It's too bad they went out of fashion in the 1920's, when tanning became all the rage. While parasols have been around in various forms for centuries, they became a popular fashion item for well to do ladies in the early 19th century. At first the ribs were made from whale bone (poor whales), :(. Then in the 1840s they started making them from steel, which also made them easier to mass produce. They were a staple item for ladies of leisure, to keep their pallor, as tanning was for people that actually had to work.
While most might consider them impractical these days, I am all for them. First there's the aforementioned benefit of keeping the sun away. Not because I want to look like I am pampered and lazy, but because I'd rather avoid sun damage to the skin. Sunburns are not fun!
Secondly, I think they are amazingly beautiful and unique items. There are so many styles from pretty delicate oriental designs to basic black, to ones edged with lace and faux fur. I personally hope to find one just for me on my visit to London next month.
Let mission parasol begin! :)
This parasol I think is impractical but lovely.
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