An occasional look at products the travel industry insists we need.

WHAT: Cap in a Box, voguish shower caps that upstage designer towels.

AIMED AT: High-maintenance globe-trotters who'd rather go unbathed than wear a frumpy hotel shower cap; first-time travelmates who want to look their best -- even in the bathroom.

HOW MUCH: $16 for each of four designs: Kitty, Sunshine, Glamour or Lounge.

BUT DO THEY WORK? Barring supermodels and Divine, few people look fashionable wearing a Saran-wrap beret in the shower. But, hey, who's looking? Well, in case someone is peeking behind the curtain, Cap in a Box has got you -- or at least your hair -- covered. The retro designs are colorful and whimsical: pink starbursts with butterflies, cats preening against geometric shapes, a Tiffany-inspired floral design, and our fave, silver martini glasses amid purple and green bubbles. In a strictly utilitarian sense, the caps did their job -- they covered our tresses, stayed on tight and didn't leak. Our hair stayed dry for almost the whole wash -- until we became impatient and yanked off the cap to ogle the fabulous design, and ended up getting all wet.

-- Andrea Sachs

Cap in a Box is available through online beauty sites, including www.wishingfish.com and www.nedandshell.com. For store locations, contact the company, Blue Raven, 212-239-3694, www.blueravenllc.com.