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When was the last time you treated your shoes and clothing accessories to a spot of maintenance? 
 
When was the last time you cleaned your watch or polished your belt? 
 
It’s easy to think that your shoes, belts, and cuff links rank among the toughest types of clothing you own, but while that might be true, they still need some tender loving care occasionally. 
When was the last time you treated your shoes and clothing accessories to a spot of maintenance? 
 
When was the last time you cleaned your watch or polished your belt? 
 
It’s easy to think that your shoes, belts, and cuff links rank among the toughest types of clothing you own, but while that might be true, they still need some tender loving care occasionally. And if you have some time on your hands right now, it would be a great idea to invest some of it in caring for your accessories. 
 
A great pair of shoes won’t be cheap, therefore they deserve the right level of care and maintenance. The same goes for all the little accessories you regularly (or irregularly) wear and love. Leave their maintenance to chance, and they simply won’t stand the test of time. 

Standard shoe and boot maintenance 

Remember - a good quality pair of shoes or boots that have been taken care of will last for a very long time indeed. 
 
If you own several pairs of good quality leather shoes, take the time to remove them from their bags or boxes and give them a thorough clean and polish. 
 
Although it might seem like a bit of a faff, routinely polishing your shoes and boots every six weeks or so will ensure the leather remains moist and supple - even if you’re not going to wear them regularly or for the foreseeable future. 
 

Check the soles of your shoes 

The leather shoes you own will have soles made from one of the following materials: 
 
- leather; 
 
- rubber; or 
 
- composite. 
 
The type of material will depend on the brand, style, and where you bought the shoes originally. They all require different methods of cleaning, therefore it’s worth researching exactly how to clean yours - or refer to the shoemaker’s advice. 
 
Make sure you check the soles regularly to see if you’re wearing through them. If you are, don’t consign them straight to the bin; there’s a good chance most broken soles can be repaired or completely resoled. 
 

Invest time in belt maintenance 

We bet that’s a suggestion you’ve never heard before. However, belts are usually much-loved accessories, which is why it’s important to take good care of yours. 
 
For instance, did you know you can - and should - polish your belt, just like you do your shoes? Just make sure you use the correct colour polish. Neutral leather cream is also a great option for enhancing the appearance of the belt and ensuring it keeps supple. 
 
Ignore these belt maintenance tips, and you run the risk of being left high and dry when you need yours most (at some stage, we’ve all retrieved a belt from the wardrobe only to find that it’s cracked beyond repair). 
 

Metal maintenance for accessories 

Once you’ve got your shoe, boot, and belt maintenance routine in order, there are three common accessories that will also need some TLC: 
 
- watches; 
 
- cuff links; and 
 
- tie bars. 
 
These minor but important additions to your daily attire (or that which accompanies you to smart events) need occasional maintenance if they’re to stand the test of time. 
 
A simple wipe from time to time will ensure the metals are kept free from harmful substances, but you should obviously treat leather watch straps in the same way you maintain your belts and shoes, too. 
 
Metal watch straps are also dirt magnets, therefore make sure you occasionally give them a thorough wipe to keep them clean. Just make sure you investigate every nook and cranny if it’s a complex link bracelet. 
 

Need more shoe maintenance tips? 

Shoes are arguably the most challenging element of your wardrobe to maintain, and they’re put through tougher challenges than most of your clothing. 
 
With that in mind, if you want more great advice for keeping your beloved shoes in top condition, check out these tips for ensuring that your footwear lasts for many years. 
 
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