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Buying your first Chanel

January 17, 2020

If you’re a friend or a follower, you know I’m a huge Chanel lover. When I was around 16 I discovered the brand, and begged my dad to get me a bag. He didn’t “believe” in buying expensive purses for his 16 YO daughter, so instead he got me a Chanel poster framed from the Museum of Art…. Same thing right?

So anyway, more than a few years later I finally managed to get my hands on my FIRST Chanel- a classic 2.55 flap in black caviar leather with silver hardware. At the time I had no idea what a great investment this piece would be. I’m not sure how I landed on that bag, as I had very little knowledge about Chanel bags, or their collections, but I was just in heaven to finally own one. I mostly brought it out just on special occasions and was careful with it. Now, 11 years later the bag still looks relatively new, and is worth more than double what I got it for. It is the most classic and timeless piece in their collection.

I’m happy to say that over the years I’ve added a few more Chanel pieces to my collection, but not without time and research done prior to each purchase. Recently I’ve had a few friends reach out to me saying they wanted to buy their first Chanel and wanted my advice on which to get. So I decided to write a little post with some tips that I think would be helpful to anyone who’s thinking about taking the plunge and making the big “investment” in a Chanel bag.

1- Deciding on a style:

The fun part! This is important to research ahead of time, and have an idea what kind of style you want before going to the store. When you get to the store, it can be a little overwhelming with all the beautiful things, and then sales people trying to help you and show you different things. I find I’ve always made the best decision when I knew what I wanted beforehand. I’ve only returned one Chanel bag, and it’s because I didn’t fully think about the functionality and what I wanted to use the bag for before buying.

If it’s your first Chanel, you’re going to want a neutral color.. black or beige. Most people go with black as it goes with everything and wears better, without getting dirty easily. The classic Chanel’s have dramatically gone up in price, so if you don’t want to spend as much, but still want a classic bag, there are other options! Each season they get bags that are “seasonal” but still have the look and feel of the classic style, but are usually $1-2K less than the Classic Flap. If you want an everyday bag, you might want something that has a top handle like the Coco Flap below. I got this style last year and it is probably my favorite bag to date. Below that, is a beautiful flap bag, that is “classic” in style, but at a much lower price point than the Classic Flap bag in the first picture. They are the same size bags. So, these are all things you’ll want to look into before making a decision. You can always find the new seasons bags on chanel.com, but they usually have more styles/colors in stores. Also, while you’re at the store, always tell your sales associate what you’re looking for, because they usually have things in the back, or in the closets that may not be displayed.

Flap Bag with Top Handle - Black - Grained Calfskin & Gold-Tone Metal - Default view - see full sized version
Coco Handle $4000
Flap Bag - Black - Grained Calfskin & Gold-Tone Metal - Default view - see full sized version
Flap Bag $4200

2- Choosing where to purchase

This is a very important one for anyone who likes to save money! (Who doesn’t??) Since Chanel bags NEVER go on sale, you want to make sure you get the most for your money. If you’re buying the bag new, I recommend researching department stores near you that sell Chanel, and then getting a credit card to that store so you can earn points on your purchase, or a discount on your first purchase with the card (I’m not sure if Chanel is excluded). If you’re on Long Island, I highly recommend Hirshleifers, as they have a points system, and for every 10 points you earn, you get a $500 gift card to the store. Pretty awesome! Buy a bag, get free shoes or a wallet! Or, if you’re crazy…. use it towards your next bag purchase. Yes. I’m a bad influence when it comes to Chanel.

As for buying 2nd hand, when it comes to Chanel, I prefer to buy new, but that’s just a personal preference. I do have 1 vintage Chanel that I bought about 10 years ago, and I love it, but I will say, it’s truly a gratifying experience to go into the boutique and buy your first Chanel brand new.

3- Research re-sale value**

This may not be important to everyone, but if you’re spending this much money on a bag, you might want to check to see if it will hold it’s value. Certain styles like the classics will always go up in value, and if you keep them in good condition, and use them gently, you may be able to sell them down the line if you’re looking to switch into something new, or just cash out. Although it’s much better to keep, and pass down. (vintage Chanel is better than gold). Just something to think about!

Hope you enjoyed this and feel free to reach out to me with any questions or if you would like recommendations on which Chanel bag to buy!

Xoxo Erica

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