Q. Dear Jordan,
I hope that this finds you well. I just want to say how much I love your blog. It is the best city fix that I have found up here in NH.
OK, I love purses. But I also tend to spill red liquids on myself while wearing pastels…so my collection of purses is largely weather-proof tote bags. Anyways, I’ve decided that it’s time to get a real grown-up purse, [but] I live in NH, where there’s a lot of rain, snow, mist, hail, sleet, etc.
Any tips, tricks or secrets to keeping a purse fabulous despite the dreary weather?
Thanks so much,
A. Hey Katie,
Ooh, I hear you on this. Francesca owns a couple of stunning white purses that she keeps in absolutely pristine condition, and this talent of hers just floors me. I had a (fake, thank god) white Miu Miu purse for awhile there (it was stolen during a break-in a little over a year ago), and it was like it cosmically attracted everything from red wine to highlighter (and I don’t even use highlighters, quel mystère). So part of this is straight-up personality: some people just attract mess, and I am one of them. Francesca is not. What can you do? (That white purse I’m carrying up there? Let’s just say it’s a good thing that photo isn’t a close-up.)
But of course there are some ways to keep disaster at bay when it comes to investment purses: namely, treat the piece with a leather protector (Geox makes a good one; so does Aldo) immediately upon purchase, send it out for a professional cleaning annually, and store it in the dustbag it came in when not in use (incidentally, those bags also make for excellent lingerie storage when traveling). I’ve started doing these things, and they actually have made an enormous difference.
When it comes down to it, though, I don’t think it’s worth it to own something that you’d be devastated about if you screwed it up – constantly worrying about the finish on your purse makes for not-very-fun nights out. So what I’d recommend to the accident-prone is to go for a bag that looks better the older it gets – like a brown purse in a slightly rugged style, as opposed to a structured bag with a glossy finish that’s meant to look flawless.
And I know this may sound obvious, but really: just don’t take the thing out when the weather is really crappy. Those fashionistas with the perfect purses? They probably have large taxicab budgets (the NYC ones, anyway). For less-than-gorgeous days, my suggestion would be to keep a bag on hand that’s still stylish, but can’t be ruined, like the Ellington Mia Small Messenger. It’s well-priced, and has all the style of a leather bag with none of the potential for disaster.
Hope that helps!