London Undercover Umbrellas

The Wet and Happy Breed

So 2012 was one of the wettest years in the UK since records began. As I've said on more than one occasion, it never fails to amaze me how ill-prepared for the cold and wet climate of the UK people seem to be. We'll never have the climate of California. This is the United Kingdom of umbrellas and macs, not the republic of flip-flops and cargo shorts. We may get a couple of sunny weeks in summer when the sun pokes out, but generally we live under a permanent blanket of cloud that could precipitate at any moment. And if you dress accordingly, it's perfectly feasible to live a long and happy life in those conditions. And not have to grumble about the weather constantly.

Get Undercover

The golden rule of UK living is always carry an umbrella. And a good one. Do not waste time with poor quality umbrellas. They will perform badly and look terrible. If you're going to be carrying one around almost constantly, it makes sense to buy one that looks good and will last.

I favour full-length umbrellas. As you will witness in The Avengers TV series, the character John Steed (above) demonstrated how a full-length umbrella can also serve as a useful tool for self-defence. So you can be dry and safe with a good umbrella. (Remarkable sleeves on Steed's coat.)

Saving the City Gent

London Undercover was established in 2008 by a possibly drenched Jamie Milestone. His aim was to re-invigorate the British umbrella industry. This makes sense. If one place is more associated with umbrellas, and has the greatest need, it is the UK. The industry couldn't be allowed to disappear.

The London-based company keeps materials and manufacturing UK-based as far as possible and produces a fine selection of British-made umbrellas. The Navy City Gent Lifesaver above has a Malacca handle, beech shaft and gunmetal tip and spokes. The 24" frame will keep you and a loved one dry in a downpour, as long as you hold tight.

Doing a Full Steed

It might be worth thinking about doing a 'full Steed' and getting a bowler hat too. London Undercover has collaborated with Christy's the hat makers for their Pigeon Bowler Hat. The hat is handmade in fur felt with a charming silk pigeon-print lining


  1. Being an Avengers fan I think it would be worth mentioning that John Steed’s Whanghee sword stick umbrella was made by James Smith and Sons Ltd. Fox Umbrellas Ltd made his “normal Whanghee umbrellas” perhaps these should be mentioned when taking about John Steed, not a company that wasn’t even around when the Avengers was released. The internet has a wealth of information on the Avengers.

    Love the hat! Nice classic look

    Avengers Fan

    1. Thanks Anon. Nice trivia. We've covered Fox and James Smith & Son. I should have mentioned Steed, the ultimate English brollyman, on both occasions. You can't have too much Steed.


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