If you’ve ever hit up a rave or music festival, you’ve undoubtedly been awestruck by the huge array of clothing and accessories on display everywhere you look. Every rave and festival has its own unique vibe that influences how attendees dress, but there are some constants that you’ll see no matter where you go. One must-have rave staple is a mouth mask, and in the middle of the current pandemic, they’re especially handy. While you’ll undoubtedly see tons of people wearing them, you might be wondering what mouth masks are for, why people started wearing them in the first place, and whether they’re actually comfortable.
Why do people wear mouth masks?
If you can believe it, wearing party masks way predates the rave scene. The first party masks were worn in France in the 1500s, when rich people decided it was fashionable to start pairing masks with their fancy costumes for the parties leading up to lent. These early parties eventually became what we know today as Mardi Gras, so you know that the French were serious about their partying. The tradition of wearing masks to parties has continued with masquerade balls, Halloween costumes, and more, and today, they’re a staple of the party scene that the rave community has welcomed with open arms. Mouth masks don’t just look cool, though – they’re actually extremely functional!
If you happened to attend your first outdoor EDM music festival without a mouth mask, you probably have some not-so-fond memories of inhaling a ton of dirt and dust and then coughing it up for the next few days. Even in “good” years, some festivals, like Coachella and Burning Man, are just notoriously dusty. Mouth masks help keep tiny particles of dust out of your airways that get kicked up by dancing, the breeze, or a dreaded dust storm. When the dust and dirt particles mix with the moisture in your lungs, you can develop a condition called eosinophils in which the immune system begins to use disease-fighting white blood cells to attack the dust, which it recognizes as a foreign body. Wearing a mouth mask might not keep every single speck out of your airways, but it’s a huge advantage compared to not wearing one at all.
Level up your look:
Within about ten seconds of walking into your first rave or festival, it becomes pretty apparent that while music might be the most important thing on the menu, fashion is a close second. Rave culture is all about being yourself and respecting others, which means that you’re free to express yourself however you see fit through clothing and cool accessories like mouth masks, face gems, kandi, paint splatter, neon hair extensions, harnesses, and thigh highs. While mouth masks can definitely serve an important function, they also can help complete your outfit and take your look to the next level.
No matter how loving and accepting the rave community might be, not everyone is comfortable letting totally loose in the age of social media. When you’re at a rave or festival, you should be focused on dancing and celebrating in a way that feels good to you, no matter what you look like while you do it. A mouth mask can add that little bit of anonymity that helps people feel more comfortable and lets you keep your super-hot rave outfit anonymous on social media, if you so choose.
Which styles are the most comfortable?
Of course, when you’re partying and dancing for hours on end, comfort is key, so a mouth mask should be no different. If comfort is your main concern, we recommend opting for seamless mask bandanas, which easily slide to cover your neck, mouth, and nose and can also be worn as headbands, wristbands, hair ties, and whatever else you need. They’re also super breathable! Ear masks are another great option if you’re interested in comfort. These masks look a lot like the masks worn by medical professionals, but with a fashionable flair that only ravers could add. The masks loop behind your ears, so you don’t have to worry about them sliding down while you dance. If you’re not concerned about comfort, a punk/gas mask is the way to make a statement, but be warned – they’re less breathable and less comfortable than the other options (but they do look undeniably cool).
Mouth masks range from the super comfortable and breathable to the ultra hip and not-so-breathable, but no matter which one you choose, you’re bound to get a ton of benefits and clean a whole lot less dirt out of your lungs after your next rave.