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Never did I ever think that this column would be dedicated to discussing masks. Okay, let me amend that, there was a point in my life when I loved masks, but it had more to do with ninjas and superheroes and even then, I never thought of them in the same breadth and length as something sartorial. But here we are, nearly six months into the pandemic this month, and things could not be gloomier. So, I decided to max out my mask quotient and get everything that came recommended under the sun

SilverPRO (@silverprohealth)

Super comfortable in easy breezy prints, these were a great find for the summery and sultry months. The manufacturers claim that the nano silver formulation coating kills harmful microorganisms, thereby making them as effective as N95 masks, but with greater comfort and breathability. They come in three sizes. ₹999 for set of 3

Dudis (@the.dudis.shop)

An established clothing brand from Gujarat, they decided to foray into masks and have done designs in black, white, and blue, that can pair almost universally. The OSFA masks come in four distinct cuts (arc, comfort pleats, snug, and small face), all very well thought out. The materials are of high quality and the prints are absolutely zany, yet nothing too outlandish. My favourite is their Dahlia arc mask with a gold leaf pattern, which has a nice festive touch to it, something you’d wear to a function, if you were attending one. It helps that they are sensibly priced. ₹150

March Tee (@marchtee)

The brand with the best Indian tees I have owned, I just had to jump and pre-order when they announced masks in the making. Fabric, comfort, utility, all had been mulled over for months, and they seem to have eschewed the ear loops for head bands. The masks are yet to turn up so I can’t speak for their fit or comfort, but I can share that they will launch in muted pastels (something très March Tee) and going by their track record, they should be (hopefully) good. ₹1,500 for 5

Turnblack (@turnblackofficial)

A brand whose entire aesthete philosophy is based around the tone black, is one that’s always close to my heart. They do lovely apparel and this time, they have really applied technique to the mask category. You can choose from three different styles and sizes (they do custom sizing for masks too). Done up in linen with cotton linings, they are comfortable yet classy. ₹570

Donut (@crafted_donut)

A simple brand from Kerala, they are doing some rather understated yet elegant masks, featuring okay prints to — my favourite — the traditional festive garb (mundu) replete with red and gold border, et al. Instead of elastics, they have simple bands that can be adjusted, and that ups the all day-wear factor. Modest pricing, great quality and a high comfort quotient, do check them out online. ₹80

Naina Redhu Handpainted Masks (@naina)

Naina’s masks can be sourced from her Insta profile. Made using 3-ply cotton and in various sizes, they may offer nothing technically unique, but the hand-painted designs make them more pieces of art than a mere utility object. The aesthetic is minimalist yet vibrant, and each individually unique mask is personally done by her. ₹2,000

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