Tuesday, August 30, 2011

On the Street….Aoyama, Tokio

Parasols as protection from the sun are so common in Tokyo (or Tokio, as I often see it spelled when I visit) that I’m surprised that, given how as ray-conscious we are in America, we never see them here.


Can you imagine ever using a parasol as a form of sunblock?


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  1. Jonny

    August 30, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    They’re actually very common here in Arizona…

  2. Sadia

    August 30, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Parasol usage is far from exclusive to Tokyo; it’s prevalent all over Japan, a country where having milky skin has been hailed as the ultimate sign of beauty since who knows when.

  3. Ade

    August 30, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    This is a great idea!! I love it!

  4. Gary-A

    August 30, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    I may just be throwing random thoughts against the wall here and seeing what sticks, but I feel this is because we Americans on the whole view a nice tan as a symbol of beauty. And with a huge designer bag, latte, and smartphone to carry, who has the extra hand for a parasol?

  5. tuuub

    August 30, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    there is a simple reason for this
    …In the west having a tan is considered attractive.
    In Japan, really, the worst thing you can you is darken you’re skin….even accidentally. Ask around!

  6. beyourstyle.it

    August 30, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    Love total blu

  7. Clémence

    August 30, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    This is so Chic!! And yes we should use it !!

  8. Jason

    August 30, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Parasols are becoming more and more common here in Phoenix, AZ USA…Remember Anne Heche’s parasol from the psycho remake? Loved it!

  9. The Bohmerian

    August 30, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Pretty umbrella!


  10. Allie

    August 30, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    we often use parasols in sunny tucson!

  11. ginny McNellen

    August 30, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Here in Bloomington, Indiana sun parasols are prevalent.

  12. MostlyAPragmatist

    August 30, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Yup. Not only does it block the damaging UV, it keeps you cooler.

    I do it sometimes, but not as often as I would if it were more common in the US. Even when I’m in Japan, I feel awkward doing it because I’m male and parasols are more commonly for females.

  13. Kaila

    August 30, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    LOVE her dress!!

    This is so cute! Especially with the parasol.


  14. Amrita

    August 30, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Bag! Drool.

    Parasols come out during the fierce Indian summers too….in fact, they’re essentials in any bag, and car boot…after a bottle of water.

  15. Kaya

    August 30, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Some people use them in New Orleans (locals and tourists alike) because it’s so hot here; just the smallest bit of shade helps so much.

  16. Nikki

    August 30, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Love the parasol and lace trim on the dress. Parasols are a practical way to avoid the sun but the idolatry of ‘paleness’ is fleeting in western culture. Its more the fear of cancer that is obviously not a significant motivator for North American’s to use these devices.

  17. Mechelle

    August 30, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    I’ve seen it here down south. We also use them during the winter to protect us from the snow.

  18. Ms. Lin

    August 30, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    These are so very common in all of Asia because we Asians are obsessive about taking care of our skin and not getting tan (which comes with sunspots and wrinkles). I went to Japan last year and a native there told me black parasols are the “it” color for them right now!

  19. t. c.

    August 30, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    i think its a cultural thing…whereas in the US, tanned is celebrated as a sign of health and athleticism an beauty (recent studies on melanoma aside…), in my experience in japan and china, paleness is prized more as a sign of beauty/femininity/class – tanned-ness is considered a sign of a laborer.

    this potentially opens up a lot of debates about culture/class roles in asia (or the us…)_

  20. shida

    August 30, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    they usually use parasols in japan and china because tanning is just not their thing!



  21. linda

    August 30, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    i like this picture al lot

  22. Sian

    August 30, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    It’s a great alternative to being covered in sunscreen all summer (which does it’s job very well but can be unkind to lots of fabrics).

  23. Jane with the noisy terrier

    August 30, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    I wouldn’t say that they are common, but I do see them in the West Village on hot sunny days. Paper ones from Chinatown.

  24. Margo

    August 30, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    what a lovely photo – and interesting spelling note and YES, I would use a parasol. What’s the difference from a regular umbrella?

  25. StyleLab

    August 30, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    It’s a culture thing. Being pale is considered beautiful in Japan, so they’re trying hard to keep themselves protected from sunrays at all times (except for the kogals, a subculture with jersey shore tans, bleach blonde hair and tons of make-up). Even the foundation and stockings are paler than their own skin.

  26. Name*Erica

    August 30, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    I’ve seen people use umbrellas . . . in Utah. But I did see a floral parasol once (in Utah again). It was pretty amazing (the parasol).

  27. ML

    August 30, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    When I was in Japan, I found that women were much more sensitive about sun exposure than anywhere else–there’s just no social cachet to having a tan, however slight. I’ve seen women walk around the streets in long-sleeved shirts, long pants, gloves and parasols in Japan, even on the hottest, muggiest days.

    I also think that a certain kind of social consideration exists in Japan that I haven’t seen so much in N. America: people will make sure that you are not touched or hit by their umbrellas, whereas I have been poked numerous times on North American sidewalks by umbrella-wielding people who were either in a hurry or too preoccupied talking to their friend to pay attention.

  28. Cloia

    August 30, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    We use them all the time in the countryside of Ohio. We are baseball fanatics and we are often out in the middle of fields watching our children play little league where there is often no shade. I would; however, like to see true parasols rather than umbrellas here in Ohio.

  29. Alan

    August 30, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Never see them in the UK, but certainly all over Japan even in Hokkaido where theres not even that much sun.

  30. Pamela

    August 30, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    I saw a woman with a bright yellow one yesterday. Considering we live in Portland, OR, where it’s not always so sunny, I was a bit suprised.

  31. Lenka

    August 30, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    I would love to use sun parasol! I have one at home, white with beautiful lace, but I never had it :(


  32. joni

    August 30, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    i don’t even use a rain parasol. too much to carry, i can’t be bothered to open and close it, and it leaves no hands free for texting ;) but i do like a navy maxi dress with lace sleeves rain OR shine!

  33. Claudine

    August 30, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    i think they’re pretty common in many asian countries. here in taiwan, in china, korea too

  34. Laurel Canyon

    August 30, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    Kelly Wearstler always carries them.

  35. JW

    August 30, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    You see them a fair amount in Los Angeles, too.

  36. Elisa Eymery

    August 30, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    This is very true, I rarely see parasols used on a daily basis outside Asia, I personally think that it adds a nice retro touch to a summer look.



  37. Susan

    August 30, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    I bought a lovely one in an Asian store in Boston and use it when the sun is very intense. It’s pastel with painted birds and butterflies.

  38. Remy

    August 30, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    I LOVE this picture. Although I think she uses an umbrella as a parasol the effect is pure elegance. Great.

  39. You Saved The Queen

    August 30, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    When I was in India, I often used a parasol to protect myself against the sun. Strange in the beginning, but nice after a while. YSTQ

  40. Aldar

    August 30, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    in Japan, white skin is not just sign of beauty, but also of higher class. Because in past, rich class people would sit at home protected from sun and workers would get tan. So if you had a bit of tan , it would mean that you’re a worker (lower class person)

  41. Andrea

    August 30, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Very common all over southeast Asia

  42. victoria

    August 30, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    My sun hat is as big!

  43. Eva

    August 30, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    so true….honestly, it’ll be wierd to see someone using them….I remember seeing someone using one here in California and automatically you think to yourself “they didn’t see the weather forecast for today or what?…………..it makes sense to use it, but it does look a bit silly I think

  44. mumwooga

    August 30, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    I keep an umbrella in my purse and regularly use them as parasols. They are cooler than hats and cover both my baby and me when we are walking around Houston.

  45. Tim A.

    August 30, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    That’s funny. I just posted a photo up on my blog of a woman using a parasol saying that it should be more socially acceptable for men to use it too! It’s hot for us too! In the US, outside of major cities, it’s a driving culture as opposed to a walking culture…so there’s really no need. I think it’s a good idea though. Even in Japan, on very hot hot days, you OCCASIONALLY see a guy using a black one…

  46. TW

    August 30, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    I’ve seen a number of people using umbrellas as sun protection during the worst days in Brooklyn.

  47. Margaret

    August 30, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    Here in NYC, I have yet to see an American using a parasol/umbrella as a shield to sunlight, but Asians using them is really common. When I was in Seoul, though, it was as common as someone walking by with a Starbucks in hand.

  48. steve

    August 30, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    lovely photo…btw i use a large golf umbrella made of a special uv protection material. up to 15 degrees cooler under this material.

  49. jw

    August 30, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    I often use my umbrella for shade as I find the sun beating on my head unpleasant. Especially if I am sightseeing, but even sometimes if I’m just walking around my city. It’s much cooler (though not cool judging from other comments). Who cares? I like it.

  50. natu

    August 30, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    i see old asian ladies walk with umbrellas ALL the time. esp in queens.

  51. Flo

    August 30, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    None here on the Atlantic Coast of Florida. The day that sex appeal aligns with paper white skin, instead of i’m-just-back-from-the-Hamptons tan, is the day parasols will rule.

  52. Olivia

    August 30, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    I do use parasols!
    I have a very white and fragile skin, no cream is really a solution. And it looks like I am not the only one: last month I was in Rome, and there the best “tourist-sales-item” are chinese style paper parasols… on the other side, try to visit Rome in August without a serious sun protection….

  53. http://whatisthenewblack.blogspot.com/

    August 30, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    What an extremely cute bag!

  54. Sara

    August 30, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    This woman’s bag is so charming. Here in SF, many Chinese people use parasols, but I rarely see white people using them. It seems like a great idea though especially since all SFers carry umbrellas anyway because it’s always raining/foggy.


  55. Milena

    August 30, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    It’s true, I can’t ever remember seeing one. great photo


  56. Steve

    August 30, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Same in China, and in northern asia I think …

    White skin is a criteria of beauty in those countries, it also means that you have a decent life (= rich), because you don’t have to work in the fields (peasants).

    That’s what my parents told me, they’re chinese.

    See how it’s the total opposite in the western culture …

  57. beulabelle

    August 30, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    in the bay area of california and in san diego, i have seen many people using umbrellas/ parasols as sunblock. perhaps it was in addition to sunblock applied to the skin – nonetheless, it looks cute and i imagine helps to keep the sun out of the eyes.

  58. Ponzie

    August 30, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Parasol + Umbrella are so commonly used in both sunny & rainy season in asian countries…. sadly it looks weird to use it else where…

  59. Wimereux

    August 30, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    I saw lots of parasols in Hong Kong too – they came in handy for both light showers and as sun shades. I was in Barcelona recently where both men and women on the metro were using traditional Spanish fans. It’s another example of something that is practical and commonplace in one culture but hasn’t really spread to other places, like here in London. But eventually, if the rationale (or sun) is strong enough, I’m sure it will. I can remember, 20 years ago, laughing at French men and their handbags but now the same bags are a common sight in London.

  60. Ashley

    August 30, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Love the dress and I like the idea of using a parasol as sunblock. It doubles as an accessory too.

    The I on Fashion

  61. Rebecca

    August 30, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    my friend and biz partner, Carol, uses them all the time…here in Seattle. She did live in Tokyo for 4 years so, maybe that’s why.

  62. Meg

    August 30, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    My sister got one of those parasols when we were in Tokyo last year. They actually have UV protection as well. As far as I know she uses it, especially since she breaks out in a rash if she gets too much sun. Plus they’re really cute. When I go back I”ll probably get one.

  63. Christine

    August 30, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    During my 30 minute walks to work in summer I always carry an umbrella to shade my face. I can burn in minutes. Some people do look at me sometimes (probably as Hobart is regarded as a cool place, but summer sun is harsh) but I don’t care and would rather protect my skin. Another reason is that when I wear a hat I get all sweaty and makes a mess of my hair.

    And for those who like to text when they walk instead of holding an umbrella? That is a sad excuse. Enjoy some quiet for a while.

  64. Kate

    August 30, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    I use them in Melbourne Australia, Scottish skin is not made for Australia

  65. Brigadeiro

    August 30, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    The Japanese have the most beautiful umbrellas and parasols! I was so tempted to bring back some with me, shame I didn’t. Most Asian people are very conscious of the sun, and always carry a parasol when the sun is out (my mother-in-law is one of them).

    I love the Italian lace parasols in Battenburg lace…just romantic, and very D&G, don’t you think?

  66. JA

    August 30, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    I see parasols in NY all the time – mostly used by older folks – and I absolutely do use an umbrella if I have to head out in the middle of a scorching summer day. Cream sunblock is simply not sufficient.

  67. Jenny

    August 30, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    from a health perspective, we need the vitamin D, just ask Gwenyth Paltrow who was diagnosed with D deficiency so bad she was verging on osteoperosis. Ditch the sunblock I say!

  68. Cristelle

    August 30, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    In the Canadian Prairies, I only see non-Caucasians doing this, be they of Asian or African descent.

  69. Angst

    August 30, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    Parasols are pretty common here in Scal. You can best believe, I won’t go to the Rose Bowl Flea Market without one.

  70. Nina

    August 30, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    I broke down and bought a cheap Chinese one in Rome one summer, as the heat was blistering and I kept shouting at my beau, ” A l’ombra, a l’ombra!”
    He got tired of me running for the shade of buildings and said I needed one subito.
    I love it, but hate to admit I do not pull it out in NYC. Clearly I need to reconsider what is appropriate abroad and at home – she looks smashing.

  71. dragon fruit

    August 30, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    actually many asians use them in arizona, i guess it’s a cultural thing.


  72. jen

    August 30, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Phx Az, we need all the shade we can get, not at all unusual.

  73. Kacie

    August 30, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    I just love the color palette in this photo. It makes me ready for Fall here in the PNW!


  74. Kimball

    August 30, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Yes! Parasols are wonderful. I used one a lot in Santa Fe. The original sun-screen.

  75. Name* RJT

    August 30, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    Actually, I frequently see umbrellas used as sun shields here in LA

  76. Narcisse

    August 30, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    My Asian mother does the parasol AND arm protectors. They’re basically long gloves without the actual hand cover—very useful for drivers who don’t want to get baked or burnt.

  77. Yoko

    August 30, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    I think the “Tokio” spelling that you mention seeing a lot may be promotional posters for a band called Tokio…. I have never seen the city name spelled that way.

  78. CKG

    August 30, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    you’ve apparently never been to New Orleans if Americans with parasols is a strange idea. :)

  79. Ame in DC

    August 30, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    I do. Got one in NY at Rain or Shine on 45th Street, and it’s fab!

  80. lstok

    August 30, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    I was first exposed to widespread use of parasols in Korea – but bought my first in China. At home (Ontario) I use it often but the only other people using them are Asian women – which was as expected. The difference it makes in comfort is amazing as well, in addition to the skin protection. Your own personal shade!

  81. Renata

    August 30, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    I am from Brazil, living in Tokyo for a bit more than a year now. I became a big fan of parasols and I’m using them all the time (on very sunny days)! The best way to protect your skin from damaging UVA and still look chic…

  82. Hailtree

    August 30, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    Parasols might be common in the US now, but in the 80s, when my aunt used hers on the way to work, her picture made it to the local paper.

    And yes, us Asians are very conscious about our skin.

  83. vruss

    August 30, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    i see “parasols” aplenty in Decatur, GA. they just aren’t as stylish…

  84. jcortor

    August 30, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Come to Miami, you’ll find some funny old cuban ladies with “parasols”

  85. Nilsby

    August 30, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Here in Houston TX both men and women will use umbrellas as parasols. Given that the actual temperature (not the heat index) was 105 yesterday, can you blame them?

  86. Alexandria

    August 30, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    My grandmother also did this. Porcelain skin is definitely very highly valued in the far east. She used to tell me I looked like a peasant when I got tan as a child.

  87. Janis Magdalene

    August 30, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    I learn a new word today! Thanks!
    People use parasols (or umbrellas) here too when it’s very hot and sunny…
    (Hong Kong)

  88. Victoria Marie

    August 30, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    I live in Nagoya, Japan and I have a parasol that I use fairly often. The only time I don’t is when I ride my bike, because I don’t have an umbrella holder (which some people do have on their bikes around here). Plus, I don’t want to get into an accident trying to ride my bicycle AND hold my umbrella. Before moving to Japan I never owned a parasol, but here in Nagoya the summer sun is too strong to go without one. Now, if only I could find a big enough one to shade me down to my feet….

  89. Marie

    August 30, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Here in Auckland, New Zealand, the trend is filtering down through the Chinese community, though far too slowly, given our risk of melanoma. I use one, and am determined not to be self-conscious about it.

  90. Teresa

    August 30, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    People in Houston rock them, especially at the University.

  91. kristi

    August 30, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    This is actually quite common in DC – I see foreign women doing it in Georgetown almost daily. Come down and visit!

  92. Rosie

    August 30, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    It’s because Japanese people hate to get tanned

  93. Lisa

    August 30, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    Yes, I see parasols used quite frequently in the Midwest, where it can be brutally hot and with few tall buildings to block the sun.

  94. Tomoko

    August 30, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    Parasols are very popular in Tokyo. Their colors, patterns, and materials are various. I miss chambray or linen one with simple design, which went well with my casual outfits.

  95. aiko

    August 30, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    oh.are u in Tokyo now?
    im waiting for u in Osaka.

  96. Shannon

    August 30, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    I love the idea of a parasol! I’m a big fan of the shade and all things sun protection. My parents took me to Italy for the first time this summer and I wanted a parasol in the worst way but I’m sad to say I never got one. I think about it all the time and if I ever come across one that I fall in love with I will certainly pick one up and proudly carry it around NYC!

  97. Lauren

    August 30, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    Great shot! I do occasionally see parasols in the U.S. – almost always being carried by Asian women. In fact, tomorrow I’ll post a parasol shot I took this past weekend at the Palo Alto Arts Festival.

    I definitely use a parasol as sunblock if I’m going to be out for an extended time. I usually feel like a freak, but so what?!

    The Styleseer

  98. jackie

    August 30, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    actually, when i went to nyc- i saw a whole lotta people with parasols as sunblock… maybe they were tourists :/ but i did see em’! … it does look nice though, especially if you have a nice umbrella- it’s just another accessory, which is great!

  99. Yosa

    August 30, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    I have quite a few- Kansas is hot and sunny and I prefer not to tan. I would love to see them become more popular!

  100. jenny

    August 30, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    I see this everyday on the campus if my local university.

  101. Clara Turbay

    August 30, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    This picture says a lot is natural and basic.


  102. Kallie

    August 30, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    I don’t care if everyone thinks I’m nuts, but I always use my rain umbrella to create some shade in the park at lunch. I saw people doing this in Philippines a few years ago and realized how genius it was.

  103. La Petite Marmoset

    August 30, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    I love the idea! If the japanese can get by doing so without contstantly bumping in to eachother in the the streets, why cant we?

    La Petite Marmoset

  104. Robin O

    August 30, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    I use a parasol all the time, and when I do, all the women envy me and wish they had one I bought it from Magellan’s Catalog five or more years ago. It’s made out of 50 SPF fabric. I wish we could reinstitute parasol use in the USA; not only is it medically indicated, it could also be really fun. Some of those parasols from the 19th century are gorgeous.

  105. shervin nassi

    August 30, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    I use one everyday in the lower east side!!


  106. fedorasparkles

    August 30, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    Actually, the use of a parasol during the summer/warm months is very common around Asia. I’ve used a regular umbrella whenever I couldn’t handle the sun’s heat. I don’t think it’s extremely weird, but I am Asian-American, so I suppose it isn’t too much of a “foreign” sight to see.

    I’ve seen women use parasols during summer, and usually they were of Asian descent. I have yet to see women (or men) of other ethnic backgrounds using one, though I think it might catch on since people are becoming more conscious nowadays about preventing skin cancer & wrinkles.

  107. tor

    August 30, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    I was just there! I love everything Japanese.

    There was one part that surprised me, everyone had two sets of parasols. One to use against the sun, and one to use when it rains!

  108. Holly

    August 31, 2011 at 12:01 am

    I love the idea of a parasol, no matter the continent. I especially like the idea of a black one – makes it edgier. I am definitely a gal in favor of pale, protected skin :)

  109. cathy

    August 31, 2011 at 12:14 am

    I use a parasol occasionally – when I don’t have too many other things to carry. And I see a fair number of women using them in the DC Metro area.

  110. Temo

    August 31, 2011 at 12:15 am

    I find it interesting the cultural conversation here about skin color/shade. With the idea in parts of Asia for some in Asia that light skin is preferred, hence the use for some to use a sun shade. As a Black American I am interested in the social value given to skin shade. I see the need for protection (I use sunscreen daily) but I wonder how/if skin shade is translated into how people are viewed and treated? I also find the juxtaposition of the photo with the Japanese woman with dyed Blonde hair right before this post intriguing.

  111. Maryam

    August 31, 2011 at 12:17 am

    Beautiful image!! I love the shoulders on that dress and the three stripes on the umbrella – very cute!

    xo, Maryam


  112. Lauren Helen

    August 31, 2011 at 12:26 am

    I actually saw a girl holding a parasol the other day to protect herself from the sun! It was unusual to see, but very pretty!


  113. Ernie

    August 31, 2011 at 12:53 am

    Parasols are so common in East Asia; Koreans are particularly fond of them. East Asians like their white skin, so avoiding sunlight is a top priority.

    And “Tokio” is trendy because of the English pronunciation of Tokyo, but it’s not accurate in any way. The actual romanization of the characters for Tokyo are for two characters “tou” and “kyou,” not three like “to” “ki” “o” would suggest.

  114. Leslie

    August 31, 2011 at 1:00 am

    It is very common with the Chinese culture too. A pretty umbrella in the summer is a wonderful accessory.

  115. Juliana

    August 31, 2011 at 1:06 am

    Here we use parasols often, it’s a necessity under tropical boiling sun.

  116. Elle

    August 31, 2011 at 1:24 am

    Asians are pretty much influenced by the Western. They hope to have fair, white skin. Hiding them under umbrella/ parasols is to keep them from tanning. Besides Japan, China, Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan, other South East Asians are not that obsessed. We have yellow, brown skins in nature. Using parasols won’t turn us white unless there are other supplements like skincare, cosmestic surgeries, etc.

  117. Susanna

    August 31, 2011 at 1:36 am

    This picture really gave birth to a long comment flow. Good reflections.

    I really do think a parasol trend would be marvellous. Western people hate their wrinkles and their ageing. Beware of the lovely sun and use a umbrella with uv protection!

    I like the Mary Poppins style.


  118. Bad Joan

    August 31, 2011 at 2:02 am

    I wouldn’t use it instead of sunblock but it’s nice to be able to create your own shade!


  119. une chatte grise

    August 31, 2011 at 2:03 am

    I’ve seen a small number of folks (of all ethnicities) using parasols here in the mid-South. Frankly, I think it looks a little precious, but if it works for them, what the hell.

  120. Helle

    August 31, 2011 at 2:33 am

    The Spanish language holds the key for this: Parasol = para sol; (protection) against the sun, Paraguas (umbrella) = para aguas; protection against water – as in showers from above!
    That’s why an umbrella will be waterproof and sturdy and a parasol light ‘n flirtatious; cotton, lace or paper.

  121. O.K. O'B

    August 31, 2011 at 2:35 am

    Maybe you’ve been traveling too much lately; I’ve seen them all over NYC this summer. Albeit, perhaps more usually from people who aren’t considered sartorial.

  122. songbird

    August 31, 2011 at 2:47 am

    personally i have seen more parasol users in india than sunscreen user..me & my best friend love using both..

  123. Name*lou

    August 31, 2011 at 2:54 am

    Well, when I was in the UK a few years ago, I used a parasol due to the fierce heat. However, someone called me ‘Asian Freak’ at that time so I just folded my parasol and left with $(*@#(*$(@*#$&(P#.

  124. asldkfj;alskdfj

    August 31, 2011 at 2:59 am

    that’s not really how you spell Tokyo but whatever the photo is nice

  125. Maria

    August 31, 2011 at 3:20 am

    I’ve gotten used to it, since I know a lot of Japanese here in Berlin… so I have a sun-parasole as well – great accessory

  126. Kalli

    August 31, 2011 at 3:42 am

    My friend and I used parasols just the other day while walking around Los Angeles. It’s not uncommon to see a lady here or there on any given sunny day (which is most days) using umbrellas for sun protection, since the sun is a constant in LA. Granted, there are a LOT of people in this part of the world who think tanning is a must, but they’ll be singing a different tune when they’re older and leathery.

  127. style Dilettante

    August 31, 2011 at 3:51 am

    I’ve been know to carry one from time to time – particularly on hot days spent at the flea market or farmer’s market. Only problem is how cumbersome they can be… Perhaps if I could somehow rig it to my hat…?


  128. cloudtheclochard

    August 31, 2011 at 4:01 am

    dark blue is the best…


  129. Mia Hong

    August 31, 2011 at 4:20 am

    Her dress is gorgeous, and I’m so jealous that you’re in Japan! The parasol adds such a romantic flourish to everything, and it just makes this outfit work. Beautiful.


  130. Jun

    August 31, 2011 at 5:10 am

    I live in Tokyo. Parasols are essential in hot summer days here. I use it mainly to get shades rather than for UV protection (I think a little bit of tan is healthier and attractive in summer)

  131. coz

    August 31, 2011 at 5:45 am

    I always use a parasol,in summer. My friends too. But my best friend in San Diego said be noted that using a parasol.

  132. Sue

    August 31, 2011 at 6:16 am

    ★ Fantastik look! It’s like a mix between japan, navy and folk styles ;-)★


  133. Lylia's Diary

    August 31, 2011 at 6:22 am

    Lovely dress !

    xx, Lylia

  134. Nia

    August 31, 2011 at 6:22 am

    Nice umbrella!!


  135. Arianna

    August 31, 2011 at 6:23 am

    I’ve used them here in Miami but it is very difficult to find pretty and lightweight parasols around here. Also, people stare at you weird because everyone comes to Miami with the purpose of getting tan.

  136. Petra

    August 31, 2011 at 6:31 am

    You don’t see many around here in Munich (Germany)….
    Well some Tourists…
    Like it though….


  137. The Pilgrim

    August 31, 2011 at 6:36 am

    Beautiful picture, such an elegant young lady!

    I’ve spotted a couple of parasols here in Madrid (the sun can be VERY harsh in summer), but it’s of course quite uncommon. In think in western countries we are very conscious about the harmful effects of sun exposure and tend to use sunblock, but we are not as concerned about the cosmetic effects of maintaining a pale complexion as asians are, but you never know, it might become a trend!

  138. Ana

    August 31, 2011 at 7:05 am

    Nooooooooo, i’d fell ridiculous, i know, i know, it’s silly, but i still preferring a big hat, sunglasses and cream protection!

  139. Meredith

    August 31, 2011 at 7:24 am

    I really like her dress with the little lace detail on the sleeves.

    In Atlanta, we use our umbrellas for shade at kids’ soccer games. We are probably in our cars too much to need them elsewhere.

    - Meredith

  140. atsuko

    August 31, 2011 at 7:35 am

    welcome to japan!
    i use parasol everyday!

  141. Thefashionalists

    August 31, 2011 at 7:44 am

    Love the dress.

  142. Stephanie

    August 31, 2011 at 8:00 am

    People give me strange looks here in Canada because I use one. I do this because of migraines and the sun bothering my eyes though.

  143. Megan Abigail Chandler

    August 31, 2011 at 8:00 am

    the parasol is a lost art for sure. I had a “play parasol” when I was a child. It was lace and I adored it.

  144. William Newton

    August 31, 2011 at 8:08 am

    Actually, it’s funny that you raise the topic, because I have been noting all summer long here in DC that parasols seem to be the new new thing. They are everywhere, in numbers I have never seen before after living here for more than a decade.

  145. HannahParrett (UK)

    August 31, 2011 at 8:12 am

    That dress is so lovely. wonder where I can find one like that.

  146. Charlotte

    August 31, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Not uncommon here in Austin, TX. I think before the record heat/drought we’re having it was scoffed as an affectation but now the practicality of it is winning people over.

  147. debbie

    August 31, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Seeing them in Houston this summer with the drought and many days over 100 degrees this summer.

  148. Meezly

    August 31, 2011 at 8:41 am

    Japanese women are utterly obsessed with looking white, which includes bleaching skin and hair, and cosmetic surgery.

  149. Girl on a bike

    August 31, 2011 at 8:45 am

    Just back from Vietnam and the umbrella was used constantly for sun protection, it was so fiercely hot – and I am from the sub tropics in Australia. Of course, we are very sun conscious in Austalia and the Vietnamese are not into tans.

  150. The Fancy Teacup

    August 31, 2011 at 8:55 am

    I’m actually an avid user of the parasol to protect myself from the sun. It makes a pretty accessory and is quite useful. Such a pretty capture of the lady with the parasol.

    ♥, Jamie

  151. Sanja

    August 31, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Parasols are common all over Asia as a means of protecting the skin from UV rays. What I love about Japan in particular is that both women and men equally use (traditional) fans to cool off in hot summer days. My friend Dom has one and I love it. Perhaps I will buy one for myself next week when I visit (the range in Singapore is not quite as beautiful).

  152. rachel

    August 31, 2011 at 9:00 am

    You should come to south africa!!!!!!Its such an amazing country with beautiful,and unique fashions to admire.And you will see parasols quite extensively,lol.Waiting on your visit

  153. Viktoria

    August 31, 2011 at 9:39 am

    In Sweden everyone becomes sun-crazy in the summer, but I´m not alone in unfolding my umbrella if I find myself sitting for long in a very sunny spot. Granted, umbrella-users are all women of a certain age who care not what people think…

  154. Refusal

    August 31, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Sorry, I posted my earlier hair comment on the wrong photo.

  155. Kate

    August 31, 2011 at 9:44 am

    God forbid anyone should wear a HAT. Parasol sans hands. Duh!

  156. Annabelle

    August 31, 2011 at 9:45 am

    I see them in New York all the time too, although I live in an area with a lot of Asians. I see it in Chinatown pretty regularly too.

  157. Name*

    August 31, 2011 at 9:50 am

    I saw them in France this summer….

  158. Erin

    August 31, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Parasols seem to be more and more common here in Houston.

  159. danana

    August 31, 2011 at 9:56 am

    YES! We hiked Hadrian’s Wall a few years ago and I did use my umbrella as sun block – it works great but boy do I get straaange looks. I am always tempted to use one, but – since I don’t have an actual parasol (I’ve never seen one to purchase) I would have to use my brelly and deal with the looks.

  160. hura

    August 31, 2011 at 10:14 am

    actually, using a parasol as protection from the sun is pretty common in Latin America and the Caribbean…and in places with large population from such places, in Florida and Los Angeles for example, is not uncommon to see “viejitas” “elderly women” walking with a parasol to avoid the sun. you see this often in places like San Juan and havana. but as i said above, one mostly see working class women or elderly women using them in such a way.

  161. Elena

    August 31, 2011 at 10:20 am

    It’s very common here in Miami. The sun is so brutal. I used the trick while on my honeymoon in Greece.

    A parasol is just another fashion accessory…

  162. Becky

    August 31, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Yes! I love parasols and umbrellas. I come from a motor racing family, so most of my summers are spent under a hot sun, outside, walking around on pavement and asphalt all day. About five years ago when vintage shopping with my mom, I found this amazing umbrella from the 1960s. It has a bright blue and orange olive shaped pattern and a great “wooden” handle. Ever since I bought it, in addition to the sunscreen I slather on, I whip out my umbrella to protect me. Sometime the sun is just too damn hot!

  163. James Campbell Taylor

    August 31, 2011 at 11:04 am

    I’ve seen lots of women carrying parasols on sunny days in New York.

  164. Sizie See

    August 31, 2011 at 11:27 am

    The Japanese women in Malaysia wears long gloves, sunglasses & sun visor hats while driving. Its how we differentiate them fr local Chinese. My Chinese mum in law carries child like parasols wherever she goes and forbid her daughters fr getting a tan..they are way over 40 btw.

  165. Laura CB

    August 31, 2011 at 11:42 am

    That is because you never visit us in the Southwest.

  166. Yuko

    August 31, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    We, Japanese woman use fabric parasol commonly. In nowadays, dual-purpose ones for rainy and hot sunny day are sale and popular like this photo.
    I went to zoo in east coast USA with black parasol open, one little boy asked me, “it’s sunny,but why do you use umbrella?”

  167. Janel

    August 31, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    I see them all over Houston, and as a previous commenter mentioned, they are very common at the university. I’ve noticed useage appears to be more prevalent among Asian peoples (north and south), but by no means is it exclusive. I will burn in about 5 minutes down here, so I have been known to use both a hat and a parasol.

  168. RICCA

    August 31, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Yes, parasols are very popular in Asia especially in the Philippines. Though some people might think it’s crazy to be soleil conscious by using a parasol. I think it’s high time people know that even on a cloudy day, the UV rays are still dangerous. Sun tanning is out. And yes, with the right design, it could be very fashionable.

  169. AET

    August 31, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    I use one here in Baltimore.
    And yes, people do look at me funny.
    And no, I don’t think skin cancer is sexy.
    And yes, I did pick up the habit while living in Asia.
    It makes a lot of sense, especially during high summer when it is scorching hot one minute and you’re running from a thunderstorm every afternoon around 3:30!

  170. maggie

    August 31, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    I’ve been seeing them occasionally this summer here in Portland Oregon (and not because of the rain!). I really like it!

  171. Saeclorum

    August 31, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    What about the japanese from the ryukyus. They’re all fairly dark right?

  172. M

    August 31, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    What a beautiful photo – lovely detailing on the sleeves.

  173. Cristiana Nunes

    August 31, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Loved this, so sweet. It seems like a movie scene!

  174. Bonnie

    August 31, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    In New Orleans people still use parasols to keep the sun away. The temperature in the shade is much cooler than in the sun.

  175. Kimberley California

    August 31, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    they actually are becoming more prevelent here in California; i see a lot of the Asian women using them. and I actually used one a few weeks back while I was the NASCAR race in Sonoma…it was very handy.

  176. Emma

    August 31, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Americans use sunscreen, which I find icky and oily, not to mention expensive if you want the non-toxic ones. Parasols make more sense to me. Probably if a celebrity, like Angelina Jolie, starts using it, American women would, too.

  177. ABRIL Moda blog

    August 31, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    It’s a great idea. Here in Costa Rica are little used umbrellas for sun protection, I guess we got tired of having to use a lot in the rainy days.

  178. Name*

    August 31, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Just came back from Waikiki saw just a few people carrying parasols. It made sense since
    very hot.
    I wore lots of sunscreen, a large brimmed hat and uv protected skirt and sunglasses.
    I didn’t feel chic at all.

  179. Madeline W.

    August 31, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Actually, the word “parasol” is French, meaning to ward off (parere) the sun (le soleil). When referring to an umbrella used in the rain, the French word is “parapluie,” meaning to ward off the rain (pluie). So, parasols are actually intended for use in the sun. Linguistics is pretty neat!

  180. varda

    August 31, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Yes I can! I use it all summer in my country Israel its hot and the sun is strong. Sun is good for you up to a point. You have to be careful. Get suntanned but not sun burnt.
    Have a nice weekend.

  181. Lisa

    August 31, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    They are actually very common here in South Louisiana and in New Orleans as well.

  182. teddy

    August 31, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    I live in Columbus Ohio and I’ve seen people using them when it’s hot and sunny. It’s a great idea and plain common sense.
    Although how accepted it is depends on where you are. When I lived in a very rough neighborhood, someone threw a bottle of water at me while I was walking with an umbrella during a blazing hot sunny day.

  183. Joise

    August 31, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Same as Hong Kong :D
    Many women have one parasol/umbrella (I think they don’t know the different between them) in their bag. And most of them think that white is beautiful, and they spend a lot of money in whitening beauty.

  184. sunkiss

    August 31, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    the uv light is too intense now~~ over exposure to the sun is not good to us~

  185. Ginger

    August 31, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    I use parasols here in Brisbane, Australia- the sun is so harsh from mid spring onwards (and I’m Anglo-Celt whitey. Not helpful living almost directly under the hole in the ozone layer).
    I use actual paper or silk chinese parasols, not umbrella looking ones.

    I don’t see many others using them but I do get lots of comments when walking around. Some nice comments, some not so nice ones.

  186. Marrtine

    September 1, 2011 at 12:09 am

    I have thought about that, but honestly has no one else noticed that those things are impossible to handle when there is even a bit of wind? they invert and become a problem.

  187. Gregory

    September 1, 2011 at 12:10 am

    This is very, very common in New Orleans. I’m never without my planter’s hat and umbrella during the summer months. When the sun’s not beating down on you the rain comes down hard. If you spend a decent amount of time walking the streets here you learn to always have that umbrella with you for either purpose.

  188. Scott Hanlon

    September 1, 2011 at 12:32 am

    Ha! Come to the west San Gabriel Valley in Southern California for all sorts of sun protection accoutrements, from parasols to white gloves to sun shades that completely cover one’s face.

  189. Mel

    September 1, 2011 at 1:39 am

    I see many people using parasols, or plain ole ‘brellas, on ray-happy days in downtown Vancouver – as well as on rainy days. And even snowy days. We’ll shield all the weather.

  190. Leslie

    September 1, 2011 at 1:54 am

    This was probably already mentioned, but the rockabilly girls/pin-up styled girls often carry the paper ones. You see them all the time at the Good Guys hotrod car shows.

  191. tlarri

    September 1, 2011 at 2:45 am

    I tried this in LV recently – it took only 5 minutes for the wind to end my umbrella : /

  192. Bellina Tse

    September 1, 2011 at 3:58 am

    Parasols or umbrellas are also very popular for women in China and Hong Kong. We use it religiously rain or shine. Since having fair skin is a sign of wealth (darker skin means you work in the field or your job requires you to be in the sun all day), women are seen carrying umbrellas in the summer. It’s also a great way to accessorize.

    Natural. Resourceful. Beauty.

  193. Emma

    September 1, 2011 at 6:23 am

    I started using umbrellas when I was 15. My brother wrote a song about it. Being fair and having to live under the harsh Australian sun, it’s one of the only ways I can keep safe. I carry one all the time…even buying a handbag is all about – will my brollie fit? The consequence is now that I have a lot less lines – and no sun cancers! Not yet anyway!

  194. vintage engagement rings

    September 1, 2011 at 6:38 am

    The parasols are wonderful.. a lovely look.

  195. Mr kane

    September 1, 2011 at 9:35 am

    i have seen loads of people using the umbrella on this hot days!
    i got a vintage one i posted in my blog:
    here is the link:

    Un Saludo!

  196. Stefanie

    September 1, 2011 at 10:37 am

    I could definitely imagine using them. It looks so pretty and cute, love it.

  197. deko

    September 1, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Hi, Sart.

    You wrote ” … or Tokio, as I often see it spelled when I visit”.
    There are a male pop group “TOKIO”, a kind of “Backstreet Boys”.
    They are popular in Japan, so I think you saw “TOKIO” sometime :)

    Hope you had nice time in Tokyo :)

  198. Elizabeth

    September 1, 2011 at 11:55 am

    I recently bought a vintage paper parasol in Vancouver, Canada on a hot sunny day for a home decoration. I ended up using it since it was so hot and loved it so much more than a hat. I did feel self conscious but most people barely notice other people in a large busy city…I was very surprised when one young Asian man seemed overcome with praise on seeing me using a paper parasol….it’s fun to wear something beautiful and unexpected

  199. Pedro

    September 1, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    They are very common in Latin America and the Caribbean, i live in a Caribean Island and people use them a lot here because of the sun.!

  200. Melanie

    September 1, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    It’s very common in Toronto, especially in predominantly Asian communities. I think it’s a great idea.

  201. Sharon

    September 1, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    As someone previously stated, carrying parasols year-round is the norm here in the Philippines. From a young age, my mother has taught me that rain or shine, it’s wise to never leave home without it.

  202. sunhye

    September 1, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    it’s very common in korea.
    but korean prepare to colorful floral one than black one*_*

    you can see the hundred and thousand of old ladies with
    colorful(flowers! roses! )parasols. young ladies, they choose sunblock or just white and skyblue one…. if you get older, you take deco.

  203. k p p

    September 1, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    In San Antonio, we see it quite often. Both with older Latina and the younger generation.

  204. NATO

    September 1, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    very common in SF Bay Area, where there is a huge asian population

  205. Zaaki

    September 1, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Here in Trinidad & Tobago it rains for 6 months and verges on 35 deg C the rest. It’s very common for women to have tote sized brollies in their bags, to be used in the sun or rain.

  206. Dee

    September 1, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    We use umbrellas all the time! But maybe it’s because I live in sunny LA! I keep my parasol in the trunk of my car, and since I work downtown, sometimes I use it to walk to my offsite meetings.

  207. Alison

    September 1, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Parasols are very common in LA, particularly among the Latino population.

  208. Deeds

    September 1, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    When I lived on the East Coast for six years I bought three in Manhattan’s China Town. In the New Jersey suburb where I was forced to live they looked at me as if I were an alien when I carried one, even was asked why I carried an umbrella in the sun. When I went into Manhattan, I still got looks but they were of appreciation.

  209. wendelah1

    September 1, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    I live in Los Angeles and at least in my working-class neighborhood, parasols are quite commonly seen on the street.

  210. Ryan

    September 2, 2011 at 12:17 am

    I’m traveling in Beijing currently, and parasols are extremely popular here as well.

  211. Brollywood

    September 2, 2011 at 12:35 am

    In excruciatingly hot Singapore, it’s crazy not to use sunblock with at least an SPF of 40 IN ADDITION TO a parasol.

    I noticed that some commentators here have made sweeping statements about Asians wanting to look Western and that darkness denotes peasantry in the totem pole of things.

    Something doesn’t sound right here. I am an Asian with small almond shaped eyes and single eyelids; the last time I considered jetting off to Korea to get an additional fold to enlarge my peepers, “looking Western” was nowhere in the picture. Honest. It’s likely that those who considered/went for the procedure just wanted to look like friends of the same skin colour who have bigger and more alluring eyes. It’s that simple.

    In Asia, we don’t have that kind of complex. Not anymore. It’s about time the folks take note that we are in the 21st century now.

  212. karin

    September 2, 2011 at 1:58 am

    Using parasol is actually not only for brighter skins. We are more concerned about “health” of skins!
    I’m a 20-something Japanese, who uses Higasa (parasol) in summer :) I think this phenomenon, many women shifted to brighter or white skins, started about 15 years ago or so. So my mom’s generation and older had, when they were 20-40 somethings, healthy tanned skins, which were considered so cool in those days.
    We use those parasols to protest our skins scientifically, not only for white skins. To be exposed by sunlight with UV (A, B, C) leads to accelerating your aging of skins. Not only mottles on skins but also wrinkles, sagging, and other any troubles on your skin!! :(
    Now many parasols are 99% anti UV and they are so fashionable ever~ I am sure my generation who haven’t exposed too much UV in our lives are going to get quite really healthy and young skins when getting older. My mom has got wrinkleless skin in her 60.

  213. Cathy G

    September 2, 2011 at 3:01 am

    Ya, do it all the time in Australia! The sun is too harsh and sunblock is no good. Parasol all the way…

  214. Simone

    September 2, 2011 at 4:48 am

    Bellissimo il parasole, a inizio dello scorso secolo era molto comune in tutta Europa ma esclusivamente tra i membri dell’alta società – nobiltà, poi questo oggetto raffinatissimo è caduto in disuso.
    Sarebbe bellissimo una sua seconda vita…. speriamo.
    Lo scatto è bellissimo, complimenti

  215. Kay/Stjulienlepauvre

    September 2, 2011 at 5:58 am

    I see umbrellas used as parasols here in N. California. I’m about an hour north of S.F.

  216. A

    September 2, 2011 at 6:40 am

    the use of parasols is common all over Asia (Japan, Korea, Taiwan.. ) as the standard of beauty is to be as white as possible. Just like West many years ago.

  217. mai

    September 2, 2011 at 8:49 am

    It’s an Asian thing (at least East Asian)…

    I love the idea of seeing more parasols…

    Following the Asian theme: Part of me hopes that there will be a return of the folding hand-held fan – think of the creative potential!!

  218. tifa

    September 2, 2011 at 9:01 am

    we have dry season and rainy season, but the sun is always here all year, so having an umbrella all the time is like having an instant spf fix:)

  219. Sonia

    September 2, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    I agree with most here, it’s definitely an Asian thing. I have family in Hong Kong and go there once every 3 years, and it’s a hand bag (or even rucksack) necessity to have a retractable umbrella to use as a parasole :) It’s about skin health and snowy white skin is seen as more attractive and desirable :)

  220. Vivid Voltage

    September 2, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    I’ve been fortunate enough to spend time all over Japan and I also appreciate fair skin, so a parasol as sun protection was the first Japanese trend I adopted and took home to Texas. When I use my UV enhanced parasol I feel elegantly Victorian and stylishly Japanese all at the same time. Not a bad feeling!

  221. Whiteboy

    September 2, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    Lol Tokio is a popular boy band. Love them!

  222. Erika

    September 2, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    Very common amongst the older Asian ladies in Toronto. And they don’t seem to age until they reach their eighties!

  223. andrea

    September 3, 2011 at 10:34 am

    I carry one and use it all the time walking around NY. ! I had skin cancer when I was in my 20s & I’m very careful. I am surprised that we haven’t bumped into each other! (black victorian-esque parasol- looks great with Comme des Garcons or Junya clothing.)

  224. Gary Michael Porter

    September 3, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    My grandmother (this is Texas) never went out of the house in summer without one. She had an entire wardrobe of parasols to match different dresses. She also always wore white gloves and a hat. It’s hard to believe that before the 1950′s women strived to remain as pale as possible. A tan was an indicator that one was of the lower classes and had to work outdoors and do your own yardwork.

    I also remember that many of my sister’s spring and Easter dresses came with matching parasols. Very cute.

    BTW, a parasol is not the same thing as an umbrella. Parasols are lightweight fabric and designed to protect you from the sun. Umbrellas are for rain.

    Men had to make do with hats, which, paraphrasing Diana Vreeland, simply disappeared one day; and no one knows why.

  225. Amy Rose

    September 3, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    I love the idea of a vintage white lace… essential for us English roses! Pale is the way to go, I think…but maybe that’s because I’m as white as white can be!



  226. Pauline

    September 3, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    So cute!

  227. PATRICE

    September 4, 2011 at 12:09 am

    We use them frequently in Australia especially in the northern areas where the sun is strong.

  228. Ng

    September 4, 2011 at 2:45 am

    Actually in Africa we use lightweight umbrellas as a form of sub protection, and been doing so for years! This isn’t a new thing or a trend FYI…

  229. bestie

    September 4, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    yes, i’ve seen it in chicago several times this summer on michigan ave. being an avid sunscreen user, i think it’s a fabulous idea!

  230. JB

    September 5, 2011 at 8:04 am

    I’m a male from Brisbane, Australia. I’ve been using parasol for the last 20 years!

  231. amy

    September 5, 2011 at 11:54 am

    We have a large number of students from Korea at my university in Texas and I see it all the time. The Koreans are the most consistent parasol carriers (and theirs are the most beautiful, often with lots of intricate lace), but I often see the practice being picked up by others. It’s terribly practical.

  232. Taka

    September 5, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    The Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte

  233. zain

    September 6, 2011 at 3:40 am

    Where i can find a similar dress like her ????

  234. Catherine

    September 6, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    My university has a lot of Asian exchange students from Japan and Korea, and so I see women all the time carrying these around campus. I personally love the idea of carrying a parasol! I’m incredibly pale so even my really good sunblock doesn’t protect me 100% of the time. Sadly, I have a terrible habit for losing track of umbrellas, and so a parasol doesn’t seem in my cards. But it is a really good idea!

  235. kristen

    September 6, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    here in los angeles lots of latino women can be seen carrying parasols for shade. brilliant, really. and some of them are very cool!

  236. andreea

    September 7, 2011 at 1:24 am

    it’s only because they want to have white skin….it’s the same in china and in many other asian countries

  237. Nicole Eiden

    September 7, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    If your in New Orleans and your smart, you’ll follow the elder’s lead and use an UMbrella. That’s New Orleans dialect, for you.

  238. Erin

    September 8, 2011 at 8:34 am

    it’s not an Asian thing, it’s about being smart and taking care of your own body. No fashion style beats a healthy young cancer-free skin.

  239. Sandra

    September 9, 2011 at 6:38 am

    I’m from Sweden and I just have to say that I think your blog is extraordinary!

  240. Sabine

    September 9, 2011 at 1:09 pm


    I sometimes wear them like in the picture (link) above

  241. Sharon

    September 14, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    I use umbrellas all summer long as my kids and I walk around town in Kansas City. When I lived in Beijing it was easier to wear the traditional hat so that I could bike around the city.

  242. LaLa

    September 15, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Actually, I do use a parasol for sun protection. But Americans get upset with the fact that I am very petite and it takes up ***their*** alloted (in their heads…VERY terriotorial) space on the public sidewalks because it comes up to their stomachs or chests. In a tall, fat world nobody wants to watch on for anything that is below 6 feet tall and two feet wide.

    Love the photo.

  243. 3QC

    September 16, 2011 at 3:12 am

    That’s actually a very common practice all over Asia. In India, people use umbrellas.

  244. Bonita

    September 16, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    I am a Southeast Asian descent brought up both in Southern and Northern California, I know for one, I don’t have that porcelain skin and I don’t burn as easily–I am medium or olive-skin tone; however, my outcome is that I do appreciate parasols. I don’t mind my gradual light tan (years from bicycling, outdoor physical educations, and playing out in dry suburbs) it is just that I am more worried about my skin health. Sunscreens aren’t all that pleasant for me. I finally found a pretty lace parasol I obtained from a Gas Light era festival. Lately, I’ve been spotting people of various forms protecting their skin with parasols/umbrellas. It’s nice to see.

  245. WS

    September 17, 2011 at 4:58 am

    I grew up in Asia and used to carry an umbrella around, but I stopped that after moving to California because I stood out too much. It’s unfortunate since California has a more UV light passing through the ozone hole (or so I heard), but you know, when in Rome…

  246. Alicia

    September 17, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    I see them in LA all the time. But you never come here so you wouldn’t know that!

  247. Lorelai

    September 19, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    I came from tropical country and sun ray can be seriously damaging there. Parasol is a must in our bag, since sun is as heavy as downpour.
    Then I moved to Europe. I used white parasol with frills and lace. Guess what? People looked at me like I am a patient from mental hospital (including stinky face).
    But it didn’t stop me to use it in next summers :p

  248. Ulrike

    September 26, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    wow. I really love this look. I would like to do the same next summer because the only “tan”I get is very red skin. :-(
    So the idea of carrying a parasol seems very intelligent to me and in this context the lady is looking pretty at the same time.

    In my opinion the solution for the dilemma of a missing extra hand could be: hang the bag over your shoulder, put the smartphone into
    the bag and hold the coffee in one hand – so you have one hand free for the parasol.

  249. Frances

    October 5, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    It’s funny, but from the few people I’ve encountered from Japan — I’ve always heard that it’s not so much as a form of ‘protection’ as you put it. At least not in the sense that we, Americans, view sun protection. As far as I’ve always understood it — for them, culturally, it is more as way to preserve’ that ultra milky, white skin color.

  250. sweettreehugger

    January 28, 2012 at 1:02 am

    I see them a lot here in DC. Summers are super hot and muggy, so sunshades are really nice. Many women carry them down on the National Mall – not the tourists who give DC a reputation for terrible dressing, but the local girls. They carry them when they’re going to a protest, meeting friends for a picnic, or going on a date to a Smithsonian museum. You’ll also see them frequently in the neighborhoods at street festivals, and among the beautiful foreign women who work on Embassy Row.

  251. Sofia

    July 13, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    The asian communitty in Perth, WA, Australia make it very common here.

  252. Mila

    May 1, 2013 at 5:19 am

    I wish we needed them in the UK….:-)

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