What is a good first Chanel piece to start with?

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  1. I am sure this question has been asked a few times but I would like some specific answers.

    I have always shied away from Chanel because of price but I keep thinking about getting one and prices keep increasing. I am not able to just walk in (or in Chanel's case waitlist) for a classic flap. I have to plan and save for a long time. But also do not want to save for a long time to acquire the classic flap and not like it. So what would be a great piece that would be cost effective and act like an introduction into the Chanel brand.

    The following are pieces that I am thinking about:

    1. card holder

    2. L-Zip pocket caviar wallet (durable enough for every day use?)

    3. WOC (during my research, there are mixed reviews with this, some people says it is not worth the price for such a small,occasional use piece)

    4. Try a preloved bag (any suggestions?)

    Please give me your opinions on above and make any suggestions that I may have missed or overlooked.

    Also would love to hear your own personal story on deciding on your first Chanel piece. TIA
  2. I don't like suggesting SLGs as an intro. The reason is that as a first Chanel item, buying a very expensive wallet does not provide the level of return on satisfaction vs. the invested amount. You paid a lot of money for a first Chanel piece but you don't get the full satisfaction of using a full bag if you know what I mean.

    Especially the fact that I love how a classic Chanel bag just elevates and finishes an entire outfit - a wallet wont be able to do that and provide nearly the same level of satisfaction - for that reason I rule out wallet on chain as a recommended first Chanel IMO.

    Here are my humble opinion on your first Chanel, that are lower in price than a classic jumbo, but would never go out of style and very versatile as a long term investment (you will likely feel good about the price always going up for these too as they hold their value well due to high/healthy demand despite not being a classic jumbo). :smile:

    If the price is in your range and can buy new, I would suggest:
    rectangular mini, in either black, navy or red - with any color hardware you prefer and either lamb or caviar leather. Cost: $3100 + tax but if you're lucky to find one in Saks 5th/Bloomingdale you can get 10 or 15% off if you open a store credit card plus points which means a bit of cash back later. Reason: big enough to fit your daily essentials (keys, wallet, phone, lipstick), perfect chain length for cross body and on shoulder (which is NOT the case for most channels - as most style has very short chains). the style and look is the timeless elegant classic chanel look with the backpocket, even the proportion mirrors it, but in a mini size. It is PERFECTLY chic for a casual outfit, but sooo cute and elegant for sundresses or evening dress (as a cute clutch). The versatility is 2nd to none - if you don't carry lots. The colors I've suggested should hold their value well (many re-sell above retail price for new due to high demand and limited supply, if in great condition). It will require some stalking but when investing in a timeless piece I feel would be well worth it. I would say I tried on the current spring season's navy with silver hardware, it's extremely gorgeous and the lambskin feels much more durable than usual.

    If you're considering used, why not consider the rectangular mini, the Diana flap (I prefer the smaller size vs. jumbo just because it "can" look casual AND elegant), or the easy caviar bag? all undeniably "chanel" and very versatile from a look perspective compared to other seasonal styles.

    I would personally rather save up for a $2-3k handbag vs a $1-2k wallet as for the reasons above you would get so much more return and use out of the hard saved $$. You will have a versatile piece that you love and can use forever in many different types of occasions and outfit vs. only pulling it out o pay for gas/bills!

    Hope this helps!
  3. #3 Apr 30, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
    It sounds like you are finding reasons to buy something from the brand.

    If you are not 100% sold on getting a piece, I suggest you don't. If your heart is not there 100%, you will run the risk of feeling shortchanged or "ripped off".

    Buy it (or save for it), only if you really want it. How do you know if you really want it? Well.. for starters..

    I recommend going to the boutique and trying on the bags. Feel a caviar flap.. Wear it, model in in front of a mirror. Hold a mini bag.. Hold a lambskin piece.. Basically, "check them out" as much as you can. When your heart sings, then that is that. Only then can you justify the intent to purchase in your mind.

    In the boutique, you can see the different leathers.. you can decide which ones you prefer.. then you can also see different colors.. Different hardwares... You may not see the exact item you want, but you will see facets of it.. With a boutique visit, you can be able to get an idea of the kind of item you want. Do you want a crossbody? A tote? A small purse? Medium or small? Is mini enough? Is jumbo what you want? Or is Chanel really not for you? Etc. etc.

    I don't think anyone can "tell you what to buy" and expect that you are happy with it. Only you can choose what brings you joy. There are so many styles of bags!!

    Having said all that.. If you were to ask me what to get or what to save for.. Then my answer is:
    1. a piece in black, beige, blue, or red..
    2. a bag, not a wallet or SLG..

    If you ask me specifically what items to get based on my taste, I would recommend :
    1. a classic double flap in any size
    2. a GST (grand shopping tote) in caviar leather (if you can find one brand new, from the boutique, this is very very cost effective in terms of brand recognition and amount of money paid for size of bag)
    3. a rectangular mini flap

    Good luck and enjoy the ride!
    jchen815 likes this.
  4. I think a rectangular mini or a mint-condition vintage/preloved classic M/L flap is a good choice for the first Chanel piece.
  5. I understand your dilemma. I was excited to get a jumbo classic flap and then when I got it I wasn't that wowed by it and ended up returning it.

    I agree with the ladies that buying a wallet or SLG is not recommended for the same reasons they gave. I think you might want to look at a seasonal bag (which I think they come out with beautiful ones so please don't dismiss them!) or a mini classic flap (if you don't carry much then I think it's great. But if ur the kinda girl that carries a lot with you, you will not get much use of it)
  6. i'd go preloved, with an SLG in the leather you want to maybe get in a bag later on. those are very affordable, often in excellent condition, and do give you an introduction without a high price point. many women jump right into a lambskin flap or woc or mini and then don't even use it because they get so scared to even touch it. if you get a small wallet or pouch you're pretty much going to guarantee use and you will be handling the lamb or caviar so you'll know how it holds up and if you might like it in something bigger. wallets and pouches and cosmetic cases, in general, will be something you use and touch far more often than a bag. my first piece was a preloved evening bag in lamb and from that experience i knew lamb and i weren't friends. i'm an advocate for starting with something small and preloved. it would be horrible to pay 2k+ for a bag you don't like or use

  7. That was my thinking also. Getting a bag seems like a big deal. I feel like if i have a small Item and like it, i will be more motivated to save for a bag.
  8. just my opinion/experience.. better to familiarize (jn person) as previous poster said..if the styles, leather sing to your aesthetic.. better to save up to get the piece that wows you koz these items are not cheap.unless there's a money tree, i wouldn't want to get an intro piece and lose interest in its novelty once i upgrade..or snarky comments that the cheapest slg is all i can afford (mean girls!)..
  9. A WOC is a nice introduction to Chanel IMO. Good luck with your choice!
  10. Definitely recommend checking out the different styles and fabrics at the boutique or try out a friend's bag. I got a rectangle mini and ended up not liking the crossbody length. I got the black caviar WOC because it was a "classic" and ended up never using it. Luckily I didn't get the double flap because I carried a friends and it was super heavy.