There is no doubt that every woman in this world spends a decent amount of money on shoes and bags. No matter how much money one spends, it goes without saying that it is paramount to look after our valuables so that we can enjoy wearing them for as long as possible, if not, well, forever!
Given that it is definitely difficult to fit bag and shoe care into the hectic and busy lifestyles most of us live, we have racked our brains to find the best ways to keep our shoes and bags in mint condition without putting too much effort in it. With a little help from our expert fashionistas and fashion designers friends, here is what we come up with.
1. Store them Properly
Many girls store their bags and shoes in plastic lid containers. Truth be told, they look super neat and tidy in them. The problem is, though, that there is no air circulating inside the bags, which is like giving a go to mold growth (same applies to cardboard boxes). And, when that happens, we all know that it is tear time. To avoid a heartbreaking sobbing when disaster strikes, it is best to use dust or flannel bags that usually come with every purchase of a bag or an expensive pair of shoe. Now, if you don’t have or can’t buy such bags, but you have lots of space in your home, you can place them on a rack and let them breathe.
And, one more thing. If you love knee-high boots that continue to be on trend this fall and want to preserve their great shape, use boot shapers!
2. Clean them Before Putting them Away
Rain will be something we will frequently see from now on. And, with rain comes mud. One of the worst things one can do is put muddy shoes back into the wardrobe. Not only do we encourage mold formation in our wardrobe but also run the risk of pass the damp smell of the wet, muddy shoes to our clothes. Considering that baby wipes can work miracles and do a great job removing dark scuffs from leather, it is a pity not to spare a few seconds to clean our muddy shoes or leather bag. For water-based stains, you can use an emery board or rubber stone and gently buff out the stain(s) or alternatively use a suede eraser.
This applies to every stain that has to be addressed the soonest possible so that it won’t set in and do permanent damage to your shoes or handbags.
3. Avoid Wearing Light-Colored Purses With Dark Jeans
It is a common mistake we have all made at some point in our lives. Allowing a light-colored bag to rub against dark jeans is like rubbing your precious purse on something as cruel and harsh as sandpaper. The dye will transfer from the jeans to the bag, AND you will notice some serious wear on the surface of your canvas or leather bag. In the unfortunate instance damage is already done, please do not try to take matters into your own hands. There is increased risk the colors of the purse or shoes change if you give in to temptation and start scrubbing them to remove stains. Instead, take them to the ER, where trusted hands can revive them and try to bring back their old glory and shine.
4. Treat with Water-Protector Spray
As previously mentioned, water can cause great damage to our shoes and purses, especially those that are made of materials which are more prone to water damage, such as suede. The best thing to do is make sure you ward off moisture issues by using a waterproof spray and apply it on your favorite items the minute you buy them. You can also try the new nano protector sprays that provide top-class protection based on nanotechnology.
Now, if you did not have the chance to apply water repellent spray so far, do so now and reapply every three months. For already wet shoes and purses, especially leather ones, the best course of action is to let them dry at room temperature without trying to boost the drying process with the use of heat sources, such as blow dryers to avoid shrinkage of the material.
5. Give your Shoes a Spa Treatment
What’s the first thing which can telltale how much we love wearing a particular pair of shoes? The soles, of course. A great tip to protect them and halt wear and tear is to take the shoes to a shoe repair store and have experts attach thin rubber layers (aka sole protectors) on the soles that not only provide extra traction but also prevent water from soaking through your favorite (and most of the times, expensive) pair of shoes.
Another thing that wears down quickly is heels. How many times have you broken the plastic cap on the heels? It is almost impossible to keep it intact. A cobbler (or shoemaker or shoe mender) will attach a more durable, less-easily-breakable rubber cap to each heel.
6. Fasten or Zip your Handbags
It might sound like a bit too much but rest assured your purse will thank you for that. Heavy hardware from the handles hanging on the sides of your purse can cause tearing and puts unnecessary stress on the bag. This is why it is best to zip your handbags. Don’t forget to overlap the handles on top of the bag!
7. Address Issues Early On
Many people leave small cracks, or minor repairs left unattended and most of the times they end up with much bigger problems than before. Visiting your local leather repair store or seamstress, depending on the type of damage done to your shoes or purse, when you spot a problem will help prevent lots of frustration.
8. Always Clean your Hands Before You Handle a Bag or Purse
The number one source of dirty spots and grime on our canvas shoes and purses is our own hands. So, let’s just keep them clean and save ourselves some purse or shoe cleaning time!
And, speaking of cleaning our hands, we should also pay attention to the number of chemicals we out on our staples, because each cleaning session leaves a certain amount of chemical products on the leather or fabric. A build-up of these products may destroy the material. Better use water to clean any superficial spots or dirt and call for reinforcements when things get ugly.
9. Mind the Bottom of the Shoes
The bottom of the shoes is perhaps the most overlooked part of them that wear down very easily, particularly the more dressy pairs with the thin soles. It is no wonder that most of us run them into the ground before we even realize we have taken the road of no return (due to irreversible damage done, of course). Instead of ditching them and crying our eyes out for that, it is much more preferred to take our shoes to the local shoe mender and have them fixed. So, if you see, for example, a nail peeking out of the sole, don’t leave it to the last minute and rush it to the shoe doctor. Alternatively, you can add something called a dancer’s sole, which is a thin layer of protective rubber. Of course, this is a preventive measure and does not undo any damage done.
Final Notes & Tips:
Accumulated dust can damage patent and delicate shoes (i.e. suede). So, make sure you dust the wardrobe where you keep them regularly.
To prevent fading and cracking of shoes and purses, especially leather ones, keep them out of direct sunlight.
When you travel, always wrap the shoes and purses you take with you in tissue and then in funnel bags to help prevent any damage.
Although canvas shoes and purses are indeed the easiest to clean, given that you can simply toss them in the washing machine and get the job done (gentle cycle), if they feature suede or leather sections, it is best to avoid using the washer. Instead, you can remove stains with a brush.
Light-colored patent leather shoes tend to act like sponges and absorb other colors quite easily. When that happens, even professional leather cleaners cannot get the transfers out, at least in most of the cases. To skip all that trouble, store your precious separately.
Make sure you rotate your handbags from time to time to prevent causing too much wear on them.
Be extra careful when using escalators and you are wearing heels. Scarred and damaged heels are very difficult to repair to the point they look like when you purchased the shoes.
NEVER ever buy shoes that don’t fit. Chances are they won’t stretch unlike what the store assistant says. We are professional leather and shoe repairers, which means that we have a solution for a wide array of shoe and purse-related problems. But we ensure you that if you are investing in an expensive designer pair, then it must fit perfectly from the start. Yes, we can help you stretch it to less than ½ size (there is no way to go for more) but it won’t feel as it was supposed to feel.
How do you take care of your precious? Did we miss something? Please do mention in the comments!