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How To Keep Your Beloved Bag

The shop assistant hands in your shopping bag with your purchase, which, unsurprisingly, happens to be your dream bag that you’d been saving up for since time immemorial. You take it with trembling hands and a thumping heart. You leave the bag paradise and boastfully stride along a glamorous avenue eyeballed by envious passers-by. You get home, admire your baby, hold it, cuddle it, squeeze it, smell it, - your imagination runs riot as you picture a totally new life with your, say, Hermès Kelly swaying in your hand in slow motion. At last, that special occasion arrives when you take your bag “for a walk” and then you come back home and – bang! Where should I actually keep my bag: on a shelf? on a hook? in the storage box? on the bedside table? on my knees? Wheeeeerrreeeeeeee? As panic sets in, so does the real need for special storage space arises. In addition to the place per se, the knowledge of HOW to keep your bag suddenly seems depleted.


And then, by God’s providence, you come across this article at LUX-COLLECTOR.com.


The ways of taking care of your cherished possession are manifold, and if you use at least half of them with due diligence and unconditional love, your bag will gratefully serve you a lifetime.


Clean your bags like you clean yourself


It is advisable that bags made of superior quality leathers be cleaned with a cloth damped in water mixed with a small amount of natural soap on a regular basis. Regularity obviously depends on how often you carry your bag. If it is in heavy daily usage, a weekly cleaning procedure would be more than welcome, but if you sparingly take your bag out just once a month, then cleaning may be more sporadic. Please bear in mind that wet tissues, which you can buy at your nearest drugstore, are not meant for this purpose as they contain chemical substances which can have a detrimental effect on your treasure. Steer clear of any detergents or other “magical potions” and reach out for a simple wet cotton cloth instead.


Professional cleaning substances


If your precious Fendi Peekaboo or Chanel Deauville needs some special treatment, your best bet is to invest in specialist cleaning liquid devised specifically for the type of skin or fabric that your bag is made of. Don’t be tight-fisted despite the exorbitant prices. Being stingy never pays off. Remember that the type of cleaning liquid depends on whether your bag is made of suede or leather. Do you use the same cream for your face and body? Certainly not! By the same token, your bag needs remedies with properties suitable for their material. If you are still apprehensive about using the newly-acquired substance, do try it out on the inner part of your bag. By doing so you will avoid any undesirable consequences that might be deplorable if carelessly applied to the façade of your bag.


Store your bag in a smart way


When your bag is not in use, avoid shoving it to the back of the top shelf in your wardrobe forgetting about its existence for months. Well, unless you are a nonchalant owner of a multitude of Chanel, YSL, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Moynat, Hermès, Bottega Veneta bags who actually doesn’t give a damn about their condition, then working out a storage strategy would be more than beneficial. First off, stuff your beautiful bags with – surprise-surpriiiiiiiiiise! – NOT newspapers or any other colorful paper (they will certainly taint your bag with their typographical dyes) but – with old and unused (but clean!) white T-shirts. They perfectly help your bag keep its shape and thanks to their softness the bag’s leather, corners and silhouette will remain intact – just the way it looked on the shop shelf. After that, put your bag into the dustbag it came with. Dustbags are not provided for the purpose of carrying your bag home and then getting dispensed with them, but to serve your bag as a faithful friend in times of stagnation… 😅 After your treasured possession has been thoroughly pampered and tucked in, place it carefully in the original box it came with and - on the shelf specially designated for this particular piece.

Pay special attention to the fact that Hermès bags, like Kelly, Birkin or Dépêche are best preserved when placed on their back side! This is number one rule as far as this brand is concerned. This method of keeping your bag prevents it from sagging, creasing and losing its shape. Once you find yourself in need of using it again, you won’t take out a crumpled and squashed pancake but a sturdy object in its perfectly jaunty shape.


Those ubiquitous twillies…


Use twillies, made so popular by the house of Hermès, on the handles of your bag. No, it’s not just a whim. In addition to upstyling your total look and giving your bag more chicness, twillies serve a remarkable function, - they prevent the handles of your bag from wear and tear. Nobody orders that you wrap them up every time you are late for that special meeting, but an occasional application of twillies may go a long way. The handles won’t get greasy, nor will they be exposed to unwanted scratches and stretching.


No hand cream allowed!

God forbid that you ever touch your bag immediately after you’ve smeared your hands with hand cream. It’s a common  faux pas that so many of us commit unwittingly. With that said, develop the habit of self-control when it comes to this matter. Let your hand cream soak in before you touch anything made of precious leather or fabric. Some leathers like barenia are more resistent to such maltreatment, but others, like ostrich leather, may be very hard to clean if grossly greased.


Avoid the sun

Don’t forget that even if you love spending your summer days basking in the sun and sipping cold Krüg, your bag, most frequently, would prefer to stay in a shaded place. Many leathers and fabrics like denim, may be irreversibly damaged by the scorching rays of the sun. I bet you don’t want your precious Louis Vuitton to look vitiligous, especially when you discover it at the most inopportune moment before a special outing or party.

Protect your treasure from rain 


Make proper use of raincoats for bags many brands provide their customers with. It’s indispensable when it comes to protecting your bag from a sudden shower. Mind you, rain very often comes with destructive acids that could damage the delicate leather of your bag by leaving those bothering rain stains after the drops dry. You surely don’t want your bag to look as if it had had some chicken-pox...

What’s that smell?!


If one beautiful day you open up your Birkin and, to your utmost horror, it assaults you with some reeking stench, please please please do not spray it from head to toe with your favorite perfume, no matter how costly it is! Most perfumes contain alcohol or oils, both of which can severely damage the leather of your bag either by creating stains or ugly burns. We’ve all been there. We’ve all experienced unexpected staleness inside our bags. The best remedy, as fashion pundits suggest, is to air your bag for as long as needed, and if it doesn’t help, put a bag of baking powder inside for one day. It has miraculous properties of absorbing unpleasant smells and there’s a high chance that your bag will emanate its original  fragrance again. After it returns to its initial olfactory state, then you can put some smelling herbs inside to give it more freshness.


What about straps?


If your bag has a long strap made of leather, like the Lou camera bag from YSL or the Alma bag from Louis Vuitton, etc. do not roll it up or tangle it up. The best idea is either to unstrap it from your bag and hang it on the hook for belts, or put it nicely on the longest shelf or simply hang it (with the bag attached to it) on a special bag hanger. In this way, the strap will remain in its pristine condition with no ugly folds, bends or breaks.


Don’t roast your bag!


Do your best to avoid placing your bags near a heater. The warmth heaters produce is a killer for your priceless item. Leathers are especially vulnerable to artificial heat as they lose their suppleness and, what is worse, - their color gets darker and less rich-looking. I don’t think you really wish your Togo Gold to turn into Togo Grilled. 😅


Mind the colors


And last but not least, do not carry your light leather bag with dark clothes, especially jeans, unless you are sure they are hand-made of superior denim that leaves no traces of its dye. If you do, you may be appalled to find out that one side (lucky you, if it’s only one…) of your white Chanel Deauville, which you proudly put on a coffee table at one of your favorite cafes before having a leisurely chat with your friend, has turned out to be gruesomely livid.  I don’t even want to imagine what you’ll start regretting more – the day you bought your goddamned jeans or the day you said goodbye to a sum equivalent to the price of a small car… 😅


I truly hope that these guidelines will come in handy for anyone who values their possessions. Although obsessed is not something that we all ought to become, circumspect is something that we all should strive to be - in my humble opinion… 😅 

 Andris Stern