Help a fashion novice get a handle on her new handbag.
September 17, 2010 7:58 PM   Subscribe

I recently bought a Fendi Classico No. 4 as a self-reward for an accomplishment and because it's just perfect for me. But I don't own a lot of designer items or keep up with all the trends, so I'm a little clueless as to how to treat it! A few specific questions are below, but my general question is - what should I know about owning a really nice handbag like this?

1) As you can see in the above link, it has a leather tag attached to the handle with a gold chain. Are you supposed to leave tags like these on the bags or are they meant to be taken off? I like the tag, but I don't want to look like a show-offy dork.

2) The dust bag. Is that just for longterm storage or what?

3) How do I prolong the life of the bag? Not just leather care, but carrying it around and whatnot. I had a Kate Spade for a brief period, but the color rubbed off in splotches within a few months. And I thought I was being so careful!

4) I'm a one bag kinda girl. Well, I have a clutch for dressy occasions, but I don't have different bags for different outfits or seasons or whatever. I probably never will. Are there ways to accessorize the one I've now got to change things up now and then?
posted by katillathehun to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Congratulations, it's a beautiful bag.

I like the tag, and have often seen women with such tags on their bags.

Dust bag is for long term storage.

I found that when I switched to nicer handbags, I took much better care of them than I had previously. A well made bag shouldn't have bleeding issues with color.

I am only a 2 bag woman, but I have found that a great looking bag can move with you from season to season without needing anything else. I occasionally tie a scarf onto mine for a bit of extra color.
posted by Zophi at 8:36 PM on September 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: 1) If the tag is in fact hooked around the metal fitting like that, the worst that can happen is that it will chafe against the fitting and rub off the finish. I don't know that it will make you more or less dorky to leave it. It's a discreet bag, the tag doesn't really make it look too showy.

2) I keep my good bags in dustbags when I'm not using them, after emptying them out and giving them a wipedown. I try not to leave anything in a bag I'm not planning to use for a while, because you just never know--a heat wave can melt a lip balm into the lining, mice could find your gum.

3) Don't put your bag on floors or on the ground, even if it looks clean. Otherwise, follow basic leather care. I'd also recommend trying not to hang it on things for prolonged times (say, hanging it on a hook or the back of your chair for forty hours of a workweek), as it stresses the handles.

4) Tying scarfs to the handles of handbags, especially the style of yours, can be cute. With the bonus that if you get chilly or if it gets breezy, you've got a scarf handy to tie around you. I've been known to hook a cute cell phone charm to my purse as well--kind of dorky but I like the juxtaposition of a funny charm on a classy bag.
posted by padraigin at 8:39 PM on September 17, 2010

Best answer: I also tie scarves around the handles now and then.

As for the tag -- I always remove them because a) they drive me nuts and b) I strenuously object to being a part of "branding" or showing brand names on my clothing or person if I can avoid it. So I'm pretty anti. With that said, I have NEVER noticed whether another woman's purse has the tag or not unless I have to physically pick up the bag to hand to her. So given that I'm on the fairly extreme end of tag-hate and I don't notice, I think you're probably safe leaving the tag if you like it.

I remember in the 80s my cool older cousin took me to Benetton and I was so disappointed because everything in the store said "Benetton" on it and I refused to buy any of it because even as a pre-teen I thought it was weird to have someone else's name on your clothes.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:44 PM on September 17, 2010

Best answer: Don't worry about your Fendi going the way of your Kate Spade. They are in totally different classes. Make sure to take care of the nice leather!!! Additionally, the tag looks classy (and I dislike showy designer items). I also tie scarves to the handles of my bag. It gives it a nice "pop of color" and can style yo shiz up to tha maxxx.
posted by 200burritos at 9:45 PM on September 17, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks so much for all the advice! I'm a total newbie when it comes to this sort of thing.

Eyebrows McGee - I know what you mean about branding. I've avoided a lot of the handbags I otherwise liked because they had brand names or initials all OVER them. To each their own, but it's not for me. I'll probably turn my tag over so that the blank side is out. I just like the look of the tag itself and don't really need anyone to see the label.
posted by katillathehun at 11:00 PM on September 17, 2010

Best answer: Good on you for choosing a dark brown bag! That will go with absolutely everything during the day. Fab choice!!!

The tag is decorative, but since showing logos is in poor taste, you may wish to remove it. OTOH that label is very discreet, so if it flips over and shows from time to time, it's not the worst thing in the world.

You care for the handbag by polishing it as you would a pair of shoes, and spraying it with leather protector. To store it, you can stuff it with newspaper and stand it upright on a shelf. In the dust bag.

Also, when you come home, wipe it down with a baby wipe - partly to stop stains and smudges from taking hold, and partly because handbags can be a vector for spreading germs because they go everywhere and get put down on the floor, including public bathroom floors sometimes. (Eeew, I know, sorry for mentioning that but it's true.)
posted by tel3path at 5:21 AM on September 18, 2010

Best answer: Last time I called the Fendi people to ask about leather care, they recommended Coach leather care products. I use those and Love My Bags on my leather purses and they still look nice after years of daily use. (I even set them on the floor, gasp, if they have feet. If yours doesn't, there are little portable bag hooks you can buy and carry around.)
posted by amber_dale at 6:21 AM on September 18, 2010

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