If you’ve been following this blog for a few years, you know that I am a huge CHANEL fangirl. Over the years, I’ve gotten many emails from readers who also love CHANEL and want to buy a bag, but for a variety of reasons haven’t pulled the trigger just yet. Questions range from “when is the best time to buy” to “how can you afford all these bags”. Well, today’s post is all about buying your first (or second, or tenth) CHANEL bag, and how to do it without going broke and having to eat ramen for a year. If you’re the type of person who believes that it’s insane to spend thousands of dollars on a designer bag, then this post is definitely not for you, but if you are seriously considering this major purchase and need a few helpful suggestions, then keep reading.
1. Choose Your Style
A classic CHANEL bag is an investment. Year after year, prices of CHANEL products continue to rise, and with each increase, it becomes more and more difficult to get your hands on a coveted bag. Back in 2008 a friend of mine picked up a medium CHANEL 2.55 bag for around CAD 2,000.00. At the time, I thought she was crazy. Fast forward to 2010, and I was picking up my own 2.55 wishing I’d done it much sooner. The lesson here is that if you can afford a bag now and know exactly which style you’re after, then waiting around is not the best strategy. As ridiculous as the price may seem initially, these bags are supposed to last you a lifetime (with proper care) – an heirloom for your future kids, and a bag that looks great on 20 and 80 year olds alike.
But in order to commit to spending a ton of money on one item, you first need to know which style you are crazy about. Are you a classic flap girl, always dreamed of having a CHANEL Boy bag, or are you more of a backpack girl? Choose a style that suits your personality, and one you can foresee yourself proudly wearing a few years down the road. Carefully consider the colour of hardware (silver, gold, gunmetal), the length of the strap (do you prefer cross-body, over the shoulder, or both?), the type of leather (lambskin is more fragile, caviar is less scratch-prone), reissue or classic, and of course the overall colour (black is a no-brainer, but maybe you’ve always dreamed of one in colourful tweed). Go to a nearby boutique and ask to see a few bags. Try them on, look inside, see how versatile each bag is and whether it’s comfortable to carry. Don’t be shy, it’s better to be 100% certain that the bag you’re buying is the one for you, especially when it’s your first.
2. Save Up
If you’re not one of the lucky few who can afford to buy a bag right away, then saving up is key. Go to your bank and open a savings account with automated weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly contributions. Little by little, your savings will add up, and perhaps with the help of your yearly bonus (or maybe lotto winnings?) some day soon you’ll be able to march into the nearby CHANEL boutique and finally buy the bag of your dreams. It should go without saying that if you’re saving up for a big purchase, then another way to save your pennies is to reduce the number of times you eat out and get take out coffee. Bringing lunch to work may seem like a chore, but in the end, you’ll be able to save faster. Another way to beef up your CHANEL fund is to ask your friends and family for CHANEL gift cards for your birthday, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or whatever other holidays you celebrate. At the risk of sounding completely out of touch, let me just say that CHANEL gift cards are available in many denominations – you can get one for as little as $20! So if you’re comfortable telling your parents, your spouse, or your friends that you are currently saving up for a bag and would appreciate a gift card from CHANEL in lieu of other gifts, I am sure they won’t judge (or maybe they will, but that’s a different story). This is especially handy for those of us who are really tough to buy for, so really, it’s a win-win for everyone.
More after the jump!