If the thought of holiday crowds has you stocking up on hand sanitizer and face masks and hiding in your house, you're not alone. With flu season at its peak and people mingling at an alarming rate, it's no wonder that the holiday season is notorious for the spread of illnesses.

But you don't have to eschew friends and family to steer clear of germs. Thanks to the miracle of technology, there's now gear you can wear to help you stay germ-free. Here are five items to add to your holiday wardrobe to help protect you from holiday bugs.

1. The Scough

ScoughUnlike traditional scarves, the Scough comes with ear hooks and a built-in antimicrobial filter. (Photo: Scough)

The Scough may look like just your average scarf but trust me, it isn't. For starters, it has ear hooks so that you can lock that baby in place across your nose and mouth. No more fumbling with a scarf that won't stay put. For added protection, it also has a built-in antibacterial filter that rests over your face. No germs are getting through this bad boy.

2. The Germinator Transit jacket and backpack

Germinator Transit Jacket and BackpackThe Germinator Transit Jacket and Backpack have built-in features that protect you from germs while you travel. (Photo: Gravity Tank)

You'll never fear public transit again when you wear this jacket and backpack combo from Gravity Tank. Both include a number of nifty features to help you stay germ-free. Like the fold-out gloves and built-in scarf that can be whipped out when strangers invade your comfort bubble. Or the backpack's flippable outer lining that lets you readjust if your bag gets sneezed on or brushes up against something unseemly.

3. Antibacterial dress

Cornell antibacterial dressesThese dresses don't just look good, they'll keep you feeling good all winter long. (Photo: Textiles Nanotechnology Laboratory/Cornell University)

Holiday party on the horizon? We've got your outfit all picked out. Fashion designers and fabric scientists came together at Cornell University's Textiles Nanotechnology Laboratory to create this line of antibacterial dresses and jackets that prevent colds and flu and can even protect wearers from smog and pollution. The clothes are made from cotton that has been dipped in electrostatically charged nanoparticles that act as a barrier to germs and toxins.

4. Self-Lathering rings

Self-lathering ringsOut of hand sanitizer? Just run your hands under water and these rings magically add the lather. (Photo: Kyeok Kim)

These rings from Kyeok Kim may look like your average pretty little trinkets. But don't let their beauty fool you. They are actually powerful germ fighters. Public toilet out of soap? These rings have you covered. Just run your hands under water and the embedded soap will help you work up a lather.

5. Self-Hanging earbuds

Self-hanging earbudsThe unique design of these earbuds helps them stay germ-free all day. (Photo: Yanko Design)

How can earbuds keep you free from germs? Well, have you ever stopped to consider just how many germs those buds are collecting every time they enter your ear canal? And you don't even want to think about how many germs they pick up when they are stuffed in your pocket — or worse — land on the floor or metro seat. The unique design of these earbuds from Yanko Design allows them to rest outside your ear canal where they come into contact with significantly fewer germs. And their hooked shape allows them to be clasped together when not in use.

Of course, the best ways to protect yourself from germs this holiday season are still the old-fashioned methods of hand washing and not touching your eyes, ears, nose and mouth. But if adding some of this gear to your wardrobe will help you relax while you get festive with family and friends then it's worth a shot!

Great gear to help you avoid germs this winter
Germaphobes, rejoice! These clothes and accessories may help keep sickness at bay.