chanel bags to buy

Looking for the best Chanel Bags To Buy? Our team has researched and reviewed the chanel bags 2020 to help you come up with a better decision. We’ve also put up a chanel bags for sale shopping guide with the features you can consider when buying chanel bags 2020.

Chanel Bags To Buy

chanel bags 2020

Hello! It’s been a bit quiet over here on the blog for the first couple of weeks of 2019 but I thought I would kick things off again with a post on what the best first Chanel bag to buy is. I get a lot of questions from first time buyers, often very confused about what to go for as their first Chanel bag. This obviously depends a lot on your personal circumstances, style and lifestyle but even with all that in mind, they are a few general recommendations that I think are true regardless of preference and circumstance. So with that said, here are some of recommendations and tips for those of you considering taking the plunge with your first Chanel bag!


Now obviously, any bag you like can make for a good first Chanel purchase but generally speaking, there are certain bags which are popular go-tos for many looking at buying their first Chanel. The most common ones I hear about are the Chanel WOC (Wallet-0n-Chain), the Chanel Mini (either square or rectangle) or the M/L flap (sometimes known as the medium flap). The price difference between these styles is substantial and I’ll be going over that in the next section.

These three styles can all make potentially great first Chanel purchases but there are some key facts to know about each:

WOC: This is a small bag and the chain is very long and is therefore really only suited to wearing crossbody. It comes with multiple card slots and is really designed to forgo a wallet. If you’re happy to do this, then you’ll be able to fit inside a phone, keys and a lipstick or other small item but not much else. On the plus side, it’s a light and easy bag to wear and can work well as both a casual crossbody bag for day as well as an evening bag too. For those looking for a WOC and Mini comparison, I have this video comparing the two styles here.

Chanel Mini: The next size up can fit a lot more and is one of personal favourites for both its adorable look and value for money. The square and the rectangle mini can fit approximately the same with the rectangle mini fitting slightly more (but only very slightly). You’ll be able to fit a small wallet, phone, keys, compact as well as a product or two. The biggest difference between the two is that the rectangle mini has a much longer strap than the square mini. As a result, the square mini is more suited to wearing on the shoulder whereas the rectangle mini is more suited to wearing crossbody. For those still confused about the two, I have a video comparison of the two sizes here.

Chanel M/L Flap: This is the classic Chanel size and is what most people think of when they think of the classic flap. It is certainly a beautiful size and can transition well from day to evening as long as you are happy to carry less with you. Due to the presence of the double flap, you can’t fit that much in and you will roughly have the same capacity as the rectangle mini. The chain length is a great deal shorter though and this style is most suited to wearing on the shoulder – it is too short for most to be able to wear crossbody.

Other Popular Options: Two other popular styles are of course the Jumbo and Small Flap. The Jumbo is my absolute favourite style and despite the hefty cost, I do think is worth the money due to its versatility, functionality and capacity. Many people gravitate towards the above styles because of their smaller size and more accessible price but if you know you prefer larger bags, then the Jumbo is an amazing choice and what I consider to be my all-time-favourite bag.

The small flap is less mentioned because I think many just opt to go for the M/L as it is slightly bigger. Even though I do think the small flap doesn’t represent the best value for money, I love mine and it is a wonderful choice for day or night providing you are a minimalist in terms of what you carry, as it is a small bag. The strap is on the shorter side so it isn’t really possible to wear this crossbody but it is an ideal length to wear over the shoulder. If you’re looking to save some money and you generally gravitate towards smaller bags, then I do think that the small flap over the M/L is worth considering.

If you would like to see what all of these bags look like when worn, I try on all of these styles in this Chanel Collection video.

Value For Money and Chanel Bag Prices

Even though the Chanel Minis have seen fairly hefty price increases over the past few years, they are generally considered to still be the best value for money. This is because they are not considered ‘classic flaps’ due to their lack of a double flap and are therefore priced lower. The ‘small’ sized flap and above are all considered ‘classics’ and come with a premium price tag as a result.

As of January 2019, the following prices apply:

Chanel WOC: $2,500 USD or £1,790 GBP

Chanel Square Mini: $3,200 USD or £2,290 GBP

Chanel Rectangle Mini: $3,500 USD or £2,610 GBP

Chanel Small Classic Flap: $5,000 USD or £3,810 GBP

Chanel M/L Classic Flap: $5,600 USD or £4,300 GBP

Chanel Jumbo / Large Classic Flap: $6,200 USD or £4,800 GBP

Prices differ according to country but Chanel now lists prices on their website.

Leather and Colour

Leather and colour are also important factors to consider when deciding on your first Chanel bag. Chanel offer many different varieties however the two most popular and frequently used leathers are caviar and lambskin. Caviar (pictured above) is undoubtedly the most durable of the two and is what I would recommend for any first time buyer. Whilst many prefer the look of the lambskin, the caviar will provide a worry-free experience and will allow you to fully enjoy your bag without worrying about scratches or marks. I purchased my first bag from the boutique in lambskin and quickly regretted it. Even though I am happy to buy lambskin now, they are only as occasional use bags for me.

The two permanent colours are black and beige clair which are two wonderfully classic options that you can’t go wrong with and what I would always recommend for a first Chanel buy. However Chanel also release different colours seasonally throughout the year and important to note – these colours are never repeated so if you find something you like, you are best to buy it then if you are in a position to purchase. These are subject to availability and it is impossible to predict what Chanel will release from season to season. Common colours include blue and red but the shades can vary greatly. You can find out what’s currently available on the Chanel website while The Purse Forum is also a useful resource.


If you are just stepping into Chanel world, then I would always recommend to start on the lower-priced side – meaning the WOC or Chanel minis. Not only are these more accessibly priced than a $5600 M/L flap but you’ll be able to find out if the style works for you without sacrificing any of the Chanel ‘look’. My absolute favourite pick? The Chanel Mini. Not only is it around half the price of the larger ‘classic’ flaps but it can fit a decent amount, work for both day and night and is absolutely adorable to look at!

If you’re a minimalist who loves crossbody, then the WOC is also a lovely choice but be aware that the strap is on the long side so if you are petite, I would definitely say to try this one on! This of course isn’t to say that any of the other sizes are bad choices – just much larger investments. If you are set on a particular size, then you really can’t go wrong. As painful as the frequent Chanel price increases are, it also means that Chanel has stellar resale value on the preloved market so your purchase is almost guaranteed to be a safe one.

Steps to Authenticating a Chanel Bag

10 Steps to Authenticating a Chanel Bag

With so many fakes and superfakes flooding the market, having the ability to spot small differences and determine whether or not a Chanel bag is genuine is an important skill. Although there is no one single way to authenticate a Chanel bag, there are various tell-tale signs that you can look out for. To help you feel more confident in being able to spot the obvious and not so obvious signs of an authentic Chanel bag, we’ve compiled these 10 steps which are used by our authentication team when verifying the authenticity of Chanel bags.

1. Examine the Leather

Chanel Leather

The leather of choice on many Chanel bags is lambskin which should feel soft to the touch and have a visibly smooth appearance. The superior quality of leather used by Chanel should be easy to distinguish from the feel and appearance of a counterfeit. If you are inspecting a lambskin leather bag, ensure it feels extremely soft to the touch.

Another popular leather used by Chanel is caviar skin which is made from pebbled calf leather. This type of leather has a bubbly appearance and is more textured to the touch. It is less likely to scratch and mark and is a more durable leather than lambskin. When you run your hands over genuine caviar leather you should feel raised dimples.

2. Check the Quilting

Chanel Quilting

The quilting pattern is synonymous with Chanel and can be a good indicator of whether a bag is genuine or not. A good place to check the quilting is the back of the bag where the pocket lies. The stitching should maintain the consistent diamond pattern and line up perfectly. However, if you are purchasing a pre-loved Chanel bag it is possible that wear or the stretching of the leather has led to the lines becoming slightly out of place so this is only a valid indicator if purchasing a new Chanel bag.

3. Count the Stitching/Lining

Chanel Stitching Lining

This can be a very good indicator as Chanel use a high number or stitches to help maintain the bag’s original shape. A genuine Chanel bag will feature up to eleven stitches per panel (that is the distance of one side of the diamond shape). However, a replica bag will generally feature a lower number of stitches per panel.

Lining is another feature which varies between genuine bags and replicas. Lining on a genuine bag lies flat against the material without any visible lumps or bumps. However, counterfeit bags will usually skimp on his detail and use inferior leather which can crease easily and even be a little loose.

4. Check the CC Lock

Chanel CC Lock

One of the most famous and recognizable features on Chanel bags is the CC lock. The original 2.55 lock is rectangular without any logo or Chanel stamping. Chanel make bags with both styles of locks so if your back features the rectangular lock it may still be authentic. The CC lock can feature either raised or flat finishes with the right C overlapping the left C at the top and the left C overlapping the right C at the bottom. Replica locks generally feature minor mistakes such as the shape of the Cs, the placement of additional metal above the lock, and even the style of the interlocking Cs.

The lock stem itself is another feature worth checking. Authentic lock stems are made from 24K gold and even when used for a lengthy period of time will still maintain its condition. Replicas, however, are generally plated with gold which will peel off after use. Also inspect the press studs for quality and feel. Genuine press studs will also maintain their appearance after use, whereas replicas will peel and fade quickly.

5. Check the Back of the Lock

Chanel Back of Lock

Stamping marks vary according to when the bag was made and the style of the bag. Some CC locks have a stamping mark whereas others have no mark at all, so even if your bag doesn’t feature a stamp don’t fret! If the lock has a stamp it means it was made in France whereas if it doesn’t feature a stamp it means it was made in Italy. The real giveaway is the stamping mark on the back plate. If you open the bag and look at the back of the turnstile lock you will see the back plate. Chanel attach this using flat had screws only alongside a clear font with even spacing. Replicas may use different type of screws and various other styles of lettering and font on the back plate.

6. Verify the Branding or Logos

Chanel Branding and Logo

The brand stamp is another way to confirm the authenticity of a Chanel bag. Check the font and quality of the stamp. Many replicas use a thinner font and rush the branding so that it sits on the leather rather than being embossed into it. The position of the embossed Chanel logo is another feature worth checking. It should sit one and a half centimeters below the quilted C with the width of the Cs and the gap between them remaining consistent at 0.9cm. The width of a genuine Chanel logo is 3.3cm.

7. Authenticity Cards

Chanel Authenticity Cards

Not all authenticity cards are genuine! A quick way to see if the authenticity card is genuine is to see how many numbers make up the code. If the bag was made between 1984 and 1986 it will feature 6 digits, if it was made between 1986 and 2004 it will feature 7 digits, and if was made from 2005 onwards it will feature 8 digits. Currently Chanel do not issue authenticity cards with 9 digits or more.

8. Check the Chain Straps

Chanel Chain Strap

The famous chain and leather straps are a signature feature of Chanel bags and also a great way to spot a fake. Vintage Chanel bags feature a link without the leather threaded through it whereas replica straps often don’t have a link without the leather threaded through it. However, contemporary Chanel bags feature leather straps folded back on themselves and stitched through each link, so it is important to inspect the detail up close!

9. Observe the Bag’s Shape

Chanel Bag Shape

Replica Chanel bags are usually constructed poorly and feature a boxy shape in comparison to genuine Chanel bags. Look out for rounded corners on replicas compared to the more square shape of genuine bags. This is a sign of the bag not being turned out properly and of poor quality material used on the bag.

10. Check Those Zippers

Chanel Zippers

There are a variety of zippers used on genuine Chanel bags. These include the lampo zipper which is always used on metal teeth, the EP zipper which generally features a pull tag made of leather, the three Cs in a circle zipper, the OPTI DMC zipper, the éclair zipper, the DMC zipper, the YKK zipper, and the no mark zipper which is usually found on vintage Chanel bags.

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