If you’re making a fashion investment on a luxury handbag, you want the glow of that beloved piece to last so you can carry it forever or sell it when it’s time to upgrade. Keeping these goals in mind from the start of your time with your designer item can make a huge difference!
Authentic designer handbags are finely crafted with high quality materials, they will stand the test of time if you give them a fighting chance, but by their functional nature, handbags are prone to a lot of abuse. Here are some tips to keep your luxury long-lived.
1.Know and avoid common mistakes and mishaps
We’ve written about some of the most common mistakes that affect the value of many bags brought to us. And beyond carrying your bag the wrong way, overfilling, and spilling, you might want to think about other handbag habits you have. Some things might be fine for your less refined purses but just won’t be right for your Louis Vuitton or Chanel. Do you really want to set hundreds or thousands of dollars on the floor of the café? Probably not.
2. Cover up
Having a little bedtime ritual for your handbag each night might help you remember just how precious it is each day. Even if you don’t need that kind of reminding, covering your bag when you put it away is one of the nicest things you can do for it. That dust cover you get when you buy it isn’t just fancy wrapping to be discarded; a gentle, breathable cover (not plastic or vinyl!) is important maintenance. If you’ve lost your dust cover, or if you bought a pre-loved bag that didn’t come with one, a cotton pillowcase is a good substitute. And, as Haute Living reminds us, remember to keep bags out of direct sunlight.
3. Handle handles with care
This Vogue article recommends staying mindful of handles when you store your bags, too. You don’t want handles lying across the body of the bag if you can help it, so tuck a chain or strap inside the bag, and lay top handles gently flat with the bag on its side within a dust cover.
4. Keep the shape
Don’t throw away that tissue paper! Some gentle, acid and ink free stuffing inside the bag when you store it will help keep your designer item looking as perky as the day you got it.
5. Keep moisture at bay
Don’t throw away those little silica packs, either! Especially if your handbag might be sleeping in storage for a while, dropping in some of those moisture-absorbing packs when you tuck the tissue paper in will keep everything fresh and mold-free.
6. Moisturize appropriately
While Cosmo says you can consider a more regular, gentle wipe of a bag with a damp cloth and maybe gentle soap, every few months you’ll want to moisturize a leather bag with specialty leather moisturizer (taking care to wipe with the grain). This will keep it from drying and cracking—an important thing to remember especially if you’ve invested in a vintage piece.
7. Wait after moisturizing yourself
Your moisturizer is not your bag’s moisturizer! Obviously handling your bag with dirty hands will soil the piece, but so will handling your bag right after you’ve put on lotion. Grease stains are not easy to get out, so make sure you wait or you time your moisturizing routine to be after you’ve put your luxury baby to bed.
8. When disaster strikes, act fast
Just like with clothes, stains get worse on handbags the longer they set. Love that Bag offers some tips if you want to try some quick first aid yourself: crushed white chalk can sit on fresh food stains before wiping them off, and sometimes a white eraser will work on a recent ink stain. A baking soda pack inside a bag will absorb a lot of odors if left for a day or two (and is much safer than spraying deodorizers). But we also recommend that you…
9. Know when to call for help
You’ve invested in a luxury item you want to keep for years to come. Calling in expert maintenance and repair from a professional will almost always be worth it in the long run. Catching little rips or marks early will make a big difference, so be proactive!