My personal blog as a 'grown-up' Goth and Romantic living in the Highlands of Scotland. I write about the places I go, the things I see and my thoughts on life as a Goth and the subculture, and things in the broader realm of the Gothic and darkly Romantic. Sometimes I write about music I like and sometimes I review things. This blog often includes architectural photography, graveyards and other images from the darker side of life.

Goth is not just about imitating each other, it is a creative movement and subculture that grew out of post-punk and is based on seeing beauty in the dark places of the world, the expression of that in Goth rock. It looks back to the various ways throughout history in which people have confronted and explored the macabre, the dark and the taboo, and as such I'm going to post about more than the just the standards of the subculture (Siouxsie, Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, et al) and look at things by people who might not consider themselves anything to do with the subculture, but have eyes for the dark places. The Gothic should not be limited by what is already within it; inspiration comes from all places, the key is to look with open eyes, listen carefully and think with an open mind..

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Parasol Tips For Summer

Summer is here! It is June, and for those of you that aren't under the current gloom that currently hangs in heavy clouds of the Highlands, there might actually be sunshine. 

There's two ways to go about parasols; one is going for the proper lace and/or fabric parasols designed soley to keep the sun off and look amazing while doing so, and the second is just to use your umbrella (which actually means shade!) which is good for both the rain and still keeps the sun off if in a dark and opaque colour (obviously transparent ones don't work so well, and can actually act a bit like a greenhouse in the summer!) and are also an option for those who think actual parasols are too frilly and fancy. If anyone asks you why you have an umbrella up in the sunshine, just look confused at them and say "to use as a shade??", because they are clearly not being practical! If you live somewhere like Britain where the summer weather is highly changeable, having a shade that is also waterproof can certainly come in handy. There are also quite a few Goth and Goth-friendly designs for umbrellas on the market, so it should not be difficult to find one that suits your tastes. 

When it comes to lace parasols, not all are made equal; for one to effectively act as a shade, the main canopy needs to be as opaque as possible, which means either a dense lace, or a mixture of fabric and lace. Do not be fooled by the costume parasols with thin, open lace; often the lace is not very pretty in person, the mechanisms cheap and break easily (I know this from experience, buying a few when I was an inexperienced babybat) and they provide very little shade. A white and opaque parasol will reflect light away as well as shade you, and can be incoprorated into both all-white outfits and black and white outfits, whereas a black parasol while more traditionally Goth, can itself get quite warm. A black fabric parasol with white overlay would be best, both aesthetically pleasing and reflective on the outside and absorbent on the inside, so that sunshine that gets under the parasol is not reflected back onto you! Also, all sexes and genders of Romantic Goth, Gothic Lolita, etc. look equally awesome with parasols; they are not a gendered thing. 

A D.I.Y. option for a parasol is to take the mechanism of an old umbrella, strip off the waterproof fabric/plastic carefully, and copy the pattern in a fabric of your choice. This is a good option for those who don't like the lacy aesthetic of the traditional, Victorian and Edwardian style of parasol. You can opt for bold stripes, or a funky Halloween fabric, or do something really cool with block colours and the remains of ripped up tights for a Deathrock or Horrorpunk style. The limits are the limits of your creativity and skill! I will making a "Frankenbrolly" later this summer by using the ornate handle off a wrecked vintage umbella, the canopy from one of the pagoda-style umbrellas, and a new metal pole for the shaft, ready for autumn (not when the rain begins, but when the rain intensifies...) and I will post that up here when it is made, with a bit about how I do it.


  1. I have a nice lace parasol I bought on my trip to Oxford, but I only used it on a photoshoot. It somehow doesn´t match my usual casual clothing (which is more punkish), but I really want to find some simple, yet nice black umbella to use for shade. I saw a few older ladies in my city with umbrellas as parasols last summer and I tought what a great idea! :D

    1. Oxford's great :) I've spent many years there and it is one of my favourite cities in terms of architecture. A while ago I saw some fairly plain black collapsable compact umbrellas with the skulls for the handle, but I can't remember WHERE I saw them. If you can track them down, one of those might be of interest to you.

  2. I really like and thinking of getting a cream ruffle umbrella soon

    1. They have some really lovely things! I wish I could afford their boutique parasols - so beautiful but so expensive. I might get a cream and black battenburg parasol, though, as I am expanding both the black and white and cream and white sections of my wardrobe. I feel the that bony colour of ivory/cream and the way that it is darker and more 'aged' looking than white makes for a very nice colour in Goth outfits.


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