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Good, Better, Best: Modern Patio Umbrellas

As outdoor dining goes more and more upscale, patio umbrellas are also getting a high-design upgrade. Forget the floral-patterned parasols of your youth. Now, it's easy to find sophisticated sun shades that will make any patio look sleeker and chicer. Here are my picks for modern patio umbrellas to suit frugal and frivolous budgets.

Good: With its aluminum pole and elegant taupe shade, the 9-foot Hampton Bay Dana Point Market Umbrella ($111.75) will give your outdoor table a modern makeover without breaking the bank.

For two even better picks,

Better: The Room & Board Waikiki Umbrella ($299) pivots on its base, so you can adjust it as the sun moves; available in blue, white, and orange fabric.

Best: Along the same lines as the Waikiki, this super-versatile Design Within Reach Tuuci Razor Shade Platform and Mobile Stand ($1,500) rotates a full 360 degrees and looks stunning, too. It comes in white or silver, but I love the electric green.

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