Months ago, as I was flipping through social media profiles of fancy fashion people, I didn’t believe that masks would become a standard accessory for 2020. My social feeds were full of targeted ads with the most ridiculous plastic face-coverings that are no longer exotic or ridiculous. I wasn’t in completely denial, or wait…yes I was. I didn’t know I’d one day use the term “don’t mask your style.”

Ugh. 2020 blows.

And now, despite the fact that I wish 2020 would re-boot, and despite the fact that I’m still in a fair amount of denial about how long we will be living without large gatherings, movies, live theatre, sports or parties, I do realize masks are here for awhile.

And just like with the genesis of ECKnox being the lack of stylish baby gear for professional dads, I’m also dismayed by the lack of stylish masks for professional men (dads and non-dads alike.)

I’m all about whimsical and silly masks. But sometimes don’t we all just want to feel a bit more…grown-up?…where the mask won’t be the focal point and distraction from the rest of our being?

Luckily, I have a great friend from high school who’s also an innovative, creative parent-preneur. Enter: Melissa Roth of Union Stitch and Design. Melissa is a designer and sewer from Denver who’s re-outfitted most of the Denver restaurant industry with locally, responsibly-made aprons from breathable, durable material.

And her products happen to make excellent mask material.

Melissa and I reconnected via Instagram (because obvi) and collaborated on designing a mask that professional men would happily wear to work.

We present to you: the ECKnox/Union Stitch & Design collaboration making reversible masks for men in three shades of herringbone patterns: navy, gray and black.

(Check out the slide show below (a new feature I found on this website.)

And on the inside (or the outside, when you choose to reverse) you see the signature ECKnox paisley.

It’s comfortable and completely reversible so men can wear their sophisticated herringbone or paisley to the office.

And we’ve gotten some great press:

Fatherly has added us to their mask round-up.

Barron’s included us in an article about designers embracing the mask movement.

I always hoped and wanted ECKnox to be a sophisticated and subtle company where we’d make super designs and products that had a hint of fatherhood…something that would turn heads and make people say “Wow, look at that stylish dad,” and then (upon closer inspection) “And look! He’s a dad!” when they get a glimpse of the paisley or the name or the logo or an element that’s subtly baby-oriented.

So with these masks, if you’re an expectant dad, maybe it’s time to show your ECKnox paisley proudly.

But the paisley doesn’t scream baby. It’s slick and beautiful and subtle enough dudes from Madison Avenue to Madison, Indiana, can wear the masks without masking their style.*

Thanks to Melissa, Union Stitch & Design, and to all of you guys out there who rock the ECKnox mask.

Hope you enjoy the masks. Any issues, obviously let us know.

Oh, and: don’t mask your style.

*Totes trademarking that statement. Thank you, Tom.