investment dressing


How to polish your shoes at home

How to polish your shoes at home

things you need for shoe polishing

my shoe polishing kit: shoe shine brush / medical gloves / black shoe polish /

Have you been wondering how to polish your shoes at home while saving both time and money? I know a lot of you out there are wondering this very question!

For well over twenty years, I have had friends and family members ask me in real life how I keep my shoes from getting scuffed up. Well, I polish them at home! It actually surprised me that most people do not know how to polish their shoes at home. I had one friend tell me once that she gets rid of shoes once they are scuffed; she had no idea you could polish out the scuffs! I have to admit, I was shocked to hear her say this!

When I was a little girl in grammar school, I used to polish my shoes on a monthly basis. I attended a Catholic School and our uniforms required brown leather shoes. I owned two pairs; penny loafers and topsiders. One pair was dark brown, and the other was a medium brown color. My Mother taught me how to polish my shoes at home when I was in the third grade; and I have been polishing my shoes ever since.

It is really easy to polish your shoes at home. Not only do you save time, because it is much quicker to polish them yourself rather then drop them off for a few hours or a day at the shoe repair, you save money! Think about how fresh, shiny and new all of your shoes will look once you know how to polish your shoes at home. Your feet, and your wallet, will be so happy!

So, now I will stop babbling, and I will show you the easy steps to polishing your shoes at home. It only takes five minutes to polish one pair. Love that!

How to polish your shoes at home

scuffed shoe needs to be polished

As you can see in the above photo, my favorite pair of Gucci loafers have taken a beating. I wear them often, so they occasionally look scuffed up; which means I need to polish them. Read on to see how easy it is to polish the scuffs out of your shoes!

How to use a Cream Shoe Polish

steps for polishing shoeshow to fix scuffed shoes

My favorite type of shoe polish is the kind you find in a jar. This is cream shoe polish, and it is the highest quality polish on the market. It not only removes the scuffs on your shoes, it conditions the leather so your shoes look newer longer. Love!

In order to use a cream shoe polish, first put on thin, medical gloves. You can find these really cheap at Costco; they come in handy around the house when you need thin gloves. Over the glove, use an old sock. You can spend money on a polishing cloth, or you can re-use your old socks once they lose their color, or develop a hole. I like to use my old socks for polishing my shoes. It saves money, helps our landfills, and they work like a charm!

In order to sue a cream shoe polish, put a dab of shoe polish on the tip of the sock, and then gently rub it into the leather of the shoe in a circular motion.

how to use cream shoe polisheasy way to polish shoeshow to use shoe polish

When you are rubbing in the polish with the sock, be sure to cover the entire scuff, and anywhere your shoe looks dull. Also, be sure to rub it all in until the leather has a flat, matte look. Once you don’t see any clumps of polish, and there is a flat, matte look, your leather is ready to be buffed! You can see an example of the matte look in the photo above.

How to shine your shoes at home

how to shine your shoes at homehow to shine your shoesshine your shoes in five minutes

Once you are done rubbing in the cream shoe polish, and your leather shoes have a matte look, it is time to buff them into a shiny new shoe! Using a horsehair shoe shining brush, move in a circular motion over the entire shoe. This will buff the shoe polish, creating a beautiful shine. Be ready to tip yourself, your shoes will look like new!

It is important to invest in a good brush. I have had mine for well over twenty years, and it still works like a charm; and it still looks new! Love that!

how to polish your shoes at homepolish your shoes in five minutes

Don’t my favorite Gucci mules look shiny and new! Well, aside from the creases which occur from walking, the leather looks black, shiny, and fabulous!

It only takes five minutes to polish and shine your shoes at home. It is so easy and quick; you will wonder why you never polished your shoes at home before reading this!

In order to get started, I highly recommend creating a home shoe polishing kit. I keep mine in a clear plastic shoe box. This way I can easily store it with my shoes, in my closet.

Inside your shoe box, you will need an old sock for each color of shoe polish your own. This is important because you won’t want to polish a white pair of shoes using a sock you recently polished a black pair of shoes with. Your shoes will end up charcoal! Eeek! Definitely have one sock for each color of polish, this is a must!

You will also need a high quality, shoe polishing brush. Horsehair brushes are the best, but if you don’t feel comfortable with using horsehair, there are plenty of synthetic versions on the market.

Lastly, use cream shoe polish. These are the shoe polishes found in a jar. I recommend owning one black jar, one leather conditioner jar, and one medium brown jar. You will need multiple brown polishes if you own a lot of brown shoes in different shades. If you own white shoes, add a white shoe polish jar to your collection. Remember to always match the shoe polish to the shoe color.

You can purchase these items at many shoe repair shops, and Nordstrom carries shoe polish in the men’s shoe department. You can also find everything you need online in the shopping widget below:

You are ready to polish your shoes at home! If anyone ever asks you how to polish your shoes at home, you will be ready to answer!

Feel free to ask me any questions you many have.

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO
Cathy

how to polish your shoes


How to wear a special occasion dress multiple times

fundraising gala gown

Have you ever been invited to an event and wondered if you can re-wear a dress from your closet? Do you have a fabulous gala gown just collecting dust in your closet that you would love to wear to another gala but you are not sure if it is OK to rewear a formal dress? We have been programmed over the years to never be caught wearing the same special occasion dress twice. Therefore, it can be difficult to know what to do with a formal dress hanging in our closets!

Special events are just that; special. So we all have this subconscious feeling inside which tells us we need a special, new dress for the occasion. While shopping for a new gala gown, or cocktail dress, is a lot of fun, it can also add up! Think about how much you spend each time you attend an event. Could that money go towards a fabulous designer bag you can wear on a daily basis? Or maybe that money could buy an entire new summer wardrobe, or pay for a trip to Hawaii. Perhaps the money could be used for a new washing machine. (I know boring, but reality)

Saving money, and still making a special event feel special, is easier than you think! You can absolutely re-wear a special occasion dress, gala gown, or cocktail dress; again, and again, and again! The only rule of thumb is to never wear the same dress, to the same event, twice. That silver cocktail dress you wore to your friend’s party last week? You can’t wear it with that group of people again, but you can easily wear it to the upcoming charity event you are attending, and then your second cousin’s Friday night wedding. Get the idea?

While it seems to be a simple thing to be able to wear a dress over, and over, there is one easy way to remember where you have worn each dress. I easily forget where I wore a dress; especially if it hangs in my closet for two or three years. Since formal attire trends don’t change often, you can hold on to a dress for several years and continually re-wear it. Love that!

I have one simple system I use to help me keep track of where, and when, and with who, I wore a dress. In order to keep track of where my dress has been, I make hang-tags which I keep on the hangers of my dresses while they hang in my closet. This tells me when I wore a dress, which group of people I wore it with, and to which event it attended. This enables me to get many wears out of a cocktail dress, gala gown, or party dress without getting caught in the same dress twice, with the same group of people.

Here are the steps for making your own hangtags! You can see what they should look like in the photos below.

  1. Buy a package of index cards.
  2. Use a hole punch on the end of one index card to make a hole about a quarter-inch from the top. Hold the index card vertically when you punch the hole so that the hole is on one of the short ends of the card, not the long end
  3. Using scissors, cut a straight line from the end of the card to the hole.
  4. Make three columns on the card and label them “Date,” “Event,” and “Group.”
  5. Fill in the card with the event information from the place you wore it.
  6. Hang the card on the hanger; and voila! You have a record of where. and when, and with whom, you wore each gala gown, cocktail dress, and party dress!

punch a hole how to make a formal dress hangtag steps for making a formal dress hangtag how to rewear a cocktail dress how to remember where you wore a dress how to remember where you wore a cocktail dress how to wear a special occasion dress again

In addition to a special occasion dress, you are likely to own special occasion shoes, and clutches. These can be re-worn over, and over, and over again. If you have a clutch, or a pair of shoes which are kitschy, they will have a shelf life and should be labelled, so that they are never re-worn to the same event twice. If you tend to own classic formal accessories, like me, then you can easily re-wear them to the same event, and with the same group of people.

formal high heels shoes

Pictured: Tom Ford formal pumps

When it comes to formal accessories, I recommend owning three formal clutches or mini-bags, one in black, one in silver, and one in gold. I also recommend owning three pairs of formal shoes, one pair in black, one in silver, and one in gold. My black satin mini bag is fifteen years old, yet every-time I wear it, the bag looks fresh and new. Look for formal accessories which are classic and can be used over, and over. You will save a ton of money over time. Besides, when you attend an event, everyone is looking at your dress, not your shoes or bag. #FunFact

There you have it! It is OK to re-wear a formal dress to another event as long as you are keeping track of where you wore it before. Do you have a system to keep track of where you wore your gowns? If so, please share in the comments below!

Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy saving money by re-wearing your formal gowns, cocktail dress, and party ensembles!

XOXO

Cathy


The Seasonless “IT” Bag

The San Francisco Bay Area is proud to be a region that classifies its style as “classic.” Here in the Bay Area, as well as most of the country, women’s handbags are as much of a status symbol as a man’s car.  Since the region is flush with millionaires and wannabe millionaires, it comes as no surprise that one of the most popular purses on the shoulders of the well-dressed is the classic Chanel 2.55 or flap handbag.

This fabulous purse was invented by Coco Chanel, who wanted a handbag that would free up her hands. She designed a handbag with a strap and introduced it in 1929. In 1955 she was enjoying a resurgence in popularity so she decided to update her handbag design and in February 1955 she introduced the 2.55 handbag. This beautiful black handbag had a burgundy interior and secret zipper pocket which Coco used to store love letters. As the decades have moved forward to present day, the remake of this handbag is known as the “reissue 2.55” and it comes in a variety of colors on vintage-treated lambskin.

Chanel also has a classic take on this handbag which was introduced by Karl Lagerfeld. This is a similar style to the reissue 2.55 but instead of a traditional clasp, there is an interlocking “CC” symbol on the clasp. The chain strap also has the same fabric as the handbag weaved through it. One chain strap takes an artisan roughly 17 hours to complete. This variation of the classic Chanel handbag is called the “Classic Flap” handbag. The classic flap comes in a variety of fabrications such as lambskin, caviar leather, jersey, tweed, patent leather, patent vinyl and other seasonal fabrics.

Every Fall, Winter and Spring the San Francisco Bay Area is host to many fabulous semi-formal events such as the Junior League of San Jose Fashion Show Luncheon. If a fashionista takes a moment to look at the handbags on the shoulders of many women in attendance at these events, she will notice a pattern. On average, one in five women is wearing the Chanel Classic Flap or 2.55. The majority of them are in black! Some women wear theirs with silver hardware while others gold. The size of choice varies as well. There are small, east/west flaps, medium flaps, jumbo flaps, maxi flaps and the 2.55 in sizes 226 and 227. It is amazing how many fashionable ladies in the Bay Area carry the same handbag for these special events!

It is very interesting to think about what attracts women to the same handbag. Critics may say it is because the handbag is made by Chanel and women are buying into a brand. Other critics may say it is because women like to keep up with the Jones. Who are the Jones anyway? The reason so many women in the San Francisco Bay Area flock to Chanel for their classic handbags is because the handbag is just that, “Classic.” Not only does Chanel give you a lifetime warranty on the construction of the bag, it is made to withstand the test of time. Chanel has the top resale value out of any handbag designer. Vintage Chanel handbags hold their value, as the prices for new Chanel flaps and 2.55’s increase, so does the resale value of the vintage purses. Therefore, if one were to purchase a Chanel bag in 1985 and sell it in 2015, she may very well make a $2000 profit! This is one reason investment dressing is so popular in the Bay Area. With one of the highest concentrations of graduate degrees in the country, the San Francisco Bay Area is home to women who know the value of the dollar and a hot commodity when they see it.