How To Protect Your Bag From Sudden Rainstorms

A quality handbag is one of the most significant investments you can make in terms of your wardrobe, but supple, pebbled leather is no match for a sudden storm. Seriously, if you do one thing for your accessories this fall, learn how to protect your handbag from the rain. A single sartorial faux pas caused by misreading the weather forecast can leave you and your bag drenched, the latter of which won't simply bounce back after a once over with the blowdryer. Unless you possess an affinity for PVC or nylon carryalls, taking your purse for a stroll in the rain is a recipe for ruin.

The likelihood of an unforeseen storm increases exponentially as the season transitions from summer to autumn and winter to spring, so those are the best times to begin thinking about the best manner of preserving your sartorial investments. While toting a plastic grocery bag to tie around your purse in case of storm or hoping that your oversized umbrella will cover your tote may seem like viable options, they are neither foolproof nor particularly professional in appearance. Instead of ducking into the closest cafe or relinquishing your own raincoat to your purse in the middle of a deluge, try taking a more effective and thoughtful approach to the conundrum with a pre-planned solution.

1. Treat Your Leather

Vectra Shoe, Handbag and Apparel Protector Spray , $16, Amazon

If you wish to take a definitive, preventative measure against the destruction of your bag by capricious weather, you might consider employing a chemical treatment. In fact, Joyce Lee, the handbag designer for Madewell, insisted in a post on the company's blog that taking five minutes to treat your new bag will save you many tears later down the road.

Handbag repair shops and leather spas will offer such treatments at a premium price if you prefer to leave the application to a professional, but you may also administer an at-home treatment for similar results. Look for products that specifically list waterproofing as a primary function, and narrow your search by considering only formulas that are nontoxic. The Vectra Shoe, Handbag and Apparel Protector Spray is one such customer-beloved product that additionally serves double duty as a stain repellant by sinking into the fabric fibers themselves instead of simply forming a skin over the top layer of the handbag's material. Products such as Scotch Guard, NikWax, and formulas containing Mink Oil function in a similar manner but adhere to the outermost layer of the handbag to provide waterproofing protection.

NikWax, $19, Amazon; Scotch Guard, $19, Amazon

Before investing in any formula, make sure the product is manufactured to treat natural and synthetic materials, lest you accidentally ruin a handbag with an overly harsh concoction.

2. Deck Out Your Leather

The Handbag Raincoat, $20, Amazon

If springing for a leather treatment is unappealing or simply seems to risky for your taste, why not opt for a physical handbag protector? Available in a cornucopia of materials, styles, shapes, and sizes, handbag protectors act as a weather-resistant overcoat for your handbag — sometimes quite literally. The Handbag Raincoat is one such solution, which consists of a transparent, waterproof polyurethane slip cover that may be placed over your handbag to repel rain. If a fuss-free fix and utilitarian appearance is your aspiration, the Handbag Raincoat is the product for the task.

The Gussy Charlotte, $20, The Gussy

Those craving a bit more in the way of aesthetic appeal as well as utility will fall head over heels for The Gussy's selection of prim, proper designs with eye-popping patterns to boot. Glossy chevron stripes accent the mod Jenny design, while polka dots dance across the streamlined Meredith model and a trompe l'oeil illustration adorns the cheeky Charlotte design. Unlike the Handbag Raincoat, The Gussy's designs utilize water repellant microfiber and cotton laminate to ensure bags remain dry.

Whether you choose to indulge your Louis Vuitton in a luxe rain-repellant treatment or treat your Mansur Gavriel to a petite raincoat of its very own, make sure to determine your weather contingency plan well before the squall begins. After all, nothing is more grievous to a fashionista's closet than the loss of a beloved bag.

Images: castillo bermudez/Fotolia; Courtesy Brands