Official as of April 27, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now states fully vaccinated people can forgo masks outdoors unless in a crowded environment like concerts or sporting events. That being said, they're still recommended for indoor settings such as restaurants and bars or when visiting with unvaccinated people. (And in situations wherein you interact with others as availability and accessibility may slow the vaccine supply.)
That makes things tricky. Yes, most of us have mastered, or made a stab at, letting the mask hang from one ear or wrap around the chin, but these aren't the most ideal ways to carry it with you; placing it in a pocket alongside keys or a phone (two high-touch items) or at the bottom of a bag is not necessarily sanitary; holding it in hand dampens dexterity. So, let's clear the air: mask chains are the move. They're stylish, offer a hands-free way to keep your mask handy and double as a sunglass chain.
Sundae School Jade Ceramic Mask Chain
New York-based smokewear brand Sundae School makes a jade-colored ceramic mask chain. Lobster claws help with the attachment process, ensuring your mask won't suddenly disappear. A smiley charm adds an optimistic touch. Their iteration is available in blue and pink marble, too.
Rad and Refined Crystal Mask Chain
Who said cleanliness can't be charming? Accessory brand Rad and Refined's rhinestone mask chain might twinkle, but it's a useful tool first and foremost.
8 Other Reasons Mask Chains
Like socks, masks sometimes slip into the abyss never to be seen again. 8 Other Reasons' two-pack solves this problem — or, at the very least, gives you time to re-up once one's gone missing. The brand includes both a resin acrylic (in tortoiseshell or black) and a 14k-gold plated chain of two slightly different lengths; 29 and 28 inches, respectively.
Electric Picks Gold Twist Mask Chain
Electric Picks' iteration proves most versatile. The 14-karat gold plated chain can carry masks or sunglasses, but it also doubles as a necklace should you clasp the two lobster claws together. Measuring out to 24 inches long, it may be a bit long for some, but remember, it's primarily meant to keep the mask removed from tightly around your neck.
Bauble Bar Mask Chain
Do you use your mask to make a statement? Add to it with this bright yellow acrylic chain by BaubleBar. Its vibrant hue guarantees yours won't get mixed up with another's.
J.Crew Pearl Mask Chain
J.Crew's pearl chain is the most opulent pick on this list, but it costs under $25. These aren't real pearls but rather glass beads dipped into a pearlescent coating. As such, don't be afraid to ding, drop or risk losing yours.
1928 Jewelry Silver Mask Chain
Are you seeking something stylish yet a bit more subtle? 1928 Jewelry designed a 22-inch silver necklace equipped with lobster clasps that help the chain attach to sizable cloth or disposable masks.
Allsense Leather Mask Lanyard
Some have embraced masks as a way to remain incognito in public. Allsense's understated leather mask lanyard aids in the disappearing act. Silver lobster clasps offset the solid, irritation-resistant leather wrap, promising comfort and functionality.