phone. It cracked me up thinking that if people were to ever use this type of phone, they’d have to be careful answering, in case their hair was in curlers or they had cold cream on their face.

It’s funny to witness today’s technology isn’t that far off from what the creators of those programs had imagined. Flying cars, spaceships, and jet packs strapped to a pedestrian’s back were not too “far out” for my 1970s young imagination. I couldn’t wait to see robots talking and cleaning my house one day.

But nowhere in my vivid imagination could I have ever pictured something so outrageous as this coronavirus pandemic. Global epidemics were for ladies and gentlemen strolling down the cobblestone streets of London, women wearing corsets and full-length gowns and men proudly sporting dinner jackets and bowler hats. Until the bubonic plague knocked on their door, that is, stealing their family’s health. (Upon researching the “Black Death” for this column, I discovered I may not have ever paid attention in history class.)

So last week when my eldest teenage daughter and I were chatting about fashion and how styles keep making a reappearance, she asked what I thought the fashion of the ’20s would be. After realizing she wasn’t talking about flappers and that we are currently living in the 2020s, I observed my wardrobe these past few months. I have rocked the T-shirt/sweat pant combo, usually adorned with slippers or flip-flops. I’m very classy. When I suggested my new idea, my daughter was surprisingly appalled.

“This fashion statement cannot last through the decade!” my girl said.

“Sadly, the future is all about sweatpants and face masks for a while,” I informed her.

(Insert stellar eye roll.) “Uh, no.”

Maybe that was it. What if along with our couture sweat pant ensembles, we matched face masks with them? Instead of winter scarves or jewelry, every person would have a closet full of masks to perk up any outfit, with a splash of color. Will it become commonplace that people are wearing face masks everywhere, so much that it will influence real designer trends?

“Dear, don’t forget we’re going to the theater this evening. We are in section 107, seat… oh, that’s right, per 2020 social theater distancing regulations, we are the entire section. Can you grab my velour face mask? The one that goes with my grandmother’s pearls.”

I can only assume in New York City, COVID-19 will transform the fashion revolution as well:

“Agorelli is wearing a snarky T, with a chic rhinestone-studded, cuffed pant. This can only be paired with a formal, three-pleated Armani face mask, and matching slippers by Jimmy Choo.”

Imagine this new wave in fashion and how reality TV shows will profit from the runway designer mask fashion explosion. Think of how lipstick manufacturers will need to refocus on a new product since all lips will be sealed with 100% cotton masks, secured by overpriced, black market elastic.

Hopefully, our casual (very casual) Friday look will not be forced by extended lockdowns; but I’m sure something this major in the history of the world will affect everything, including fashion. Remember, you heard it here first.

Stacey Hatton can be reached in her perpetual casual, casual Friday attire at [email protected].





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