This post is also available in: Français
Buying a Chanel Bag – especially the first one – is a sacred experience for a fashion lover. It usually takes a lot of thinking, patience and a few months of sacrifices and savings.
I’ve had the chance to fulfill that luxurious dream and I learned a lot during my search. I am happy now to finally share my own guide full of little tips. Hopefully, they will be of assistance for your future purchases (fingers crossed!).
Which model should I pick ? Classic/Iconic or seasonal ?
If I’d ask you to name quickly a Chanel bag, of course you will automatically have a 2.55 Reissue, a Le Boy or a Classic Timeless bag in mind.
Picking a classic quilted one in black or beige is a really safe and natural choice. Even more if it’s your first.
However, the brand is so creative and fruitful. New designs with attractive colors/leathers/embellishments/chains are released every seasons. Really, it can be a tough decision !
What would be the perfect pick then ?
From my point of view, the best choice is definitely a bag that fits your lifestyle and can be used effortlessly everyday.
❗Maybe avoid a very collectible and fragile bag as a very first piece. It will probably cost an arm and a leg only to sit in its box forever (unless you rock it when running errands: respect !).
Lambskin, caviar, calfskin, patent leather… ?
There are so many different kinds of leathers, all of them feel very luxurious :
Very soft and smooth to the touch. It exudes luxury. Maybe the most emblematic of all Chanel leathers ? It has the reputation of easily showing marks, having lots of shine and loosing its structure with time.
“Caviar” leather (calfskin)
Grainy finish renown for its durability. The quality of a caviar leather can vary big time from one batch to another. For example, it can be super shiny or completely mate.
Also a classic material used by Chanel. Sturdy and lightweight, it’s the preferred leather of the 2.55 Reissue. I did not liked it at first but it’s growing on me !
Can’t be find every season but has been used many times by the brand throughout the years. Its major flaw ? Every damn mark is easily noticeable on its pretty shiny surface.
Other popular leathers & materials
Leathers : Embossed camellias (just sublime), Metallic, Perforated, Exotics…
Materials : Velvet, Knit, Tweed, Studs, PVC, Sequins…
The right size
Once you’ve find the perfect Chanel bag, it is crucial to determine the right size for you (most of them exist in at least 2 sizes).
According to the size of the bag, a few criterions must be taken into consideration :
? Price : it can sometimes triple from the smallest to the biggest size ;
⛓ Weight : those pieces of leather can be really heavy (usually because of the chain) ;
? Capacity : some bags can only fit very few accessories, other are spacious (but be careful of the weight!).
Size comparison : Classic style Credit
|Style||Style code||Size in cm||Size in Inches|
|Classic “Extra Mini”||A65050||17 x 10 x 7.5 cm||6.7″ x 3.9″ x 3″|
|Classic “Mini (square)”||A35200||17 x 13 x 6.5 cm||6.5″ x 5″ x 2.5″|
|Classic “Mini (rectangular)”||A69900||20 x 13 x 5 cm||8″ x 5″ x 2″|
|Classic “Small”||A01113||23.5 x 14.5 x 6.5 cm||9.3″ x 5.7″ x 2.6″|
|Classic “Medium”||A01112||25.5 x 16 x 7.5 cm||10″ x 6.3″ x 3″|
|Classic “Jumbo”||A58600||30 x 20 x 10 cm||11.8″ x 7.9″ x 3.9″|
|Classic “Maxi”||A58601||34 x 23 x 10 cm||13.4″ x 9.1″ x 3.9″|
|2.55 Reissue – 224||A37584||20 x 14.5 x 7.5 cm||7.9″ x 5.7″ x 3″|
|2.55 Reissue – 225||A37586||24 x 16 x 7 cm||9.4″ x 6.3″ x 2.8″|
|2.55 Reissue – 226||A37587||28 x 19 x 6 cm||11″ x 6.7″ x 3.3″|
|2.55 Reissue – 227||A37590||31.5 x 20 x 10 cm||12.6″ x 7.5″ x 3.7″|
|Quilted Boy – “Small”||A67085||20 x 12 x 8 cm||7.9″ x 4.7″ x 3.1″|
|Quilted Boy – “Medium”||A67086||25 x 15 x 9 cm||9.8″ x 5.9″ x 3.5″|
|Quilted Boy – “New Medium”||A92193||28 x 18 x 9 cm||11″ x 7″ x 3.5″|
|Quilted Boy – “Large”||A67087||30 x 21 x 10 cm||11.8″ x 8.3″ x 3.9″|
Size comparison : Le Boy style Credit
Chains & hardwares
Chains & hardwares are basically the soul of Chanel bags. The brand has been constantly playing with them over the years (which is awesome!).
Color wise, hardwares have been released in gold-plated, silver color, ruthenium, aged gold…but also in shiny black, mate black or rainbow color.
❗ Unfortunately, in 2009 Chanel stopped the production of the legendary gold-plated chains and hardwares. Vintage enthusiasts take note !
Although the Timeless, Le Boy and 2.55 Reissue have their own “signature” chains, you can also find them restyled occasionally.
Slim or thick chains, bijoux chains, covered with charms or pearls etc. There are so many kinds of existing chains !
Take a look a this website to see more (I’m in love).
Brand new, second-hand or vintage ?
It is almost impossible to find a second-hand Classic or Le Boy bag in perfect condition at half of its retail price. Spare your precious time (I lost mine big time trying to).
From what I experienced during my search, a “cheap” Chanel bag is usually :
? In a bad condition: corners are damaged, logo has scratches, leather is suffering discolorations/stains…;
? (and /or) Dated/Out of fashion ;
? (and /or) Without chain straps (leather only) ;
? (and /or) Made out of fabric, plastic or other kind of cheaper material.
They never really lose their value. Keep that in mind !
I bet that during your Chanel journey you will come across some rare and crazy expensive bags !
Chanel bags quality : are they worth it ?
I’ve read so many things about that topic when I was on the hunt. My heart was sinking every time I was seeing bad quality reviews. I was so worried to end up with a low-quality bag because I want my precious to stay perfect until I am 84 years old !
Of course, when you pay “that much”, it is your fundamental right to ask for the best product ever made on planet earth.
The good ladies of the community (TPF !) are often less and less impressed with the quality of some their bags. It seems to go down while the price tags go up.
They really point out the difference of quality from one batch of products to another. Depending on the manufacture year, the quality of the leather remains the main concern (more or less shiny/grainy/pigmented…): a real gamble !
The second-hand and vintage market really makes the most of that collectors need for the best quality pieces.
How much does a Chanel bag cost
Giving you a price here and now for every Chanel bag would be silly.
For 2 main reasons :
📈 Because of the price increases (once a year or every two years)
✈ Prices are usually different in Europe/Asia/North America…
Where to shop ?
At a Chanel Boutique (Obviously)
Of course, for your first bag purchase, I highly recommend you to LIVE the full Chanel experience. It is so important to grab the opportunity to try as many bags as you can to know which one corresponds best with your needs.
My visits at my local Chanel’s boutique were usually very pleasant (my doggy was even welcome to come inside !).
Also, what a huge pleasure to walk in the streets with your big Chanel shopping bag !
There are no Chanel boutiques in my area, where should I order online ?
Unfortunately, Chanel does not sell any bags on its website.
Your best bets to find your precious online are :
The basic resellers such as eBay, Poshmark… Prices may be attractive but it is not recommended for inexperienced buyers as counterfeits are frequently in circulation.
The second-hand /vintage luxury bags specialists most of them are North American (Fashionphile, Malleries…). They are usually pricey. Some of them give you the option to resell your designer bags for you (in exchange for a good commission).
Buying a Chanel bag : what to keep in mind
❗ Always take your time and review all the existing options before purchasing your first bag : color, material… take every details seriously ! Here is a very very good website that provides extra information about the Classic flap bag.
❗ When it’s too good to be true : 97% of the time you are dealing with a fake bag or a scam.
A bag purchased in an official store will have its own box, an authenticity card with a serial number (the matching number will be on a small tag glued inside the bag), a dust-cloth, a maintenance booklet and sometimes a drawstring pouch.
If you still have doubts about authenticity, do not hesitate to ask for an expert’s assistance (there are many websites dedicated to bags authentication).
That’s it for today !
If you liked that post and/or would like to add some knowledge about the topic, please let me know in the comments below !
♥ To have a look at my first Chanel bag, this way please ! ♥