Why is it that today’s ubiquitous face masks seem to come in only one size? The wrong size.
For a garment that enjoys such widespread use, you’d think manufacturers would have the sizing down pat. And you’d be wrong.
It didn’t take long for J.A. Uniforms to reconstruct early mass-market masks with an eye for improved sizing, functionality and esthetics. Common sense governed our strategy: The length between the bridge of your nose and the tip of your chin, key to achieving a good fit, varies from person to person. The tension on the fastener is another key variable: If it’s too tight, it digs into your skin; too loose and the mask will droop.
Given our early advances in face-mask design, the too-good-to-be-true, one-size-fits-all model was quickly relegated to one size fits most. This, we felt, was a more fitting (pardon the pun) label. Then we set out to design and manufacture masks in other dimensions. The goal: having a broader range of sizes to better accommodate the growing needs of our customers.
We reimagined the traditional mask, offering added length, adjustable or double ear loops, soft-elastic fasteners, and 3-ply performance stretch cloth. Now, the fit was improving. But what about the mask’s protective qualities?
As anyone who has worn a mask knows, most sag, slide, and pinch in between adjustments. The adjustments, often with contaminated hands, can move bacteria or a virus directly into the breathable area. So much for protection.
By keeping our masks in place, we were able to guard against this contamination while preserving some modicum of tidiness about the face.
Actually, it’s what we dubbed “messy-mask syndrome” that prompted J.A. Uniform’s mask-sizing epiphany. In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, our factory workers were struggling with the fit of their own masks. It was a tug here, an exposed nostril there, and sagging fabric everywhere. The look was worthy of a good laugh.
There’s nothing like the juxtaposition of a lopsided mask dangling below a foggy pair of cat-eye glasses! Is the wearer of the trendy glasses aiming to channel the timeless style of Grace Kelly? If so, let’s just say the ill-fitting mask does her no favors.
And what about the steam room effect? How do you keep your warm breath from rising up to your glasses and causing them to fog? The first line of defense is a mask with a nose bridge or a mask that is shaped to fit your face. Buying the right size, of course, is vital.
In the world of masks, you’ll find a little sizing can go a long way.