The Accessory That Will Never Go Out of Style
"Practically perfect in every way."
-Mary Poppins, 1964
Mary Poppins, a notable literary character, took an under appreciated accessory to an entirely new and iconic level. This "golden ticket" may be stuffed away and long forgotten in your coat closet or storage. But after experiencing an epiphany of sorts, I'm here to tell you try reconsidering your lost treasure as a go-to accessory that's reasonable for each and every day of the year. You may be thinking that I'm referring to that bottomless carpet bag with the floral print and vintage appeal, but you would be surprisingly mistaken. I am referring to one of the most iconic accessories that her character encompassed- the simple, yet majestic, black umbrella with the out-of-the-ordinary parrot head handle.
Clearly I'm not insinuating that parrot head umbrellas which have the ability to fly are the perfect accessory for any day of the year, if you could find one, however, I would be extremely interested in purchasing one because of my personal aversion to airports. But in all seriousness, I am here to tell you that umbrellas are a useful and practical accessory that are perfectly appropriate for either rain, snow or shine. If you've ever thought otherwise, think again.
Up until the age of twenty-three, I had never actually owned an umbrella that I was madly in love with. As with any accessory or garment, they come in a vast number of colors and patterns via a mass number of brands and designers. As much as a I love a classic Burberry trench that encompasses a reserved peek-a-boo "Burberry London plaid" lining, I always thought the Burberry umbrellas were too commercial, blatant and flashy; and in my opinion at a $215(+) price point, a flamboyant waste. Alas, my life was changed last week when I stumbled across the perfect umbrella. It was one of those retail moments where you saw it from across the room, realized that you absolutely couldn't live without it, and would attain it by all means necessary. The perfect love story. With faux leather detailing on the handle, a pastel floral print on a black backdrop and ultra feminine frills along the outermost portions, it was all I ever wanted and more.
For a split second, I questioned what use I actually had for the umbrella but quickly realized that there wouldn't be a single day that I couldn't realistically use it. Rainy days are a given since an umbrella's sole purpose is to shield one from all variants of precipitation- including, but not limited to, minuscule sprinkles and torrential downpours. Cue the sarcasm... Since I'm now living in "Tornado Alley", I figured that having a chic umbrella may actually serve it's practical purpose at least one or two days out of the year.
I further justified the purchase of the umbrella by considering the fact that while I now live in a state that's infamous for it's destructive tornadoes and massive thunderstorms, it also presents it's residents with ridiculously hot and sunny summers- hello, skin damage. Why not get in touch with my inner Southern Belle and take strolls through local artsy neighborhoods and the gardens of my favorite museums with my umbrella in tow, while slightly reducing my expose to UV rays? While a large percentage of umbrellas don't completely protect you from the sun's UV rays, the created barrier helps minimize the amount of skin damaging UV rays that actually have an effect on your skin... This is where a great moisturizer with SPF comes in handy.
To take it a step further, I also realized that with the upcoming winter season, who wants to feel like a soggy beverage napkin on a snowy day? Not I, said the girl wearing makeup. As someone who has also lived in a state where snow was more common than the sun itself, I can safely say that sleet and snow have a nasty way of taking their toll on your hair and makeup. I've had my share of outings in the snow that left me feeling like Cruella de Ville on the worst of days and let me tell you, it is the last look that anyone should be going for unless it's Halloween. Would an umbrella have been useful? Most definitely.
The moral of the story? Invest in an umbrella that best suits your personality and personal sense of style. Whether I'm wearing pastels and pearls or all black with a touch of white lace, I know that this lovely accessory will not only perfectly match any ensemble during any weather forecast, but it will also double as a useful accessory. What more could you ask for? Embrace your inner Poppins.
A vow to the arts, till death do us part.
xx Dressed to Death xx