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The Ultimate Bag Guide: The Chanel Classic Flap Bag


When we released our last Ultimate Bag Guide, many of you asked us to give the same treatment to the iconic Chanel Classic Flap Bag, and we thought it was an excellent suggestion. This month marks the revolutionary shoulder bag’s 60th anniversary, and somehow, it’s even more popular now than it was in 1955.

Whether you’re a young celeb looking to carry a flashy mini bag in front of the paparazzi or a corporate maven looking for a roomy day bag that announces that you’ve arrived, the many sizes, colors and variations on the Classic Flap mean that there’s likely a version that will suit your purposes. And because Chanel regularly increases its prices, the bags tend to hold their value well for years, meaning that buying one now isn’t too risky–you can always sell it and recoup most, if not all, of your money. That’s if you don’t want to pass it down to your daughter, of course.

Below, we’ve compiled as much information as we could about the bag’s particulars. Because Chanel tends to keep things close to the vest, some information might be incomplete. If you can think of anything that might be a useful addition to the guide, please let us know in the comments.

The Chanel Classic Flap Bag

Year Created: 1955
Sizes Currently Available: Extra Mini, Mini Rectangular, Mini Square, Small, Medium, Jumbo, Maxi
Most Recent Price Increase: November 2017
Availability: Chanel boutiques and store-in-store locations only; certain colors, sizes and leather may require a wait list


Note: To help indicate differences in size, these pictures are approximately, but not perfectly, to scale

Chanel Classic Flap Bag – Extra Mini

6.7″ W x 3.9″ H x 3″ D
New Price Unknown in Lambskin, Patent or Caviar Leather


Chanel Classic Flap Bag – Mini Rectangular

7.9″ W x 4.9 H x 2.8″ D
$3,300 in Lambskin, Patent or Caviar Leather


Chanel Classic Flap Bag – Mini Square

6.7″ W x 5.2″ H x 3.1″ D
$3,100 in Lambskin, Patent or Caviar Leather


Chanel Classic Flap Bag – Small

9.3″ W x 5.7″ H x 2.6″ D
$4,700 in Lambskin, Patent or Caviar Leather


Chanel Classic Flap Bag – Medium

10″ W x 6.3″ H x 3″ D
$5,300 in Lambskin, Patent or Caviar Leather – $3,700 in Velvet


Chanel Classic Flap Bag – Jumbo

11.8″ W x 7.7″ H x 3.9″ D
$5,900 in Lambskin, Patent or Caviar Leather


Chanel Classic Flap Bag – Maxi

13″ W x 9.1″ H x 3.9″ D
$6,400 in Lambskin, Patent or Caviar Leather


Common Leathers and Materials





Permanent Colors


Common Colors


Hardware Colors and Finishes


Alternate Views

Chanel Classic-Flap-Bag-Interior-1



Size Comparisons

Square and Rectangular Mini Flap Bags

Jumbo, Medium and Mini Square Bags

Jumbo, Medium and Small Bags

Maxi and Jumbo Bags

Medium and Square Mini Flap Bags

Jumbo and Medium Flap Bags


Leave a Comment

  1. Monaco Avatar

    Thank you for creating this guide with lots of photo references.

    As crazy as it sounds, I am saving up to buy the double flap as my first “designer” handbag and its great to know all the different sizes and colors.

    I know for sure want the medium size because I prefer smaller bags, but I am still deciding between lambskin and caviar… so many choices! lol

    1. Kemi Avatar

      Go caviar, tougher, durable and stress free.

    2. Sofia Avatar

      Lambskin feels nicer, though

    3. anon Avatar

      Lambskin:Pro-smooth, shiny, soft/Con-shiny, Easily scratched, more delicate, more vulnerable to color transfer
      Caviar:Pro-tough, durable, rigid (at first), less prone to scratches and color transfer, not shiny/Con-, not shiny, not soft, not smooth, still prone to very rough scratching, vulnerable (but less) to color transfer
      For vintage bags, I go for lamb (it just looks better imo), but for these newer chanels (which are puffier) I think caviar works a lot better for the long run and your money.
      I hope this helps!:)

    4. Amanda Mull Avatar

      Chanel lambskin is just about the most wonderful thing I’ve ever touched in my life, but I’m hard on my bags. If I were going to invest in a Classic Flap that I’d use frequently, I’d go Caviar.

    5. shakins Avatar

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    6. lvmil Avatar

      Caviar for sure. My first Chanel was the medium with lambskin and I find it so delicate and I am not hard at all on my bags at all. Second could be lamb. I would also suggest considering the patent, it seems me to be indestructible and I have more patent ones than any other leather. Hope this helps.

    7. shakins Avatar

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    9. hawktchr Avatar

      If you have to “save up” you can’t afford it. Did Jackie have to “save”? Did Diana? (Though Diana didn’t do Chanel due to the interlocking C’s. (Charles and Camilla)) High end bags are for classes and incomes who don’t have to save. They just can.

      1. Jessica Wilson Avatar
        Jessica Wilson

        F*ck You!

  2. anon Avatar

    Such a great post. This is awesome. The Chanel flap options are confusing at times. Thanks a lot!!:)

  3. TGreen Avatar

    Anyone know where to find the mini flap in the US? I was told by the Boston store that they are more of an international style. Thank you!

  4. dinabobina Avatar

    LOVE this guide, only drawback is now I want a maxi!

  5. uncertain Avatar

    This is AMAZING. Thank you so much for putting this together

  6. uncertain Avatar

    Maybe a tag “ultimate bag guide” might help so we can easily find the guides later on

    1. Amanda Mull Avatar

      We agree–we’re adding it!

    2. Megs Mahoney Dusil Avatar

      We’re going to make a landing page that houses all the bag guides as well!

  7. Jess Avatar

    I got my first ever Chanel only some weeks ago and opted for the jumbo size in black caviar with ghw. To be honest, I am a bit disappointed when I compare it with my Mulberry Cara Delevingne bag which is made of lambskin and which is so much softer. Though I think that it was the right decision to go for caviar because I want to use my bags and with the lambskin I would be too scared to do so as I see my Chanel as an investment piece that should survive more than one season.

  8. ami Avatar

    Medium is now at $4,700? Thank goodness I was able to buy mine in late 2007 when it was still $2,500 more or less.

    1. Abby Gehring Avatar
      Abby Gehring

      The small is 4700, the medium is 4,900

  9. ami Avatar

    Can you also do an ultimate guide to the differences between the classic flap and the reissues?

    1. Amanda Mull Avatar

      We can and we will!

  10. Lovebags Avatar

    How about the inside of the bags? One of the reasons I fell in love with these are the double flap, especially the burgundy/black contrast on the black bags. Also, it’s worth knowing that for all the other colors (in currently produced bags), the inner flap would match the external color. For the caviar bags, the internal flap with the big CC logo is from smooth calfskin.

    1. Megs Mahoney Dusil Avatar

      Yes, we can add that!

    2. Theresa Spadafora Johnston Avatar
      Theresa Spadafora Johnston

      Im wondering why my Classic bag doesn’t have an “inner flap”? It’s about 5 years old.

    3. xactreality Avatar

      Hi.. I believe the internal flap with the cc logo is also like the outter i mean caviar not smooth right?

  11. KY bag lady Avatar
    KY bag lady

    I bought a black lambskin Maxi in the 90s from the original owner for $475. She even had the Chanel box that went with it. I don’t use it except at holiday time because the chain strap is very heavy. My daughter would love to have it and eventually she will. It is a gorgeous bag. I first saw it at the KY Derby and I started looking for one. Chanel was popular at the Derby, a lot of money people there.

  12. JC Avatar

    Thank you for these information. This is my recent purchase. I wonder this bag is the 60 year anniversary edition or just their spring collection.
    Anyone know???

    1. Vlad Dusil Avatar
      Vlad Dusil

      I believe it’s part of their regular spring collection. We featured some of its intricate details of the matching black version a few weeks back:

  13. Jen Avatar

    Maybe you should add hard wear. As there is Gold, Silver, Brushed Gold, Gunmetal, and a few others. As those are options to consider which bag is for you 🙂

    1. Megs Mahoney Dusil Avatar

      Yes, we can add that!!

      1. Sybil Lee Avatar
        Sybil Lee

        Also, please add patterns ie quilt, camellia, chevron …

  14. Cherlyn Koh Avatar
    Cherlyn Koh

    This is a little off topic…but chanel didnt have an special bags for vday 2015?

    1. Amanda Mull Avatar

      I didn’t see anything anywhere, which I thought was a little weird.

      1. Cherlyn Koh Avatar
        Cherlyn Koh

        Yes! was a little disappointed. I got the medium flap from last yr and i love it!

    2. Abby Gehring Avatar
      Abby Gehring

      They make a charmed flap called the valentine that sometimes comes out for spring but isn’t necessarily a bag for Valentine’s day. They did make it this year but only in python. May still be available.

  15. Viv Avatar

    I love this article!! Thank you!!
    Hope you can write about the Chanel boy or Celine box next time.

  16. Scottsdale Kim Avatar
    Scottsdale Kim

    Love the mademoiselle hardware with the bijou chain much more than the CC’s.

    I am interested in which designer bags have the greatest resale value. I’ve sold some of my Chanel bags recently and the consignment shop priced them higher than what I paid new 10 years ago. They sold quickly.

    1. Amanda Mull Avatar

      We’re also working on some posts about resale, bags that hold value and where to sell–it’s all on the way!

  17. Steffi Avatar

    What a great post, thank you!!!!!

  18. Sherre Ann Wallace Avatar
    Sherre Ann Wallace

    I am in love!

  19. Liza Avatar

    Canadian prices are so much higher 🙁 I missed the price increase by two months last year and paid 6100$ plus tax (which came up to 7014$) for my jumbo last July. :/

  20. Imgoingbroke Avatar

    Love the classic flap with a twist. I just purchase a vintage single strap Caviar XL Classic Jumbo Flap Camera Bag. It has the flap on front with a big pocket under it and the bonus is the zipper opening on top which I really prefer because it’s a lot easier to get into your bag and eliminates a lot of wear on the flap. You can’t go wrong with a classic Chanel flap. The caviar is wonderful and so durable. Go Caviar, virtually indestructible.

  21. Fashion and Frappes Avatar

    Such a great post! But I still need to figure out the sizes – so difficult to tell in photos. Thanks for this.

  22. Sparkletastic Avatar

    Wonderful guide! Very helpful!

    I’m planning to buy my first Chanel bag this year (I would love one in silver).

    Keep these kinds of posts coming!

  23. kaly Avatar

    LOVE this!!! I’m planning to buy my first Chanel this year and this is SOOOO helpful!!! Thank you so much!!! 😀

  24. Jan Marilynfan Levitan Avatar
    Jan Marilynfan Levitan

    Amazing the price increase, even given its 60 years. The selling price in Feb 1955 was $255.00. No doubt a fortune then.. as $5K is quite expensive by todays standards for a bag. The “average” person would have to save for quite a long while to afford this bag. Although I would certainly consider it!! Classic Flap bag medium is the ULTIMATE!!

    1. BabyDietrich Avatar

      Apparently $255 in 1955 is equivalent to around $2270 now… so Chanel price increase is double the inflation!

  25. Passerine Avatar

    It’s a great bag, but the Chanel bag I’d like most to own is a zip-top suede camera bag. That was the first Chanel bag I became aware of (I was an exchange student in France and Madame in the family I stayed with had one) and it’s still my favorite.

  26. Sarah | Sky Envy Avatar

    OMG I can’t believe it! the Medium Caviar with SH I purchased a few years ago for 2750 not retails a lot more! so glad I did it then! Thanks for the info!

  27. Gia Avatar

    Cavier is heavy, lamb is lighter in weight. The chain weighs, so if that’s a factor, consider lambskin.

  28. Gia Avatar

    Love this guide! Thanks!

  29. Giselle Avatar

    You guys are misleading, classic flap is derivative of reissue and was designed much later. All the pictures and sizing is very detailed though.

  30. Guest Avatar

    Hi. I’m in love with this bag. Any idea of the name? Is it available at stores? I had my son ask at Harrods London and the sales lady told him it’s an old model, not available in stores

    1. Len Avatar

      One available yesterday, Somerset Collection, Troy Michigan, Saks Fifth! 🙂
      I almost bought it!

  31. Minousha Avatar

    Hi. Any idea which model is this? The sales person at Harrods London told my son it’s old and no longer available.

  32. Boum Piyanan Avatar
    Boum Piyanan

    My high 177 cm , I should have Chanel Classic Flap Medium or Jumbo,Please
    It’s difficult to choose one to suit for me.

    1. mary Avatar

      It all depends what you intend to carry around in it. The Jumbo size is great but it may get heavy if you put too much in it. The medium size is maybe a little less tempting to cram full of unnecessary items. I think you should make the decision based on your strength and willpower!

  33. Beffe1965 Avatar

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  34. LC Avatar

    I like the lambskin better than Caviar. Caviar has a cheaper pebble feel.. like those of Roots or Kate Spade bags…

  35. Sabina Avatar

    How do you buy a Chanel mini square or rectangle ? I went to 3 shops today that said they are sold out and I asked for wait list and they said there wasn’t one. Any suggestions ? I want a small classic Chanel flap mini rectangle or square in black quilted with gold hardware in lambkin or caviar. Any tips and suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Ami Avatar

      I was recently in Las Vegas and drop by the Chanel boutique in Bellagio. I was there looking to purchase a key pouch and the sales rep told me they just recieved Chanel mini rectangle in black with gold hardware in lamb skin the day before. I couldn’t pass on it so, I left the store with the key pouch and the mini.

  36. Joanne Avatar

    Hi I’m planning to get a jumbo flap pearl gray color in caviar . My concern is will it fade sometime ? I used to have a lambskin in metallic color it faded after 5 years I can’t use it anymore . Is it the same with caviar leather?

  37. Mary Eastman Avatar
    Mary Eastman
  38. jenny Avatar

    Hi, what is major difference between double flap or just flap? Is the double flap better? Thanks for this great help.

  39. jenny Avatar

    Also, is it safer to buy a new bag if I want the lambskin instead of gently used?

  40. Eileen G Avatar
    Eileen G

    I have a Maxi in black lamb with GHW. It has held up wonderfully and it is about 15 years old. Can’t believe how much they’ve gone up. I paid less than half the price they are selling for now. Wow! Wish all my investments went up as well.

  41. Tolu Lope Avatar
    Tolu Lope

    I come to this page every week or so to feast my eyes…hopefully I will soon have enough to purchase one of these beauties…

  42. Liz Avatar

    how long is the chain drop on the small – can it be worn cross body? Thank you …… great Photo References-LOVE IT…..& the medium as well gracias….

  43. Rozzan Avatar

    I always think about buying a classic flip bag but I don’t want to invest on the wrong size of this bag. Which size do you think will last longer without feeling it’s too big or too small to carry for the next few years?

  44. Rayna Avatar

    Hi, its our anniversary today and I’d like to buy a classic chanel bag! My very first one! Great post with excellent tips. Ive made up my mind to get the medium 10″ black lambskin….I can’t decide what hardware….silver or gold?? What should I base my decision on? I’d like to use it for special occasions….day or night! I have gold and silver jewellery. I like traditional but am a modern girl. Please help before my husband changes his mind!! Thank you!!

  45. Kayle Tucker Simon Avatar
    Kayle Tucker Simon

    Thanks for this, you helped me figure out that mine is the Mini Rectangular. I received it as a gift (I know, so nice!) and it came directly from Neiman Marcus, it would have been around 1998-2000 I think. I know it’s authentic (though I stupidly lost the card), but I have never seen one with this adorable dotted black and white edge anywhere online. Every time I think of selling it I end up deciding not to, because it’s just so darned cute. I’d like to get a larger one but that detail makes me hesitant to let it go! Do you know anything about this design or how often they made caviar bags with these little differences? It’s fairly well used but if it’s particularly rare I could probably get a good sum for it to buy a larger one.

  46. Nidhi Avatar

    Is Milan cheaper for Chanel bag …….which place in Europe we should buy…….

  47. Paolin Avatar

    I need help with the colours available this season. I am looking for a burgundy Flap Bag with GHW. Today in Vienna I was offerred a Flap and a Boy, both in dark red but slightly different shades. The Boy colour is exactly what I need. Does anyone now if Flap is available in such a colour now? Anywhere in Europe?

  48. hIRA Avatar

    http://fashionanddope.blogspot… i recently wrote a post on my blog about affordable designers bags to start your designer handbag collection.It will be very well appreciated if you guys took the time to check it out.Thanks!

  49. Pia Jee Skou Eilertsen Avatar
    Pia Jee Skou Eilertsen

    Can anyone add information as to whether or not the shoulder strap on the medium would be long enough for cross body? Or would that not be a right way to carry it? 😉

    1. Tinsley Proust Avatar
      Tinsley Proust

      If you’re very short and very thin, it might work. Usually, however, it’s just not long enough.

  50. Jab Marta Avatar
    Jab Marta

    Do you know if/when Chanel mini rectangular will be back to boutiques?

    1. VHO Avatar

      The mini rectangle are slowly hitting the boutique, if you want a particular one, you have to let your SA know so they can keep an eye out or put you on the list. I just purchased a mini rectangle lambskin ghw for my daughter a week ago.

      1. Jab Marta Avatar
        Jab Marta

        Thank you for good advice! Can you tell me which boutique have you bought yours in?

      2. VHO Avatar

        Hi Jab, I bought mine in San Francisco Chanel boutique. I suggest call multiple places and have them put you on the list. If you don’t have a regular SA get their cell phone number at the time you request the goodies to be on hold for you. Then once a week text them and asks if it’s there yet. Also, I’ve purchased another one at the Wynn Hotel Chanel boutique in Las Vegas. I’d say start with San Francisco, Wynn Hotel, and another one you can try is Bellaggio Hotel, they also have a boutique in there. Good luck just be patient, it took me 5 months??

      3. Jab Marta Avatar
        Jab Marta

        Thank you very much for your help 🙂

      4. VHO Avatar

        Glad I could help, if you get a chance to check this message, I checked with my SA, this time around mini rectangle only comes out with lambskin black, red, and blue. I just picked up a blue one today from Bellaggio. Good luck in your search.

      5. Jab Marta Avatar
        Jab Marta

        It’s really beautiful! Just like my dream bag… I must say today I am very disappointed… I am trying to buy my bag in Berlin. I live in Poland where unfortunately there are no Chanel boutiques L I was calling Berlin all month to inquire about mini rectangular. They are saying “maybe… call later”. I was told to call today due to new delivery. And they say: No rectangular. I asked if they
        had new collection on stock. “Yes, we have some”. I asked for two models from new collection and they had nothing. I asked about classic flap small or medium – also none I asked for waiting lists: no we don’t do that… I realize that supply is limited, but I fell like it is impossible. I am not aware of how they delivery system works and I cannot visit Berlin everyday to check it. Are there some services, companies, assistants that do such personal shopping? Any good advice? I fell like crying out loud…

      6. VHO Avatar

        Awwww so sorry you’re having such a hard time finding that perfect bag. I’m attaching a link for their contact. Email them and ask them what can you do.

        Good luck!

      7. Jab Marta Avatar
        Jab Marta

        Thank you… I used this link and contacted them….

      8. Jab Marta Avatar
        Jab Marta

        Today I made it in Berlin 🙂

      9. VHO Avatar

        Oh my!!!! Congrats!!!!! Tell me how you got it!!! Super excited for you Jab!!!!! Congrats!!!!??????????

      10. Jab Marta Avatar
        Jab Marta

        I called Berlin boutique and they informed me about possessing limited amount. It took me all day and many calls to make reservation because SA were really busy that day. In the evening they called me, make reservation and yesterday I picked it up in Berlin main boutique. I was also in KaDeWe in second boutique. They are temporarily closed but on the mannequin I saw also one mini rectangular. I am really happy. Two days ago Chanel customer service responded to my inquiry and explain that mini rectangular is really hard to find so I am very very glad I made it. Also SAs in Berlin were very helpful and patient 😉 due to my multiple calls.

      11. VHO Avatar

        Congrats Jab!!! What a journey for you! It’s absolutely beautiful!!!! Gorgeous!!! Super happy for you!???

      12. Jab Marta Avatar
        Jab Marta

        Thanks! I really appreciate your help. When you had written that minis are slowly hitting boutiques, I started calling them again – before that I had lost hope that mini ever would be available again 🙂

      13. Irin I Avatar
        Irin I

        Is it possible to buy now extra mini caviar bag in black color? or they don’t produce it now?

      14. Lyndsey MacNair Avatar
        Lyndsey MacNair

        I wanted a rectangular mini, and called around. No one had one…when I called the flagship store in NYC, a SA did a search and told me the only store that had one in the entire U.S. was Palm Beach. So I called Palm Beach, and they shipped it to me. Best of luck!

      15. VHO Avatar

        Awww congrats Lyndsey!!!! Show us some pics when you get it!!! Awesome!!!????

  51. Jennifer Avatar

    I got my holy grail bag on Saturday!!! A Medium Black Caviar with Silver hardware. She is the most gorgeous bag!!

  52. mhrgame64 Avatar

    Top latest news

  53. lovemyfashions Avatar

    Best of the Best, really well said

  54. Masha Sladkayagirly Avatar
    Masha Sladkayagirly

    I’m in love with the herringbone lambskin. I love the feel but also like the stitching much more than the diamond stich on the caviar bag. I also love the color of the hardware which is a more muted gold. But I’m terrified of scathing it and afraid that I’ll ruin it. I’m planning on getting the medium and using it for going out to dinners, etc so I want to actually get use out of it. Will I regret getting it bc it’s pretty much a given it will get at least small marks the first time I use it? Any product that can protect it best?

  55. Avril Avatar

    Hi does Chanel make a flap bag with metal flags from different countries?

  56. Laura Berger Avatar
    Laura Berger

    @ Monaco – prices of new bags vary across countries. You should check out this site that compares prices of Chanel bags globally:; I found it quite useful.

  57. Elena Bedingfield Avatar
    Elena Bedingfield

    I like the caviar and lambskin too on classic flap bag. I really dislike the jumbo. This curve is ugly though Iam a huge Chanel fan for years. Black color is always a safe choice! Quilted gold chain is always classy. Oh Chanel <3

  58. Stacy Avatar

    I have a red Chanel purse believed to be 75 years old. It is in excellent condition. It has a serial number in the side zipper pocket on a piece of what looks like old tape. The serial # is 321896. The gold CC ‘s on the front are different than I have ever seen or I can find on line. Is this a true purse.

  59. didi Avatar

    I have a question, does anybody know If the chanel classic flap jumbo chevron in black lambskin has a black inside or a bordeaux one?

  60. Elizabeth  Avatar

    I have a classic Chanel flap lambskin with gold hardware that I bought at Chanel in 1994. It’s length is 9 inches. Is it considered the SMALL classic flap even though it is slightly smaller?