The Most Affordable Chanel Bags, Shoes and Accessories
Chanel truly needs no introduction, it’s the iconic brand (almost) every fashionista is dreaming about and saving towards. However, the prices for the sought after Parisian brand are increasing year after year and sometimes multiple times a year as well – even in Covid19 times.
In this handy little guide we’re going to focus on the cheapest Chanel handbags, SLGs aka small leather goods and other accessories that scream CHANEL. It’s also worth noting that Chanel does have sales twice a year, usually in June/July and December/January where you can pick up cheaper jewellery, shoes and ready-to-wear items. Usually you won’t find super classic items in the sales but sometimes you might get lucky and score something resembling a classic item.
Anyways, without further ado, these are the cheapest classic Chanel items as of 2021 that you can buy and keep in your wardrobe forever.
1. Chanel Classic CC Brooch
A classic Chanel CC brooch can zhoosh any outfit. Wear it with your affordable Zara black turtleneck or a long camel coat, on your hat or belt, the possibilities are nearly endless. I consider this brooch to be one of the most versatile Chanel pieces, not to mention one of the cheapest. Looking at the Chanel website, you can grab one of these babies up for only $450 – which, let’s face it, it’s a bargain considering Chanel prices. Brooches do go in sale as well, but the likelihood to get a classic CC one is pretty slim. Something to keep in mind is that the quality of Chanel costume jewellery is not always amazing and there have been numerous reports of crystals or pearls falling out. Every once in a while Chanel will release a brooch made out of solid metal without anything that can fall off, so if you can get one of those pieces, it would be an even better investment. Generally the CC brooches come in two sizes and to get the most bang for your buck we recommend the smaller one since it’s cheaper and can go on more items of clothing.
2. Chanel CC earrings
Keeping the theme of costume jewellery, a pair of small CC earrings is also something that is quite timeless. Chanel brings out these earrings season after season and so you don’t have to worry about them getting out of style. The small earrings also go with pretty much everything so it’s a great investment into your closet. Keep in mind that Chanel’s costume jewellery is not made of precious materials, so please take those earrings off when you shower or workout. Like with the brooches, the CC earrings are prone to lose their stones or pearls, so take extra care of them or try to find plain ones.
If you already have a favorite pair of earrings that you wear everyday, consider buying some big, bold Chanel earrings. There are many, many types and sizes that you can go for, but they will do a great job making a statement on your night out or on a special occasion.
A statement pair of Chanel earrings will likely set up back around $500-600 whereas you can find the small CC ones for $400.
3. Chanel Ballet Flats
A classic Chanel staple, the Chanel ballerinas. They are so simple, timeless and elegant and go great with a lot of outfits although more ‘smart’ than ‘casual’ ones. Chanel has these in many colors and fabric variations, however the ones that you most likely will find season after season are the two tone beige and black and the simple black ones. Depending on your style you can go for a bold metallic color, maybe patent leather or the classic beige lambskin pair.
Chanel ballerinas start at $800, so definitely not a cheap pair of shoes, but good value for money for Chanel, since they have other shoes, such as sandals at much higher prices. With adequate care and a good cobbler to eventually resole them you can have them in your collection for a very, very long time.
4. Chanel Espadrilles
If you would like to invest in a pair of Chanel shoes, but find that the classic ballet flats are a little too formal for you, consider the Chanel espadrilles. These have taken the world by storm when they were first released in 2013. Many people, including myself worried that these would be too trendy and not a piece to have in your collection forever. However, the nay-sayers were soon proven wrong and the Chanel espadrilles have remained a constant in Chanel’s collections.
The classic lambskin pairs that always make a comeback are the two tone black and beige pair as well as the all black ones. They start at $725 and go to about $750 for the seasonal ones. It has been reported that these don’t age so amazingly, probably due to the braided soles. With adequate care: stuffing them when they’re not used, keeping them in their dust bags & periodically conditioning the leather, your Chanel espies will last you for many summers. All in all, a great casual shoe that can “Chanel-ize” any plain outfit.
5. Chanel cardholder
Chanel comes up with a ton of different wallets and card holders every season, so luckily you have a lot to choose from. This guide is focusing on finding the best value for money which doesn’t necessarily mean the absolute cheapest Chanel item, but something that you can keep in your wardrobe and use for ages without looking dated. One of the most “value for your buck cardholders” is simply the classic cardholder with a snap closure. This cardholder will hold more cards than the standard cardholders and if you get it in the durable caviar leather and a dark color, it will last you for an eternity. Alternatively, it’s a great way to buy into a fun, seasonal color without paying the price of a bag. The classic Chanel cardholder is currently $550, although there are other cardholders at the $450 mark.
6. Chanel WOC
Are you a minimalist or an aspire-to-be one? If you answered yes to those two questions, then a Chanel WOC or a wallet-on-chain might be a great little bag for you. Technically classified as an SLG, the WOC is an extremely popular Chanel item at a decent-ish price level. One big pro of Chanel’s WOCs is that they come in many different variations, a lot of the time following the most popular bags, so, you have the Boy Woc, the classic WOC, Chanel 19 WOC and some more. The cheapest wallet-on-chain is currently the Classic one which will set up back $2,750. If you’re the type to only carry your phone, cardholder and keys, then it’s truly a great bag to own. The biggest drawback for me is that you can’t fit a pair of sunglasses along with the other essentials which is a bummer since I would mainly use this as a summer, carefree bag.
7. Chanel mini rectangular
If, like me you find the WOC a little TOO small, then the Chanel mini rectangular might be the bag for you. It’s slightly bigger than the wallet on chain, so it does fit more and I particularly like that it can comfortably fit my sunglasses with a soft case. Although it’s not technically considered a Chanel classic, it kind of is. The look is very similar to the Classic M/L flap and it also holds a similar amount. It is so similar that Chanel has unfortunately discontinued the mini flaps in caviar leather because they were allegedly taking sales from the classic flaps, which are way more expensive. If you can’t go back in time and buy a caviar mini flap you have two options: 1. Look at the pre loved market, but beware of the steep prices and 2. Decide that lambskin is not that delicate and buy it either way. Currently the Chanel Mini Rectangular retails for $4,000 which sounds like a lot, until you remember that the medium classic flap costs $6,800 in 2021.
So, here they are! The top 7 cheapest and most value-for-money Chanel items to start or continue your collection with. When thinking about investing in your wardrobe I like to think about two things:
How often can I use this item? and Can I potentially pass this down to my daughters? I ask the first question to make sure the item works for me, my lifestyle and my personal style. I ask the second question to try and gauge how classic or trendy an item is. At the end of the day, I think to consider it a good wardrobe investment, I would need to answer YES to both of these questions.
What about you? Do you own any of these Chanel pieces? Do you agree with our list or do you have other must-have Chanel pieces that are on the affordable side?