Unmasking a fashion trend: COVID-19 coverings lead to Lancers’ collection for trendy, stylish wardrobe for going out


Used with permission from Meagan Kimbrell.

Senior Meagan Kimbrell takes out her collection of 30 masks that she has bought either from Amazon or Target since the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-March. Though Kimbrell does not plan to return to campus Nov. 2 for hybrid learning, she still values mask fashion and will continue to promote her new finds on social media.

By Dominique Chang, Sunny Hills High School

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-March, senior Meagan Kimbrell purchased her first mask: a $7, gray fabric with white polka dots from the Target at Town Center near Sunny Hills High School.

Not knowing how long quarantine would last, Kimbrell decided to buy some more face coverings, leaving her with a total collection of 30 by the time the 2020-2021 school year started..

“I have more of a simple taste, so I wear masks with solid colors or basic patterns I buy from Amazon or Target,” said Kimbrell who has spent $40 on her mask wardrobe. “My favorite mask is this $2 mask with a soft orange color and floral pattern, and I like to match it with a simple outfit like a white crop top and shorts.”

Kimbrell has accumulated all kinds of styles to cope with quarantine, purchasing masks with floral patterns, stripes, polka dots, plaid and solid-colored ones.

“I started with those disposable blue masks but after realizing how much waste it creates, my family switched to reusable masks,” Kimbrell said. “I have an orange floral mask, a pink one w white stripes, the grey polka dot mask, another grey and white plaid mask, and then a few basic colored ones like blue and black.”

Kimbrell is among some of the Sunny Hills students who like to make sure their masks match their outfits whenever they go out in public — despite the school remaining closed to live classroom instruction until Nov. 2..

Junior Paul Kim doesn’t have as many face coverings at his disposal as Kimbrell, but since mid-March he has bought six different mask styles consisting of white, pink, black, light blue, yellow and brown paisley.

“I match my mask with my pants and shoes to make my clothes cohesive just in case I want to take pictures,” said Kim, who’s still on the lookout for more. “I wear a black mask if I wear cool toned colors and dark-colored pants.”

Some like senior Sarah Roh has taken to social media to promote their preferences for mask wear.

Roh’s July 18 TikTok video shows how she styles masks including gold-, black- and rose gold- colored ones with matching outfits. The video, which has since reached more than 57,000 views, starts with the senior wearing a black blazer with a lavender dress underneath while the song, “3 Musketeers” featuring NextYoungin and ppcocaine, plays in the background. In her left hand, she’s dangling a pink and black covering, while her right hand holds a gold one.

With a tilt of her head, the clip continues with Roh styling the gold mask with a lavender dress paired with a black blazer and a black mini purse.


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♬ 3 Musketeers (feat. NextYoungin) – NextYoungin & ppcocaine

“A brand sent me clothes and masks and wanted me to promote it,” Roh said. “I was surprised by the number of views because it was in the beginning when I made my [TikTok] account.”

Gladly taking the offer, Roh said she was more than willing to spread awareness about the importance of wearing a mask during these times while also remaining fashionable.

“I have not made any more mask fashion videos,” she said. “However, in the future I plan to.”

With hybrid learning starting next month, those coming to campus will be able to spot more examples of fashionable face coverings.

But no one will be able to spot Kimbrell, Kim or Roh since all of them have chosen to stay home and continue with distance learning. Nevertheless, that’s not going to stop any of them from building on their interest in mask fashion while at home.

“I think I can still definitely show my mask fashion through social media without missing out on too much,” Kimbrell said.

This story was originally published on The Accolade on October 19, 2020.