Shoe Repair London, Handbag Repairs London - The Restory, London

The Vacation Edit: How to Pack

vanessa jacobs

The number of people flying worldwide reached to 3.77 billion in 2016, so when it comes to your luggage, the airlines have their work cut out to make sure your
beloved possessions arrive safely. It’s their job to do that. For you, it’s a question of thinking about what you’re going to take with you and how to pack it.


Options are optimal! Whilst it’s great to be prepared, a brief survey amongst fellow devout shoe lovers concluded that an average of five pairs of shoes are packed, even on a minibreak. Leaving you with few options other than to wear every holiday outfit at the same time on the journey to your destination. Pack what you will actually use, plus a fabulous reckless pair just in case! Anything can happen on holiday. Before your shoes head for some origami style packing, provisions need to be made.

Always put each shoe in an individual shoe bag for maximum protection. It's a sure way to prevent the shoes coming into contact to avert unnecessary scratches or colour transfer on the leather. Add some type of padding inside the shoes to keep their shape; simple tissue paper or lightweight shoe trees should suffice. If space is an issue, you can insert some of your smaller soft items as padding instead.


We have all been there; holiday outfits meticulously laid out on the bed, but no science will make enough room in the suitcase to fit them all into that compact cubic space. Instead, be tactical with your packing. Contrary to lots of online advice, we would recommend placing your shoes at the top of the suitcase so they don’t become compressed at the bottom. Essentially this means packing them last. It will also allow more space because the top of a suitcase expands slightly more than the lower part. In more detail, this is to prevent crushing the toe box or the counter/quarter (the back part of the shoe). These areas are usually moulded, which keeps the shape of the shoe and this can invert if left with applied pressure. Lastly, pack the shoes in a heel-to- toe formation, keeping them flat, side by side.

Before you descend into the ultimate relaxation zone, be sure to plan ahead by
servicing those carefully selected pairs.  Sometimes we think we are honestly just paying for sunshine when we jet off across the ocean. If rain does appear, you could save yourself a surprise by adding a protective sole and even requesting a protective treatment for shoes made from delicate suede and fabrics. Read our case study, “Things we wish you would stop doing”, which includes some tips in case you are caught out by a spot of rain. Remember, it's not just your shoes. The Restory specialise in cleaning your luggage too, from weekend jaunt holdalls to more capacious bags for your long haul holidays.

Book a collection on your return and be ready for the next one!

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vanessa jacobs
Image taken from Vogue

Image taken from Vogue

Champagne, strawberries, grass stains and drama; Wimbledon is in full swing! Whether we reach the home of tennis for a live game or we watch from one of the many outdoor screens, we are glued to the grass courts, with all eyes on the ball! Current hot news from the courts is better than the gossip section, with a defeated Daniil Medvedev’s flouncing coins at the feet of the referee. Female photographers were asked to cover up after officials deemed too much leg and arm was on show and there is debate the player’s plush white trainers are disturbing the court surface, despite the revolutionary high-tech grass.

White trainers are non-negotiable for Wimbledon participants, and can quickly show wear. Dirt from the ground and even the tiniest scuff become blindingly obvious. Over time the laces can lose their lustre and the stitching will darken. To top it off a sneaky grass stain could be the moment your one love heads for the bin. The Restory is here to serve and save; keeping your footwork gleaming with our specialist cleaning service. You can dress in your best shoes in the safe knowledge we can remove any Champagne spillages, fruity remnants or sneaky grass stains.

For some extra inspiration visit The White Trainer case study to see a transformation in action. 

Image taken from Vogue

Image taken from Vogue

Image taken from Hermes RTW 2003 

Image taken from Hermes RTW 2003 



5 Things We Wish You Would Stop Doing....

Emily John
5 Things

Listen we get it. Out the door at 7am, office politics, clients, the tube, your seven-year-old’s volcano project so cruelly dumped in your lap. Often it can feel like we’re just hanging on by our finger nails. So, while we don’t fault your quickie DIY fixes, we would like to make you aware of some of the more…counterproductive things we see you doing


Using Super Glue

So you are the glue holding your life together but what’s holding the sole of your shoe on when it gets caught on a wonky bit of broken pavement – cue red-faced anger emoji! But the truth is super-glue is somewhere between mind-bending to impossible to remove from leather and you’ll likely wind up doing more harm than good.


Baby wipes

There are at least 10 other pairs of shoes that work with this outfit but today you want the pair that took a beating on your last night out and have yet to receive due attention. A baby wipe seams an efficient instant turnaround but beware. Baby wipes often contain lanoline or other lotions and risk discolouring some materials particularly aniline or very “open” leathers. Try a damp cloth and or buy a specialist cleaner suited to the material and leave the lotion for your skin.


Drying With heat

The weather forecast said rain was not due until late evening ensuring my pink suede sliders could enjoy a full day buzzing around London and make it back safely to their box looking fresh. The rain was early and I was late. In a mild panic, you would think drying your drenched footwear or handbag close to a radiator would be another time-saving life hack.  But steer clear of concentrated heat sources which can cause the leather to shrink, misshape and or discolour. Instead place your items in a well-ventilated area and allow to air dry. You can even pop some kitchen roll or socks inside to help absorb moisture and retain shape. Time is key here so wait patiently.


Wearing Your Heel Tips Down

How much did those Balenciaga Bistrot pumps cost? And we told ourselves it was okay because calculate the cost per wear divided by them being a totally transcending style and it suddenly seemed a long way off a 5 star luxury break! But squeeze a wear too many and you may be looking at a lost cause, never to feature your runway again! We are talking about heel tips. Our sky-scrappers only withstand our walking weight because of a steel metal rod inside the heel. When the rubber wears down and the pin hits the floor, you risk crushing the pin down or worse, breaking the internal rod which can be impossible to get out and therefore impossible to reheel at all. You may also break the whole heel stem. To replace heel tips is quick and cheap and required often. Factor this into your cost benefit analysis early.


Sharpies and other colour fixes

Sure, you’ve got creative flair; your child-hood colouring book could well contend with a Picasso. What harm could a delicate touch up on the corner of a Celine Trio with no less than a close colour matching marker pen do? This could be considered a minor scoldable offense but it will seek revenge. In true daylight, you will see a nasty metallic spot which will look worse than what you were trying to cover. Some leathers and inks react in unpredictable ways which can darken or distort the colour of the leather. And perhaps even worse, when caught out in wet weather the ink can run or transfer onto another clothing! A little water on suede or leather conditioner on smooth leathers will bring some richness back into the hyde and tide you over until you can have a professional colour restoration done. Colours hand-mixed in daylight and some patient artisan hands and you won’t be able to spot the difference… presto!


Emily John

The wedding industry is HUGE! £10BN per year in the UK and a pretty significant sum of this is attributable to shoes! Be it the bride’s, the mother of the bride’s or any manner of significant and insignificant guests. Almost everyone rocks new, near-new or seriously loved shoes for a wedding.

At The Restory, we are all about keeping shoes as fresh and relevant for as long as possible without sacrificing any of the excitement of a brand new pair. 

And in that vein, here are a few musings about wedding footwear;

Traditional whites

Who can argue with the ethereal whites, creams, and silvers of traditional bridal footwear? But If you have second life ambitions for your wedding shoes, remember that after the dreamy romance of the ceremony its time to party! And friends and family alike will be stepping on and spilling drinks all over your new Emmy London shoes (the designer who recently created, Pippa Middleton’s wedding shoes)! In this vein, we’d recommend suedes over satin as we can employ a much more aggressive cleaning technique on leather over fabric and because they are lightly coloured the risk of colour bleed (like we see with brightly coloured suedes) is low.


Style-wise, metallics are infinitely universal.  They go high and they go low. They are a statement and they are a neutral. What’s not to love? Apart from a longevity /maintenance standpoint, metallics can be a tricky colour restore. Not only does one need to match the colour and finish, the type of and quantity of mineral needs to be matched too. To complicate things, some are painted and some are foiled. While we have lots of tricks to minimise scratches and scuffs on toes and we can have new leathers to recover heels, overall the best thing to do is just recognise the limitations and be vigilant.

Brocades and other embellishments

Stones, flowers and other embellishments are just super fun. They are also usually attached with glue or light stitching which means they can get torn or knocked off easily. If you can save the piece, reattaching it is often a simple quick fix. If you lose it we can usually find you a similar or complimentary one. So, go bold and dress from the feet up!


London is packed with supremely talented bespoke shoe makers, like the aforementioned Emmy London or Kari-C, who can make your shoe fantasy into a shoe reality. But what if you are looking to work with something you already own? The Restory’s custom refashioning service is here to help; ace a bejewelled pump, add studs, rhinestones, raffia fringes or fur pompoms! Why not reinterpret Louboutin’s red sole with a different colour or a custom piece of artwork?  Feeling a little rock and roll? We know a leather tattoo artist too. Come talk to us