The most Romantic Accessory under the sun. Victorian Era Parasols were used for a variety of reasons. First to keep the ladies skin out of the sun, thus, soft and fair. Also, as with the fan, it was a way to flirt.
Perhaps the chief reason for the popularity of the parasol was the Victorian admiration for a fair complexion. It was more than a sign of beauty, it proved to the world that a woman was a lady, who didn't have to work outdoors like "common" females did. Bonnets helped protect delicate skin, but after the 1860's smaller hats were fashionable and bonnets were shunned as dowdy accessories for matrons and elderly ladies. Something else was needed to save a pretty face from the rays of the sun -- and that something was the parasol.
Like the fan and the lacy handkerchief, the parasol was both an object with a practical purpose and an indispensable aid to the subtle art of flirtation. In the hands of a skilled practitioner, it could mysteriously shadow a lady's expression, disguise the direction of her glance from a chaperone, coyly indicate her changing moods, dramatize her sparkling eyes and smile, even camouflage her imperfections. Lady Hamilton, Lord Nelson's notorious, no-longer-young mistress, always favored pink and pink-lined parasols, because the rosy light they cast on her face made her look more youthful.