When you’ve saved, scrimped and finally invested in that dream luxury item, there is nothing more disappointing than finding it ruined thanks to a surprise downpour, scuff on a kerb or a rogue-exploding pen. With a few top tips and a proactive attitude, you can keep your investment items looking great for longer.

Know your fabrics

When dealing with a stain or mark on a luxury good, it isn’t a simple matter of splashing on some detergent and hoping for the best. Different leathers and suedes react very differently, and so it is very important to know what you’re dealing with before you attempt a DIY rescue.

Most leather bags are treated with tannin, a vegetable-based substance that causes leather to discolour and shrivel when drenched with water, and water treatment on suede can lead to noticeable permanent discolouration.

Where possible, brush off any dirt with a soft brush before attempting to treat with chemicals and consider testing products on a fabric sample first. Most high-end brands will include this as a swatch inside the dustbag or shoebox.

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Store in dust bags

dust bag
Designer dust bags. Image via Lollipuff

Speaking of dust bags, that extra layer of packaging is there for more than just aesthetic reasons. Dust can be a serious enemy if allowed to embed itself in the fine fibres of a luxury fabric, and in turn, can prematurely age your treasured item.

Create a cool, dark space in your wardrobe and store your luxury goods accordingly. This will prevent sun damage, knocks and scratches from metal-plated buckles and chains or potential moth attacks.

Stuffing can also be used to maintain shape, and silica gel will ward off any damp. Best of all, every time you take out your bag to wear, it’ll feel like unwrapping it all over again—what can beat that thrill?

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Pre-treat before wear

It’s never advisable to sport your best footwear in a downpour, but there are ways you can add an extra layer of protection to your best goods. Rough, stiff leathers respond well to a tiny amount of conditioner or mink oil rubbed gently into its surface, repeated every month or so.

Beeswax creams and sprays can also provide some protection against water, although if the worst does happen it’s important to allow the surface to dry out naturally—no hairdryers here!

As with any treatment, test on an inconspicuous corner before steaming ahead to avoid any unhappy accidents.

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Get an expert on speed dial

The key to caring for designer goods is to act when you spot the first signs of damage. Continuing to wear a pair of shoes when you’re already detected heel erosion is more likely to lead to a costly bill when you do eventually get them repaired—that’s if you can find a cobbler willing to rescue them at all.

Make contact with a local expert or store and invest in regular check-ups for your best products. Companies such as Handbag Clinic offer cleaning, protection, repair and restoration services at a competitive price.

 

Be brave and enjoy!

There’s no point owning things you can’t enjoy, so don’t be afraid to actually use your luxury goods. Air your pieces, rotate them and accept that some superficial wear may actually add to an items character—many leather goods are designed to soften with age.

Part of spending a premium is expecting a long life, so keep hold of your paperwork and don’t be afraid to get in touch with the manufacturer if you feel as if an item has aged prematurely. At these prices, you deserve the best! 

 

Read more fashion tips from Jenessa Williams

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