I do like a proper umbrella when I go out in the evenings, never having really understood why one would go to all the bother of dressing up, only to unfurl a scarlet Disney or black exec pop-up umbrella in the rain. Equally I've found at festivals like the Big Chill when the plan is to do lolling on the grass (as opposed to frantic dancing), that a pale parasol is perfect for those with a morgue-like pallor - like myself).
My umbrellas of choice would come from James Smith & Sons in London but, given my tendency to lose anything that isn't tied to my body, my compromise solution, when I haven't got a nice man to hold my umbrella, is to buy my parasol supplies on-line at a tenner a pop from whoever is selling them cheapest that day. (I've seen this style or similar on sale for upwards of eighty quid at specialist umbrella suppliers, so it's worth doing your research: keywords are parasol umbrella).
These must be the biggest bargain out: I love the pagoda point and tassled handle. I'm forever being stopped in the street and asked from where I have bought my brolly.
The only drawback is that they aren't ideal for transatlantic travel: being too long to fit in a suitcase, full size brollies have to go as a separate piece of hold luggage, with a sticky barcode label wrapped around the handle, adding to the pile of things for me to misplace whilst checking in. However, amazingly, they always seem to arrive unbroken on the conveyor belt at the other end.
I found these ones for £9.99 each + £3 postage here. In the US, I've often seen them on eBay.