Thursday, March 29, 2007

Aging Gracefully

This is my favorite handbag:

It's by Tusk, and it's just about perfect. I've had it for a couple of years now. It's gone to London, Paris (three times!), Dallas -- pretty much anywhere I've gone, it has too. I love this bag because it's an east/west style (which means it's wider than it is deep, so things are easy to find), has a few (but not too many) interior pockets including one full-length one that is actually a whole removable zipper pocket that snaps in & out of the bag (great for traveling -- documents & extra money can just be taken out & tossed into hotel safe), has a heavy but light-colored fabric lining (again, things are easy to find -- I despise digging around in the depths of a pitch-black bag to find my sunglasses), has nice flat handles that don't roll off my shoulder (it drives me crazy when I have to constantly hoik up a shoulder strap) and a perfect drop length (10") so that it fits under my arm without being shoved into my armpit. The hardware is solid, the zippers still work, not a single stitch has come unstitched in two years. I'm partial to structured, polished leather bags that hold their shape when you stuff things into them (although I am not a bag-stuffer, just to be clear) and this one definitely fits the bill. I love this bag and I want to continue carrying it for a while.

But it's got a little wear, and it's bothering me. I don't want to be guilty of age-ism, even in my accessories, but my darling here is beginning to droop a tiny bit. These are all purely cosmetic issues, mind you. The construction on this bag is as sound as the day I got it -- which is a real testimonial to the quality of Tusk bags, because I have put this thing through the wringer. There is nary a stray thread or frayed seam to be found. But the color is wearing off the bottom corners and the straps. Now, if the leather in question were on a pair of shoes, I'd just polish it. But polishing the straps on a handbag seems like a recipe for disaster, unless I only carry it while I'm wearing a long-sleeved black sweater for the rest of my life. So I'm thinking of having it re-dyed. I don't know how well, however, something made of polished leather will take dye. I really don't relish the idea of a wide black swath smeared across my ribs the first time I carry it.

So I'm looking for advice here. Has anyone ever had a handbag re-dyed, and how were the results? Please let me know. It pains me to see my dear one not looking her best -- she deserves better.

Photo: Style Spy

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Anonymous said...

Black nail polish .If it is only a few small areas gently apply and rub in thin layers. Test first on a hidden spot. HTH good luck

Anonymous said...

Love that bag! I looked at all the Tusk bags using your link and I can't find YOURS. What is the style or number? Please help! Love your blog!


StyleSpy said...

I've had my bag for more than two years now, so you probably won't be able to find one just like it. I'll do some digging & post some alternatives soon!

Anonymous said...

I don't have the answer. I know how you feel. I went through the same thing with a favorite bag recently. It's in great shape, I've taken wonderful care of it and it's well-made, and gosh--the leather is mostly still supple and shiny, but it's just looking a bit faded around the edges. My solution: a new bag. I LOVE my new one (a Francesco Biasia--I'm partial to many Biasia bags), but it isn't as perfect a "match" for me as my old love. Also, I can tell that it is not going to be as long-lived. Anyway, my advice to you is that it's time to fall in love with a new bag.


Anonymous said...

try it out with leatherpolish for jackets, they come in a clear spray-on and will give your bag the shine again and gives a little shield against more signs of using. if it`s only a small scratching you can also try it out with black edding under the leatherpolish spray. and for a strong shine you can use hair serum. try out at first on a hidden spot. the leatherpolish for leatherjackets is the only one, that will not make any dark spots on your clothes after it is dryed out. the best way to avoid all marks of using, is to do that leatherpolish-thing before your first spree with the new bag or jacket. best wishes!

StyleSpy said...

I'm hunting down some of this leather polish for jackets stuff -- can you tell me what the brand name is?

I'm a little afraid of the black nail polish trick, but I'll bear it in mind...

pramo said...

Hi StyleSpy, I`m in Berlin,Germany and the leatherpolish is from "Erdal". It is for leatherclothes, -furniture and shoes. But I`m sure there must be an equivalent from other brands in every big drugstore.
Hope you will be succesfull, love your blog too!