Monet for a rainy day

No matter if your downtime finds you at the local botanical garden or the ballpark, a RainCaper is a smart – and stylish – companion in case of rain.

We’ve all been there.

We’re out and about, enjoying a morning saunter through the botanical garden or an afternoon at a sporting event. Or perhaps it’s when you’re farther away from home, on a much-anticipated trip that you imagined being full of sunny moments…

Next thing you know, the sky turns dark, the wind kicks up and you’re suddenly in the midst of an unexpected pelting of raindrops.

If you’ve planned ahead, you can avoid scurrying to buy a bulky umbrella or one of those ubiquitous-but-ugly cheap ponchos and simply pop on your RainCaper.

What’s that? Glad you asked.

WAG first saw the RainCaper at the NY NOW trade show in Manhattan — the company’s booth filled with the colorful, artful and stylish travel capes, a clever alternative to a raincoat.

We would soon learn that RainCaper is a Pennsylvania-based company founded by the mother-daughter team of Jan Hartman and Lindsay Hagerman. Hartman, a designer, ran a destination retail shop where the pair offered distinctive gifts and accessories for nearly a quarter of a century. When Hartman retired to spend more time with her family, she realized there was a gap in the market for an accessory that was “more versatile than a rain poncho and stylish enough to wear both every day as well as for travel and special occasions,” as company materials share.

Hence, the creation of RainCaper, a lightweight, hooded, breathable and softy-and-silky design said to work in “drizzle or downpour.”

It’s easy to pack for a flight or cruise, to fold up in a museum or simply to grab when walking the dog or heading to the gym. They are machine-washable, water-repellant and reversible, with one size fitting most while also billowy enough to cover a designer bag or anything you might be carrying.

Martha Wright, director of marketing for RainCaper — and a former Danbury resident — says the design works not just for rain but “even if you’re in an overly air-conditioned environment.”

Along that line is the WarmCaper, the next generation of the company’s designs that reverses to a warmer side for cooler weather.

But when it comes to the RainCaper, function is only part of the story.

In addition to a selection of solid hues and prints such as paisley, plaid and leopard, garnering much attention is the RainCaper Fine Art Collection. Designed in collaboration with the entities that own the artwork, these selections reflect Hartman’s love of the arts, as she and her husband are avid collectors.

The RainCaper Fine Art Collection options are based on works ranging from Childe Hassam to Vincent van Gogh, Louis Comfort Tiffany to Maurice Prendergast, Edgar Degas to Wassily Kandinsky and William Morris to Claude Monet, among others.

“Jan (Hartman) really spends a lot of time making sure the colors are really true to the art,” Wright says.

And, as might be imagined, the RainCaper designs attract a discerning shopper, leading to them being carried by a number of sophisticated retail outlets. In our region, these range from the Museum Shop at the Lyndhurst mansion in Tarrytown to the elegant Turkey Ridge boutique in Ridgefield.

When WAG stops by Turkey Ridge on a recent day, Nadine Dolhy tours us through her RainCaper selection, noting they are not only “very pretty” and “very different” but also “very practical. They’re great for travel and they’re lightweight.”

And, she adds, “One of the features they have which sets them apart from other companies is the magnetic closure.”

Noting they make ideal gifts, Dolhy concludes that RainCapers are also perfect for suburbanites who are constantly “in and out of the car and never carry an umbrella.”

Sound familiar?

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