By Christine Cheryl Y. Benet
Clothing has long been used as protection, shielding its wearers from the elements. As we slowly go back to work in a new environment, it is important to consider how to best protect ourselves from the invisible enemy.
It is known that viruses are transmitted through droplets. It is essential to protect the most vulnerable parts of our body, which will allow us to adapt and continue living these days.
Clothing is our shield, and here’s how you can use it for protection:
Face mask and face shield
This mandatory gear is considered essential to our current daily lives. It comes in a wide variety of options, from disposable, reusable, and washable, to stylish pieces in different forms and shapes, made of synthetic materials to avoid absorption of any form of droplets.
However, those with respiratory issues may opt to use masks made of natural materials as long as they add a replaceable extra layer. Eyeglass-wearers may choose the best shape that would help avoid fogging of the lenses.
Face shield, meanwhile, acts as a second line of defense. It also prevents us from touching our face.
Irritation at the back of the ears may also occur for those who need to wear masks for an extended period. As such, headbands may help put the ears at rest as we can attach the loops to the bands instead.
If we’re talking about precautionary measures, it would be best to tie your hair up.
Though long sleeve tops and pants are the best options, the most important factor is still proper ventilation, as full coverage might disrupt our breathing and cause skin irritation.
It is best to wear garments with closures such as zippers for faster openings, and with garterized waists for easier wearing especially when in public restrooms. Consider clothes with big pockets to put necessities such as alcohol spray.
Those who commute to their offices may wear short sleeves and pants granted that proper physical distancing is practiced, and wear their water repellent long sleeve jackets upon arrival to the workplace. Raincoats and wind breakers are ideal protective outerwear.
Shoes and bags
We may still use our favorite pieces but ensure proper disinfecting after use. It will be best to evaluate first our errands for the day to determine which will work best and will need minimal care.
It is best to wear easy-to-clean shoes. Nylon and cotton canvas bags will also be good choices as we can easily wash them as soon as we get home.
Although small bags are convenient, we now tend to bring bigger ones as they have more space for today’s necessities such as hand sanitizer/alcohol, face masks, and face shields, wet wipes, and UV sanitizers.
To further minimize bag contents, leave your wallet at home, and practice cashless transactions such as QR codes as mode of payment.
Jewelry and accessories
It is best not to wear or at least keep jewelry and other accessories to a minimum. The ease of disinfecting has to be considered. Be warned that fashion accessories are not meant to withstand chemicals such as alcohol.
However, watches are still a necessity as they can help us avoid frequently touching and checking our phones.
Do you need to wear gloves?
Gloves, which are part of personal protective equipment, are necessities for medical professionals and other frontliners and require consciousness of the wearer as they are meant to be disposed after use.
For office workers and those who run errands, gloves are not necessary; it is better to wash our hands frequently and use alcohol or hand sanitizer.
The author works as an industry expert-educator in the country’s leading fashion schools and universities and has an extensive 20-year involvement in the merchandising and manufacturing sector within the fashion industry.
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