chambray and curls boot care 101 looking after suede nubuck and leather boots fashion thrifty
{From the top- Black nubuck with gold heels: Topshop 2011; Black leather Cowboy boots: ASOS 2013; Tan Suede Cutout boots: Topshop 2013}

You may have noticed alot of my outfit posts involve me rewearing and restyling the same items of clothing. I’ve generally made it a goal to whittle my wardrobe down to pieces which I love, that can all work well together. It is a little bit down to needing to save money, a little down to wanting to be less wasteful and a little about wanting to be more selective about what I buy and where I buy from. To make this work, looking after and making the most out of what I buy is pretty important. Boots are often my most expensive single purchases purchases. I live in them for most of the year, and I look out for leather and decent soles. Some of my favourites are now on their third winter and looking good for a fourth, which makes the £60 or so that I spent on them in first place feel like it is going pretty far! So, if you’re trying to be a little thrifty too, or just want your boots to look their best, these are my tips:

The Prep.

Before taking them out into the muddy and rainy world outside, I prep my boots. I tend to weatherproof all of them straight away. Pop the boots on some newspaper or an old towel, and spray them all over with a waterproofing spray. Kiwi Multipurpose Protector (£3.50) is good, and Jones the Bootmakers do one too. Leave them for 24 hours to dry and then you have magic water repelling boots! For suede and nubuck leather this is especially great- it really helps stop stains and tidemarks on your lovely boots. 

The Upkeep. 

Invest in a few tools and supplies, and you’ll make your boots look good for much longer. For suede and nubuck boots, keeping them clean is a little harder than with normal leather. Normal polish or wax will ruin their appearance, and if they just get grubby, stained or marked, they no longer look fresh. Getting a shoe cleaner spray specifically for suede and nubuck (£3.50), as well as a suede and nubuck brush (£3.00) makes a world of difference. Spray on the cleaner, leave it for 15 minutes, and then buff off any dirt or stains, and they’ll look good as new. If you’re colour is fading, you can also get colour restorer for suede- great for getting rid of those grey patches on the toes! 

With normal leather boots, it is worth getting a proper leather balm (~£5.00). After giving them a clean, buff with a soft clean cloth. I like this over polish because it seems to last longer, and really nourishes the leather. No more dull, dry looking boots. If you get the uncoloured stuff, it is also lovely for your handbags too. 

Even if you don’t do this all that often, it is great to give your boots a real clean and nourish before putting them away for summer. If you aren’t going to wear a pair for a few months, it is worth making sure they are stored properly. Stuff the toes with crunched up newspaper and you can get boot inserts to hold up long boots for next to nothing on amazon and ebay. That way when you pull them out again, they won’t be too squished and have big creases in the leather.

The Repair. 

If you’ve bought good quality leather boots, the things that tend to ‘go’ on them first are the soles or the fasteners. Zips get stuck, heels wear down. If you bought a good pair and the uppers are still fine, head to a boot repairer. Getting the zips, buckles or soles replaced can make your boots good for another couple of years, which is often well worth the £20 or so to get it done. Most towns have a Timpsons even if they don’t have a local shoe repairer. I find alot of high street boots can have great leather, and good stitching, and then rubbish soles. Sometimes, if the soles look especially flimsy, it can be worth getting them resoled before even wearing them. For heels- remember it is much, much cheaper to get them resoled before the tip of the heel wears through the plastic or rubber cap- you may need to whole heel replacing otherwise and if they’re a design feature like my gold heeled boots, that is a real shame. Keep an eye on them, and if you love them, take them in for a preemptive repair! 

I think it is pretty easy to get into the mindset of just throwing out things when they look a bit worn rather than giving them a little bit of love before and after wearing. It is part of the fast fashion trend that you wear something a couple of times, and then replace it with something new, and I can’t help feeling it is just a little too wasteful- of materials and of my hard earned money. What do you think? Are you happy to make bigger purchases like your boots last a little longer?


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