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How to hold an open umbrella, which direction to point handle

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Kent Wang, Oct 27, 2015.

When holding an open umbrella, which direction does the crook of the handle point?

  1. Away from me

    3 vote(s)
  2. Towards me

    0 vote(s)
  3. Left, when I hold it in my right hand

    3 vote(s)
  4. Right, when I hold it in my right hand

    1 vote(s)
  5. No preference

    4 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Kent Wang

    Kent Wang Well-Known Member

    May 5, 2005

    In Paris Street; Rainy Day, perhaps the most prominent painting of a man holding an open umbrella, the main figure is holding the handle so that it is mostly pointing away from him. It is difficult to discern the handle direction of the other figures.

    Photo of @squalortoballer

    I had naturally assumed that it should point left, when holding it in my right hand, as that would present less of an obstacle if I were to run into something or someone in front of me. Also, it would show off my whangee handle more.

    I spoke to my umbrella maker and he said the handle should point forward.

    The handle direction is important as ideally the closure tab is hidden behind your head. Curiously, I don't see any closure tabs in Paris Street; Rainy Day. Perhaps they had not been invented at the time, or Caillebotte just didn't bother to paint them.

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