Top tips for caring for your designer handbag


So you have just purchased the bag of your dreams, how do you keep it in tip-top condition?

There are three main areas that you can look to address when it comes to caring for your designer handbag.

Daily Use

When you have purchased your beautiful accessory, you will want to show it off to the world.

As we all know, we Brits love to complain about the weather – often with good reason! Our special climate leaves a lot to be desired and the havoc it can wreak on us and our accessories is a valid consideration when caring for your bag.

The very clever people at Hermès have thought of these situations and the Birkin and Kelly bags usually come with a rain protection cover that fit the size of the bag. Many of the bags, although not all, come with these covers.

From one extreme to another, handbags are also affected by sunlight. If and when we get any, it is advisable to keep your bag out of direct sunlight. If a bag is in direct sunlight for too long, the colours can fade and the leather might even crack.

Day to day, our hands go through a lot. We are constantly bombarded with adverts for hand creams and while this is great for our skin, it can be bad news for your handbag. If your hands have cream on them, or are dirty, avoid handling your bag – it can cause discolouration to the leather.

No matter how high-quality the bag is, eventually overuse will cause it to wear out. Rotate which handbag you carry regularly to make sure they last as long as possible. Alternatively, when you find a style that you like, buy a couple to switch in and out.


It is definitely advisable to take a little time to store your bags well when they are not being used.

Where possible, the bags should be keep in their dust bags and boxes if they have them. If there is no dust bag, alternatives can be used. One of our favourite hacks is a pillow case. Plastic covers are not advisable as the bags need to breathe.

If your lovely bag doesn’t come with a box, never fear – there are plenty of other options. Pinterest is full of handbag storage solutions. The only thing to note is that, in order to keep your bag’s great condition, they shouldn’t be piled up or have anything stored on top of them.

Ideally the bags should be stuffed when stored to guarantee that they will keep their shape. There are plenty of ways to do this - you can use old newspaper or crepe paper for this. Here at Fellows, we often use bubble-wrap as it is malleable and very prevalent in an auction house!


Bags, especially leather handbags, require a little bit of TLC to keep them as wonderful as can be.

Because leather is a natural product, it can dry out, especially when exposed to extreme weather. Even just in storage, leather’s natural oils will slowly evaporate. This how it becomes dry and stiffens, which is how cracks appear. Using leather moisturiser with keep the leather supple and prevent it from cracking. Some designers include leather treatment with their products when you buy them.

You don’t have to splash the cash to treat your leather well. Chelsea Leather Food, also known as Dubbin, is a firm favourite with anyone who needs to weatherproof hardy items such as saddles and boots. It is about £10 for a pot and lasts forever. While it may seem a strange recommendation, it has been known for years as the best leather balm. Wheelers’ Leather Spray and Leather Balm are both available from John Lewis for only £5 each and are great for maintaining your leather goods. As an added bonus, they also smell great.

Suede is often seen as a risky option for an everyday handbag, but it doesn’t have to be. A simple suede protector spray from any high-street shoe shop will protect the surface. Apply it before you use the bag for the first time and you will be covered in case of rain.

To keep your suede looking great, invest in a suede brush to clean and revive suede. Your bag will stay looking great for longer.

With any type of bag, it is advisable to use a soft cloth to wipe your bag down on a weekly basis, when it is in use. If you use a patent handbag, a damp microfiber cloth is great way to remove any residue.

This is by no means a complete list, we live and learn. We would love to hear about your hacks for looking after your bags. Why not tweet us or tag us on Instagram?. Include the hashtags #thedesignercollection and #fellowsauctions and we will repost all your great advice.

Our team are more than happy to help with any questions that you might have about caring for your bags or The Designer Collection. Please feel free to call us on 0121 212 2131 or email thedesignercollection@fellows.co.uk.