The A-to-Z of Accessories: Umbrella

Lori with an Edwardian parasol style umbrellaI’m finally getting close to the end of my A-to-Z of Accessories and it seems like a fitting month to cover U for… umbrella. (Although the only photo I have of me holding one is a parasol style brolly to protect me from sunshine rather than rain!)

There are two main types of umbrella: folding and walking. These days, most people seem to favour the compact folding brolly that can easily be stored in your bag for emergency use. You can buy them cheaply from many places on the high street but, in my experience, spending over a tenner increases your chances of the umbrella surviving a particularly windy day of rain. There are tiny folding umbrellas, slimline ones, plain, novelty, curved handle and patterned (I love this map of London brolly). Fulton even make a folding golf umbrella for those times when those pocket sized canopies just aren’t quite big enough. You can even get UV reflecting umbrellas for emergency shade in the summer.

Walking umbrellas take up a bit more space and are not as easy to stash when the rain clears up, however, they are far more likely to be sturdy and wind resistant. There are many classic shapes, particularly domed umbrellas which are great for sheltering from the wind, and Fulton’s ‘Cyclone’ golf umbrella has even been tested in a wind tunnel! For the fabulously femme amongst you, Lulu Guinness have some wonderful options for keeping you dry whilst staying glamorous, including their classic birdcage umbrella and the stylish Bloomsbury in a diagonal stripe or lip print. and For more fantastic options, check out Retro Chick’s post on quirky walking umbrellas, which features the classic and cheering rainbow.

One day I’ll go into the wonderful umbrella shop of James Smith & Sons on New Oxford Street to browse their fantastic hand made brollies and get a glimpse into history. Until then, it’s Fulton all the way.

UPDATE: It has been brought to my attention (by coldclimate) that you can now buy the umbrellas from Bladerunner!

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