Keep the sun off your face on warmer days with women's parasols, from dainty little brollies to full-size sharers. Parasols are lightweight and portable so you can take them with you on the go, meaning that you can always have shade from the sun wherever you are. They also add a touch of vintage charm to any outfit and can be used to decorate your home.
A parasol looks very much like an umbrella except that it is more lightweight and protects you from the sun instead of from rain. It has been around for thousands of years, especially in hotter countries such as China and even Ancient Egypt.
You'll find parasols in a selection of materials from delicate silks and linens to cotton, paper, canvas and even plastic. Generally, this determines the purpose and style of the parasol, as well as the culture and current fashions.
In China, paper or bamboo sun parasols were used. The paper used is Chinese rice paper, giving the parasols a delicate look. They are either plain or decorated with beautiful artwork, meaning that they can be used out and about or simply displayed in the home.
Traditional Indian parasols are made from colourful cotton cloth and delicately embroidered with patterns and beaded embellishments. It was originally seen as a symbol of status in both Indian cultures and others. These Indian designs are popular worldwide for their colour and style.
Give your look an elegant vintage style by pairing it with a chiffon or silk parasol. These parasols suit a 1920s inspired look as the parasol started to drop from use from 1930s onwards when having tanning came more into fashion. Look for new takes on the vintage design or keep a look out to see if you can find authentic pieces to display.
These days it's somewhat on-trend to use dainty and fashionable parasols as part of your wedding outfit, particularly if you're going for a retro-inspired style. White frilled designs offer a traditional style; brightly coloured parasols add a striking modern design.