How to keep fashion accessories looking their best

Scarves, purses, umbrellas, gloves and sunglasses: Some are practical; some are just for show. But all put the finishing touches on our fashion statement. Here's how to keep them looking great.

How to keep fashion accessories looking their best

Store silk scarves in tubes

  • Nothing adds to an outfit more than a beautiful silk scarf. But how do you store a scarf when you're not using it?
  • Gently roll up the scarf. Take an empty paper-towel cardboard tube, and insert the scarf. The next time you wear it, it will be free of creases.

Treat gloves with care

  • A nice pair of leather gloves gets more comfortable with age as they stretch to fit your hands precisely.
  • They'll last for many years with proper care. To clean and condition your gloves, use a leather-conditioning oil, saddle soap or even the cream used for leather furniture.
  • Do this regularly, as you would for leather shoes. If your gloves get wet, put them on and let them dry so they will preserve their shape.

Polish your purse

  • Polish your purses as regularly as you would polish leather shoes.
  • If your purse is covered in soil or fingerprints, mix equal parts vinegar and water and wipe down the outer surface.
  • When storing a purse ready for its next use, remember to stuff it with recycled plastic bags or tissue paper to keep creases away.

Umbrellas

Why do some umbrellas fall apart so easily? Here's what to look for in an umbrella that will stick around for a while.

Tensile strength: When purchasing an umbrella, open it up and press on the ribs from the top. If the umbrella is sturdy, the ribs shouldn't move when pressure is applied.

Fabric: It's always better to choose an umbrella of synthetic fabrics, like nylon, because they repel water better than natural cloth, like cotton.

Mechanism: Open an umbrella up in the store several times. Look for an opening and locking mechanisms that are simple in design, open smoothly and are sturdy.

Handle: The handle should fit comfortably in your hand. A handle that's too large will be difficult and uncomfortable to grasp in bad weather.

Revive an umbrella

  • Fabric that has freed itself from the ribs of an umbrella can be easily stretched and re-stitched to extend the life of the umbrella.
  • Use dental floss if you want extra sturdy stitching that won't pull out.

Choosing shades

  • When purchasing sunglasses, look for the maximum level of sun protection.
  • Try them on and look down. If they slide on your nose, they're too loose.
  • Feel for a pinch behind your ears to see if they are too tight.
  • Grey and smoke-coloured lenses will give you the truest sense of colours around you (think traffic lights, for instance).
  • Treat sunglasses as you would eyeglasses. Keep them in a case when not in use so they don't get scratched.
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