In a downpour, what are the chances your umbrella will keep you and your handbag dry? My default defense against drenching has been to stuff my handbag against my body inside my raincoat and hope for the best, which is rarely the result. But what if my bag had a raincoat of its own? That's the concept behind the Handbag Raincoat, a kind of poncho for your purse (or briefcase) that slips over the straps and bag, then seals around the straps via a Velcro tab.

Made of sturdy polyurethane, the Handbag Raincoat is available in three sizes. The mini, for a small handbag, is 29 inches long by 22 inches high. The midi is 33 inches long by 26 inches high. The maxi, 37 inches long and 29 inches high, is designed for totes, briefcases, and shoulder bags. It comes in a clear model, an opaque style, a star pattern, and a transparent raindrop print. The Velcro closure gives you access to the contents of any top-opening bag and lets you grab the straps or hook them over a shoulder if they're long enough. The bottom of the "raincoat" is open.

Once out of the wet, just wipe the cover dry, pull it off, and stash it in the raindrop-print carry pouch. The Handbag Raincoat won't protect bigger bags, and the Velcro top closure means water could seep in if the weather is really aggressive. But it's a lot classier than a plastic bag and doesn't weigh much more than one.

The Handbag Raincoat is $25 in mini size, $28 in midi, and $30 in maxi; at www.handbagraincoat.com.