Chanel Bag : My Buying Guide & Best Tips

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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!).

Chanel Le Boy bag with handles and chains

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 ?



iconic Seasonal Chanel Le Boy Classic Chevron Gabrielle Camera Case

Part of the classic line (are re-released)

A staple in every wardrobe

Easy to wear, mix and match

One-of-a-kind styles

Fun and whimsical

Slightly more affordable (except Le Boy and models with exotic leathers/tweed/embellishments…)


Price increases

Formal style

Can go out of fashion

Not classics !

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 !).

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Lambskin, caviar, calfskin, patent leather… ?

chanel classic leathers

There are so many different kinds of leathers, all of them feel very luxurious :

Lambskin leather

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.

Aged calfskin

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 !

Patent leather 

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…

creative leathers


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!).

Chanel sac classic timeless all sizes

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″


Chanel Le Boy Sac Tailles Sizes

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).

chanel gold hardware


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 !

You may be very lucky finding an excellent used bag at a good price (luckily with minor flaws). But, I believe that the real point behind the purchase of a second-hand bag is (should be ?) more related to the collectors appreciation of a vintage design, an exceptional manufacture year…

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.

Don’t rush into buying a bag just because you have access to it. Take a closer look at it to really detect quality flaws (stitches, leather, structure etc.). Otherwise you may regret it later (and it will be too late).

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

❗Consequently, I advise you to visit the official Chanel website and also this excellent website as a complement (good source for bags price in every country according to the last updates).

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).

Finally, if you can, go and try some bags in an official shop. Even if you decide to purchase online or in a vintage reseller shop, it’s worth it. Have fun !

Buying chanel bag online

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 ! ♥


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  1. So glad to come across to read your blog.
    A wake up call not to be obsessed to own one as so many details to look into

  2. Thank you so much for posting this! I have bought a used bag on eBay and then sent it to Purse Rehab to fix it up. They re- plated my hardware and refinished the whole bag. It looks new again. I found them on instagram, you guys should collaborate together!

  3. Hi.
    Great blog. Glad to find it. Do you have Sa in Paris that you can recommend and give hr/hs contact?

  4. Thank you SO Much for this posting. I am conflicted. I purchased my first Chanel bag a few weeks ago; the Classic Caviar in jumbo (black) and then a few days later a Boy Chanel Quilted in medium (gorgeous blue). Unfortunately, I cannot keep both so I have less than 24 hours to decide which one to keep.

  5. Just came a cross of your blog post. I’m impressed how many useful information and tips you share with us. I’m Chanel lover from Amsterdam. I use to shop both as new bags as pre-owned. A Chanel bag is one of the best fashion investment pieces next to Hermes. If someone don’t have a large budget to spend on a bag or don’t have a Chanel boutique nearby-very good option can be to shop a preloved bag online. There are many reputable online consignment boutiques as in Europe as in the US. One of them based in the Netherlands.
    You’ll find the best selection of the authentic preowned and brand new, hard to find bags Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Hermes for the affordable prices. You also can offer your own bag for sale via this platform, they consign and buy designer bags.

  6. This is amazing! I’m the worst person when it comes to splashing out my entire month’s savings on designer bags so this is literally a life saver! I’m always on the lookout for cheap, alternative or affordable sites to browse or buy designer bags and clothing form. I don’t suppose you’ve heard of a site called HEWI london have you??P(it’s like a designer ebay site) or does anyone know if it is any good or legit as it sounds??? (it’s this one btw: i literally love alll the fashion hacks i can get! haha! Great blog though, keep up the amazing work! xx

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