Face masks meet fashion: Tula Boutique and designer masks

Sierra Grimm

Not even runway designers could have predicted that the latest 2020 accessory would be the face mask.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that face masks are to be worn whenever in public, some areas mandate they be worn when you are going inside a public building. Colorado, as well as Larimer County, has a statewide mask order in place now and for the foreseeable future.

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As a mandatory accessory during a worldwide surgical mask and N-95 shortage, you can either purchase cloth face masks from local stores or online, or you can make your own. If you do not have the material to make them, a local boutique in Old Town called Tula is selling CDC-approved face masks.  

Taylor Jaquez, the store manager, said they are selling masks from the brands that they already have in store. They carry a unique Italian scarf brand called Faliero Sarti. Each season the artist creates new prints and patterns which are put onto high-quality and beautiful scarves (mostly silk, cotton or cashmere), and the company uses the scarf scraps to make masks.

The Faliero Sarti masks come in a variety of fabrics including cotton, silk and cashmere blends. They are also double-layered with elastic to secure around the ears and have a small metal wire to adjust around the nose. Each mask is one-of-a-kind which adds to the unique and personal factor. Faliero Sarti masks are sold individually for $49.50.

Tula sells another brand of masks called Xirena, the name being a play off the Spanish word for mermaid. This brand is based in Los Angeles, and the masks are made in the U.S. They come in a fun, bohemian, California-inspired print. The Xirena masks are entirely cotton, and they are double-layered with elastic to secure around the ears. They have an inner pocket where you can add an additional layer if desired. Xirena masks are sold in a pack of two for $30.00.

Some boutiques are donating part or all of the proceeds from purchased masks. Jaquez said that at the very beginning of this pandemic, Tula Boutique partnered with ELIZABETH Studios — a collaborative label between the owner of Tula, Kate Hannah, and Anabella Poletti — to donate hand-crafted denim face masks to the front line health care employees in the community at Banner Health Clinic, The Youth Clinic of Fort Collins and Realities For Children.

This was during a major mask shortage, and thanks to the voluntary help of the community, sewers and seamstresses that joined together with the Elizabeth and Tula teams, they were able to sew and donate over 200 masks.

When it comes to styling the masks for everyday wear, Jaquez said that they are seeing many designers and brands starting to use face masks in their marketing campaigns, photo shoots and fashion shows.

We love the idea that it’s another accessory for your look,” Jaquez said. You can wear the same jeans and tank top every day and switch up your face mask to create an entirely new look each day. We think finding a few face masks that make you happy and express your personal sense of style is a great way to find the silver lining during this new and different time.

Jaquez mentioned that they’ve come to find that they are also great conversation starters — just like a great pair of shoes — and you can tell a lot about a person by the type of face mask they are wearing. We’ll probably be wearing these for a while, so why not express yourself and your personal style at the same time? 

Whether you are walking to brunch in Old Town or from the dorms to Fuzzy’s Tacos for a bite to eat, these masks are worth wearing.

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If you are interested and have more questions on these masks, you can reach out to Tula Boutique on Instagram @shoptula and @shop.elizabeth, via Facebook at Tula boutique, their website www.shoptula.com or via phone 970-482-1953. 

Sierra Grimm can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or Twitter @CSUram5.