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Umbrella Style: That is to say, “What are you working with?”

May 18, 2011

L-A: Rainy Week continues with a post from our Unpaid Staffer Anthony, who we miss greatly. And thank heavens he wrote something because Ally is inconsolable. Not kidding. This was in my email:

I will not be writing a post. Do you want to know why? Do you even need to EFFINGASK? I am THIS close to burying myself underneath the covers and eating all the ice cream in all the worlds. WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY.

Also, WTF with her dress? Is it a dress? Like, an effing “baby doll” dress? WHO WEARS BABY DOLL DRESSES? Chicks in Baby G’s daycare class who are not even two don’t even wear BABY DOLL DRESSES.

But really? Can you blame her? Her Leo has been caught on a boat with Legsy McCan’t-Act.

Moving on.  What rainy day fashion accessory does Anthony have for us? Guess:

Anthony: To bring any readers up to speed as to why I’ve been M.I.A. recently here it is:

I moved to Vancouver.

Naturally, my first impression of this province that I had never visited before was,


The second impression?


HyperboleAndAHalf magically sums up how I feel in one PNG. My hair is nicer though.

This cycle has shown no signs of slowing down but in between marveling at my new home and exploring the many neighbourhoods, I’ve discovered that the legends about the West Coast being relatively soggy in the spring time are most definitely true. Though having a spring season is new to me because let’s face it, Halifax has two extremes – frigid or warm. Of course, that’s when normal weather patterns are in place and do not consider the apparent rain bomb y’all are experiencing.

With wet weather in Vancouver comes the tried and true umbrella. I like to think of the umbrella as an extension of yourself. What does it say about you? What is your approach to less than desirable weather?

Since moving here, I’ve seen people spend far too much and too little on their umbrellas so allow me to share with you what I’ve observed with my less than train sociological eye.

Plain, small umbrellas with the velcro strap hanging down:

You don’t care about the weather nor do you think about your umbrella. It’s plain because you need something that’s functional not fashionable. That velcro strap? It’s a testament to your business like demeanour and you wear it well. Why spend more than $3 on something that you’ll probably just lose. Like my friend Kevin says, “umbrellas in Vancouver are like take-a-penny-leave-a- penny.”

The aforementioned plain umbrellas but tattered:

Ah yes, the battle ravaged umbrella. This is not so much a testament to your all business approach to rain but a signifier of one of two things: your forgetfulness to buy a new umbrella or, forgive my harshness, but how cheap you are. I mean seriously, they are less than $5. Pony up the cash.

It's like the Paz de la Huerta of umbrellas - tattered, soggy and a hobo's dream.

 The giant golf umbrella you got as some free swag:

Are you on a golf course? No. Are you in the wilderness? No. Where are you? One of the busiest cities in Canada with a population of over 600,000 people, most of whom walk on the congested sidewalks. I don’t care who you know at Coastal Savings nor do I care what Telus conference you attended – put it away.

not all swag is good swag

 The simple, fashionable umbrella with a wooden handle:

Now this, I like. You’ve clearly recognized that your umbrella will probably circulate through your wardrobe heavily and decided to invest more than $10 into the purchase. The wood handle distinguishes you from the sea of plastic pump action umbrella pistons and everyone will think you’ve spent some cash when you could have easily picked this up at Wal-Mart. Functionally fashionable – taste the rainbow, friends.

Be still my prim and proper heart.


The fashionable umbrella that goes perfectly with your outfit and is just short of actually having bells and whistles attached:

We notice you. We get it. I hope spending that $45 on a piece of fabric – not water resistant fabric, mind you – makes you feel pretty because to the rest of us you look like you’re trying too hard.

Somewhere, Mr. Blackwell is rolling over in his grave - and Isabella Blow is wearing this as a hat.

I don’t think umbrella purchases should be made impulsively. Before you buy, why not try holding it in the air. If you’re all up on superstitions you don’t have to open the umbrella indoors – just raise it up so you get a sense of the weight and feel. By the way, that whole umbrella superstition is totally false. Mary Poppins used her umbrella EVERYWHERE and things turned out just fine for her.


7 Comments leave one →
  1. May 18, 2011 9:17 am

    “It’s like the Paz de la Huerta of umbrellas – tattered, soggy and a hobo’s dream” is the best thing I’ve read all month.

    • L-A permalink*
      May 18, 2011 12:11 pm

      Agreed. (although I admit that I had to google Paz de la Huerta…but then I totally knew what he meant once I saw her photo).

    • L-A permalink*
      May 18, 2011 12:15 pm

      And because I googled her, I got to read this gem. Second best thing on the internet today (after Anthony writing for us, of course):

      • May 18, 2011 12:56 pm

        Sweet Fanny Moses, that was hilarious. She is ALWAYS nakers. If you have a strong constitution for graphic imagery and all around ridiculous avant garde cinema where nothing happens for about 2 hours, check her out in Gaspar Noe’s “Into The Void”. You’ll a whole lot more of her than you’d ever want.

        And I do mean graphic. Like beyond NSFW. More like Not-Safe-For-Mortal-Consumption.

        • May 19, 2011 9:35 am

          That was fantastic! She is truly awful. She was also completely loaded at one of the awards shows last season (SAG awards, maybe?) and sloppily hogged the stage when Boardwalk Empire won, despite her very minor role.

  2. Ivy permalink
    May 18, 2011 9:25 am

    Amen to that, brother! Golf umbrellas do not belong in city. How many times have I almost lost and eye? And, most of them are seriously ugly.

    • May 18, 2011 11:26 am

      Yes! The other day, I was walking with my much smaller umbrella towards this dude who had an enormous golf style one and he didn’t even try to move out of the way. Our umbrellas collided and he looked at me like I had done something wrong. I guess my first mistake was not winning Budweiser swag.

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