Purse Base Shaper – Help Bags Keep Their Shape

Do you guys ever have that problem where you overload your purses and they stretch out, get all saggy and lose shape?  It happened to my very beloved tote (got it in nutmeg) which is now totally misshapen as you can see in this post.  I learned much too late that leather stretches permanently if you overload it.  Blah!  SO sad, because otherwise, after 2 years of nearly daily use it would still be in tact if I had not overloaded it to the point of it getting saggy and lumpy.

When I got my new Target satchel I could tell it was doomed to the same fate as my tote.  Then I recalled learning about a company called the Base Shaper Store from Jean at Extra Petite.  She wrote all about preventing “bag sag” by placing a simple plastic insert into your purse.  I sooo wished I had known about base shapers when I first got my tote two years ago.

Even though I pretty much have nothing new to add to Jean’s review because she did a fantastic job, I’m sharing about it here to introduce you guys to this product too!

NOTE:  Aside from receiving a free base shaper (a $16 value) this is NOT a sponsored post.  I was not compensated to write a review, nor was I even asked to write a review.  I knew I wanted to try Base Shapers, and I already knew I wanted to share them with you regardless of whether or not I was gifted one by the company.  I just found this product really helpful and wanted to pass it along.

What It Does
Basically, a base shaper is a plastic liner to insert in your purse that holds the base of your purse in shape.  It allows you to put heavier or lumpier items in your bag without stretching the base of your purse.  For example, the picture at the top of this post shows the difference between a purse without and with a base shaper.  In both pictures my purse is loaded with a full water bottle, wallet, and small book.  On the left you can see the round water bottle weighing down the purse’s base and stretching it out.  On the right, the base is still in tact thanks to the base shaper, even with all the same contents in my purse.

Bag: Target  |  Base Shaper: c/o Base Shaper Store

The Base Shaper
Even though it’s plastic, it’s pretty sturdy at 3mm thick.  The edges are nice and rounded and the plastic is cut smoothly.  It comes in a variety of widths/lengths and a few different colors.

The site advertises that they are built to fit specific Louis Vuitton bags, but I was able to find a pre-made size that fit my humble Target purse.   Pre-made ones range in size and price, from $15 to $30.  Mine was $16.  You can also get custom cut base shapers to fit any bag, though those are more expensive.

The Site
Jean said in her review that the site is pretty sketch looking, and that is absolutely accurate.  Ha.  If it puts you at ease, when I contacted the owner he was friendly, quick to respond, and helpful.  I didn’t have any problems receiving my base shaper.

Overall, I am VERY happy about it and at the same time VERY sad that I found out about this after I already ruined my leather tote.  Save your bags before it’s too late!

Have you ever experienced your bag stretching out?  (It’s sad times, people.)

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  • Reply
    Meghan Hayes
    October 29, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    I really like this idea! It's deinitely worth it. I like to "display" my purses that I don't use since my dresser is shelves and the purses share. I struggle with ways to store them so that they don't get messed up. Thanks for the tip.

  • Reply
    October 29, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    I find that the more expensive purses have these built in. This is still a good idea though. The plastic would protect the bottom of your bag from spills and pens and such too!

  • Reply
    Audrey @ Putting Me Together
    October 29, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    Hmm…I wouldn't know, since I don't own very expensive purses 🙂 However, these shapers are made specifically for Louis Vuitton bags, which in my book are expensive bags. Apparently most of them don't have them built in or whatever is in there isn't enough to protect the bag's shape over time. Also Jean's review for base shapers was for a Prada bag that she was having problems with "bag sag."

    Either way, I agree that some bags may need it and some bags may not. But for the ones that need it, I love this as a remedy!

  • Reply
    Sara Strauss
    October 29, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    This is great!! Thanks so much for telling us about this!
    Sincerely, Sara

  • Reply
    Lindsey Hoagland
    October 29, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    This is brilliant! Thank you so much for posting. I'm also going to jump over and check out Jean's blog so thank you for that as well.

    I have the same bag as you, but in black. I was just wondering what size shaper you ordered.


  • Reply
    Samantha Pellegrino
    October 29, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    How do you figure out what size? I'm not sure I understand the sizing requirements…I don't own the purses listed. :/

  • Reply
    Samantha Pellegrino
    October 29, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    ok, as I read this comment I'm realizing that the sizes are on the site, but, my real question should have read, how do you measure for size…inside the purse or outside on the bottom. 😀

  • Reply
    Lauren O'Neill
    October 29, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    You said you were sad about finding these too late but didn't it save your bag from sagging? I mean, it look SO much better now!

  • Reply
    Lauren O'Neill
    October 29, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    And you've had that bag for two years?? I really love it and have a Target gift card so I may want one for myself… 🙂

  • Reply
    Audrey @ Putting Me Together
    October 29, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    I'm talking about two different bags—a tote and this Target satchel. I couldn't save the tote, and the tote is the one I've had for two years. Not this Target satchel…

  • Reply
    Audrey @ Putting Me Together
    October 29, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    I measured mine from the outside, but I would actually recommend measuring it from the inside instead. If I need another one for another purse I would definitely measure from the inside.

  • Reply
    Audrey @ Putting Me Together
    October 29, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    I ordered the Neverfull Base Shaper (10.5" x 4.75") though I probably could have gotten the one that is slightly bigger than this. I measured from the outside of the bag and wish I had measured from the inside instead. The one I got fits perfectly fine and there's no problem with it, but I think the larger one would have been able to fill out the bottom even more snug.

  • Reply
    Lauren O'Neill
    October 29, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Ok that makes sense!

  • Reply
    October 29, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    That is such a cool idea! I'll have to look into that. My issue isn't usually the bag sagging, it's usually the handles falling apart before anything else. 🙁

  • Reply
    October 30, 2013 at 1:14 am

    Great idea! I may need to check this out!


  • Reply
    Audrey @ Putting Me Together
    October 30, 2013 at 4:41 am

    My sister told me that bags with handles that are stitched all the way down to the bottom of the bag will last longer in that regard. My cheaper totes also broke at the handles, especially ones I carried my laptops in. But the handles on my Piazza Capri tote lasted infinitely longer than any other totes because the handles were stitched all the way down. The bag sag did it in though 🙁

  • Reply
    October 30, 2013 at 5:51 am

    $16 seems spendy for a piece of plastic. I think I'll go to the home depot and have them cut me a piece of plexi-glass!

  • Reply
    Lauren Wickersheim
    October 30, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    The "leather" is cracking on the straps of my beloved neutral tote. So sad.

  • Reply
    October 30, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Audrey, I'm so happy you shared this company with us! I just ordered one 🙂 I have the Madewell tote and it's been starting to sag and this is just what I was looking for! They even had one that fits the measurements almost exact.

  • Reply
    Beautiful Canvas
    October 30, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    I see a DIY project 🙂

  • Reply
    October 30, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    I've been intrigued about those ever since Jean posted about them. But unfortunately (or fortunately?) I don't have any bags that need shapers right now. I will keep them in mind for the future!

    PS. you used "in tact' two times in the post- but it should be "intact" one word 😉

  • Reply
    Audrey @ Putting Me Together
    October 30, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    JCPENNY. Just kidding. Thanks 🙂

  • Reply
    Deni G
    October 31, 2013 at 1:20 am

    Couldn't Base Shapers fix "bag sag", rather than only preventing it? I'm curious because my favorite summer bag is already saggy.

  • Reply
    Audrey @ Putting Me Together
    October 31, 2013 at 2:54 am

    Possibly, but for my tote it didn't work. The leather had already stretched out, so it's permanently stretched even when the bag is empty. Putting in a base shaper would prevent it from sagging even more, but it can't reverse stretched leather.

  • Reply
    Clothes and Creativity
    October 31, 2013 at 6:48 am

    I wish we had this in India!

  • Reply
    October 31, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    What a great idea!!!!!!!! I thankfully have never stretched out a purse but i love the idea of keeping the shape. Some of my bags are so floppy and it would be great to be able to keep their shape.



  • Reply
    Mary Jurmain
    November 27, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    Probably too late now, but keep in mind for the future that there are products that will protect vinyl bags if you put them on when you first buy the bag. I have done this with bags and shoes religiously, and I have a pair of cheap Payless fake snakeskin boots that I have had for at least seven or eight years and they look like new. You can use stuff designed for car vinyl, or if you are concerned about the chemicals (I am), some eco-friendly furniture polishes say they can be used to protect vinyl, too.
    If I can't afford expensive real leather designer purses, I can at least keep my cheap ones looking like new. 🙂

  • Reply
    February 28, 2014 at 3:58 am

    What size did you order for this purse? I have the same purse and received my base shaper today, but it's too long!

  • Reply
    Audrey @ Putting Me Together
    February 28, 2014 at 4:11 am

    Sorry to hear that! I answered this question in one of the comments below…here was my response:

    I ordered the Neverfull Base Shaper (10.5" x 4.75") though I probably could have gotten the one that is slightly bigger than this. I measured from the outside of the bag and wish I had measured from the inside instead. The one I got fits perfectly fine and there's no problem with it, but I think the larger one would have been able to fill out the bottom even more snug.

  • Reply
    base shaper for speedy 30
    March 1, 2014 at 1:02 am

    The base shaper looks kind of like those plastic/acrylic mats you find in the quilting section of the fabric store. http://www.designerbaseshapers.com/

  • Reply
    March 25, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    This is new to me, thanks for sharing.


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