You’ve just bought that new bag you’ve been pining after for ages, and now you don’t really want to wear it all the time in case you ruin it. Familiar story? Well, you need to get over it and wear it all you like – just know there are many things you can do to maintain and even restore your bags' good looks. There are now the equivalent of ‘beauty salons’ for bags, called ‘bag spas’. Yep, even your bags need a bit of time out every now and then. (I’ll tell you more about these places in my next blog).
But for now, here’s some very basic care and maintenance tips.
When you purchase that new bag, make sure you treat it right from day one. First thing to do is to make sure you protect the material before the spills and dirt happen. Scotchgard Fabric is perfect for fabrics, whilst Scotchgard Suede and Nubuck are great water and oil repellent for suede. Collonil and Chamberlain’s make excellent leather-protecting products; or ask your trusted cobbler for a recommendation. Just make sure you test the product on a small, discrete patch on the bag before applying all over.
Suede and Nubuck bags require a little extra TLC. Left: Saint Laurent Monogramme large quilted suede shoulder bag. Right: Jerome Dreyfuss Nestor embellished suede shoulder bag. Photos: net-a-porter.
Next, store your bags correctly. One of the biggest mistakes is not treating bags with the love and respect they deserve. It’s not because we don’t care, but we just don’t think about how we store our bags, we’ve always simply put them wherever we can find a spot – under the bed, on top of the wardrobe, on the floor (quelle horreur!). And before you know it your beautiful young bag is all mouldy, wrinkled and haggard looking.
This is what we’ve always done, so we don’t think twice about continuing to do it. Imagine just tossing your cashmere jumper on the floor when you’re finished with it – unheard of. So as you probably know by now, my mission is to stop this happening. Which is why I spent two years designing and creating thh – the handbag hanger. The idea is simple – it’s like an upmarket coat hanger for your handbags. Hang all your bags on your handbag hanger and they’ll be off the ground, safe and sound. (Interestingly, it goes against Hindu culture to put anything of value, like a bag, on the ground). Just be sure to remove all the contents before you hang them up.
thh - the handbag hanger in action. Photo: thh - the handbag hanger.
And my final tip… when you use your bag, make sure any pens, cosmetics and other liquids are quarantined in there. I use a bag organiser that can easily be moved from bag to bag, and removed before hanging my bag up at the end of the day. If you don’t want a bag organiser, use a pouch or a makeup bag for all these items. Avoid click pens and go for pens with caps instead – put these in your pouch or organiser too. There’s nothing more upsetting then unpacking your bag at the end of the day and seeing a huge ink stain in the lining.
So you can see, it’s really easy to protect and maintain your bags, just a small effort for years of ‘bag love’. Next week, I'll tell you where to go to breathe new life in your already damaged bags.
Do you have any great handbag care tips? We’d love to hear from you if you do.