A reader question I receive from time to time is one around storing bags. How many of us have a cherished designer bag in our wardrobe that we’ve had for years – that at some point we discovered was sagging, or misshappen? I had this happen to me a few years ago with a lambskin Chanel flap which over time, developed folds at its base. I had it displayed for years standing up on the top row of my shelf, so I could admire it (of course!).
I personally don’t mind sagging in bags and creases, folds, are all part of using your items. I do however try to take good care of my things, and have developed a few habits over time for my bags. Here are some of my favorite tips and tricks!
1. Use a “shaper” in your large tote bags and other bags that require some added stiffness. No matter what you do, some bags will just sag and puddle over time. It’s a byproduct of their construction and material. I personally often find this a feature, not a negative – a big smooshy pile of high quality of leather is a luxury in itself. But sometimes, a bit more structure is nice.
Enter the idea of a bag “shaper”. I had first heard of this concept when I was searching for options for my Hermes Garden Party, since after a few months of ownership mine had begun to lose its shape. Since I meant for the bag to sometimes double as a work tote, holding stiff papers, I wanted it to retain its shape. I was recommended the Etsy shop Divide and Conquer, and was able to order a stiff bag shaper customized exactly for my Garden Party. I love it! It even has a plastic base, so super easy to wipe off spills.
Another plus? A lot of bag shapers come with pockets to help you organize. I love mine and use it 100% of the time when I wear the Garden Party. It has helped my bags keep their shape immeasurably.
2. Stuff your bags when not in use. Do you order everything from large exercise equipment to toothpaste from Amazon, like me? If so, then you should be very familair with all the nice sealed air packs that come with your orders.
Keep those bags! I use them to stuff the inside of my bags, which helps keep their shape and prevents them from “collapsing”. This helps a ton and there’s a reason why when you buy a bag from Hermes, there’s always a sealed air bag inside (yes, Hermes = Amazon in this case).
By the way, the bags will deflate over time so it’s always good to keep hoarding these sealed air bags periodically and then replacing them. Keeps them and your bags, nice and plump.
3. Store your bags correctly. This is so, so important and probably the biggest thing you can do over the long run to keep your bags pristine. There are a few components to storage, so read on!
Bags with heavy chains should never be stored with chains on top of the bag. You can see with my flap above – I always “pull” the chains in if you will into the bag, and store with just a little bit of the chain handles out.
Another important point? Bags should ideally be stored on their side, instead of standing up. It’s simple gravity, you know? I know it can be a pain and can take up more space in your closet. And, our bags just look so pretty standing up! But if you can – and especially if you’re storing away for a longer period – lay your bags down on their “backs”. It’ll help keep their shape much longer.
One last point about storage – use your dustbags! You can see that my bag is entirely tucked into its dustbag here, and lying “down”.
I also like to keep the straps outside of the bag if possible – it helps me make sure I’m not laying them on top of the bag (potentially causing dents), and or storing the straps in a way where they themselves will have kinks/dents. What I’ll typically do is what you see above, and then curl the straps to the side around the bag, to maximize space.
There we go – my top 3 tips for storing and taking care of bags! What are some of your best closet care tips for bags?