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Friday, October 15, 2010

MoS Obsessions: Vintage Umbrellas

Umbrellas are an often-overlooked accessory.  Certainly today's umbrellas are all about convenience and function rather than form.  They must be so small as to fit in the palm of your hand and so lightweight that you don't notice them in the bottom of your handbag.  However, at least until the mid-20th century, umbrellas were considered a beautiful fashion accessory. 


Vintage umbrellas have an air of sophistication and style that is unmatched by the umbrellas of today.  The colors, shapes, and handles are so unique and beautiful.  One of my favorite shapes is the pagoda shape


Clear dome-shaped bubble umbrellas, popular in the 1960's, are still chic today.


Striped and patterned umbrellas were de rigueur in the mid-20th century.  This striped pagoda umbrella reminds me of a circus tent.

Exaggerated arches give vintage umbrellas such a feminine shape.

The handles of vintage umbrellas are amazing. They are often made of lucite, bakelite, faux bamboo, or curved metal, accented with a tassle or even jewels.





While vintage umbrellas do keep you dry (and could no doubt serve as an effective weapon), they are large, heavy, and pointy, making them rather impractical for day-to-day use.  But even if you don't use them to run errands or walk to work, they are perfect to keep in an umbrella stand by the front door.  This is not a case of buying a book because the cover is pretty.  Sure, vintage umbrellas look chic and elegant, but they are also quite practical if you or your guest ever needs to make a quick dash to the car on a rainy day.  And let's face it- they lend a sense of style that a Totes from Target just cannot do.

My vintage umbrellas

Decorpad

Ashley Whittaker in House Beautiful 

Vintage stores, Etsy, and eBay are great resources for beautiful vintage umbrellas.  I bought the two pictured above in the vintage clothing section of the Sleepy Poet.  The price range is anywhere from around $10 to well over $100, depending on the condition, colors, and type of handle.



1950's Red Plaid Umbrella

Have a chic weekend!

6 comments:

shoppingaholic said...

My fav is green one!! and the whole is beautiful!!

traci zeller designs said...

I have never thought about a vintage umbrella before, but I love that idea! Bamboo handle = yum!

Jenn @ Living Luxe for Less said...

I love your umbrella stand MOS! I have an owl umbrella stand that makes me smile every time I see it, and it is a great reminder for me to grab an umbrella on cloudy or rainy days. Have a great weekend!

ashlina {the decorista} said...

nothing is better than a good umbrella....they are oh so chic. love the roundup

Anonymous said...

please post about umbrella stands...I need one!!

kayce hughes said...

I confess that I am coveting your umbrella stand!

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