April 09, 2008

Bold Umbrellas

A quick look back at our archives revealed that, with the exception of last year, this time each year I have an obsession with umbrellas. It must be the rain. Ironically though, as much as I harp on about cute umbrellas all the time, and despite having a very cute tiny umbrella from Accessorize, I always end up reaching for my sturdy mauve colored foldable umbrella from Walgreens (or when I am at home, whatever I can get my hands on that doesn't have a Mickey Mouse head on it). My cute Accessorize umbrella is just too delicate and cute for practical use. That is probably why I gave up writing about umbrellas last year.

Lately though, after viewing these gorgeously artsy polariods taken by my friend E with her red umbrella, I'm back to obsessing over umbrellas again. Don't you just love them? The red umbrella just "pops" in every picture and makes the picture instantly more interesting. It is the perfect accessory to an otherwise dreary rainy day. I especially LOVE the first picture of the red umbrella against the marble (at least I think its marble) building. The brightness instantly draws attention to the person, who would otherwise be lost in the photo. An artist could not have better composed this picture. (And now I sound like I'm writing an art history paper....).
Since I am always on the pursuit of the perfect picture, these pictures got me back to thinking about umbrellas again. Maybe my previous theory about umbrellas and how we should all get cute small ones was a bit off. Instead, we should get BOLD ones. Like that red umbrella and this colorful stripey one (left) from Accessorize (though again, careful with issues of fragility. You know you're not going to use it if you fear the wind will blow it inside out every other minute). Something bright and bold.

Another thing I am thinking about is long umbrellas. I've always been a practical foldable umbrella kind of girl. But
somehow, somewhere, it got into my head that long umbrellas were cool. I have an image of myself walking down a quaint European street on a cloudy day swinging my long umbrella around on my arm looking cool and sophisticated. Naturally in my imagination, I have conveniently swept away the image of myself struggling with my all my things and finally spilling tea all over myself because one of my hand was too occupied holding an umbrella. I don't know why I think long umbrellas are cool. Perhaps it is the long, thin and elongated quality of the long umbrella, which I hope will reflect upon me and make me look long, thin and elongated as well, by just carrying it around with me? Sorry, art history coming in again.

This black/white long umbrella (right) from Top Shop fits my image perfectly. The simple horizontal stripes and the contrasting black/white color creates a sharp and bold vision that will work just as well as the red umbrella in terms of eye-popping-ness. Plus, there is the added advantage of being black/white and so will literally match all your outfits! Wow, now I REALLY REALLY want this umbrella!
And then there is the long clear umbrellas. I think this idea was sparked by a movie I saw, where in this scene the camera just follows a girl around in a busy city, and she's just holding this completely refreshing clear umbrella, while everyone else were holding black or some other equally somber looking umbrellas. I've been thinking about them ever since, especially this summer when I saw them selling in a local supermarket. Somehow though it just didn't seem right- and you want to make sure that it is right, because a clear umbrella go wrong can just look cheap. I finally realized why the other day. It was the shape. It was just too bland and normal.

These bubble umbrellas (above) on the other hand, from UO, are just right. I love the deep shape and the simple stripe of color outlining it. The shape is just so ... Mary Poppin-esque (I think). So cute! Plus, this will also match all your outfits! And if you still want a bold "pop," the pink/red version is perfect.

Now I think the question is, do I really need another umbrella? And if/when I convince myself that I do need another one, which one??

Image Source: Top Shop, Accessorize and Urban Outfitters


Anonymous Kyutie.Com said...

I really love the see-through (clear colored) umbrella. I actually have one, I got it from a convenient store in Japan... and I love it! Cause you can see through traffic and you can actually cover the front side of your body.

4/09/2008 8:40 AM  
Anonymous naomicampbellthrewherphoneatme said...

I absolutely love clear umbrellas too for the same reason. I hate walking into other people when the umbrella blocks my vision. I also love matching my umbrella with my rainboots. Just one of my girlie things :-)

4/09/2008 9:26 AM  
Blogger AR said...

i've never heard of clear umbrella's before! but they seem like a great idea - i live in boston where it rains every other day and i have to walk around the city with my umbrella pointed practically in front of me so the wind doesnt blow rain in my face. I'm always afraid i'm going to smash into someone. I've never seen a clear umbrella before (I guess they aren't popular in the US) but now I will definitely be on the lookout for one!

4/09/2008 10:13 AM  
Anonymous Debbie B said...

I'm am seriously LOVING that red striped umbrella. I just got a new red designer handbag and it would look so nice with that striped style. Plus, I got a shiny flat wallet (my lucky sale find on Monday, I got the red one: http://www.brightandbold.com/skflwa.html) in red that would look so stylish with the handbag and umbrella set - can you tell I LOVE the color red? :) Thanks for the tip!

4/09/2008 10:16 AM  
Blogger awongwong said...

if you live in hong kong (or any other rainy/humid city) then you definitely need an extra umbrella. that city does not ever stop raining in the summer! but if you live in a city with minimal rainfall (like me), then having only one umbrella is more than enough.

4/09/2008 10:36 AM  
Blogger Knikki said...

I've never learned so much about umbrellas in my life...

But I think a good stirdy one that doesn't blow in the windy will suffice. If it's pretty then even better.

4/09/2008 11:49 AM  
Blogger Mica said...

I'd definitely go for the bottom one - the clear one with a splash of Red.

I keep buying cheap umbreallas and they break and I end up getting wet anyway, so I'm not an umbrella kind of girl. You get used to dressing for getting rainned on! :P

4/09/2008 12:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the red umbrella idea! It reminds me of The Nanny Diaries movie.

4/09/2008 12:19 PM  
Blogger Sharday said...

i'm absolutely loving the clear umbrella, it gets me in the mood for winter.
and on that note, I'll be needing some gumboots/wellingtons!

4/09/2008 12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the look of old-fashioned umbrellas but they are so cumbersome. The compact ones are genius. So I need a red one! I love the pictures with the red umbrella!!!!

4/09/2008 1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a clear umbrella that I love, that was free! I got it when I worked at Sephora, it says SEPHORA in black letters around the edge, but it still looks classy. It has a black U shaped handle as well, and it's in the dome shape of the last two you posted. It's very cute and I get compliments on it all the time!

4/09/2008 2:40 PM  
Blogger Baroque said...

WOW a whole post dedicated to umbrellas!

I'm from Kuwait, it rained once or twice this Winter.. lo0l

Umbrellas here are used by delicate skinned Asians to shield them from the sun a la parasol style..


4/09/2008 4:32 PM  
Anonymous dafna said...

some say there is nothing sexier than a girl holding an umbrella...

4/09/2008 5:12 PM  
Blogger Mint said...

dafna: Is that before or after Rihanna? ; )

I am in love with the clear, pink-rimmed, bubble-shaped umbrella. Very cute and girly, yet if it's made of a durable material it should serve you well in all weather.

I myself have several umbrellas. One has a pattern of pink flowers on it, but it is much too delicate for Auckland's wind. The other is plain navy blue but a bit more sturdy. My prize umbrella, however, is my long, thin, Oroton one, patterned with navy and white o's. The handle is wooden, as is the tip, and I love it to death. When I carry it around uni during wet weather I place the handle in the crook of my arm (when it's not raining), as though it were an Hermes Birkin, and stride along snootily.

If you get another umbrella, definitely get a good, sturdy one that you can keep using for a long time, even if it ends up costing you triple that of what you'd pay for a simple, breakable one.

4/09/2008 5:27 PM  
Anonymous Reina Morrison said...

Currently loving the red stripped umbella but also the all red one in the picture to.

4/09/2008 8:07 PM  
Blogger Alysia said...

Long umbrellas are fun (I have a great white one with black birds all over it) however if you are slightly uncoordinated beware! I have a habit of accidentally hitting people as I walk when it's over my arm. But I do love the clear one with the pink, very cheerful and spring-like.

4/09/2008 8:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

for me, there are few things sexier than a pretty woman with a striking umbrella. A red umbrella does really jump out at you and a long, stick umbrella has a sense of style and elegance as well. Enjoyed your post.

4/09/2008 10:15 PM  
Blogger Orsolya Ott said...

I guess the movie you saw was Lost in translation - there is a scene shot in Tokyo where Scarlett Johansson carries clear umbrellas.
As for me, I am not the umbrella person. I rather get soaked. But a long umbrella looks good when carried by elegant men...

4/09/2008 10:37 PM  
Anonymous savvy gal said...

It only rains infrequently in Calfornia and I usually drive everywhere so don't really need an embrella much. But, whenever I am in Asia, I love to use a colorful parasol to shield myself, like every other gals on the street.

4/10/2008 5:51 AM  
Blogger plain.jane said...

most people in Tokyo use clear umbrella... man and woman. it's just like what you have described - refreshing.

4/10/2008 11:53 AM  
Blogger Tina said...

i love bold umbrellas, but clear ones are absolutely my favorite. like you said, they're so refreshing. and i just love the look of a clear umbrella with, say, a pink outline. it really stand out from all of those other plain, boring umbrellas in boring shades like black, brown, etc.

4/14/2008 9:27 AM  
Blogger The Fashionable Kiffen said...

I rarely see the clear umbrellas here in Chicago, but they are defnitely practical, especially when it is both windy and rainy like Ar said!

I also like the classic Burberry novacheck umbrellas - http://www.3luxe.com/best_ofs/Umbrellas/Burberry_Automatic_Umbrella - although I usually think that plaid is overdone, Burberry's umbrellas are as iconic as the trench coats.

4/16/2008 2:56 AM  
Blogger FashionDevotee said...

A love for umbrellas is natural for at fashionista. An umbrella is an accessory and you want it to stand out as much as the rest of your ensemble. I wrote a post about umbrellas a while ago as well. I think that longer are umbrellas are indeed more sturdy when the wind is blowing heavily they wont flip up like the smaller one would. When you are thinking convenience I would go with the smaller one because it fits in your bag and you dont have to carry it or worry about forgetting it as much.

4/16/2008 7:41 AM  
Blogger FashionDevotee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4/16/2008 7:42 AM  
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4/21/2008 11:41 AM  
Blogger Caroline said...

I love the Brelli. It's clear and 100% biodegradable. It's got a sort of Chinese parasol look, very cute!

5/30/2008 4:03 PM  
Anonymous Carlo said...

Good Job! :)

7/06/2008 6:12 PM  
Anonymous Alaina said...

I absolutly adore the "bubble" style umbrellas! I've never had one myself, but I sure want one. Im not exactly an "umbrella" kind of girl anyways, but I love to look at them nonetheless. :) I think having a clear umbrella would be wonderful!

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