Step By Step Wardrobe Cleanse and Aftercare

Applying appropriate leather cream to leather handbags to nourish and protect
Leather cream for nourishment

To recognise the 50th celebration of Earth Day we wanted to share our guide to follow at home. Spring is in the air and with all this time at home its the perfect opportunity to work through your wardrobe and have a spring clean, just follow our expert advise for aftercare with your shoes and bags. This time when you rummage through do not only define what gives you joy, but we’re going to help you with how to store and care for your favourites. We’ve put together our advice, tips and tricks on how to further protect your items, the TLC you can safely do at home and the advanced services you really should leave with the experts.

Firstly, split them into the appropriate sections; items in great condition, items in need of at home TLC and items in need of expert repair.


  • Stuff your bags with a small towel or pillow to retain the shape. Leather has memory so this prevents the leather creasing and folding as much as possible.
  • Use an appropriate leather cream to nourish leather shoes or bags and don’t forget your leather jackets. It’s important to keep leather moisturised, it is a skin after all, as this prevents cracking. Make sure you buff after conditioning. NB don’t use on suede, nubuck or veg leather.
  • When they aren’t in use, store them in their dust bags. This keeps them dust free and avoids any potential scratches and colour transfer from other items.
  • If you find joy in displaying your items around your room, avoid putting leather in a spot where the sunlight catches it. This can significantly affect the leather by causing the colour to fade.


  • For items in need of cleaning, avoid baby wipes at all costs. These contain lanoline and other solutions that can cause more damage than good. Simply try a damp cloth first.
  • Clean all your trainers by following our step by step guide, leave them to dry naturally then store them in their dust bags.
  • For your suede items, brush any dust and dirt using a soft toothbrush. No need for water (or toothpaste for that matter) just make sure the brush is soft to avoid causing damage.
  • Hoover out the inside of your favourite bags to ensure they are dust and dirt free before being stored away.
  • Place tea bags in your shoes to remove and prevent odours. The choice of teabag is yours, whether you’d like something fragrant like Earl-Grey, or fresh like Lemon & Ginger or simple Black Tea, the options are endless.
Expert aftercare for shoes and bags with colour and leather restoration
Get in touch for the items in need of expert care


  • Avoid glueing your own soles or missing hardware, as tempting as it may be this is likely to cause more damage than good. In our atelier we’ll use specific glue to ensure it is not brittle, as flexibility is required particularly in footwear.
  • Dyeing, colour or leather restoration are some of the many services we do not recommend at home! Read about some of our Case Studies to show you the process of colour restoration, such as this Hermes Birkin.
  • Avoid tampering or trying to fix your own stilettos or high heels. Shoe making is a complex process, there are many parts and components and you need expert aftercare for shoes to keep them balanced.
  • Want to learn what is possible? We invite you to #ChallengeTheRestory and share an old favourite item in need of some TLC on Instagram. We’ll respond with the services we can provide, from colour restoration to heel recovering. Whatever it is, we’ll come up with a solution so you can love your items for longer just tag us @therestory_ and use the hashtag so we can find you. 

Once you have followed the wardrobe cleanse guide and have your pile of items ready for expert care, sign up for priority access here to be the first to know when our atelier has re-opened and receive an exclusive 15% discount.