Handbag Clinic review - how to make your designer bag look brand new

Bag in need of TLC? The Handbag Clinic has got you covered

woman holding chanel handbag
(Image credit: Getty)

Did you know that restoring or modernising your handbag with a company like the Handbag Clinic can add hundreds and even thousands to its resale value?

January is traditionally a key time for a wardrobe declutter, refresh, and revival. As we integrate Christmas gifts and sale purchases into our existing wardrobes, there is no better time to re-evaluate items you already own but no longer use. Perhaps it's your previously best jeans or a pair of shoes that you used to treasure but they have been stained or damaged and now sit unused and unloved.

Once upon a time, items no longer used would have been discarded into landfills. Now that just about everything can be restored, from a broken zip or lock or to scuffed corners and stubborn stains, discarding luxury items no longer makes sense to people. And if you've invested in one of the best designer bags, then it makes sense to restore rather than throw away anyway. As the leading and longest-standing luxury handbag restoration service in the UK, the Handbag Clinic rejuvenate around 700 bags per month. They are passionate about reducing waste and encouraging people to enjoy fashion more consciously. Whether your handbag has been badly stained, has lost its shape, or the handle is hanging on by a thread – the dedicated team of Artisans at the Handbag Clinic can perform restoration miracles, increasing the lifespan and value of your most treasured handbags and shoes.

From removing stubborn stains and scratches to improving color loss or repairing broken zips, worn edges, split piping, and reinforcing shape and stretched straps – the team combine the finest craftsmanship, technology, and innovative techniques to achieve the seemingly impossible and will have you falling back in love with your handbag all over again! 

Is your handbag in need of some serious TLC or has it lost its shape?

woman&home Fashion Director Paula Moore tried out the service to breathe life back into her beloved Chanel handbag and was extremely pleased with the results.

“I have had this bag for over seven years and I still love it as much as I did on the day that I bought it - the sign of a very good purchase! Admittedly it was in need of some much needed TLC and a good clean. When you regularly use something over the years, it is no doubt going to get a bit battered. Especially when it accompanies you on the underground to the office (pre-pandemic) and to the local wine bar after work.

"I was absolutely amazed when I received my bag back from Handbag Clinic, it literally looked brand new, they’ve done an amazing job. I will definitely be looking through my wardrobe to see if I can revive any of my other handbags.”


chanel handbag before restoration at the handbag clinic

(Image credit: Paula Moore)


Chanel handbag restored by the handbag clinic

(Image credit: Handbag Clinic)

How to get a quote for restoration services?

Obtaining an online quote for the Handbag Clinics cleaning and restoration services is easy. All you need to do is fill in the form below with a description of the damage if any. Your main concerns, and what you would like the Handbag Clinic to do for you. You will also need to upload two images of your item.

How to maintain or increase the value of your handbag

Handbag Clinic co-founder and CEO, Charlotte Staerck shares her top tips for keeping your bag looking in tip top condition.

  • Regular cleaning and protecting is the best way to keep your bag looking great 
  • Have the right cleaning and protective products, essential for optimum maintenance.
  • Our care kits come with everything you need including sponges, cloths, and a brush in the suede kit so you have all the tools required to keep your bags looking as good as new.
  • Avoiding placing your bags on floors in restaurants and bars - this leads to scuffed corners and your bag will be in prime position for spillages. We have repaired so many bags that have been stained by a clumsy waiter or a spillage on a neighbouring table.
  • Wrapping a patterned silk scarf around the handles is a stylish and chic solution for protecting the most used area of your bag. 
  • Heat and moisture can really affect leather so storing your bag in a cool, dry location is vital.
  • Use a bag pillow to stuff your handbag to maintain the shape and structure and avoid wear and tear while you aren’t using the item.
  • If you stuff your bag with tissue, you must ensure it’s acid-free and that the dust bag is of a high quality, which will not leak any colour onto your bag
  • Makeup and ink are some of the hardest stains to remove from fabric with the high oil content. The interior of your bag needs protecting just as much as the outside. So use a separate makeup bag or pouch.
  • Colour-changing can provide an instant facelift, modernizing dated shades, putting it firmly back on trend, and adding value. Anything is possible – beyond light-colours being darkened, we often see customers adding a splash of color to a black bag or, conversely, giving bright and boldly colored bags a chic makeover with a wearable black or burgundy colour. 
  • Restructure and reinforce your bag. A structured tote loses its statement look as its shape tires and degrades over time - a bag’s natural support requires reinforcing. Opting for a ‘bag restructure’ is an impactful way of adding value and bringing the bag back to life.
  • Adapt and update your bag’s handles. Swapping a vintage handle for a cross-body strap or simply adding a cross-body option to move with the times is an easy yet effective way to modernize a bag. 

If you want to find out more about the Handbag Clinic, you can visit their website here.

And we'd love to hear from you and see your results! 

Becky Joiner-O'Riordan

Becky Joiner-O'Riordan is a Senior Fashion Stylist & Writer. With 10 years experience in the fashion industry, she currently works across woman&home, womanandhome.com, Woman, Woman's Own, Woman's Weekly, Chat, goodto.com, and has previously worked on Harper's Bazaar, Notion and Now Magazine. 

After graduating from both the University of the Creative Arts and The Fashion Retail Academy with first-class honours she dipped her toes into the world of television styling working on This Old Thing, hosted by Dawn O’Porter and Channel 4’s live tv show series Gok Live: Stripping for Summer.