You’ve done your hair, makeup and found the perfect outfit for the occasion, and you know the perfect bag in your collection to go with your entire outfit.
You go searching for the bag of the day, only to find it’s not where you left it and finally look in the third place you could have put it, only to find that it’s lost its shape and handles are bent and is ruining your style for the day!
You used the dustbag the bag came with, what more could you have done?
Proper Care and Handling
All people and things need some TLC; so do your designer bags. A well loved bag will actually last you many years and with proper care can look as good as new (fairly).
You put in an investment for your designer bag, so be good to it during use. Try not to place on the ground where it can get scuffed, bang it onto surfaces as these actions will cause damage to your bag. Even with the most gingerly use, you can accidentally get splashes of coffee, tea, or ice cream and even makeup! Be careful to attend to the mark as soon as possible by wiping it clean- damage control is key! With raw leather such as the trim found on Louis Vuitton canvas bags, even water will stain the leather, so take note. With leathers such as Prada’s saffiano or Chanel caviar leather, they are more scuff and sometimes water resistant so a wipe with a baby wipe or a wet cloth wipe will take care of most incidental spills.
Depending on the leather you may want to condition the leather. Some designer brands also make leather conditioners. When using any product on your bags, test an inconspicuous area to make sure the product will not discolor or damage the look of the bag.
Prepping for Storage
When putting away your beloved bag, the first thing to do is remove all its contents. Who knows what you’ve stowed away in a small inside pocket? I’ve found stray bills (cha-ching). Make sure all zippers, clasps and flaps are closed. If you are fastedious as some, not me, you can do an inspection of your bag while you wipe down your bag (not raw leather) with a moist wipe such as a baby wipe before putting it away. Once ready here are some do’s and don’t’s.
Bags displayed in their dust bags.
• Use the dust bag that came with the bag. It keeps the bag dust free and also allows for the bag to “breath”. If you’ve misplaced or lost your dust bag, you can easily use an old t-shirt as a dust bag. Do not use plastic bags as they will not allow the bag to breath and plastic deteriorates with time and can damage the bag (especially if the plastic bag has colors and logos).
• Use bag stuffers or shapers. You can keep the original bag stuffers that came with your bag or use old clothing. You can be fancy and get natural stuffing paper or tissue paper. You can find specific bag shapers for your bags online. (For areas of high humidity, consider placing dehumidifiers with your bag stuffers.)
• Store patent leather items separately from other leather bags as the patent leather can scratch more delicate leathers.
• Keep folding handles up during storage as they can be warped during storage and take on strange shapes.
• Store bags in upright position with room to breath from other bags or storage items.
• Store items in a cool dry and dark place.
• Regularly use it- a bag is meant to be carried, not stored. Make sure the bag lives out its destiny!
Bag shapers available for every bag.
• Use newspapers or printed papers as bag stuffers, as the inks can transfer during storage and leave permanent marks onto your bag.
• Hang your bag by the handles, the weight of the bag will stretch out the handles and malform the handles and shape of the bag. Also, when hanging bags I also notice the indentation markings on the area of the handle that was contacting the hanger.
• Store bags in bright well lit areas. Any kind of light (yes sunshine) as well as artificial light can damage the leather and make the color faded.
• Pile bags on top of each other, that’s the easiest way to get a permanent fold and malform the bag.
Bag Organization Ideas
I learned more than a decade ago this really great idea to store shoes in boxes, with a photograph of the shoe showing on the outside for easy identification. I’ve gotten far as the boxes, that part is easy since shoes come in boxes, but I never got to the picture part. Hopefully you are more organized and motivated than I am or have less bags than I have shoes so you can make this idea work.
Shoe boxes labeled with a photo.
So taking this idea to another level, you can take photos of your bags and create a bag board. Place a cork board inside of your closet with photos of your entire bag collection. It makes them visually available as it can be hard to remember what bags you have in your collection if they are all covered in dust bags.
Custom built display for designer bags.
Some like to display their bags as works of art on shelves, couches, cabinets. I really like this idea, but don’t really like dusting them. I guess you can get by not dusting them by using the bags regularly.