ALL THOSE BRAVE HONG KONG protesters warding off teargas with umbrellas made us think about this rainy-day essential. Not to trivialize the ongoing struggle in the East, but we decided we need an Umbrella Revolution of our own.
There are lots of candidates out there, but most people have pretty generic telescoping umbrellas for travel (including the just-in-case folding one) and less-than-thrilling black “walking-stick” umbrellas, the kind that turn a guy into a gentleman.
Swaine Adeney Brigg–Brigg being the oldest manufacturer of umbrellas in England, the Land of Eternal Drizzle–has naturally made a study of what kind and size umbrella suits different people. For people under 5’8″ an umbrella that measures 35.5 inches from the tip to the end of the crook handle is ideal. For those between 5’8″ and 6’1″ the length should be about 36 inches. For those over 6’1″ a 38-incher should do. In all cases, the ideal bumbershoot would have a 42-inch-diameter canopy.
The umbrellas featured here go way beyond the basic. They’re not the $5 street umbrella that lasts almost all the way home. And their prices go w-a-a-a-y beyond $5; in some cases you’re paying for quality (and an investment that can be repaired); in other cases, we suspect, you would be paying for the fashion of it or for the luxury label. So be it. In our case, we vote for something in bright yellow, just to make a gloomy day a little brighter.