Broke and Bespoke

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April Showers Coming Soon…

As the type of person who obsessively trawls the internet for menswear-related things to geek out over begins to pack his or her closet full of suits, blazers, and sport coats of varying style and cut, as their shirt wardrobe begins to burst at the seams with every variety of cloth and collar: oxford cloth button down, end-on-end point, sea island spread, 2 ply 120s cutaway, chambray semi-spread, and flannel extreme cutaway, etc., and as their shoe racks collapse under the weight of boots and shoes of every variation—from those produced using the hide of a horse’s butt to those made with the softest suede and everything in between, it is probably time to start diversifying a wardrobe through the tasteful addition of some accessories.

Though I’ve not yet reached the point of no-return like the hypothetical menswear ‘enthusiast’ described above, I have recently started contemplating the value of a tastefully chosen accessory. One such accessory that I have, until lately, lacked a nice version of (but have been pining over acquiring) is a cane umbrella. There’s something luxurious and sophisticated about a fine cane umbrella, and when the opportunity arose for me to try out Davek’s version, the Elite, I jumped at the chance.

Davek is a company based in New York which makes a very classic and elegant looking cane umbrella that has been painstakingly engineered to be strong enough to withstand some seriously inclement weather. The Elite is a great combination of the best aesthetic elements of the classic cane umbrella with the added value of construction that uses modern materials and techniques, producing an end product that is both luxurious and practical.

To begin with, the Elite is aesthetically pleasing. The handle is covered in a soft and supple top-grain black leather that is nicely stitched with a bit of polished zinc rounding out the curved end. The straight end of the handle is finished in a nice matte zinc where the company logo is engraved. The umbrella’s shaft is made not of an exotic wood, as is the case with many more expensive cane umbrellas, but with an extremely strong and flexible fiberglass. It has a nice carbon fiber appearance that is oddly both technical and natural looking at the same time. It almost gives off the effect of some very intricate inlaid woodwork. The umbrella’s canopy is made of a tightly-woven (190 thread count) microweave fabric that is, of course, waterproof. The umbrella is quite wide with a 50” coverage area, and would certainly suffice for two if it were being used for just a short walk from a car to a restaurant or the theater. And though I’m no expert in the science of umbrella engineering, I can tell you that the framing of the canopy looks quite impressive and highly engineered. It is designed to be flexible in strong winds to prevent the all-too-common phenomenon of being the unfortunate person stuck in a rainstorm with an umbrella that has been turned inside out. Though I live in an area where the winds don’t really get that strong, during the times I have used this umbrella in windier conditions it has felt very strong and stable in my hands. I’ll be reporting back, however, once the April showers descend with more on how the Elite handles the elements.

If ever your umbrella should break, however, Davek has a great warranty that allows you to send a broken umbrella back for a free replacement. In addition to this great warranty on the construction of the umbrella, Davek also offers a one-time replacement warranty as well. Each umbrella comes with a card with a serial number on it that you can send in should you lose your umbrella, allowing you to purchase a replacement at a 50% discount.

For those of you looking for smaller compact and pocketable umbrellas, Davek offers those too, though I have not personally tried them out. Additionally, Davek has a line of leather goods like messenger bags that have a similar aesthetic to the Elite—traditional with a modern twist. Though the Davek Elite is not an inexpensive purchase at $149, it is less expensive than other high-end cane umbrellas by the likes of Fox, Francesco Maglia, Turnbull & Asser, and Swaine Adeney Brigg, and I do believe them to be a worthwhile investment for those looking for a seriously built cane umbrella crafted to last a lifetime.

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