AMtoPM parasols to beat the summer heat

Summer spotlight | The parasol

AMtoPM parasols to beat the summer heat

It was a normal morning in the midst of typhoon season–that horrible, wonderful season where the air is sticky, the temperatures are hot and my face is plump and embarrassingly shiny, no matter what I do. I had ditched my liquid base weeks earlier when it became clear it could no longer survive the walk to work. But damned if I was going to let my matte sunscreen do the same! Out of desperation I opened up my giant umbrella and went to work. My sunscreen survived the sweaty commute. So did I.

My life changed and I’ve been a parasol toter ever since.

Ah, the parasol. My frame of reference for parasol use growing up was Mary Poppins, Kirby and older women–including my grandma, who I saw breaking it out every now and again.

OK so Kirby isn’t a person–and he doesn’t use a parasol how I might–but he is in possession of a really spiffy parasol.

I get that parasols aren’t traditionally a beauty item, but hear me out on this one.

The case for a parasol

I fought really hard on the parasol front. I didn’t want to like it and I didn’t want to purport Asian stereotypes. Especially Asian female stereotypes, of which there are many that are offensive and inaccurate.

But the parasol is one of those things that I have begrudgingly come to love.

On a practical front, it’s portable shade. Shade = instant cover. Instant cover means protection from the temperature as much as the sun’s rays. And a reprieve from melting makeup and sunscreen.

Seriously about the temperature. A parasol knocks off what feels like 5 degrees!

These are really easy to tote around, come in different colours and sizes and make an awesome accessory. You don’t even need a dedicated parasol–just grab a regular umbrella!

It’s definitely the most overlooked way to beat the summer heat.

The case against the parasol

Bad driving. Visors. Sun shields. The parasol.

What do these have in common? They’re all Asian stereotypes. Asian female stereotypes.

Especially Asian female stereotypes of a certain age. The more I’ve travelled, the more I’ve discovered this isn’t really an Asian stereotype. I was in the Caribbean and saw a lot of the locals doing this before I finally caved into my urge and whipped out my umbrella.

Besides not wanting to fall into that stereotyping, there really isn’t a case against a parasol.

You do have to remember to keep an umbrella with you at all times and you may get stares when you venture outside.

Toting one takes a lot of bravery if you are the only one on the block toting one, but think of all the sunshine you get to be in the presence of without all the drawbacks (eg. sweat, shine and slipping makeup/sunscreen).

parasols sun summer beach

Parasols on the beach

This is from one of my favourite beaches of all time.

As a West Coaster who grew up on beaches, I don’t just say stuff like that unless I mean it.

I don’t swim at the beach. I don’t want to have to cross hot sand and rock to get to the water. Most of the time it’s salt water and I can’t really swim in that because my eyes burn. I’d rather chill on the beach, reading or taking a snooze. To that end, I love a good parasol on the beach.

I’m not rich enough to get a cabana to myself, so a parasol to shield two suits me just fine.

Parasols in day-to-day life

It’s so easy to grab a parasol on the beach but it’s a different matter when you’re strolling in the city. Especially if yours is the only umbrella open on a sunny day. If you can’t brazen it out, try taking it out on short distances or places close to your home or work.

Or on an afternoon where you’re at the park and reading a book.

Then work your way up to outings where you’re out amongst a lot of people.

I promise you, you won’t regret it!


Have you ever rocked a parasol? Do you think you’ll give it a whirl this summer?
Let me know in the comments below!

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14 thoughts on “Summer spotlight | The parasol

  1. hehe, I’ve never rocked a parasol, but you make a great case for one! :] I miss living on the coast! I would probably bring one to the beach if I still lived within a reasonable distance from one!

    1. …Depending on the beach, I’m sure you’ll find a couple of giant parasols already set up, if that beach is more commercial (eg. lined with hotels). A parasol will have to do for beach days, but I’ve got my eye on portable sun canopies! There are a couple stylish ones, albeit a bit expensive and hard to come by! Thanks for stopping by Farrah!

  2. Interesting that you mention the Asian stereotype, since it’s probably one of the reasons why all of my Asian girl friends don’t want to use parasols on our campus, but no one says the reason out loud… Your post adds to my motivation to pluck up the courage and change that though, since I’m always wishing for portable shade anyways! (And since it can rain literally any second in Houston…)

    1. Yeah, the Asian stereotyping made it really difficult for me. So difficult, that I turned to it in desperation. Start small with short distances and quick trips to get your confidence up. A nice looking umbrella also helps! haha

  3. Love this. I want to rock the parasol, but even though feeling like I’m conforming to Asian stereotypes isn’t a part of the equation for me personally, I don’t know if I’m there yet…

    1. Yeah, it takes a while for people to warm up to it. Whether you feel like you’re adding to a stereotype or not! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Love this idea..I could totally use one for my walk to work because walking in sweaty and disgusting is NOT the kind of impression I am trying to leave at my internship! lol
    Thanks for sharing!!

    1. Thanks for stopping by! But yeah, it’s definitely something that helped me stay presentable walking to and from anywhere. Let me know how it works out!

  5. First off, it’s cute that you all them parasols. I haven’t heard that word in a very long time. My great grandmother called it parasol so you brought back some great memories with such a simple word. I use an umbrella when rainy, of course, and periodically when out and about during the summer to shield our bodies from the sun.

    1. It’s funny, but I just saw a mom and her kid walking by toting matching parasols (of various sizes, obviously). Did she really?! Was she fond of them?! I’m glad I could transport you back to that time with the post!

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