The Importance of Masks

I’ve embraced our new mask-wearing present. The evidence is now overwhelming that they slow the spread of disease AND protect the wearer.

I’m immunocompromised. I don’t want COVID-19. I know people who’ve been left with an array of side effects from supposedly mild cases. It is a nasty virus we don’t know nearly enough about. No, thank you.

Since I’m following the law, medical evidence and common sense, and wearing a mask, I figured I’d have fun with it. I’m a fashion obsessive–just check out my alter ego Instagram, Dr Justine Fancy Pants–I had to have stylish masks and what better way to support local designers? Most of us can afford the cost of a mask even if we can’t afford a dress.

I’ve bought masks from local NYC designers/stores Emme, East Village Hats, Junny, Salvage Cloth and Indigo Style Vintage. Check out the masks by local designers in your region. Support them if you can. It makes a world of difference.

My doctor recommends turning your masks inside out after use and putting it in direct sunlight for an hour. If that’s not possible hand wash with gentle detergent or soap. Always dry completely before wearing again. It’s best to have at least two masks.

PS: I haven’t been blogging because I missed the community that used to be here. When this was a regular blog there was a wonderful conversation in response to almost every post. I’m finding blogging here to silence soul sucking.

I miss the community of the old days but I accept those days are gone. The conversations now unfold on social media.

I have found an engaged community on Instagram ready and willing to discuss the intersections of fashion and politics during this pandemic and there are no trolls. I’m loving it. So I post my mini essays there. I will continue to post longer essays here and will soon be updating this site with my fashion research.

I don’t foresee returning to Twitter anytime soon. It was too depressing. I miss those of you I no longer interact with, but my mental health is so much better since I left. So . . .

Photos of me were taken by Scott Westerfeld.


  1. Dearbhla on #

    I’ve just washed my collection of home-made masks. But as I’m back working I think I’ll need a few more so I may just take a leaf out of your book and look for some interesting designs to buy.
    I do find they get uncomfortable wearing them constantly however so I’m also using a visor/face shield.

    • Justine on #

      I’ve been wearing them since early March. I guess I’m just used to them now. Otoh I’m mostly at home so I rarely have to wear them all day long the way many other people do.

      • Dearbhla on #

        I have been wearing them while shopping for a few months now, but only recently reopened to the public at work (I work in a library) so need to wear them for much longer stretches now. Cloth masks are fine for shopping, I barely notice them for the 30 mins or so.
        If I didn’t have a face shield I’d still wear the mask but nice to have the option to swap things around

    • Justine on #

      My friends who have to wear them all day are now rotating them. They get through four or five in a day

  2. Mary Robak on #

    Have enjoyed your IG posts, and just found the blog!
    Thanks for your wise words on masks. Tho I have made a couple, I have bought some from different creatives, the first from @formemillinery.
    Wishing you well. And a world around you who take this seriously.

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