I‘d describe myself as a classic kind of girl. I prefer chocolate ice cream over Cherry Garcia …Burberry over Balmain…sensible pumps over 6 inch platforms. Classic items with sophistication and fashion staying power get me all excited. I love the idea that I could own something for the rest of my life without it going out of style. So it should come as no surprise that I love love love Chanel handbags. And when I say Chanel handbags, I mean the classic flaps of course.
The Chanel classic flap is really a remake of the 2.55 handbag that Coco Chanel herself designed in February of 1955 (hence the name 2.55). The original was a quilted leather flap bag with a rectangular latch opening, and chain shoulder straps. The modern version is also a quilted leather flap bag, but has the iconic double overlapping C (“CC”) latch, and leather interwoven chain shoulder straps. Both versions (the modern “CC” lock handbag and the reissued rectangle lock handbag) are available every season in a variety of colors and materials. I love it when things have an interesting history!
To find out more about the history of the Chanel 2.55 handbag, check out these informative blog posts from The Bag Snob and The Purse Blog:
Did I mention on top of being a classic girl, I’m also a red girl? I’ve been craving a red Chanel classic flap for years! I wanted it to be the perfect shade of red, with silver hardware, and caviar leather, which is sturdier than the lambskin. I’ve been tracking this bag down every season, tirelessly doing Internet research on new season merchandise and relentlessly grilling sales associates, hoping my perfect bag would finally be released. So, when I saw this beauty at the Chanel boutique in the Wynn hotel in Las Vegas, I fell in love. Thanks to my wonderful boyfriend, and the celebration of our 4 years together, this bag flew all the way back to Los Angeles with me!
Top: H&M, size XS
Jeans: Paige Premium Denim, Laurel Canyon, size 24 (hemmed and waist taken in)
Shoes: Cole Haan Grey Suede Almond Toe Pumps (similar here)
Necklace: Iridesse 80 inch Rope Pearls (similar here) (and here)
Handbag: Chanel M/L Classic Flap (similar here) (and here) (Shopbop sells vintage Chanel now?)
Luckily for women of all shapes and heights, the Chanel classic flaps come in several sizes.
When I was researching the proper size handbag for myself, I decided to stick with a handbag no larger than the medium flap. Large enough to carry my essentials, but not so large as to overwhelm my frame, the medium is the perfect fit.
I’ve talked to other petite women looking to purchase their own Chanel handbags, and many were torn between the medium (the one I own) and the jumbo. If you are looking to purchase your own, this all depends on personal taste and body type. Being as tiny as I am, I just couldn’t pull off the jumbo, and I would recommend without hesitation to anyone similarly sized to myself to consider the medium.
I should also mention that anyone doing research into this handbag should visit The Purse Forum, a wonderful grouping of knowledgeable handbag collectors. The women (and men) on this forum have more knowledge than any sales associate I’ve ever met.
Now, I have to admit, this is not my first Chanel. I also have the East/West Flap in lambskin (a great smooth leather). This bag is a little dressier than my red flap, not to mention a neutral color.
And a side-by-side comparison of the two sizes:
I know these handbags are expensive, and some may consider such a purchase as frivolous, but I consider them investments. I love everything about them, from the classic shape and design to the iconic history behind them. I love owning something that is so entrenched in the history of fashion, not to mention the history of one of my favorite fashion characters, Mademoiselle Coco Chanel. They can be dressed up or dressed down, and look great with everything. I can’t stop staring at my beautiful little Chanel collection, and only hope than anyone else who loves these handbags as much as I do will get their own little piece of fashion history.