So last year, I adopted a pet – a young, six year-old tuxedo cat with the personality of a Labrador. She follows me around the house, doesn’t like to be alone, and routinely insists on being petted and played with. Whatever reputation cats have for being independent and aloof, this one has none of it. I find her very charming.
The only downside to having her around is that she sheds. Not a lot, but enough to require a bit more cleaning. The most annoying aspect of this chore is cleaning off the shoe bags that sit on my bedroom floor. They seem to act like cat hair magnets, and even a good vacuuming won’t clean them off entirely. Thus, I’ve been thinking about getting some new bags – ones that won’t hold on to cat hair more dearly than my cat herself seems to. One design I really like is by John Lobb of Saint James’s, London (the original one, not the one owned by Hermes), which I learned about through this article by my friend Réginald-Jérôme de Mans.
As Réginald-Jérôme writes, a typical shoe bag is made with two rectangular pieces of soft, brushed cotton, sewn together on three sides, and then made open on one so that shoes can be put in. A pair of cotton or leather drawstrings is then used to close.
John Lobb’s, however, makes the remarkable looking pairs you see here. They’re apparently made from a soft, fleecy material and decorated with a thick braided trim. Instead of having just one end open, the entire top opens up, so that you can more easily insert and remove your shoes. The bag itself is wedge shaped, so it sits more naturally over your shoes, and the zipper pull is finished with a matching tassel. The whole thing looks a bit over-the-top, truthfully, but I really like them.
The problem, of course, is that I imagine this fleecy material will still attract cat hair. And nothing would ruin the feeling of elegance more than having to sit and vacuum these bags every week, just so they don’t look like still, half-balding animals. Plus, there’s a John Lobb logo on the side, and it feels a bit silly having bags made for bespoke shoes when I don’t own any myself (John Lobbs’ or not).
So I’m thinking of getting something similar made, but with an easier-to-clean material. A heavy cotton drill maybe? Muslin? I don’t know, but would welcome any suggestions. I imagine you could supply a seamstress with some basic materials and get something made for not too much money. How difficult can this be? Cut a few pieces of cloth in a wedge shape, sew them together, put in a zipper, and attach the trimmings.
Or maybe I’m naïve, and like with my imitation Turms box, getting something to look this nice is harder than it seems.