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Thursday, 6 June 2013

Red and Black Week 2013, day 5: Walk Into The Sun

Amazingly, I've reached day five of Sophistique Noir's Red and Black week, with not a day missed! I thought I would lapse somewhere, and there have been aborted posts that didn't work out, but all in all I have managed to get entries up with some fore-planning involved. Still, there's one day left to go so I probably shouldn't be too hasty in my celebrations.

Miraculously, the weather has cooled down somewhat, but I've been left hypervigilant for the next heatwave (forgetting, of course, that the Scottish summer consists of a week of glorious weather, after which it's hideous until the following year). I'm terrible for remembering to reapply suncream, and dislike covering up because surprisingly I do actually like to feel the sun sometimes (recently, however, it's also been too warm to wear more than the bare minimum of layers).

Parasols have been used in Egypt, Greece, China and in India since the BC years, and make a fantastically effective barrier against the sun. They first came into popular use in Britain and France around the mid 17th century from China, and became particularly popular in the enthusiasm for Japanese culture and art in the 1800s.

They remain popular in various countries and subcultures, notably in Goth and Lolita fashion, but still can be immensely practical. To tie in with R&B week, I've collected my favourite red and black parasols from around the web so you photophobic goths can survive the summer months. For those of you in the southern half of the globe, fear not; many of the parasols included double as umbrellas.

£5.85, here.

This square umbrella is more modern and unusual in it's design, and would be great with a casual short and vest top look, or perhaps an elegant three piece suit.

£23.95, from here.
This Battenburg lace parasol has an unlined portion to show off the pattern of the lace, but still protects you from the sun. I'm considering getting this one!

£11.99, from here.
I've always been fond of this paper design, and I'm swithering over this one myself. Many of these on the web are decorated with cherry blossom or other designs, but this one is plain for your own decoration, if you so choose.

£36.00, from here.
This is one for the gothic lolitas out there! There's a few too many ruffles for me, but there's something charming in it's frivolity. This one also has the advantage of doubling up as an umbrella.

£14.95 from here.

I own the black version of this, and it's an excellent umbrella as well as a parasol; the classic shape works well with victorian outfits as well as providing full coverage from the bright hurty thing. I should say that the Edwardian style umbrellas don't fare in wind as well as their normal counterparts, so beware of what weather you take them out in.

See you for the last post tomorrow!


Reference - A brief history of parasols & umbrellas (now defunct, but I'll find another source).

P.S. apologies for the cheesy title. I just couldn't let pass the opportunity to reference a song from one of my favourite bands.


  1. Oooh! I love the black ones! The red ones are cute too, but black parasols have a special place in my hear. :3

    1. I have to agree - I'm tempted to get a red parasol, but I think I might make more use of the black ones, and they are so pretty...

  2. I think the idea of carrying an old-fashioned parasol was one of those things that lured me to gothic subculture. Why, despite my utter love for ancient Egypt, didn't I know the parasols were present there? I need to read about it more, I associated Egyptians more with fans on a handle made of feathers or palm leaves, but not with parasols...

    The ruffle-crazy one really caught my eye, I love such fancy accessories - and I actually own this Battenburg lace one (exactly the same, there are two patterns of them) and I'm very pleased with it, it's definitely worth buying.

    1. I didn't either, which surprised me! From what I understand, fan-style umbrellas were used in Egypt for the pharaoh, but some have pointed out engravings showing chaise type umbrellas closer to what we would term a parasol, and state that parasols were probably used throughout Egypt. There's an excellent resource on Gutenberg here, if you want to know more -

      I'm glad to hear that about the battenburg one - I was worried with the cheap price it might not be a good purchase.

  3. wow those umbrellas are cool. I'm especially liking the square use as a real umbrella. lol i don't think think it'll ever stop raining here in nyc

    1. You know, I thought the same about Glasgow, but the sun has just not stopped shining. -_- Thank you!

  4. Your post today is on one of my favorite topics! I never attend an outdoor even without a parasol. The modern look of the red square one has some serious edgy potential! The Battenburg lace one is a great find - many of them have far too little lining to do any good as sun protection.

    1. Thank you! I agree on using parasols - I've resorted to lots of big hats recently, but I might have to invest on this one.

      I do like the very sheer lacy parasols as you can see the pattern and look stunning, but they just don't save you from the sun! The manufacturers of the Battenburg lace one do a fully lined one as well, but I figured this was a nice compromise between seeing the design and sun coverage.

  5. Oh, I have often thought about buying a parasol, because even when I do think of applying suncream, I still burn, when I'm out in the sun XD I'm still not sure of it though, with the Dutch weather and whatnot. The wind will probably blow them to pieces within a few times of using them x'D

    1. I fully agree with applying suncream! I'm pretty terrible with remembering to reapply, so a parasol is a good barrier method (complimented by covering up and staying out of the sun at midday).

      If you have a problem with the wind, it might be a good idea to look at lace parasols? If my head science is correct (ha), the wind could pass through it easier.


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