Having an organized and stylish place to keep your weed that you can leave out in plain sight is an option any adult deserves.
Do you have any ideas for making a parasol work during the summer? This is my first year in Los Angeles and I'm already way more tan than I've been since I was a wee child. I'm trying to avoid turning into a California Raisin!
The ruffle, pagoda and paper ones are lovely, but seem really hard to pull off without looking costume-y. How would you style them for real life?
Well, Berae, the short answer is this: JUST FUGGIN’ DO IT. As long as you are carrying your parasol outside in the sun and not while strolling through an air-conditioned shopping mall, it is performing an actual function and is therefore exempt from all the normal rules of fashion and style.
Having said that, there are a few guidelines to follow if you want to make sure you don't look like you're wearing a frilly-frocked Gothic Lolita costume in the middle of summer unless it's totally intentional. The real secret to carrying a parasol without looking ridiculous is to treat it as an afterthought that just so happens to look adorable with what you casually threw on that day.
Paper is best.
I like a paper parasol for a myriad of reasons, but mainly because it's the most casual parasol there is and doesn't call a lot of attention to itself. Plus, if you lose it, you're only out about eight bucks -- so there's no real heartbreak! A loose, printed dress, classic straw tote and a single, simple, eye-catching piece of jewelry is the best way to elevate a lowly paper parasol to star status.
But if you don't do paper, crochet is second best!
I'm obviously biased, because this black crochet parasol from classic Hollywood goth/taxidermy/Victorian mourning supply shop Necromance is my regular summer go-to.
A softer, sweeter way to sport a crochet parasol is with a simple round-necked T-shirt, floral printed shorts, hot & sexy Swedish MILF clogs, woven leather carryall and some dainty mixed-metal jewelry.
Remember: a pagoda-style parasol is a whole lot of look.
That's not to say you can't pull one off -- but just be aware that when your parasol is making a big, pointy statement, you want to make sure the rest of your outfit whispers. A plain T-shirt dress, cheeky tote bag, bow-bedecked flat sandals and sparkly button earrings will do the trick nicely, allowing the pagoda to be the high point of your ensemble.
A little fringe never hurt anybody.
I heart a fringed parasol HARD, because it instantly calls to mind the bedazzled umbrellas that were so common at the second-line parades of my childhood. What started out as a purely functional item to block the sun during a New Orleans jazz funeral procession has become a literal art form -- the fringed, feathered, glittered, jeweled, tasseled, streamer-bedecked parasols that hit the streets at Mardi Gras every year are absolutely breathtaking. This lady even put a giant light-up octopus on her parasol:
While I wouldn't recommend a light-up octopus for everyday wear, a slight amount of fringe and embellishment is perfectly fine -- just make sure to temper the frilly vibe with a broken in pair of boyfriend jeans, classic Birkenstock Gizeh sandals, and a bright, flowing tank-style blouse. (You can also add a pair of girly heart-shaped shades to the mix if you're feeling frisky!)
Oh, and ruffles are A-OK too!
What could be overly saccharine look instead goes edgy when done up in zesty stripes paired with hot pink. And when you're already carrying an out-there accessory like a parasol, it gives you a license to match your shoes to it without looking too good-girly.
Really, the only rule you need to follow when you carry a parasol is to avoid clocking passersby with it and to always be aware of the extra space a parasol takes up. They aren't really a great idea in a packed crowd or at a street fair. You need plenty of room in order to properly twirl your parasol to your heart's content -- without putting someone's eye out in the process!
I'm on Twitter: @IveyAlison.