SHOES & PURSES! Need I say more? However, we all may be a bit guilty of not taking care of our prized possessions. Shoes and handbags can last a lifetime if cared for properly (seriously, my mother is still stylishly rocking her Frye boots from Woodstock and LV from her 5th wedding anniversary) so here are some winter maintenance reminders. You will thank me in 20 years.
Take the time to bring any summer shoes that need re-soling, buckle replacing and strap reinforcing to a good cobbler while you are not wearing them. Any handbags that have fraying fabrics, worn bottom corners or stretched to snapping straps can be tended to by a cobbler as well. For fabric bags, clean with a solution of mild baby shampoo and hot water. Brush the solution onto your bag and use a nail brush to scrub any stubborn spots. This way everything will be fresh when the sun comes out. Our favorite cobbler in the city is Andrade General Shoe Repair at 2750 Broadway, between 104th and 105th streets.
Hopefully you will have done this for your winter shoes and bags last April, but if not show yourself immediately to the cobbler with your bag of boots and hobos. Ask for rubber soles on all of your winter shoes, and a thinner rubber for soles and heels of all heeled shoes. This will prevent slipping and sliding (and falling) all over the wet floor as you clack into your favorite winter restaurant.
At home make sure your purses and upper shoes are ready for the weather. For leather, a coat of Lexol Leather protector will shoes and handbags look like new! For suede, brush against the grain with a stiff brush and apply Melotonian “Suede Renew” (available at most shoe repair stores) for a quick pick me up! This will restore the color and gloss to sometimes dull/worn suede. Don’t forget to follow up with weatherproofing as salt can permanently stain leather and suede.
As the season gets ugly, take a minute when you come in from the cold, snow, mud, sleet… to wipe the muck off of your shoes and bag (we have all been sprayed by a rogue taxi) with a damp paper towel. Allowing the much to dry on your shoes and bags will dry out the leather and suede and eventually lead to cracking.
And if you are reading this and you live in Florida… how DO you wear sandals all year and not get tired of them?!
Post authored by Maria Skopas.