Parasols, Hand Fans, and Other Hot/Haute Touches

Really, we can't all huddle in offices and movie theaters and homes that have the AC going full-bore 24/7 when a surprise heat wave strikes. Plus, many private residences around Los Angeles don't even have air conditioning, which our friends from other places can't seem to believe. Believe it, people. Believe it.

We have to go out, we have to work, we have to buy stamps and cold beer, and we want to be cool and fresh and fetching while doing so. That's why, in a town where trends come and go in a nanosecond, we'll forever be enamored of the parasol. No, we're not talking about your typical keep-out-of-the-rain, staid and sturdy umbrellas. We mean those painted, frilly, paper or cloth beauties that shield us from the sun and make our dermatologist sleep better at night.

But there are other handheld devices for keeping us unsweaty that we're keen on. Hand fans are always nice. Powered, oscillating hand fans are fun and able to de-sweat a face in a flash, but note that batteries are required. Hats? Helpful indeed.  A full body suit from the future that is completely AC-ed out? We're still waiting.

Until then, we'll still stick with our parasol, thank you very much. Plenty of places carry pretty ones around town, but we generally hit the flea markets -- especially the Rose Bowl -- and the county fairs. Both the OC and LA fairs always have a parasol-riffic stand. Sweet.

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