Given the high price of luxury handbags, most women would consider them investments. Certainly, the boom in portable purse hangers are an indication that women want to protect their handbags from placement on floors while we’re out at restaurants, but is squeezing them onto a shelf at home any better? Exposure to light, dust and heat will all degrade your bag’s appearance over time.
Leslie Fuller, a self-professed handbag freak, has built her Bagadocious brand on protecting bags, boots and shoes from the scuffs and wear of simply storing them, with custom-designed, protective bags made of breathable, 100 percent natural fabric.
"Before I began storing my purses correctly, they would be hard and dry-looking when I would open the bin I stored them in for approximately four months," she said via e-mail interview. "They would be just dropped into this bin with no thought of how they would look. I would say a little prayer for them to be all right when I opened the bin.
"Then I started spending more on my purses and took better care of them when putting them away."
She started taking notes as to fabrics designers used for their dust bags and said: "I went a little farther and bought a plusher flannel fabric to create my bags. If you ever noticed the shining cloth used by people to shine shoes, it’s flannel. This is the best fabric to use on purses also."
CARE FOR YOUR PURSE
You can find more care and storage instructions from Bagadocious at www.youtube.com/watch?v=r78OEx6kMZk.
Although designer bags already come with their own dust bags, those who are collectors of Vuittons, Chanels, Balenciaga or other specific brands may have trouble finding a particular purse when all their dust bags carry the same brand name.
To help fashionistas easily spot the one that suits their day’s ensemble, Bagadocious customizes each of its bags with a photo sent of the specific item, be it boot, bag or shoe.
When placing your order at www.bagadocious.com, you will be given instructions for sending your item’s photo to be placed on the bag. Items should be well lit — natural indoor sunlight works — and photographed against a plain, light backdrop for best results. It will appear via photo transfer as photographed.
A few weeks later, you’ll receive your cotton-fleece-lined, cotton-muslin-exterior custom bag that’s a doppelganger for your precious accessory.
Costs range from $37 for a cotton fleece drawstring shoe bag, to $47 for an 18-by-16-inch envelope or drawstring bag, to $57 for a drawstring tall boot bag.
Before storing, Fuller also recommends emptying the purse and cleaning both interior and exterior because natural oils from our hands and debris can cause leather to crack and break down over time. Items stored in the purse could also leak or break down, causing mold growth or stains.