Inspired by our experience with vintage handbags, we designed Lionel to have both a hard and a soft shell option. As vintage handbag experts, we often see a lot of excellent condition handbags that lack front and back panel support, resulting in a "soggy bottom" and we originally designed Lionel to help save handbags from this problem! If you are buying Lionel for your "boutique fresh" or even pre-loved handbags, then you may not see this problem!
The general guiding principle when deciding between hard or soft shell Lionel is the age of your bag. Vintage bags tend to require more front and back panel support, so hard shell Lionel is usually better. New styles or boutique fresh bags are generally in better condition so we would suggest a soft shell Lionel. If you want more capacity in your bag, get a soft Lionel as it has more "give". However, you are in the best position to decide whether your bag needs more or less support so trust your instinct!
Think physics! Yes, generally, we would still recommend buying a Fluffy to use with Lionel. Lionel is ultimately here to provide structural support but it still has a big empty space. Even with hardshell Lionel, it won't be enough push out the structure of the bag permanently. Depending on the condition of your handbag, you can use them both at the same time or switch them out during use however we personally switch them out when using our handbag!
Generally we recommend hand washing our accessories.
Unfortuately we do not offer custom sizes/materials/colors for any of our accessory products.
We do not recommend leaving Lionel in your handbag as overtime the hard shell in our inserts could potentially leave indentations in soft leather.