The Very British Guide to Umbrellas

by - March 21, 2017

Yesterday was the first day of SpringApparently. Although for anyone in the UK that might not seem the case. Once again we've hit with another slog of bad weather and so in attempt to make light hearted of our ongoing miserable downpours I present to you the "Very British Guide to Umbrella's".

As a life-long resident of the UK an umbrella to me is like an extra limb, almost permanently attached to my arm or occasionally, on the rarest of days, sitting in my bag – either way it is always close to hand. In other words, it rains a lot.

If you're lucky enough to be from a dryer climate and for some reason have decided to come and visit us here over in the UK you might be unfamiliar with such levels of persistent rain and in need of some advice on what exactly you’re getting yourself into. There's more to the humble brolly than you think and this handy guide should help you navigate your way to keeping as dry as possible during your gallivanting through the British Isles.

The Optimistic mini compact 

Most popular with the teenage girl these tiny brollies are for those who pretty much can’t be bothered with the burden of constantly carrying an umbrella but still want to remain fairly dry should a sudden shower emerge. They are usually overpriced due to having a little, shall we say… more style… than their larger counterparts. Almost entirely useless however, whilst their mini structure still offers you some shelter the thin pole doesn't stand up to the wind well. 
I once bought one of these from Accessorize and it lasted all of 10 minutes before it was inside out and bent. Available Here. 

watermelon pattern umbrella

Pro’s: Tiny so can easily fit in most bags, tend to more ‘stylish’.
Con’s: Usually expensive, fail almost immediately in the slightest breeze.

The Standard Compact 

The most popular type of umbrella and most readily available. You can pick these up in many retailers from supermarkets to high street fashion shops. The standard compact still folds away to fit in your bag (although takes up slightly more room than the mini) ready to be used at any time. The quality of this model can vary widely depending on your chosen retailer. These tend to hold up ok in adverse conditions although if the wind picks up you will start to fight with it.
From my experience once a standard has blown inside once it will continue to do so with much lesser winds, almost as if it loses some structural integrity. Available Here

retro pattern duck handle umbrella

Pro’s: Compact, cheap, fairly reliable, readily available.
Con’s: Not so great in wind, once blown inside once need replacing.

The Golf Umbrella

Often favoured by men these beasts are definitely what you want on a very bad day. They’re large span will keep you and your bags nice and dry whilst they’re strong and sturdy poles mean a much smaller chance of being blown inside out. They are however much more of a burden to carry around meaning they are not ideal in commuter environment. Available Here

golf umbrella

Pro’s: Most reliable in windy conditions, keep you more dry than smaller umbrella’s, have a longer life expectancy, not just for golfers.
Con’s: Large, a burden to carry around, expensive, cannot be substituted for golf clubs despite name.

The Cane 

A variation of the golf with a little more style. Whilst golfing umbrellas focus on being practical the cane style is just as reliable although with a little more flair. This multifunctional brolly can also be used as a walking stick, to litter pick or, if absolutely necessary, as a weapon. Available Here.


Pro’s: Very reliable, a tad more stylish, multifunctional.
Con’s: Expensive, large to carry, hurt’s if you accidentally stab yourself in the leg with it whilst getting into a car…

The Window 

These transparent wonders are favoured by busy women and the Royal Family alike. They are available in both compact and cane form although the latter is more common. They have the excellent feature of being able to see through the umbrella meaning you can tuck yourself right under meaning optimum dryness without compromising on vision. They can also be found at bargain prices if you know where to look *cough*Primark*cough* Available Here

see through umbrella

Pro’s: Excellent visibility, tend to be fairly reliable, might get mistaken as the Queen if you get someone to hold it for you.
Con’s: Cheap construction, Difficult to distinguish from other people’s.

Hopefully you now feel more prepared for braving the British spring time, whether you’ve got plans to come and travel over here or perhaps just in the market to upgrade your current umbrella I hope this handy guide has helped on your quest.

May you stay dry on the wettest of days!

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  1. This is so funny, I have really wanted a window umbrella.. they look so funny! haha. I am so glad I came across your blog, you are doing amazing with it.. keep it up! x

  2. Interesting post! Haha I've always wanted a window umbrella.

    1. Ah yes, a popular choice! I really need to get myself one!

  3. I like your blog, its really dope.
    Do you want to follow each other?
    If you want, than follow me, and let me know in comments, so I can follow you back with pleasure.
    We can follow each other on Instagram @andjela.dujovic, let me know in the comments so I can follow you back.

    1. Thanks for reading!
      I'll definitely check your blog out :)

  4. I honestly didn't care about the different types of umbrellas and what they are called but you got me really interested :)


  5. This is too cute :) I didn't realise there was a whole process to choosing an umbrella! Now I'm wondering if no one here uses umbrellas because they do all blow inside out immediately, or if it's because they only sell shit umbrellas here!

    Erin | Explore, Refresh

  6. Oh how I love pretty looking umbrellas. Awesome picks .

  7. Love umbrellas... am i the only one who has to match them with my outfit?!...

    Darriyan xo

  8. I´m a big fan of transparent umbrellas

    Vanessa x |

    1. They really do make life so much easier! I've actually walked into posts and people when I've not used one...