Across its century-long history, Chanel has grown to be one of the leading fashion houses across the globe. Their bags have developed into symbols of utmost luxury, sought after for their versatile designs and exquisite craftsmanship. Yet, buying a Chanel bag on your own can be daunting, especially given their hefty price tags and the large range of choices offered to customers.
That’s why at EcoRing, we have written this guide to help you along in your journey of pursuing the luxury you deserve! Even if you have zero knowledge of Chanel bags prior to this article, we’ll make sure you’ll become a pro in recognising their most popular styles, differentiating between their leathers, and pairing the right bag with the right occasion!
The Best Style & Size for You
First, to determine what style and size of bag best suits you, we must first think about the purpose of your purchase. Are you buying a Chanel bag for financial investment, or for personal use? Will it be used for everyday carry, or as a showpiece which you’ll only bring out on the most important occasions?
1. Classic Flap
If you’re looking for something to invest in, there really is only one option here: the Classic Flap Bag. Be it single or double-flap, this bag adds on instant air of elegance to any outfit while appreciating in value over time.
The Classic Flap comes in seven sizes: Extra Mini (17cm), Mini Square (17cm), Mini (20cm), Small (23cm), Medium (25.5cm), Jumbo (30cm), and Maxi (33cm). The Medium Flap renders the highest popularity due to its great versatility and practical carrying capacity.
2. Boy Chanel
Though not as lucrative an investment as the Classic Flap, the Boy Chanel is similarly coveted among the luxury bag enthusiasts. Its sleek lines and boxy shape allow the bag to exude a boyish allure for a more androgynous look. If you’re looking to add a little edge to your evening outfit, then this bag would be perfect for you!
The Boy Chanel comes in six sizes: Mini (18cm), Wallet on Chain (19cm), Small (20.5cm), Medium (25cm), Large (28cm), and XL (38cm). The XL Boy Chanel has long been discontinued.
3. 2.55 Flap
The Classic Flap was designed by Karl Lagerfeld in 1983 as a reinterpretation of Coco Chanel’s 2.55 Flap released in 1955. The difference between the two lies in the strap, the lock, and the way the leather looks. While the Classic strap consists of a leather interwoven between the metal chain links, the 2.55 strap is made entirely out of a metal chain. Besides that, where the Classic Flap has a CC turn-lock, the 2.55 has a rectangular turn-lock known as the “Mademoiselle Lock”. Lastly, though subtle, the 2.55 leather looks somewhat worn as compared to the Classic Flap, with creases across its aged Calfskin surface to accentuate its vintage roots.
The sizing of the 2.55 is similar to that of the Classic Flap: it comes in sizes 224, 225, 226, 227 and 228, with dimensions like that of a Small to Maxi sizes of the Classic Flap style. However, the size 228 of 2.55 was discontinued and can only be found in resale markets.
4. Chanel 19 Flap
The Chanel 19 is designed after the 2.55 Flap and released in 2019 to pay a more modern homage to Coco Chanel’s iconic design. Its slouchy, more relaxed look pairs well with more casual and youthful outfits, and also allows you to fit more items other than other flap bags of the same size! Its chain is usually made of a mix of silver, ruthenium and gold, and its clasp reimagines iconic CC logo turn-lock in an intertwining chain and leather pattern. However, do not that the Chanel 19 demands greater care due to its softer, more fragile nature.
5. Wallet on Chain
The Wallet on Chain is exactly what it sounds like: a long wallet which doubles up as a shoulder bag. Don’t be fooled by its small size, though, as the Wallet on Chain can contain almost as much as a Medium Classic Flap would. It’s a simple, elegant bag versatile enough to be worn casually or to dinner parties, and since the bag itself is a wallet, it frees up a lot more interior space for carrying your other essentials!
Picking Suitable Materials & Colours
Now we know more about the sizes and styles of bags available to us, let’s delve into materials and colours. While these choices seem to only affect a bag’s appearance, in truth, it also determines the level of care required to keep your bag in tiptop condition.
Chanel offers a variety of leathers, with their most popular options being Lambskin and Caviar. However, some of the less popular leathers might be available depending on your choice of bag – especially so in the secondhand resale market.
Lambskin is a plush, smooth leather with a soft sheen that exudes luxe to just about anyone who looks at the material. Its untreated surface, while delicate and requiring extremely great care, offers a wide range of colours with deep blacks and glowing whites. If depth of colour is your main consideration and you’re willing to put in the work to protect your bag, then you can’t go wrong with Lambskin.
Caviar, as compared to Lambskin, is far more hardy and resistant to wear and tear. Caviar is made of grained Calfskin with a pebbled finish, which is must stiffer and leads to a more rigid bag structure than Lambskin would. Of course, bags in Caviar still require some form of care, but if you’re looking for a bag for everyday wear, then Caviar makes a great choice. However, do be careful when choosing a light-coloured Caviar bag since these bags would be susceptible to colour transfer.
Calfskin, when untreated, acts as a sort of middle ground between the Lambskin and Caviar leathers, being smoother to the touch that Caviar but still more resistant to scratches than Lambskin. An alternative to untreated Calfskin is the aged Calfskin, which is used on the 2.55 Reissue Flaps to provide a more vintage, used feel while still being durable and smooth to the touch.
Other than the three common leather types used above, there are other unique materials used such as patent, goatskin, deerskin, exotic leathers, tweed, canvas, denim and velvet. Patent leather is easily distinguishable from all other leathers given its glossy, high-shine finish which requires constant maintenance. Goatskin falls between Lambskin and Caviar in terms of feel, look and durability. Though uncommon, its soft yet stiff nature makes it a great material for a bag! Deerskin and exotic leathers can be found more commonly used on vintage items that are listed in the resale market.
Meanwhile, fabric materials such as tweed, canvas and denim are deemed as popular materials that customers tend to revisit as in enhances the styling process of outfits, Lastly, velvet is the highest maintenance material of all and usually goes unmentioned in the market due to its low popularity.
Chanel bags come in a great range of colours, including lights, dark, neutrals, and even those of bright patterns! The all time favourites are the timeless neutral colours which consists mainly of black, white and beige that match a wide range of outfits. Seasonal and bright colours tend to accentuate the overall style of individuals and are used largely during special occasions and paired with bolder outfits.
Pairing the Right Hardware
At this point, you’ll probably have a good idea of how your bag is going to look – after all, we’ve discussed style, size, material and colour! But have you thought about how the bag’s chains, clasps, zips and screws would tie into its overall look? Chanel hardware comes in many colours, all of which give off their own unique vibe. Gold and silver are the most frequently discussed hardware.
The most popular choice for those buying their first bags would be gold hardware as it has a classic appearance and high versatility. It exudes elegance and its a great match for a large variety of outfits. Shiny gold, brushed gold and antique gold are the different types of gold hardware used. Shiny gold is the original timeless style and brushed gold radiates femininity, great for softer outfit looks. The charming antique gold is a favourite among collectors due to its unique retro vibes.
Silver hardware adds on the bling on your outfits and creates an understated elegance. This cool hue contrasts well with jewel tones, bright colours, and tweeds, and pairs better for those with cooler skin tones compared to the warm hues of gold. Shiny silver can be brought to formal occasions whereas the matte silver is meant for casual events attributing to a more relaxed vibe. Ruthenium gives off an edgier look due to the gunmetal material used, it can act as a chic accessory to your overall look.
It sure isn’t easy to decide on a luxury purchase that will last you for a long time as you will have to consider a while lot of factors. However, serious consideration is definitely needed as you will be investing a large sum of money into it and you will want to make it worthwhile. Hopefully this article has contributed to the expansion of your knowledge on Chanel items and helped in your decision making process.
Here at EcoRing Malaysia, our experienced appraisers have dealt with a wide variety of items from various luxury brands. From Prada handbags to Hermes bag charms, all kinds of luxury items are bought in at the highest price possible.
Looking to sell your pre-loved branded items? WhatsApp us at wa.me/60122233614 with photos and details of your items for an estimated quotation!