Petit Ribbon short umbrella by Baby the Stars Shine Bright
Or, "Why Frillyroses loves parasols a tad too much", if you would rather.
Given my previous response to the prompt of "5 Pieces Every Lolita Wardrobe Should Have", the answer to this one is probably going to go without saying: Parasols, in my opinion, are one of the best parts of Lolita fashion. I've always admired parasols, and dreamed of taking a stroll under my very own Portable Shade Device. And with my collection of parasols in tow, I definitely have this little niche of Lolita fashion tucked close to my heart.
The first parasol I ever purchased was, incidentally, my first brand item--Metamorphose Temps de Fille's "Crown Rose" parasol in black and gray. I still adore this parasol, and try to get as much use out of it as I possibly can, though the print can occasionally limit it. It was this lovely thing, however, that solidified my desire for more of these under-appreciated and under-utilized tools in the Lolita repertoire.
Crown Rose parasol by Metamorphose Temps de Fille
Since I purchased my first parasol, I've added two more to my closet--an offbrand chandelier-print parasol, and a plain black, collapsible parasol from Alice and the Pirates; the latter is able to collapse into a contained bag that can fit in most of my larger purses, or be easily carried on my wrist using the bag's straps. The convenience of the collapsible parasol has made it my go-to for most meetups, as it can often be difficult to justify carrying around a folded umbrella whenever you're inside. For shopping meets, they're simply too bulky; and that's when the collapsible parasol shines most. If you don't have one already, and are a parasol afficionado the way I am, I'd highly recommend that you look into getting one!
Why is using a parasol a good idea? Well, there are a bunch of reasons to use them, but for me, it boils down to these main four reasons:
- UV protection. This is, first and foremost, the reason why I personally use a parasol. I have very light skin, and sunburn extremely easily (coming from Irish-German roots, this is hardly surprising). Using a parasol to shielf myself from the sun helps me avoid the ever-oppressive sunburn that plagues my summers. If you choose to use a parasol for this purpose, that does not mean you should skimp on the sunscreen! You should still apply it as normal; the parasol just acts as a second barrier. (In addition to sunscreen and my parasol, I always make sure that my glasses contain Transition lenses to protect my eyes; if you don't wear glasses, you can always opt for a cute pair of sunglasses instead!)
- Heat protection. Let's face it. Lolita fashion can be very stiffling to wear--and there is nothing worse than wearing a collared blouse while dealing with sweat and heat rash. The best way to avoid both of these issues and keep yourself comfortable and your coordinate sweat stain free is to stay cool. One of the best ways to do this is to stay in the shade--and with a parasol, your shade goes with you!
- Pale skin. If you want to keep your skin pale and avoid suntanning (or, in my case, excessive freckling), a parasol is a great tool. By keeping direct sunlight off of you, it helps to discourage tanning, and helps you to keep a pale complexion. (Do you have to be pale to be Lolita? Most certainly not! Tanning [or the lack thereof] is a personal choice, and does not, in any way, coincide with how much of a "Lolita" you are. Just because Frillyroses wants to keep herself pale as a bone doesn't mean you have to!)
- Accessorizing/As a fashion statement. A parasol is an enormous accessory, and it really makes a statement. It adds that extra bit of historical fashion to your coordinate, and can really help tie together a summer look--as well as make posing for pictures infinitely easier when you're just starting up. It's a bold look, but it really pays off!
Whether or not you use a parasol is going to be a vital part of your Lolita wawrdrobe is really a person-to-person sort of decision. Personally, I find my parasol to be indespensible (because of the reasons listed above). But if parasols aren't your cup of tea, that hardly makes you any less "Lolita" for not owning one. But for those of us that do adore them--may we go out under the Accursed Day Star knowing that we are safe from its rays!
The post above was a response to the Lolita 52 Week Challenge made by the ever so delightful Caro over at FYeahLolita.