Winter fashions can mean big investments. Slick leather jackets, cozy cashmere scarves and sleek tall boots aren’t like the bikini you bunch up and toss in the drawer at the end of the summer.
So why not take a little time — and in some cases, a little money — to treat those investments right? After all, if properly cared for, some of those favorites could last a decade or more.
We asked experts for their best tips in caring for wool, leather, fur and more.
Leather jackets and pants:
“What people don’t realize is that there are 12 different kinds of bugs besides moths that damage your clothes,” Hilker says. Bugs go after sweet spills, and in the process, eat the garment’s fibers.
There are three keys to keeping your leather shoes in top shape, says Mohamed Mahfoze, who owns Dean’s Shoe Repair in Charlotte with his wife, Holly.
1. Store your shoes on a shoe tree to keep their shape and prevent cracking.
2. Shine your shoes often. Frequent polishing — every month or two is usually good — keeps the leather moisturized and supple. A monthly waterproofing during a wet season is a good idea too.
3. Wear a sole guard in winter. The thin rubber sole covers the bottom of the shoe (it is invisible from the side), keeping the leather sole from getting soft and wearing down. A sole guard is especially important for those who frequently walk on wet, hard surfaces like parking lots and sidewalks.