Those Wacky Victorians

Posted by Lisa Selwitz on


The concept of using a sunshade has been around for thousands of years. During the Italian Renaissance in the 16th century, the parasol was introduced to Europe. Asian parasols had a beauty and grace all their own, with delicate bamboo ribs and a structure not commonly seen before. By the 1700’s, it had become a woman’s accessory, designed to go with each different walking suit, and definitely an item for sun, not for rain. At some point the designs became more elaborate, and tassels and frills were all the rage.

Accessories are a big deal, and the Victorians always knew that. A glove could suggest, by its color and material, a woman’s class aspirations. Hand-held fans had a language of their own, that allowed its user to communicate with potential lovers. Sun shining through or reflecting off a rose colored parasol gave a woman of a certain age an illusion of youth...ahem...looking younger, anyway.

Initially only the wealthy used parasols day-to-day, before it eventually became an item everyone used. Now here’s a fun fact you can share at tea or a cocktail party – women also used parasols as a weapon for self defense! Certain models were designed with a stiletto tip for traveling in questionable circles...

Nowadays, we offer the Lily-Lark parasol, that provides excellent protection. But mainly from the sun. And as a beautiful accessory, why not have fun in the sun, as well? More than just an umbrella, it offers fashionable appeal to go with your warm weather wardrobe. Maybe those Victorians were onto something after all!


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