Facemasks vs scarves: which one effectively protects you?

Celebrities are embracing this new trend
By Sabrina Pons / Madame Figaro
21 Aug,2020

Many celebrities are opting for the cowboy scarf to protect themselves from coronavirus pandemic. Is it a good idea or not?


Fashion is now moving towards a hidden face, as facemask is mandatory in public spaces and became a casual daily accessory similar to a pair of sunglasses or a handbag. However, what is an accessory without a unique style? Generally, facemasks are made in different colors, prints, fabrics (cotton, silk or linen) and different designs (surgical masks, FFP2 or approved fabric).


The scarf was spotted this summer on many celebrities’ faces to be the stylish alternative for the facemask. In July, Amber Heard and Johnny Depp made their stylish statement while attending their court session in London for Depp’s lawsuit against the editors of British newspaper The Sun.




When the scarf is folded in half, it takes the shape of triangle wrapped around the face, looking like the bandana that cowboys wear to protect themselves from the dust when they cattle drive their herds. 

Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, also opts for handkerchief to protect her face, making sure to match it with her colorful suits.



The birth of a new trend

On the streets of New York, we also spotted actresses Sarah Jessica Parker, protected by a silk collar during her shopping sprees, and Sienna Miller taking a stroll while hiding her face with a yellow scarf. Sienna’s photo, which shows her sense of style, made it to the front pages of the British fashion magazine Grazia, revealing a new basic trend of the scarf mask, inspired by riots’ style.




Just like the washable facemask, the scarf is also more eco-friendly than the disposable facemasks. Made out of petroleum derivative, scarves are not biodegradable and rarely recycled. However, is the scarf effective as a facemask?

Last April, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio called city residents to cover their faces before leaving their homes, "even with a simple scarf or bandana." It might seem a good advice during facemasks deficiency, but not a good one today. As Afnor points out that all fabrics do not have the same filtering power and necessary layers to ensure good protection. Wearing a headscarf can therefore give a false sense of security to the wearer and make him forget the rules of social distancing. Therefore, it is better to stick to facemasks, adhere to the current standards and maintain social distancing.