(Below the ramble are some amazing vintage pics!)
There are many accessories that I adore from past eras: Hair Combs, Hats and Jewelry. But, there is one accessory that I think epitomizes class and elegance in the 19th and early 20th century. It’s elegant, stately and on a bright, sunny day conveniently functional. What is this vintage accessory that I find so intriguing? It is none other that the Parasol. A vintage version of our modern Umbrella. I know, it doesn’t sound very exciting, but I am telling you, it breathes sophistication and on a day when you desperately want to keep your skin from crisping, you’ll be happy that you brought it along.
I realiz e that the day has passed where it was thought acceptable and normal to carry with you this frilly accessory; that it has had its century of being in the forefront of fashion. But, being a lover of all things vintage, I can’t help but wonder how exciting it would be for the Parasol to once again become a staple. Imagine all the possibilities that would come with dressing your Parasol to your outfit. This day in age you would be privy to an infinite number of prints, fabrics and colors that could either match your paisley purple top to your paisley purple Parasol or even allow you to get a bit creative and accessorize with a bright orange Parasol to match with your all white outfit. Going to a benefit or in need of a more pristine and proper Parasol? No worries, purchase one that is decorated with delicate French Lace; silky, pale and light. Even better, vintage lace. One that has had the wear of time and that would enhance your already elegant gown. I can just imagine how many “oohhs” and “aahhs” you would receive when you enter the room!
Generally speaking, it is apparent that if the Parasol ever did make a comeback I envision it would appear within the English upperclass. I say this only because the English seem to be the only culture which still abides by such things as afternoon tea and whose upper crust still holds fast to the proprieties of over a century ago. Gloves are still required at social outings and hats still provide an outwardly account of your success. I imagine that carrying a Parasol to match with your camel colored Yves Saint Lauren dress suit with crisp cotton gloves would be in line with certain expectations. It’s sort of glamorous, really, when you think about it. To have the ability to get all gussied up and go out in public with century old fashions and still be in line with everyday fashion. How terribly exciting! For the English, it must be an experience to know how to enter into the public properly and sip your tea in the must demure of manners all whilst being fashionably vintage modern! I’m romanticizing this I know! I think I’m in love with the prospect of the Parasol!
Check out how Men and Women in the 19th and 20th Centuries sported the Parasol: