How to Care for Designer Bags

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Caring for a designer purse early on will lengthen your carrying time
Caring for a designer purse early on will lengthen your carrying time (Image: Neimanmarcus.com)

After splurging on a new designer piece, you realize just how expensive your new handbag was. If you're wondering how to keep your new purse in tip-top shape, follow these tips to make sure it still looks brand new 10 years from now.

Keep the duster bag it comes with. When you purchase an authentic piece, this duster bag should be included and accurately match the size of the purse you've bought. Also, the stuffing within the bag should be kept inside the duster. Among the items that come with your new purse is a card of authenticity or paperwork identifying the bag. Be sure to keep these handy or write down the serial number to your purse in the event that you need to have the bag repaired by the actual retailer.

Take preventative measures. Before carrying the bag, you should spray it lightly with fabric protector. Before buying protector at a local store, the retailer you bought the purse from may have a special care kit or products designed specifically for their pieces, so check there first. For an extra fee, or as a courtesy, they may even apply it themselves. Applying a thin coat will make sure that spills will wipe clean and using leather protector will ensure that the leather will stay in great shape. This is most important if your bag is cloth fabric. If you're thinking about purchasing a designer purse, dark colors or prints usually work best for maintenance since they can disguise some imperfections that occur from natural wear and tear.

Watch what you carry in your purse. Items such as lotions and polishes may be perfect for last minute fix-ups, but they can also cause permanent damage to your purse. Even leaky ink pens should be avoided. Before putting anything into your bag, think about what would happen if it spilled or burst. Would it leave a stain? Would it mess up a signature interior?

Remove all items and put the stuffing back into the bag to retain it's shape and structure when you're finished carrying it. Always keep the purse inside the duster and store it on a top shelf or in a closet. Be sure the storage space does not have any leaks or is not a drastically hotter or colder temperature than your home. Avoid storing expensive bags in attics and basements.

Take the purse to a cleaners or shoe shop each year to have the straps tightened, the purse cleaned, and the leather maintained. While you may not visibly see any stains, the purse is still likely dirty from carrying and you may not notice small marks. If the bag has hardware, such as rivets or rings, these may tarnish overtime so be sure to keep those shined and polished to prevent discoloration. If your bag breaks, call the official retailer and be sure to have your authenticity card or a copy of it available. It's also wise to keep your receipt. Most designer houses will fix the bag free of charge or even replace it if it cannot be fixed.

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