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Singapore’s unpredictable and intense rain showers can pose problems for those with nice leather bags. You run the risk of ruining your beloved carryall every time the weather gets dark and stormy, which seems just about every day recently.

First, I would recommend that you pick up some leather waterproofing spray that can be found at leather cleaners and shops such as Mister Minit. These kinds of spray help create a surface layer that repels, rather than absorbs, water.

But for serious rain, I think patent leather or plastic is the way to go. A work-appropriate bag like this glossy black patent one from Alfio Raldo (photo 1, $92.90, from www.zalora.sg) looks chic and has the added bonus of being fairly waterproof.

If you want something with more room, this shopper-style tote from Ted Baker (photo 2, $115, from B1-22 Ion Orchard) made of PVC does the trick. You can use it as your main bag or place your smaller go-to bag inside, and just carry the tote.

For evening, you can embrace the plasticky look with fun clutches.

This Asos clutch (photo 3, $36.50, from www.asos.com) and Klear Klutch bag (photo 4, $97.40, from www.asos.com) are a bit kitschy, but in a nice way. They add some humour and colour to a more serious look. The waterproof pink PVC and multi-coloured plastic will be sure to protect your belongings.

Some regular clutches with a waxy coating, such as this box clutch from New Look (photo 5, $39.90, from B2-34 313@somerset), can also stand up to light rain.

There is one more thing you could try. It is not elegant, but you could fold and store a plain plastic bag inside your most precious bags. This way, you can protect a beautiful leather bag in any emergency.

This article was first run in The Straits Times newspaper on November 28, 2014. For similar stories, go to http://www.straitstimes.com/premium/singapore. You will not be able to access the Premium section of The Straits Times website unless you are already a subscriber.