Any time a lady carries a parasol as a sign of high class grace and femininity
, and sometimes as a sign of demureness and innocence.
The parasol has been used in cultures all over the world for at least 2,000 years, from Egypt to Greece to China, before making its way to Europe and the United States in the 18th century. This trope basically kicked in during the 19th century, when it was almost always proper for a well-to-do lady to carry one to keep from getting sunburns on her delicate skin, whereas poor women had to grub in the fields. Now that having a suntan
isn't seen as so gauche anymore, it's just symbolic of the lady having aforementioned traits
Bonus points if she is also wearing a white
, lacy dress
, and even more points if she is on an Old-Fashioned Rowboat Date
Of course this means the trope is prevalent in The Gay Nineties
, and Southern Belles
. Also of course, this can set off Real Women Never Wear Dresses
It can overlap with Parasol Parachute
, Parasol of Pain
, Kicking Ass in All Her Finery
Compare Umbrella of Togetherness
, Opera Gloves
, Princess Classic
, Southern Belle
, The Ingenue
, Elegant Gothic Lolita
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Anime and Manga
- One of Usagi's disguise dresses in Sailor Moon came with one of these. She was inflitrating a high class affair and the disguise wouldn't be complete without it.
- Tot's parasol in Weiß Kreuz is both of prettiness and of pain, being a lacy and frilly one with a hidden blade.
- Momo the Lolita from Kamikaze Girls is always twirling a parasol that matches her elaborate outfits.
- Miss Valentine of One Piece. Thanks to her weight-changing powers, it doubles as a Parasol Parachute. Perona has a parasol as well.
- Evangeline of Mahou Sensei Negima! sometimes uses this to complement her Elegant Gothic Lolita attire.
- Quon from RahXephon carries a prettied up parasol on occasion.
- For the first few pages of the Rosario + Vampire manga's obligatory Beach Chapter, Mizore holds a parasol. Justified, in that it's blocking the hot sun from causing any damage to her. Although, she has no qualms about dropping the parasol and donning a stripy bikini later on.
- Maruga, the white dragon Empress from Dragon Crisis! almost always walks around with a parasol, sometimes even at night.
- Ranma ˝: Played for laughs when an old, dying man starts to haunt Ranma's dreams, because "she" reminds him of his first love. In these recurring dreams, Ranma is dressed in girly clothes and sporting a parasol to further accent the femininity of the look. He has to use an equally feminine parasol later on, which only adds to his annoyance with the situation.
- Juvia of Fairy Tail used to carry a parasol during the Phantom Lord arc, due to her being the bringer of bad weather.
Film — Animated
- Mulan carries an oriental style parasol when she goes to meet the matchmaker.
Film — Live Action
- In The Sound of Music, one of the Von Trapp daughters wanted a pink parasol, possibly for this reason.
- Parasols aplenty in Hello, Dolly!.
- Many posters for My Fair Lady have Eliza Doolittle using one while Henry Higgins watches on.
- Mary Poppins' standard umbrella doesn't qualify, but her parasol in the chalk painting sequence sure does - complete with lacy white dress.
- Maggie Dubois has one in The Great Race.
- In Tombstone, Josephine carries one when she first appears.
- In Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Mrs. Lovett has a light parasol with red polka dots during her "I Want" Song "By the Sea" — she would like to be a lady and have a happy family.
- Subverted in Master and Commander. When the Surprise stops off at a Brazilian port, the natives come out in longboats to trade with the sailors, including several women implied to be prostitutes. A rather pretty Brazilian twirling a parasol catches the captain's eye; he's clearly tempted, but as he's married Aubrey walks away instead (though he can't resist turning for one last look at her).
- In Little Women, Meg wants a white parasol with a black handle to take to a wealthy society friend's house, but Marmee gets her a green-and-yellow one by mistake.
- In Welcome to the NHK and its adaptations, Misaki is introduced with one of these - though she is something of a subversion of the Purity Sue archetype.
Live Action TV
- Kaylee from Firefly carries a parasol when she is first introduced, to show that despite being a Wrench Wench, she still likes some pretty things (a trait we see more of in "Shindig").
- Kari of MythBusters works the occasional parasol.
- In NCIS, Abbie wore a lacy dress (but a black one), and had a matching parasol that she twirled around.
- Worn with a matching dress in the opening of That Girl.
- In an episode of Unhappily Ever After, Jennie wanted a picnic like that in a film she watched (didn't work out), and wore a white dress and a parasol.
- In the 1999 miniseries adaptation Wives and Daughters, lots of ladies can be seen with a pretty parasol. It's especially noticeable with free-spirited Lady Harriet (emphasis on high class and beauty) and the heroine Molly Gibson (emphasis on gentle disposition and femininity).
- In the musical Lestat, Claudia mentions how cute people think she is with a parasol in "I'll Never Have That Chance".
- Parasols are featured prominently in the opening number for Ragtime. In fact, they're presented as one thing that separates the upper-class whites from "Negros" and "Immigrants".
- The young ladies who perform the foot juggling act in Nouvelle Experience not only carry Chinese parasols, but use them as their primary props!
- Princess Peach in Super Mario RPG and Super Princess Peach.
- Princess Peach has access to Perry again in the fan game Super Mario Fusion Revival as her answer to Mario's Raccoon Suit. Perry can be used to fly, to slow her fall, and to attack.
- Lady Rachel Alucard from BlazBlue. Being a vampire, she has an entirely different reason for keeping the sun off her skin. Being a Fighting Game character, hers doubles as a Parasol of Pain, and a cat.
- Several of the Touhou girls can be seen with umbrellas, including Yukari Yakumo, Yuuka Kazami, Remilia Scarlet, and Kogasa Tatara (the last one has it as a result of actually being an umbrella youkai).
- The parasol is also a mark of power in Touhou. The "seemingly" weakest character of those mentioned is "only" the Final Boss of her game. Everyone else is either a Bonus Boss or stated to be the World's Strongest Youkai.
- Should be mentioned that only Yukari and Remilia fit the trope exactly as "parasol as a symbol of high class and grace". Yuka is kind of messed up and in Kogasa's case, she IS the umbrella. An unused umbrella.
- Yuuka might be a bit protective of her flowers, but when she goes Axe Crazy she's very elegant about it. Flower-petal bullets, letting people watch her battles 'cause they are so beautiful etc etc.
- Also justified in Remilia's case since she's a vampire and thus needs it to protect herself from the sunlight.
- Dahlia Hawthorne from Phoenix Wright: Trials and Tribulations holds a white parasol with pink trim. Coupled with a white dress.
- The "Parasol Lady" Trainer class from Pokémon.
- Princess Agatha from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
- Okuni from Samurai Warriors is a travelling performer who is incredibly refined in both tastes and fashion, as is evidenced by her use of one of these, but it doesn't stop her from using it as a Parasol of Pain.
- Josephine, the "fop" character of Suikoden V, fought with one.
- According to a note in Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Daniel had to use one when he went to the desert. He didn't want to, since he would invoke this trope.
- Selphy, an Eligible Bachelorette in Rune Factory Frontier has one of these when she's outside in the sun; she twirls it a lot, and since it's heavily hinted at that she's a Rebellious Princess this definitely counts.
- Luna of Arc Rise Fantasia has one she also uses as a weapon.
- Mai Shiranui from The King of Fighters wields one in one of her win poses.
- Mio from Little Busters always carries a lacy white parasol with her whenever she's outside. This emphasises her traditional, elegant beauty, as well as implying a great physical fragility. The fact that she's never seen in direct sunlight also hints at there being more to her than what people see on the surface, while her nickname 'no shadow' refers to the way she seems as though she doesn't belong to this world. The parasol is so integral to her character, in fact, that her default battle title is 'Parasol-holding Silent Beauty' and her credits sequences involves a stylised, slowly-spinning parasol. It's very important to her plotline - she carries the parasol to hide the fact that she literally no longer has a shadow.
- Dahlia Hawthorne from Phoenix Wright has a parasol with a shade of light pink and ever-present personal butterflies. Until she burns them up with her demonic gaze as part of her Villainous Breakdown.
- Clemence Ceillet de Rousseau of Survival of the Fittest infamy owned one such parasol. She quickly abandons it, though, considering "She had no time to bother with petty things".