“It will be Summer – eventually.
Ladies – with parasols –
Sauntering Gentlemen – with Canes –
And little Girls – with Dolls”
Emily Dickinson, the famous poet, wrote these lines in the charming Victorian age when wealthy young ladies often used parasols in summer to protect their delicate skin from the sun. If a lady had fair skin this meant that she didn’t have to work outdoors like the poor so this was considered a sign of privilege. On the other hand, using an umbrella was a sign that a lady was poor because she couldn’t afford to hire or own a carriage. ‘Showing off’ by riding in a carriage with the top down whilst holding a parasol was fashionable amongst young Victorian ladies and certainly one way to parade their pretty clothes.
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