The Gentleman’s Guide to Caring for Leather Shoes

Brown leather shoes on a black wooden floor

Any Atlanta gentleman knows that it’s important to dress for success. From a well-tailored suit to Italian shoes sized specifically for you, details matter. The true hallmark of quality, however, is whether your favorite ensemble can withstand the test of time. Provide your leather footwear with proper care and storage space to keep your style on point.

When it comes to protecting leather shoes, your best asset could actually be closer to home than you think. Your cleaning routine and storage space are often the make-or-break factors that keep your footwear ready to wear for years to come. Our shoe storage is built right in to your custom closet design for easy access, and little effort on your part.

Leather Shoe Care

Leather shoes are a classic staple in any man’s wardrobe. They transition easily from the office to a night out with the guys. To keep them looking nice, there are a few simple steps you can follow:

  • Use a soft, dry cloth to remove dirt and dust
  • If leather has a finish, clean it with mild soap and a damp cloth
  • If leather has no finish, use saddle soap to clean and wipe dry gently

Allow your shoes to dry naturally; never place leather shoes near a heat source or leave them exposed to sunlight. This is especially relevant if you use saddle soap on your shoes, which contains wax. This wax will help seal and protect your unfinished leather.

Leather shoes come in all shapes and forms, so it’s important to determine the exact type of look you are going for before deciding on a care and maintenance schedule. If you prefer a smooth, sleek look, then we recommend going through these steps every 3-6 months. For a more rugged look, you can let your leather dry out a little longer, allowing 6-12 months between cleanings.

Suede Shoe Care

Suede is made from the inner layer of leather, which offers a unique texture and look. While suede is high-maintenance, its stylish look and versatility makes it a worthwhile investment. Here are our recommendations for regular care:

  • Use a specialized suede brush to remove dirt from your shoes
  • Use the side with stiff metal bristles for tough stains
  • Use the rubber side to rub out minor scuffs
  • Remove grease stains with baking or talcum powder and brush shoes lightly to remove when fully absorbed

Conditioning Leather Shoes

Remember to condition your leather shoes every six months for best results (or every three months for those who live in dry climates). A neutral or color-matched polish can help enhance the color of your leather and increase the shine. Be sure to choose a wax-based polish and apply it in circular motions with a soft, horsehair brush for best results. To finish, apply a conditioner or protector according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Leather Shoe Storage

Perhaps one of the most impactful ways to maintain your leather shoes is how you store them when not in use. If you have a custom closet design, it’s likely that you have predetermined slots for your shoes that will help keep them safe. Additionally, we recommend the following:

  • Use cedar wood trees with split toes to help absorb moisture and keep the shape of your shoes
  • Keep leather shoes in shoe bags to help protect them from sunlight and dust.
  • Avoid transporting shoes in plastic bags or sealed storage containers so the leather can “breathe”

There are a variety of ways to keep your leather shoes looking their best. In addition to following these tips, we also recommend swapping out the laces every six months or so to maintain a clean, polished look. Shoes can also be resoled by a reputable cobbler to promote longevity.

Don’t gamble when it comes to caring for your wardrobe. Your clothes are meant to last, so do everything in your power to protect them. Contact us today to learn more about custom closet design to protect your investments and help care for your favorite pieces.

10 Luxurious Upgrades to Improve Your Walk-In Closet

Wooden hangers with a blue scarf draped across them

Your closet design should be completely unique – just like you. Don’t settle for the same cookie-cutter closet organization system that matches every other Atlanta home; it’s time to upgrade to a fresh, custom design that fits your lifestyle. Treat yourself to these fashionable features that are sure to transform your closet into a functional space you will love for years to come.

1. Customization
Good closet design companies understand that, like clothing, a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work for closets. Your needs must be considered before designing your closet. For example, a bachelor will have different needs than busy parents who share a closet space. Similarly, kids’ closets typically need to be designed with adjustable components to accommodate your child’s changing needs as they grow. Try to create a list of the five most important things you want to get from your closet to help facilitate the planning process before you begin.

2. Lighting
Choose a lighting style that complements your closet design. There are many options to choose from, but it is wise to consult a professional before making your final decision. Some types of lighting are designed to illuminate space in a very specific way, each of which will provide a different overall effect for your closet.

A few options to consider include:

  • Track lighting
  • Pendant lights
  • Wall sconces
  • Recessed lighting

3. Shoe Organizers
Your footwear goes through a lot of use, so a little care goes a long way. Our shoe organization systems are designed to keep shoes protected and off the floor. Choose angled shoe shelves that show off your favorite pairs of seasonal shoes, so you can access them easily – even when you’re in a rush. Shoes that aren’t in season can go back into their original boxes. Store them up on a shelf so they are out of the way until the weather changes.

4. Accessory Station
Place all of your favorite accessories in one place so you can complete your outfit quickly each morning. Shallow drawers can offer space for sunglasses and bangles, while velveteen-lined jewelry drawers protect tennis bracelets and delicate necklaces. Cuff links and tie clips can also be stored alongside one another in perfect harmony.

5. Mirrors
A floor-length mirror is necessary for any luxury walk-in closest, but it’s important to work the mirror in with your existing closet design. Consider slide-out mirrors that conveniently tuck back into your closet itself to help save space. You can also place a smaller mirror close to your accessories so you can see how your favorite jewelry looks with your outfit, too.

6. Clothing Display
In addition to serving as a unique décor piece, mannequins can also become an integral part of your daily routine. Use a mannequin or dress form to plan your outfit for the following day. Drape everything from your blouse to scarves, jewelry, and other accessories on the mannequin so you can get a picture of how your finished ensemble will look when you head out the door the next day.

7. Laundry Solutions
There are so many ways to coordinate laundry for easier laundry days. From color-coded laundry baskets to tilt-out hampers that save space, a professional closet organizer can help you decide which solutions are best for you and your space.

8. Expand Your Territory
With the right budget, you could opt-in to a complete closet remodel to make extra space for your clothing. It’s also possible to convert otherwise unusable areas, like attics or under-stair areas, into additional closet space that provides the exact storage space you need to keep your belongings safe. Walk-in closets with larger square footage could even accommodate an island with extra storage or seating.

9. Homey Décor
Decorate your closet the same way you would accessorize any room of your home. Hang paintings, lay out a floor runner and place a pretty vase of posies alongside photo frames to create a warm, homey feel. This will make it more pleasant to spend time perusing through your closet.

10. Details
Small details matter. Upgrade from wire or plastic hangers, which do not offer support to clothes and could ruin your wardrobe in the long run. Instead, opt for wooden hangers that are more substantial. Pants, blouses, coats, and suit jackets should all have their own type of hanger designed specifically to help your clothes keep their shape.

Your dream closet is within reach when you have the right design team on your side. The professionals at Closet Designs and More have all the organization systems you need to create a space you’ll love. Contact us for a free design consultation and discover the design you’ve been waiting for.