So my boyfriend works for a local radio station, and he's going to be working a car show with the station sometime next month. I'm in the market for a nice, fairly simple fabric parasol to bring with me, since it's bound to be very sunny (I don't tan; I burn). Can anyone recommend a good site to buy one from? I'm on a pretty tight budget, so the most I could probably spend at this moment is $20...I'm having zero luck on my own. Any ideas?
Yes, yes, yes! I have an idea!
Check out Trashy Diva! They have SUPER cute lace parasols in black, white and cream. They're $35 so not very far from your price range! I've held one in my hand myself, and they are simply stunning in person. I was not totally in love with the wooden handles at first, but they actually pull the vintage look together. They are also surprisingly decent at sun protection. I think it's because even though it's lacy, it's a thick cloth so you get some good protection.
Now, I can't vouch for them myself since I've never purchased before, but I read on the Lindy Shopper blog that there's an eBay seller named Hopekenenth who makes Battenburg and Belgium lace parasols that she says are nice. hey look to be fabric parasols so you should have the same coverage. With shipping it's about the same price as Trashy Diva. But with this seller, you have much more color options.
I lived in Japan for 12 years, so one thing I can tell you from experience (we used parasols every day over there) is to stay away from paper parasols. They may have pretty designs, but unless you're getting a Janome which typically cost around $250, your parasol will not last long, will probably break when you open/close it will not be waterproof at all if there's even a drop of rain, and will probably just all around irritate you. It may even arrive to you already ripped from my past experience. If you end up falling in love with parasols like I did, I can't recommend saving up for a Janome paper parasol. They will last decades if taken care of and are gorgeous! I'll put up a picture here of one of mine. :)
Sorry for the novel! I LOVE parasols and have quite a few myself. I hope this helps!! And stick with cloth if you can!