Wearing face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has proved controversial in many countries; conducting new research on the use of masks would be colored by this controversy. In 2012 (pre-COVID), we conducted an experiment on the effects of masks on social interaction. College students (N = 250) were assigned to find a previously unknown student in a lecture hall, converse, and evaluate the interaction. Half were assigned to wear a surgical mask, sunglasses, and a hat (all provided); half wore no extra gear. Mask wearing had no effect on the ease, authenticity, friendliness of the conversation, mood, discomfort, or interestingness of the interaction. There were no discernable consequences of political ideology on the partner selection process or the evaluation of the interaction. Mask-wearing did not disable successful social interaction in this setting.