If you’re looking to buy an iconic, investment handbag, you might be wondering which is the better choice: the Chanel Classic Flap or the Hermes Kelly?
This page can contain affiliate links – we may receive a commission if you make a purchase using links on this page. This has no extra cost for you.
Unsure whether to purchase a Classic Flap or a Kelly? This article will give you all of the information you need to know about both styles before pitting them against each other.
Make sure you keep reading until the end to discover the ultimate winner!
Chanel Classic Flap
The Classic Flap has its roots in another iconic Chanel bag, the 2.55. The 2.55 was created by Coco Chanel and became Carl Lagerfeld’s inspiration for the Classic Flap in the 1980s.
Lagerfeld updated the 2.55 by adding a woven strap that combined leather and chain. He also added a CC turn lock closure to add some subtle branding to the bag.
The Classic Flap is recognizable by its quilted leather exterior, woven leather and metal chain strap, and CC motif turn lock closure.
Chanel mainly uses Caviar and Lambskin leather for Classic Flap bags. That said, seasonal editions offer more variety and come in materials ranging from exotic skins to tweed.
There are four main hardware options available on the Classic Flap: silver, gold, light gold (champagne), and So Black.
Some seasonal models feature matte or antiqued silver or gold, ruthenium, and iridescent metals.
Chanel increased prices on the Classic Flap in January 2023. The table below features the most up-to-date prices.
|Style||2023 Price in USD||2023 Price in EUR|
|Chanel Classic Maxi Flap Bag||$10,000||€10,300|
|Chanel Classic Jumbo Flap Bag||$9,500||€9,700|
|Chanel Classic Medium Flap Bag||$8,800||€8,990|
|Chanel Classic Small Flap Bag||$8,200||€8,450|
|Chanel Classic Rectangular Mini Flap Bag||$4,400||€4,350|
|Chanel Classic Square Mini Flap Bag||$4,200||€4,150|
Chanel Classic Flap Pros
- A timeless style
- Versatile styling
- A large variety of sizes, colors, and materials
- High resale value
- Can be worn on the shoulder or across the body
Chanel Classic Flap Cons
- Prices have increased significantly,
- Larger sizes tend to be bulky and heavy
- Some materials, like lambskin, show scratches easily
The Sac à Dépêches became incredibly popular after actress Grace Kelly was photographed holding it in 1954. As a result, the bag was officially renamed the Kelly in 1977.
The Kelly is a trapezoidal bag featuring two triangular gussets, a cutout flap, a single top handle, and two side straps. Newer bags also come with a detachable shoulder strap.
Like the Birkin, the Kelly comes in two styles: the Retourne and the Sellier.
The Retourne is created by showing the bag backwards, then turning it inside out. This technique creates a slouchier, more casual look.
On the other hand, the Sellier features external stitching and sharp edges, giving it a more rigid look.
Retourne bags are usually made using Togo, Clemence, Swift, or Evercolor leather.
Sellier bags use either Epsom, Chèvre, Box, or Tadelakt leather. Exotic skins like crocodile, ostrich, and lizard are also used to create special edition Selliers.
Kelly bags feature Gold, Palladium, or Permabrass hardware. Special order bags can be made with Brushed Gold or Brushed Palladium hardware.
Hermes is pretty tight-lipped about Kelly prices. As a result, it can be difficult to know how much this bag costs.
Here are some current Kelly prices:
|Kelly Bag Size||2022 Price (USD)||2022 Price (EUR)|
|Mini Kelly 20 Epsom||$8,250||€6,150|
|Mini Kelly 20 Chèvre||$8,900||€7,500|
|Kelly 25 Togo Retourne||$9,900||€8,050|
|Kelly 25 Swift Retourne||$10,300||€7,700|
|Kelly 25 Epsom Sellier||$10,600||€7,950|
|Kelly 25 Chèvre Sellier||$11,400||€8,500|
|Kelly 28 Togo Retourne||$10,600||€7,950|
|Kelly 28 Clémence Retourne||$10,600||€7,950|
|Kelly 28 Epsom Sellier||$11,200||€8,300|
|Kelly 32 Togo Retourne||$11,300||€8,450|
|Kelly 32 Epsom Sellier||$12,100||€9,050|
Hermes Kelly Pros
- A classic style that will be fashionable for years to come
- Hand-sewn using the finest materials and are built to last
- Incredibly high resale value
- Comes with a shoulder strap
Hermes Kelly Cons
- Can be difficult to purchase directly from an Hermes boutique
- Hard to get the size, color, or material you want
- Design makes it difficult to get into and out of
- Heavy, even when empty
Comparisons: Chanel Classic Flap and Hermes Kelly
After looking at these two bags separately, it’s time to compare them head-to-head to see which one comes out on top.
Features : Chanel Classic Flap vs Hermes Kelly
Both the Classic Flap and the Kelly are functional, yet lady-like styles. That means they can fit all of your necessities while still looking beautiful.
While both styles are timeless and fashion-forward, the easy closure and more accessible interior of the Classic Flap make it the winner.
Winner: Chanel Classic Flap
Price: The Classic Flap or Kelly?
The Classic Flap and the Kelly are two of the most expensive handbags in the world. Still, the Classic Flap is significantly cheaper.
With a budget of $9,000, you could buy a mini, small, or medium Classic Flap. For the same amount, you’d be limited to the mini Kelly.
Because your money goes further when purchasing the Classic Flap, we’re giving it another win.
Winner: Chanel Classic Flap
Resale Value : Does the Chanel Classic Flap or the Hermes Kelly have a higher resale value?
Retail prices for Classic Flaps have increased by thousands of dollars in the past few years. Well-kept bags could sell for their original retail price or even more on the secondhand market.
At an average of 92% resale, the Kelly also maintains its value well. Special editions and smaller sizes like the Mini Kelly, the Kelly Pochette, the Kelly 25, and the Kelly 28 might even sell for more than retail.
Due to how hard it is to actually buy a Hermes Kelly, a new or almost new Kelly can even fetch double the price on the resale market, which makes it the preferred bag if looking purely at an investment handbag.
Winner: Hermes Kelly
Chanel Classic Flap or Hermes Kelly—Which One is the Winner?
Winning in both the features and price categories, the Chanel Classic Flap is the winner in this head-to-head. And that’s without mentioning its incredible resale value.
Still, the Kelly is one of the most iconic handbags on the market today and definitely deserves a second look, even if it didn’t prevail in this competition. If you're looking purely from an investment lens, then then Hermes Kelly is the obvious winner.
Whichever one you choose, you can feel confident that you’ve selected a bag that will remain beautiful, stylish, and functional for years to come.
OUR FAVORITE FINDS