Some people dream for years of owning a Chanel Classic Flap Bag or Chanel Reissue 2.55 Flap Bag (and now, a Chanel Boy Bag), some already own multiples of each, and still others think that they’re too traditional and played-out. I couldn’t agree less with that third group of people – with lots of finishes, colors and sizes, Chanel’s famous flaps have a little something that everyone can appreciate, if you stay open-minded. Still on the fence? Allow me to persuade you…

Chanel Reissue 2.55 Flap Bag

1. They’re just going to go up in price later.

Seriously, are you considering buying one? If you are, go ahead and do it. Chanel is among the masters of the crippling price increase, jacking up the MSRPs of its bags every six months to a year, sometimes by as much as $500 for a basic bag. As a general rule, bags don’t hold their value all that well, but constantly rising prices keep the timeless flap bags fairly easy to resell for close to (or, in some cases, more than) what you paid. Plus, even if you don’t take resale into consideration, you’re just going to have to fork over more cash for the same bag in the very near future if you wait.

Chanel Classic Flap Bags

2. Owning one is like getting in to one of the most exclusive sororities on campus.

Except, you know, this is real life. Legendary actresses, socialites and royals have carried this bag, and hey, if you can’t marry a prince, you can at least buy the same bag as the women who do. Or the same bag as the girls from The Hills – it seems as though the bag has become the go-to accessory when a younger woman wants to signal to the world that she has grown and matured into a fashionable lady.

Chanel Cage Classic Flap Bags

3. So many designers have been “inspired” by the flap – if you’re going to pay big bucks, get the original.

Everyone from Urban Outfitters to Marc Jacobs has been accused of stealing from Chanel’s signature bag, and there’s a good reason for that – it’s timeless, iconic and still as relevant to luxury customers today as it was back in the 1950s. Chain straps and quilted leather have become nearly synonymous with the idea of the designer handbag, and the Chanel flap may even be more well-known across the world than the illustrious handbag holy grail, the Hermes Birkin.

Chanel Spring 2013 Classic Flaps

4. Buy a flap bag in caviar leather and it will likely outlive me and you both.

Seriously, that stuff is indestructible. Run your fingers – no, better yet, run your fingernails along it next time you’re near a Chanel bag made of the material, and you’ll see what I mean. It has a finish nearly as tough as Louis Vuitton monogram canvas, but you’re paying for actual leather instead of, well, canvas. With how much those monogram bags run these days, the price of a neutral leather Chanel bag with similar durability seems downright reasonable. But…

Chanel Python Wallet on Chain Flap Bag

5. Despite their cultural ubiquity, the bags themselves are still too price-prohibitive for everyone to own.

They come in sizes ranging from XS to XL, but even the smallest of the Chanel flap bags is way more expensive than the average woman wants to spend. You’re in no danger of seeing your bag on every woman on the block (unless you live on a really, really nice block, but if you do, there’s probably no sense in trying to stay one step ahead anyway), and even if you see a lot of people carrying non-Chanel bags that look similar, there’s absolutely no comparison when you see and hold a Chanel flap bag in person.

Chanel Small Boy Bag Red

6. The Chanel Boy Bag changed the game.

The Classic Flap has been popular for literally decades and the 2.55 Reissue helped revive the style in the mid-2000s, but it was clear that Chanel was going to have to produce a smart, modern-looking next generation flap bag to continue to woo customers who want Chanel bags to be as zeitgeist-y as the brand’s runway shows. With the Boy Bag, Chanel pulled off just that; a design that feels deeply rooted in the house’s handbag history but still new and different enough to beguile customers who don’t want to carry bags that their mothers are interested in.

Chanel Spring 2013 Classic Flaps

7. Chanel bags have the wait lists that no one talks about.

Last year, a friend who works for a different industry site contacted me about where one might actually find a black Chanel flap bag to purchase in New York City. This friend works in the industry and knew where to call to inquire about the bags, but the proverbial cupboards were bare. When Megs bought her Reissue 2.55, she had to make more than one stop to find it. Another friend in the industry ended up buying a beautiful teal Classic Flap when black, which had been what she thought she wanted, wasn’t in stock. Although the struggles to get a Chanel bag aren’t as legendary as those chronicled by Hermes customers, it’s still pretty hard to lay your hands on exactly the Chanel flap bag you’re looking for, and for a lot of customers, that makes the hunt even more rewarding.

Chanel Spring 2014 Flap Bags

8. There are more choices now than ever before.

The more women want Chanel flap bags, the more version the company fires out. In addition to the recent introduction of the Boy bags, Chanel puts out tons of very visually specific, heavily themed collections per year, which means that there’s a flap bag to fit everyone from the ultimate girly girl to the grunge goddess. Chanel’s famous for quilted black leather, but if you think that’s all it is, think again.

Chanel Burgundy Flap Bag

9. There’s a healthy vintage market for Chanel bags.

Not trying to pay full price? We don’t blame you. Because Chanel bags have been around in some of the same versions they are now for literally decades, it’s not that difficult to find a pre-owned version in good condition for a more reasonable price, as long as the bag isn’t from the past few years or a limited edition. There’s probably a high-end consignment store in your area with some options, as well as online specialists like Heritage Auctions and What Goes Around Comes Around at ShopBop.

Chanel Sequin Classic Flap Bag

10. Chanel is magic.

It’s easy to get cynical about fashion, especially when it’s an industry that you practically live in, but there’s just something about Chanel that feels special no matter what. Even when I don’t like a particular design or collection, the company’s aura is just about as intoxicating as branding can get. I don’t understand exactly why, since Karl Lagerfeld frequently veers into ridiculousness, but then again, maybe that’s exactly it. Chanel is often fantastical, and there’s still value in that when it comes to luxury.

Prices start around $3,000. Please contact Chanel customer service at (800) 550-0005 for more information.

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mary s
mary s
12 years ago

gotta say i have never understood chanel…. its quilted leather…. umm, yes, and??? but there is never a good “and”?? at those prices the answer should be “it’s quilted leather and its completely hand made and hand quilted by one french maiden. the last stitch is finished on the night of her deflowering, and she kills the cow and tans the leather herself…” otherwise there is no reason for it, other than show off, i say use that money for Hermes or the cheaper LV bags.

Pookie F.
Pookie F.
12 years ago
Reply to  mary s

LOL – great comment! and??…too funny. 🙂 I agree with you 100%

Pookie F.
Pookie F.
12 years ago
Reply to  Pookie F.

(fb)

Janinevs
Janinevs
12 years ago

And no 2 is exactly why I can’t bring myself to buy one, I see that bag and I think trashy Hollywood. Which is a shame as they are beautifull, I always fondle them when I’m in a Chanel store.

Karolynka
Karolynka
12 years ago

I completely agree with you Amanda!! I dream of owning a large flap bag in tan or neutral…drooling 🙂 that day, i won’t be walking.. I’ll fly with my CC.. lets just hope i won’t be too old before i can afford one..

MAC
MAC
11 years ago
Reply to  Karolynka

Im with ya – am a total Chanel addict but prices are getting insane – I posted this on my blog today to try to help my fellow CC lovers, discounts are not ridiculous but they are worth checking out:
http://shhhstore.blogspot.com/2010/09/lots-of-good-stuff-incl-chanel-bags-at.html

Diane
Diane
12 years ago

Amanda,

I love when you write these type of blogs! I get my husband to read them and then it is you who has talked him into the thought that I need this bag for my collection. Happy Spring!

Shelly
Shelly
12 years ago
Reply to  Diane

Hahaha I do the exact same thing, I just sent this article to my boyfriend 🙂

Mochababe73
Mochababe73
12 years ago

Well, a teacher’s salary just doesn’t afford one to buy a Chanel. I have wanted one since I was a teenager, but I have just resigned myself to the fact that I won’t own one anytime soon. I haven’t had a credit card in 14 years, and I have no intention on putting myself in debt to purchase a handbag.
It doesn’t mean that I have stopped my search to find an affordable one at a resale shop or estate sale.

lightdays
lightdays
12 years ago
Reply to  Mochababe73

Not necessarily true. Many people including myself either have no jobs or regular lower paying jobs and still bought a Chanel bag without being in debt. You just have to save up and put an amount of money aside each month. Save, save, save and you’ll have the bag.

baglover
baglover
7 years ago
Reply to  lightdays

The problem with saving for a
chanel is that the price keeps increasing and when you can finally afford to buy the
price it is today, it has increased by so much that you have to save up again.
It’s a never ending cycle of saving. I reckon you bought it on your credit
card and paid it off in years!

baglover
baglover
7 years ago
Reply to  lightdays

would you rather have food to eat or a chanel bag. People with no jobs should be buying what they need not what they want.

S
S
7 years ago
Reply to  lightdays

RIGHT, and what do you wear with your Chanel bag, when you are jobless?!! Your focus is just in the wrong direction.

Yani
Yani
8 years ago
Reply to  lightdays

I agree, you just have to save $4 a day for 3 years than you can buy a chanel bag.

NAR
NAR
8 years ago
Reply to  Yani

When saving, it’s probably important to take into consideration the price increases that happen.

Ester
Ester
8 years ago
Reply to  NAR

I am a 22 year old university student. I am a year from being a elementary school teacher! I have always loved designer bags and have been collecting since I was 17. I come from a well off family and am very fortunate to have my parents pay for my schooling, car, insurance etc. But I work as well, from a young age my parents have installed the importance of saving in me. I have been working since 16, everything from Mcdonalds, clothing stores etc. I have a fairly good job now that pays well – for a student at least. I just bought my first Chanel Bag couple months ago, the Chanel 2.55 Jumbo! I promised myself I would treat myself when I complete my degree! I did not go in debt from purchasing a high end luxury item and I still have alot in the bank. If you love something you will find away to get it, saving money can do wonders for you! Anyone can own a designer bag – teacher or not. Saving is extremely important, and i’d much rather use my money on a Chanel Bag over going out each weekend and partying any day! Can’t wait to get more bags once I start teaching and I get my Masters in Education as well!

S
S
7 years ago
Reply to  Ester

Of course you think anyone can buy a Chanel when they don’t have any responsibilities. Most people who are in your position who pay their own college, car, insurance among other things would never have the $ to do this. Maybe when they are 40, and if they never have children.

Ashley
Ashley
7 years ago
Reply to  S

What’s wrong with that? Her parents pay for basic needs, and she pays for luxury items. I’m in college too, and I don’t know a single kid who has to fend for themselves. The times have changed.

Fedup
Fedup
6 years ago
Reply to  Ashley

Oh Ashley, clearly you don’t know how hard it is when others are not as fortunate to have parents that aren’t selfish. My best friends and husband’s friends (including us) had to work extremely hard to earn money in order to pay for our own lunches, transportation or basic necessities because it was our way of life. Not sure if you really know the struggles of immigrant families.

Aimee
Aimee
11 years ago
Reply to  lightdays

agree with on that one ..no need to be rich to own that kind of bag.. Im not rich but I have one..if you want one save up!!!:))

mochababe73
mochababe73
12 years ago
Reply to  Mochababe73

(fb)

Dulce
Dulce
12 years ago

I have the marc jacobs quilted and it just isnt the same, I thought it would satisfy the craving I had for a classic flap but it did not, however, it made me spend a lot more money because the next month… I bought a classic flap bag! 🙂 I love it! Thanks Marc Jacobs!

eorchid
eorchid
12 years ago

My immediate reaction to the title of the article, “you don’t have to tell ME that!”, because I’ve been dying for a flap (actually, a reissue flap) for a while now. Love this article, especially reason #1. Too bad I’m a grad student and will have to save my pennies for a while to get one!

ad
ad
12 years ago

ohhh.. they’re beautiful aren’t they? but i very much prefer the lambskin ones. they look far more luxurious than the caviar

CarolineLondon
CarolineLondon
12 years ago

I’ve wanted one of these for years and still do.
I daren’t go into a Chanel store or concession because I know I’d come out with one, and I can’t really afford it. I mean, it’s two grand on a HANDBAG! I have yet to break the 4-figure barrier. Some day though, some day *soon* at this rate!

Dania
Dania
12 years ago

I want one so bad, I brought the half-moon woc to help me get through until I can afford the classic flap. I’m still not sure what size I will get when I do save enough to get it….

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