The transformation of the umbrella

*Collaborative post.

In the UK, the umbrella is a necessary accessory if you want to stay protected from the elements. With so much money spent on umbrellas each year, it has now become a necessity for everyone. This was not the case back in the days when only the rich and famous carried the umbrella. Read all about the interesting history behind the umbrella.


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400-300 BC: Parasols and the elite

Many years ago, umbrellas were used as an accessory for the elite. A brolly around the 4thcentury BC was used solely to protect our ancestors from the sun — otherwise known today as a parasol. In fact, the term parasol is from the Spanish words for stop (para) and sun (sol). Similarly, the world ‘umbrella’ is from the Latin word for shade — umbra. 

The ancient Greeks, Romans, Chinese, Egyptians, all used a parasol. Parasols were used by high-ranking women, members of the clergy, and other powerful public figures. The use of a parasol was a clear symbol of rank and superiority.


1600s: The use of umbrellas in the rain

The use of umbrellas to keep dry from the rain started in 1600s. The Europeans – England, France and Italy started the trend, and the rest of the world followed. Most umbrellas were made from silk s they were not used for moisture protection back then, but designers started to figure out waterproof designs that help the umbrella keep us dry in the rain.


1700s and 1800s: The rise of the umbrella

The use of umbrellas increased in the 1700s, however they were used more by women. In the 18th century, Jonas Hanway launched a trend in men’s umbrellas by walking around with one and the trend took off. By the 19thcentury, the rain umbrella became a common accessory for everyone. However men’s umbrellas were much heavier than women’s, while women’s brollies were smaller.

1900s: The launch of the pocket umbrella

In the 1900s, the elite had no interest in using parasols. They eventually faded out of fashion around the 1930s with more and more women picking a tanned skin over the pale white complexion. Hans Haupt also helped create a compact easy to use umbrella in 1928, which became the first pocket umbrella in the world.

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Today: The rise of the tech umbrella

Today, we all use umbrellas – men, women and children. There are many designs, colours and sizes available so you will always find the right umbrella for your needs. Nowadays, you can find windproof umbrellas designed to combat intense rain and gusts without turning inside out — a major annoying bugbear of the brolly user. You can also find tech umbrellas enhanced with gadgets, like GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth!


The transformation of the umbrella

The transformation of the umbrella is so interesting.  I can imagine more exciting advances in technology for the future when it comes to the umbrella. The history behind it is impressive. The umbrella has come a long way and I know it will continue to evolve.

I am yet to own a tech umbrella but I will be grabbing one soon just to have a feel of how it works. Do you have a tech umbrella?

How many garments do we really need in our wardrobes?

*Collaborative post.

Shopping no longer feels as guilt free as it used to back in the day. A lot has changed now and we consumers tend to think twice before splashing out on new pieces and accessories. Times have changed and we have all had to adjust to the new times. I no longer shop like I used to a few years ago, and I think twice before I add any new additions to my wardrobe.  But the question remains – How many garments do we really need in our wardrobes? Let’s see if I can break this down –


How many garments do we really need in our wardrobes?

Many of us think it is easier to shop for men than for women, but it is pretty much the same process most of the time. I remember being shocked back in 2017 when it was revealed that British women spend an average of £74 per month on clothes compared to British men who spend an average of £100. That same study also revealed that the average man owns about 56 pieces of clothing but only wears about 62% of these regularly. Women on the other hand own 95 but only wear 59%.


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Tops and blouses

With tops, the best way to go is to have about six to ten pieces per wardrobe. Having said that, this is just an estimate. The amount of tops you would need in your wardrobe depends on your lifestyle, employment, budget and so on, but it is a guide to go by. I like to mix and match my tops with other pieces to create different looks. This works great for me and I find I get more wear out of each and every piece that way.


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Pants, skirts and shorts

With pants, I like to have about six to eight of them in my wardrobe. That way I always have options but not too many that I forget about them. One denim expert recommended having about three pairs of jeans in the wardrobe and it makes perfect sense! There is no point having over ten or twenty pairs of jeans in your wardrobe. It is likely you won’t be able to wear half of the jeans most of the time.

It also makes sense to make some room for skirts and shorts especially in the summer months. I like to have a couple of these each for when the weather allows.


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Outerwear is key

Having a great quality outerwear is very important. They are great wardrobe assets as they can help finish off any look. I like to have about 4 outerwear pieces. The key to getting your outwear pieces to stay with you for awhile is to invest a bit more in them. I always recommend at least two casual jackets, one waterproof jacket and one or two blazers in different designs.

Blazers are particularly important as they can take you from the office to the restaurant effortlessly. You can put on a blazer for a meeting at work underneath a stunning dress shirt, or top and skirt for example.



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Shoes are made for walking

Shoes are super important. They have the power to take an outfit to a whole new level, and they can also completely ruin an outfit. I must confess, O like to have a couple of pairs in my wardrobe but you don’t really need as many pairs of shoes as you think you need. Three good pairs of shoes would work for many – One pair of smart shoes for work and events, one pair of boots for when the weather demands, and a pair of trainers for casual outings.


So how many garments do we really need in our wardrobes?

I would say between 18 – 25 garments. At the end of the day, this is just a guide. You may need more or less depending on the weather, lifestyle, budget and space. I hope this post helps you rethink every new wardrobe purchase you want to make. Have a great week.




Transition Your Wardrobe from Summer to Autumn With These Key Pieces 

The hot summer is nearly over and we will soon be returning to the crisp cold that we know so well – I couldn’t be more excited. Who doesn’t love cosy nights by the fire, snuggled up under a pile of blankets? A change in season obviously means a change in wardrobe, but if you don’t have the money to completely overhaul your wardrobe this autumn, don’t worry, here are a few key pieces that I always invest in to get my outfits winter ready. You can save even more on your winter staple items with voucher codes for Pretty Little Thing and get savings of up to 30% off. 


Winter Coats to the Ready 

If I could only purchase one new item for the autumn season, it would have to be a new coat. I have so many already it is beginning to become a problem but each year, there is a new style of coat in trend that I know I just have to have. It’s not exactly a purchase I should feel guilty for, think of all the colds I have prevented by having such a wide coat variety.  At the moment, this stone waterfall coat is what I am grabbing. It is perfectly light for the current summer-ish weather but keeps me from getting chilly when the sun goes down. 


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Bring on the Autumn with a Blazer 

If all of your coats are too heavy for the not-yet freezing autumn weather but you still need that extra cover up from the cold wind, a blazer is your new best friend. I think my blazers have to be my most reached for items in my wardrobe – not to mention they’re so on-trend right now. For a perfect autumn night out look, I buy a blazer one or two sizes bigger than I am, put a belt around it and make it into a blazer dress. I am so in love with the look. This oversized white blazer is both the perfect substitute for a coat and large enough to make it into a dress when I fancy it! 


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Back to Basics with a Black Bodysuit 

If you are looking for a chic, staple top to wear all through autumn, a black high neck bodysuit is the one. This item is so cheap but well worth investing in – it literally goes with anything. I wear this under a strappy dress for a cute day look or pair the bodysuit with some cigarette trousers and heels for a smart/ casual evening look. The high neck is perfect for keeping you warm when the temperatures get colder. 


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Switch it up with a Maxi Skirt 

Skirts are one of my favourite fashion pieces and I have always found them a lot more flattering on my body. However, I am always reluctant to wear them in autumn and winter in case my legs get cold. But I have recently discovered that Midaxi ribbed skirts are the perfect solution, with the combination of a midi and maxi skirt being the ideal  length to show a bit of ankle whilst not risking getting cold. This amazing skirt find means I can switch up my jeans for a more feminine look whilst not compromising on warmth. This one from Pretty Little Thing is perfect- it has a ribbed effect making the skirt thicker and warmer and the skirt is elasticated making it super figure hugging!


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With these four staples, your autumn wardrobe is pretty much sorted! I obviously supplement with a few additions when I need to and but these are your core pieces, vital for keeping you chic all winter. 

How are you making the wardrobe transition from summer to autumn?



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