Have you heard of the trikini? If not, it is the latest trend in swimwear. The trikini has not quite caught on due to the fact that swimming weather hasn’t arrived in many parts of the world. But when it does, the trikini could end up being the next big thing in swimwear. It could also portend something strange for work uniforms.
The trikini is not as exotic as it sounds. It is just a standard bikini with a matching face mask. Yes, you read that correctly. Someone got the brilliant idea of making coordinating face masks to pair with bikinis. The ‘tri’ prefix denotes three pieces where the ‘bi’ denotes two.
After witnessing just how influential coronavirus has been, it is easy to imagine a summer during which the trikini is the norm. It is easy to imagine beachgoers soaking in the sun while wondering how they are going to prevent their face masks from leaving no-tan marks on their faces. But come fall, everyone heads back to work.
Face Masks as Uniform Standards
This summer will be interesting from a tourist perspective. If you are into face masks and you’re planning a trip to either Disney World or Disneyland, you will feel right at home. Disney cast members will be required to wear masks while at work. But guess what? Cast members will probably not be wearing plain white masks off the shelf.
Expect the costume designers at Disney to ensure that face masks perfectly complement every other aspect of a worker’s costume. The masks worn by Jungle Cruise cast members will complement their khaki uniforms while those worn at It’s a Small World will be more suited to those costumes.
Will Disney be alone in matching face masks to uniforms? Maybe, but probably not. Any industry in which the uniform is tied heavily to branding is likely to see customized face masks that complement rather than contrast. The real question is how long employees will continue wearing masks.
Face Masks Through the Autumn
Smart money says that workers will be wearing face masks at least into the summer. Now, that may change when the sun comes out and temperatures rise. It could be that summer brings the end of the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent end of face masks. It could also be that people just will not wear face masks in the summer heat.
The wildcard here is autumn. If the season brings with it a new round of coronavirus infections, face masks are likely to return. That is, if they manage to go away during the summer. It is quite possible that they won’t go away. Workers could be wearing face masks from now through next spring. We just don’t know.
Face Masks for Healthcare Workers
One industry has a greater chance of making face masks permanent than any other: healthcare. By definition, healthcare is an industry that deals with sick people. Government officials and industry executives alike may never again be comfortable allowing doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers to deal directly with patients without face masks.
Let’s assume masks do become a permanent part of the healthcare uniform. Uniform supply companies like Alsco are likely to offer healthcare face masks that complement hospital isolations gowns and scrubs. Uniform manufacturers will develop entirely new lines of masks to go along with their other offerings. Indeed, face masks could become a fashionable uniform accessory all to themselves.
Thanks to the trikini, the idea of matching one’s face mask to the rest of one’s outfit is out of the bag. Now let us see where it goes.