Last summer’s hottest dress is now this year’s chicest mask

Same trendy item, new garment.

Last summer, the dress everyone was suddenly wearing was a shapeless spotted shmatta from Zara which cost $70. This summer, the same pattern is being used to make the summer’s trendiest masks.

An Instagram account devoted to sightings of the popular frock is now also documenting instances of the same polka-dot fabric being used to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“Masks but make it fashion – THE dress for 2019 updated for 2020,” a mask-maker named Lani captions a post of herself wearing the dress and a face covering with the same black-and-white polka-dot pattern. “If we can’t match our lipstick to our outfits, we may as well match our masks right?!”

“The Dress. A year on. #adaptable #2020,” reads a post’s caption on @Hot4TheSpot, where photos of women rocking the garment are now joined by polka-dot masks and messages of support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

And while polka dots are a timeless fashion statement, they’ve apparently found a new momentum with the influx of custom face masks in the time of the coronavirus.

“Polka dots. Always a classic choice,” a mask-selling Instagram account captions a photo of a woman in a mask similar to the Zara dress.

Despite some mask pattern’s roots in popular pre-pandemic trends, many are still refusing to accept the new normal of mask-wearing in general. This week, a defiant shopper was caught on video scuffling with a Florida Walmart employee after trying to enter the store without a face mask, on the same day they were made mandatory in the county.

One recent paper found that men are more likely to resist wearing a face mask than women, perceiving them as “not cool” and “a sign of weakness.” It also happens that men are more likely to die from the virus.

At the other extreme, some people are coughing up $300 for bespoke face masks, turning a safety precaution into a pricey fashion statement. Stylish masks are also widely available for far less to those not looking to flaunt their wealth.