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

WHAT: "Expandable" nylon hats for sloppy-wet destinations.

AIMED AT: Travelers who want sleeker rain headgear that's a cinch to pack -- and doesn't look crumpled.

HOW MUCH: $28, with a choice of five colors.

BUT DO THEY WORK? High on the list of Fashion Don'ts are mushed, squished rain hats; you might as well go with a plastic bag or the wet-dog look -- that's just as becoming. Flight 001's cute-couture hats, though, can fix any sartorial/bad weather dilemma, with no map-folding skills required. The nylon hat, stylish in own right with its orange-to-earth-and-sky palette and bucket shape, folds up into itself and closes with an easy zip. When clammed up, the hat is no bigger than a New York bagel, packs flat and can squeeze into a bag's dark cranny. When open, the hat is wrinkle-free and keeps your head well-covered from the drizzles. The zipper also creates a pocket atop your noggin, so you can stash personal items you wish to keep safe, dry and within easy reach.

-- Andrea Sachs

The hats are available through Flight 001, 877- FLIGHT-1, www.flight001.com.