May 27, 2020 | Sandra Pierce



That is the question facing the person on the street since the beginning of Covid-19. And, frankly, the inconsistency in advice has led to a lot of confusion about the effectiveness of face masks.

In the beginning, I was definitely in the “No Camp”. I wasn’t going to wear one. I was convinced, if I practiced social distancing and frequently washed my hands, I would be absolutely fine. And I thought they looked silly. But I have changed my mind.

Just how much of a role wearing a mask plays in actually preventing the spread of the disease is of course uncertain. Definitely when social distancing can’t be observed we most definitely should cover up, for example, when on an airplane.

And all studies do indicate that vigorous hand sanitation and not touching your face is perhaps the key in preventing its spread.

However, I liked what Dr. Anthony Fauci had to say, that donning facial protection is, on one level, an act of wider civic duty. As he has said many times on TV, “I wear a mask to protect you; you wear a mask to protect me and at the end, everyone is protected if enough people do it.”

And then, of course, there is my Jewish mother who would say, with a shrug of her shoulders, “It’s like chicken soup – it might not help, but it wouldn’t hurt.”

I decided to listen to mother and do my civic duty. But in keeping with my stature, I still want to be fashionable. And let’s face it (no pun intended!), they do take up a fair amount of real estate on your face. So finding the perfect mask has become my latest fashion accessory obsession.

Here are a few of my recent finds …..

Based out of Toronto, Michelle Vella, a Canadian artist who resides in Toronto, paints colourful portraits of pop culture icons with a comical approach that is enhanced by her Wide Big Eyes signature style. Each portrait tells the story of her subjects through words and symbols interwoven throughout. And now that great art is available in masks – click here.

I recently discovered a fabulous store in California –that will ship to Canada – VPL – that makes masks from vintage Japanese cotton fabric – known as yukata -an indigo-dyed summer kimono that is primarily worn after bathing. It’s elegant and its thin cotton fabric breathes well and is less likely to stick to sweaty skin. Go to VPL and buy!

Greta Constantine, a Canadian designer house known for designing for the worldly and sophisticated woman, and worn by the likes of Taylor Swift and Angelina Jolie, has just released five non-medical grade face masks that will be available for purchase at small business retailers across the country.

Here in Toronto, the masks can be found at Andrews online, Maxi Boutique in Yorkville and Lac and Co. on Davenport Road. The label chose to make the masks exclusively available at these retailers to do their part to support small businesses.

And for the Ultimate Fashionista, luxury brand ERDEM has just entered the arena offering a limited edition face mask made from sustainably crafted leftover printed Italian cotton. In support of COVID-19 relief efforts, 100% of net profits will be donated to Britain’s National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus Appeal. www.erdem.com

Toronto Raptors fans will be happy to know you can now flaunt your team pride on your face. All proceeds will go to Second Harvest Canada. Click here

So if you are going to join me in mask wearing, let us girls (and guys!) wear a great one.