So I've been very fortunate in my life to own a lot of different Chanel bags. Back in 2008 when the economy was on the skids, pre-owned Chanel bags were considerably cheaper than today. I also took part in the Bing and eBay program that gave cashback to up to 30% of the purchase price (so thank you Bing for making Chanel bags even more affordable back then). I used the PurseForum and Etinceler Authentications to ensure I was getting the real deal, and many times I would sell the bag back on eBay having already made money off the bag with the cashback deal. This was when my Chanel obsession was at the max and I had a revolving closet of Chanel bags. I'm not saying this to show-off but rather let you know that I know my Chanels. And these are some of the lessons I've learned from this experience:
1) Caviar leather is always better than lambskin if you want to keep your Chanel looking as good as the day it was purchased. Lambskin may scream luxury to some people but it's a pain to keep nice. And even if you baby the hell out of your bags, the quilted squares will eventually deflate and this is especially true for lambskin. Here are some other bloggers take on caviar vs. lambskin: 1, 2, 3.
2) The jumbo and maxi Chanel flaps are heavy (especially if you get the jumbo in a double flap, so I went with the single flap). But even the single flap jumbo will be enough weight to dig the chains into your shoulders and leave a mark after prolonged usage.
3) And vintage caviar leather is better than new caviar leather. The picture above is of my 2013 black caviar in medium next to my 1999 navy caviar in small. I really should take a macro photo of the two leathers so that you guys can really see the difference (but I'm a lazy blogger, so only if people really want it will I bother, lol). But the 1999 caviar leather is shinier and stiffer while the newer 2013 caviar leather is more matte and softer. I tried to see if anyone else wrote about this online (but really couldn't find anything) but the 18-year old vintage Chanel is just a lot more durable than the 2013, making me think that Chanel went with a lower quality leather supplier for their caviar leather in recent times. I hardly use the black medium flap bag because even without use I can feel that the leather where the CC buckle is, is starting to cave in a little. So I keep it in its box, stuffed to keep it pristine (which is not the way I like to be using my bags. Since this was a gift from my mother I'm trying to keep it as pristine as possible but TBH if I had just purchased this myself I probably would have sold it by now). I really only use my navy flap bag because it's resistant to scratches and I can throw it around without having to worry about dents in the bag. I think well-made luxury items should be used constantly since they're supposed to handle that kind of usage (and the really well made stuff just get more beautiful with time right?).
Anyway, this is to say I think my Chanel phase is pretty much over (good bye Chanel years, hello Hermes years--juuust kidding I don't have the budget for that yet). I still have these 2 flaps and my Chanel WOC (wallet on chain-also in caviar and my other Chanel workhorse), and also a wallet I plan to sell. But that's it! And I think a large part of it is because my last new Chanel bag (this 2013 black flap) is clearly not as good as my old stuff. Just because it's a Chanel and it cost a lot of money doesn't automatically mean quality anymore. So when buying a Chanel, go ahead and be very very picky (you should be for that price point).
P.S. I don't know what 2017 caviar leather is like so it may have gotten better, or I may have just gotten a bad batch back in 2013. But in general I prefer early 2000 caviar leather flap bags (my long gone jumbo was this type of caviar leather too and it was great).
P.P.S Until I run out of things to write about, I think Monday blog posts will be about bags and other luxury items rather than fair fashion. Since I have a passion for both, I might as well write about both right?