Fashion & Beauty

Parasols on Parade

IF YOU’VE SEEN the horrifying pictures from the Real Skincare Challenge that LittleBird Kathy and I are conducting, you will understand that the meeting with a plastic surgeon and aesthetician a few weeks ago was like a come-to-Jesus moment for me. If I’m going to save whatever nice skin I have left, I’m going to have to work on it.

I find hats too hot, never mind what they do to my hair. And I know it’s cumbersome to carry around one more thing, especially since women’s clothing is so light on pockets—cellphone, house keys, car key, reading glasses (there’s always something to read), plus a couple of poop bags for the dog at the end of the leash. But carry a parasol I do.

I began carrying one intermittently last summer, when my neighborhood Georgetown (DC) Business Improvement District launched a ParasolShare program to lure shoppers out despite the blistering sun. Dozens of stores participated; you picked up a parasol as you started to wander to the shops, then dropped it off at another participating store as you headed back home. Last year’s were what I think of as a typical Asian parasol—heavyweight white pleated material; this year’s are a bit more like a rain umbrella, made of bright blue nylon, with a crook handle.

Over the years I’ve noticed here and there an Asian (usually) woman using a parasol against the sun. I used to think, How odd, and then . . . how smart! And so I joined their ranks. And I’m seeing more and more people falling in line with me.

I shopped around online to see what kinds of parasols/umbrellas might be out there. But frankly, you can just dive into your coat closet: Any old brolly will create that pool of deep shade over you that will help you and your complexion make it through the summer day.

—Nancy McKeon

5 thoughts on “Parasols on Parade

  1. Deba says:

    Perfect short report, persuasive and charming. I am almost there. Living in Suburbia invites less walking and more driving but I have used a parasol for my nature walks in a nearby preserve. And I own the perfect brellie – white, light, and featuring Matisse-like black butterflies.

    1. Janet Kelly says:

      Send us a pic!

  2. Ginny Hamill says:

    Seeing a few of these a day in Old Town Alexandria. Smart habit.

  3. Nancy says:

    Great idea. Particularly since my owned umbrellas are scattered all over the country.

    1. Janet Kelly says:

      Mine are too, along with my clothes to clean my eyeglasses.

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