HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR UMBRELLA?
It will not have escaped anyone’s attention: the weather is not really mild these days. Unless you stay under the duvet – which we have all considered – we will have to be equipped to deal with it.
With any luck, we have a coat with a hood that covers enough, which stays in place. Otherwise, you can opt for a head covering , but it protects more from the cold than from bad weather. This is all the more the case with the rain, against which the all-found ally is … the umbrella.
The problem is that it is difficult to navigate: what differences between models at 20 € and others at 200 €? Rather straight or folding umbrella? What are the criteria to be observed? Which brands to turn to?
This is what we are going to wonder!
ANATOMY OF AN UMBRELLA
Whatever the umbrella, it will always consist of the same parts. It is mainly the materials chosen that will make the difference.
THE MAST AND THE HANDLE
The mast is a bit like the backbone of the umbrella, onto which all the other pieces will be grafted.
Generally, it is made of metal or wood. The first will be more fragile but will gain in flexibility , compared to the second, rigid but more solid.
The mast fits into the handle. That said, on some high-end models, both are carved from a single piece of wood.
Jupiter model from the Ayrens brand, with hand-carved mast and handle in a single piece of maple. At € 660, it is also equipped with a GPS chip. Yes Yes…
Most are made of nylon or polyester for waterproofing.
During my research, I read that the polyester versions were to be preferred but I cannot confirm it 1 That said, the more upscale brands – we’ll come back to this in the selection – do tend to turn to this option.
When it comes to design, there is absolutely everything.
We can also find some rare blends based on cotton or silk. Conversely, those benefiting from technical treatments2 are more and more numerous.
These are the “rods” which connect the canvas to the mast and deploy once the accessory is open, giving it its shape.
When an umbrella “is broken”, it is often that a whale has given way. Those in steel are the most fragile, prefer carbon or fiberglass. Their flexibility makes these materials less brittle.
There are 8 whales for the classic versions. The more there are, the more it will be wind resistant.
Wind resistance depends on the number of whales.
THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF UMBRELLA
There are two main types.
First, the right umbrella. Also called “cane umbrella”, it ends with a rod that can hit the ground when you walk.
It is the most elegant of the alternatives , in addition to being durable. Only problem: its lack of practicality.
The total height of a straight umbrella ranges from 90 to 100 cm.
He opposes the folding umbrella. Certainly less aesthetic, its format makes it much more practical.
Compact, you can take a folding umbrella without constraint. That said, it has a smaller canvas than straight models, so a smaller protective surface.
There is a third category: the golf umbrella, designed to take shelter for two. Imposing, it is not adapted to an urban context.
THINK ABOUT ITS USE
Before making your choice, ask yourself how you will use your umbrella.
For example, if you don’t like cluttering up, this is a folding model for you. Likewise if you are simply looking for “extra protection”. On the other hand, if you travel by car, or if you don’t mind holding a cane, why not take a straight umbrella?
On the price side, there is also an arbitration to be done. Will you be careful? Would you like an object with a worked design? Are you the type to lose it?
Personally, I forget my umbrella every time I sit on the terrace. For this reason, I will have to pass my turn on this sublime Il Marchesato model with cobra-shaped handle …
Take the time to reflect to make your choice as wisely as possible!
TIPS FOR RECOGNIZING THE QUALITY OF AN UMBRELLA
Obviously, the materials selected will be the first indicator .
Also check the uniformity of the fabric , that it does not present any defect. For once, use a light source4and go there below. Imperfections will appear.
As with any piece of fabric, the regularity of the seams here also gives us an indication of the quality. On the bottom, the edges of the canvas must be reinforced to prevent it from fraying.
If you have the possibility, open and close your umbrella several times to test the “fluidity” of its mechanism. But not indoors, it brings bad luck!
A FEW WORDS ABOUT STYLE
On the style side, there is no universal rule.
You can’t go wrong with a navy blue, black, dark green model …
Why not also go for clear colors, all as easy, which change the usual shades?
That said, the umbrella remains an accessory: we can therefore afford a little fantasy . More and more efforts are being made on the design of the canvas, playing on the nuances and patterns.
Piganiol tartan umbrella . The colors are very sober, allowing the motif to remain subtle, while bringing a little “something” to the object.
Foldable umbrellas are not to be outdone. (Fulton)
If you want to go further, it can be used to introduce this “unexpected” tip, the little twist that shifts an outfit.
Camouflage Le Flageolet umbrella . In a casual outfit made up of sober pieces, why not!
The canary yellow umbrella completes the dress look well, its shade contrasting with the neutral tones of the rest of the outfit.
THE SHOPPING CORNER
- Isotoner : without being phenomenal, the clothing holds up. It is a very correct entry level.
- Fulton : the British brand supplies the court of the Queen of England, which is rather reassuring when it comes to clothing. There is no risk taking in the design, despite some patterned models.
- Ayrens : dating from the end of the 19th century, the brand was honored with the Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant label . There is a real plurality in styles, with a range of prices where everyone can find his account.
- Le Véritable Cherbourg : inspired by the film by Jacques Demy, the brand offers models made in France, produced with care. However, the range is limited.
- Piganiol : another large French factory, it offers hand-made umbrellas in Aurillac since 1884.
- Il Marchesato : manufacturer of my famous cobra umbrella, the Italian brand offers precious models in noble materials (crystal details, gold plated …). Just for your viewing pleasure, I invite you to take a look!
THE FINAL WORD…
The umbrella is an accessory with real practical interest.
Depending on your habits and what you prefer, it is up to you to choose the most suitable format between the straight and folding models. Stay vigilant on the quality of the materials and the care of the finishes.
Style wise, you can’t go wrong with a plain and sober model. That said, we can afford a little more fantasy and use it as a way to complete your looks. Manufacturers compete in inventiveness, there are now umbrellas for all tastes.
Now, all you have to do is remember it when you leave in the morning!