This is going to be my most pricey review yet. Buying and owning a piece of Chanel is such an investment, and if you’re like me, and you like beautiful, hard-wearing handbags, you’ll appreciate this review. I hope this will be a handy guide for whoever wants to decide what size/what leather and what hardware to buy when you pick out your first Chanel.
My Buying Story
I was very lucky when it came to buying my bag. I was gifted some money by my grandparents, and instead of saving it (I knew that I’d waste it on random stuff over a few years) I decided that this was a sign to buy a piece of Chanel.
Before you criticise, please refer back to my other designer bag pieces (Speedy, Neverfull, Wallet, Le Pliage) and see that I’m not just buying this bag because I could. Each one of my bags I adore and use on a regular basis, and apart from a hardy backpack I use for travelling long distances, I don’t actually own any other bags.
So I knew that to help top off my collection, I needed a good day-to-night bag that screams sophistication and class. And for me, that’s a Chanel classic flap bag.
But instead of buying it through the Chanel boutique, I decided to try out the pre-owned market. There will be My Experiences with Shopping on the Vestiaire Collective post coming up so stay tuned.
I had watched various YouTubers use and shop on pre-owned sites (videos that helped me):
Chase Amie’s video on buying pre-loved Chanel Bags
Lydia Elise Millen buying from the Vestiaire Collective
Jerusha Couture on her Fashionphile Collection
So I was confident that buying from Vestiaire Collective would be a great way to find high quality, authentic designer bags for good deals. I know that there have been some negative points made about shopping on Vestiaire, but during my one purchase there, I didn’t experience anything like this.
Questions to Ask
Deciding Which Bag.
This may sound obvious to the reader here. ‘Just buy a Chanel bag, they all look the same’.
Yeah it wasn’t that simple.
For me, buying a Chanel bag goes between two styles. The 2.55 Reissue Bag and the Classic Flap. I love the Boy Bag, but it just wasn’t for me as my first Chanel bag. I wanted to go classic.
With the Classic Flap, you have the interlocking CC’s for the lock, with the siluotte of the 2.55 bag, and with the Reissue 2.55, this is slightly different look and style.
I decided to go for the Classic Flap. I love the Reissue and would definitely purchase it in the future, but for my first one, I knew that I wanted the real classic look.
The second question I asked was, ‘What size should I go’.
Now this one really took a while to answer. I knew I was going to have to go for Medium or Jumbo (for my first investment piece, I couldn’t go Small) but as I never saw a side-by-side comparison in real life, I had to rely on YouTube once more to guide me.
Videos I found useful during this time:
What’s in my Bag – Alexis AKA MissTrenchcoat
Carol Summers – Jumbo vs Maxi
Chase Amie – Ultimate Chanel Guide
And after a lot of debating, I decided upon a Jumbo. The Medium Large was a close contender but I didn’t want to ever regret buying it when I couldn’t fit things in. I know that one day I’ll end up buying a Medium Large (probably in another type of leather – more about this further down) but I really had to take time over my decision.
If anybody’s interested, sizing can be found on Chase Amie’s blog.
(If any readers have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!)
So, here I am. Decision has been made. I’m going to buy a Chanel Jumbo. I know it’s going to be in black, as I wear a lot of dark colours and it’ll just go. But now, I have to think. What leather? And what colour hardware?
Through my studies, Chanel Jumbos usually come in either Lambskin or Caviar leather. More exotic materials can be found on pricier models, but I knew that would be far out of my league.
So what’s the difference?
Lambskin is known to be the more luxurious type of leather. One that needs to be treated with just a little more TLC. Lambskin feels a lot richer to the touch, and is highly coveted for people who collect Chanel seriously. Smaller bags – like evening bags/special occasion bags look better in lambskin.
Caviar Leather is a lot more durable and can hold up to the daily bumping/scratching that can happen to your bags. It is worth to note that Caviar can look a lot nicer on bigger bags, just due to the surface area. Caviar is also preferrable on bags worn cross body. With its pebbled texture, Caviar bags can feel a little younger than its lambskin counterparts.
So for me, it was really a no-brainer. I’m not particularly babyish about my bags, so I decided upon a Caviar Leather. I knew I would be using it as a going out bag as well as a day bag, so I wanted to give it a fighting chance.
Videos I found useful during this decision making:
HappyPursuits – 20 Key Considerations between Lambskin and Caviar
Mel in Melbourne – Lambskin vs Caviar Scratch Test
Once again, this was a pretty tough decision. For me, Chanel looks its best in gold hardward. Gold and black really screams out C in class for Chanel in my mind, but I had to be serious about it. I wear very little gold jewellery, or have warmer shades of clothing. I’m far more a silver person. I also love the muted style of a Chanel Jumbo with silver hardware. It looks a little less showy-off than its gold version sibling. Chanel’s gold hardware is also a very yellowy gold, so you’ve got to bear that in mind.
Single or Double Flap
On the resell market, the Chanel Single Flap is quite a big deal. A lot of people prefer the single flap to the double due to it being lighter, roomier and now harder to find due to it only available on the resell market.
The double flap is know to be a lot heavier yet has the added advantage of being more secure. They are also known for holding their shape a lot better.
When I bought my bag, the decision between single and double flaps didn’t really cross my mind. It was only afterwards that I found out about the advantages of a single flap, but I don’t regret my decision in the slightest.
A video that explains this further is here
My Final Decision
So, here I was. I had made my decision.
A Chanel Jumbo Double Flap in Caviar Leather with Silver Hardware.
I couldn’t wait to buy it and try it on.
Please come back for my second installment which includes my four month review of this bag.