Sunday, April 3, 2011

Spring showers

Spring has sprung, and with it comes spring showers.

Once upon a time a gentleman carried an umbrella as a matter of course. It was part of his daily uniform, along with hat and briefcase. A throwback to days of yore when a sword was appropriate day wear for a man's battle in the city.

It's tough to find a man with an umbrella these days. For suburban Masters of the Universe the automobile and underground parking have put paid to the necessity for such stylish accessories, along with hats. Consequently, it's tough to find a well made brolly.

Shantung Silk, long the preferred fabric of choice, has joined the rotary telephone on the dustbin of history. Today's better bumbershoots use a Jacquard silk, wool and cotton blend, coated with a bit of teflon to keep the drops off.

So what'sa guy to do? Give Maglia Francesco a shot. One of the few remaining bespoke umbrella makers, as well as manufacturers for James Smith and Sons, London's famous purveyor of brollys and walking/working sticks.

Regretfully, an umbrella made to suit your unique requirements isn't cheap or quick. There are lots of options to choose from. Alternatives do exist however. You can pick up a serviceable Maglia Francesco model off the rack. The greatest selection is at Rain or Shine, next try Paul Stuart or Barney's in New York.



Ian from Downunder said...

Hello from sunny Melbourne Toad!
Thanks for the post. I visited Smiths many years ago but regretted not buying a decent brollie. I plan to rectify that error of judgement when I'm there this September. They have a magnificent range so it may take me a while to select one but what a way to pass the time.
PS - I love your posts. Cheers,

Toad said...

Let us give thanks that Napoleon was correct. England is a nation of shopkeepers. I hope it always so.

Dumbwit Tellher said...

I never knew there were bespoke umbrella makers even available these days Toad? I love to call umbrella's brolly's, reminds me of my mom. Wishing you a Sunday where no brolly is required. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous stuff, I need to step up my umbrella game pretty badly.