Face mask gallery: These 19 Michiganians put style and safety where their mouth is

May 05, 2020, 8:24 AM by  Alan Stamm

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive, brief Lansing journalists last Friday. The governor's mask was donated by a 10-year-old girl. (Photo: State of Michigan)

It's as though Halloween comes five months early and we all go as medical workers or stickup bandits.

At first, early adopters with masked noses and mouths stood out in March and part of April. Originally, so did wearers of wireless earbuds and dangling iPod cords. A couple of months in, surgical masks and pulled-up bandanas look as ordinary as Tigers caps and facial piercings.

"The face mask — once purely functional, once perceived as an exotic accessory — has evolved at breakneck speed into something more," Washington Post style writer Robin Givhan writes Tuesday. "There are masks for every taste and budget. ... There may be no other piece of clothing that has had a trajectory like face masks — something that began as purely protective transforming into a fashion statement in no time at all."

Flair is needed to stand out now that virus face protection is a must-have accessory for leaving home. It's time to go beyond a white painter's mask or powder blue medical version. Options include home-sewn creations, custom-crafted ones on Etsy (250 pages!) and designs from online merchants.

Sen. Erika Geiss, D-Taylor

We can resemble a rodeo fan or "Oklahoma" chorus member with a western-look kerchief. Or we can swagger in biker/pirate style with skulls, crossbones and basic black, as WDET producer Jake Neher does below. For a more elegant look, repurpose an expendable scarf, blouse or linen closet item.

Choices are limitless, which is good because this part of the new abnormal will outlast 2020 quarantine months.

"Shots of the face mask are the new 'I voted' selfie," Fox 2 reporter Roop Raj says on Instagram. "Prediction: People will be wearing those stickers on their masks this Election Day."

So for inspiration and unabashed gawking, not necessarily in that order, here are social media shots of Michigan politicians, journalists, two deputies and an artist with their new headwear. Show us how you rock a snazzy look via email, tweet or Facebook post.

Sen. Sylvia Santana, D-Detroit, also wore a protective vest last Thursday as armed protesters were in the legislative gallery. Chad Livengood of Crain's wrapped on a scarf to tour the TCF Center field hospital.

A Republican senator, Aric Nesbitt of Van Buren County in West Michigan, goes with a classic plaid breathing shield.

Eric Thomas, "chief storyteller" on Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan's communications staff, steps out in swanky style. (Photo: Instagram)

Sen. Mallory McMorrow, D-Royal Oak. (Photo: Twitter/Jeff Kowalsky)

From left: Michigan Advance reporter Madeline Ciak, Deadline Detroit contributor Greg Bowens of Grosse Pointe and Laura Walker, Detroit architect and artist.

Macomb County Sheriff's deputies patrol safely and distinctively.

Clockwise from left: Michigan Advance reporter Anna Liz Nichols; Crain's freelance photographer Larry Peplin of Grosse Pointe; April and Lucy, pets of Midtown Detroiters Darla and Josh Welton; Vin Grimaldo of Detroit in mask by Bethany Shorb of Well Done Goods on Gratiot Avenue across from Eastern Market.

Clockwise from left: Model in mask by, "Detroit Today" producer Jake Neher of WDET and Sen. Aric Nesbitt, R-Van Buren County.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Jackson, "wearing his mask as some sort of chin warmer or beard protector,” as Dexter blogger Chris Savage puts it. (Photo: Twitter/Craig Mauger)    


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