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Find out everything you need to know about the Chanel Classic Flap including the size comparison, prices, pros & cons, what fits inside and more
Chanel’s iconic flap-closure bag is one of the brand’s most popular and enduring styles. If you’re thinking about purchasing a Classic Flap, check out this complete buying guide for the lowdown on sizes, materials, and prices.
Stay tuned until the end of the Chanel Classic Flap Guide to discover the pros and cons of the bag and to learn whether or not we’d recommend this style. The answer might surprise you.
Chanel Brand History
Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel founded her eponymous brand in Paris in 1910. The young designer started her career by creating dramatic hats for well-known actresses and socialites, something that cemented her reputation early on.
Within the first decade of the brand, Chanel started producing fragrances, notably #5, makeup, and skin care products. Somewhat surprisingly, Chanel didn’t produce its first handbag (the 2.55) until 1955.
These days, Chanel is a world-renowned jewelry, ready-to-wear, and luxury goods brand with more than 250 boutiques on five continents.
Classic Flap History
In 1983, Chanel’s former Creative Director Carl Lagerfeld used the 2.55 as inspiration for the Classic Flap. He modernized the classic model by incorporating a woven leather and chain strap and adding a CC motif turn-lock closure.
Classic Flap Description
Incorporating unmistakable Chanel design elements like a quilted leather body, a woven chain strap, and a CC motif closure, the Classic Flap is perhaps one of the most recognizable Chanel bags.
Classic Flap Sizes
Classic Flaps come in two size variations: miniatures and regulars. There are two miniatures, the square and the rectangular, and four regular options, Small, Medium, Jumbo, and Maxi.
The minis are similar to the regular models, although they do not have a double flap design. We have to note that the Mini flaps are not technically a part of Chanel’s classic collection, but many people consider them classics regardless.
Here are the dimensions for all six sizes listed from smallest to largest.
|Chanel Mini Style||Dimensions (inches)||Dimensions (centimeters)|
|Mini Square Flap Bag||6.6” x 5.3” x 3.1”|
Strap drop: 21”
|17 cm x 13.5 cm x 8 cm|
Strap drop: 53 cm
|Mini Rectangular Flap Bag||7.8” x 4.7” x 2.3”Strap drop: 23”||20 cm x 12 cm x 6 cmStrap drop: 58 cm|
|Chanel Classic Flap Style||Dimensions (inches)||Dimensions (centimeters)|
|Small Classic Flap||9” x 5.7” x 2.3”|
Strap drop: 20” / 10” (doubled)
|23 cm x 14.5 cm x 6 cm|
Strap drop: 50 cm / 25 cm (doubled)
|Medium Classic Flap Bag||9.9” x 6” x 2.5”|
Strap drop: 17” / 9” (doubled)
|25.5 cm x 15.5 cm x 6.5 cm|
Strap drop: 43 cm / 23 cm (doubled)
|Jumbo Classic Flap Bag||11.7” x 7.6” x 3.9”|
Strap drop: 23.5” /13.5” (doubled)
|30 cm x 19.5 cm x 10 cm|
Strap drop: 60 cm / 34 cm (doubled)
|Maxi Classic Flap Bag||12.9” x 9” x 3.9”|
Strap drop: 24” / 12” (doubled)
|33 cm x 23 cm x 10 cm|
Strap drop: 61 cm / 30.5 cm (doubled)
Which Chanel Classic Flap Should I Buy? Small vs Medium vs Jumbo vs Maxi
The Small and Medium (M/L) classic flaps are the most sought after Chanel bags. There’s not a huge difference between the bags both dimension wise and capacity wise. The great thing about buying either of these sizes is their ability to transition easily from day to night. They’re pretty small bags and due to the double flap you really cannot fit much inside.
The Jumbo is a great alternative for those who need more than just essentials in their bags. The Jumbo can fit way more and it’s suitable as a day-to-day bag. The main issue with the Jumbo can be its weight. Unless you buy a vintage, single flap Jumbo, the bag is quite heavy and can feel uncomfortable. We love the Jumbo in the colder months as the chain does not dig into the shoulders.
The Maxi is for those who love big bags (and they cannot lie). It’s by far the least popular size of all the Chanel Classic bags and it’s the most expensive if you’re buying it new. However, there’s a strong trend of big bags coming back which means that the Maxi might just become a hit in the following years. Time to grab it now on the preloved market at a huge discount.
So which Classic Flap size is the best? We have to vote for the Classic M/L size due to it’s versatility and icon-ness! It’s the classic among classics and a great option especially if it’s going to be the only Classic Flap in your collection. However, if you care more about practicality and you carry more with you, then the Jumbo is also a solid choice.
What Fits Inside the Chanel Classic Flap?
Measurements are helpful, but they only go so far when you’re trying to find the best bag for your needs. Below, we’ve provided a list of items that can comfortably fit in each size of the Classic Flap.
Mini Square: Fits keys, a tube of lipstick, a card holder, and a smartphone.
Mini Rectangular: Accommodates all of the items listed above, plus a small mirror or compact and a bottle of hand sanitizer.
Small Classic Flap: Fits about the same amount as the Mini Rectangular due to its double flap design.
Medium Classic Flap: Fits daily essentials like a smartphone, keys, a small wallet, sunglasses in a soft case some products like lipstick, compact powder and mini hand sanitizer.
Jumbo Classic Flap: Fits all of your daily essentials, plus an e-reader or tablet (up to 10”), a small notebook, a makeup bag, and a mini umbrella.
Maxi Classic Flap: Fits daily essentials with room for a continental wallet and tablet up to 12”.
Chanel Classic Flap Materials
Caviar (also called grained calfskin) and Lambskin leather are the two most popular materials for Classic Flap bags.
As its name suggests, Caviar leather has a pebbled texture resembling the fishy delicacy. This texturing makes the leather more durable and longer-lasting than other leather varieties. For that reason, it’s the most highly coveted Chanel leather option.
Lambskin is incredibly soft and has a slight shine to it. While beautiful, it’s prone to scratching and requires lots of care to keep it in top condition.
Seasonal Classic Flap bags come in a variety of unique materials like exotic skins, patent leather, denim, PVC, and tweed.
Hardware options include silver, gold, champagne, rose gold, and So Black. Additional hardware options are available on special edition bags and include finishes like matte or antiqued silver and gold, ruthenium, and iridescents.
There’s no shortage of colors when it comes to Classic Flaps. Black is the most popular color, followed by beige Claire and white. Shades of pink are also highly sought after, as are seasonal iridescent hues.
Which hardware Is The Best For A Chanel Classic Flap?
Look at your most worn jewelry and choose based on that. In general silver hardware makes the bag a bit more casual whereas the gold hardware dresses the bag up. It can also depend on the size that you’re choosing.
For example, if you’re going for a Small or Medium – gold hardware works great, especially because you’re probably also going to use it for special occasions. Whereas a Maxi will be better suited with silver hardware, so it’s slightly more casual and toned down.
These are just guidelines of course. You should definitely just choose whichever hardware you love most!
Chanel Classic Flap Prices
With six global price increases since 2019, Chanel is no stranger to price hikes. The latest came at the beginning of March 2023. Prices in the United States rose between 11% and 17%, depending on the model. In Europe, the increase was around 8%.
The brand usually reassesses prices twice a year, so if you’re reading this article in the second half of 2023 or later, we recommend checking out prices on the Chanel website for changes.
|Chanel Style||Prices (USD)||Prices (Euros)|
|Mini Square Flap Bag||$4,700||€4,500|
|Mini Rectangular Flap Bag||$4,900||€4,700|
|Small Classic Flap||$9,600||€9,300|
|Medium Classic Flap Bag||$10,200||€9,700|
|Jumbo Classic Flap Bag||$11,000||€10,500|
|Maxi Classic Flap Bag||$11,500||—|
Chanel Classic Flap: Outfits & Inspiration
Does the Chanel Classic Flap Hold Its Value? Where Is The Best Place To Buy a CF?
Yes, the Chanel Classic Flap is definitely a bag that holds its value and the most sought after Chanel handbag. That does not mean that you cannot buy one for less than the current retail price. For example if someone is selling their M/L Classic Flap for $8,000 that they’ve purchase in 2020, they’re still making a profit while you’re still getting a discount compared to the 2023 prices.
That’s mainly due to Chanel’s aggressive price increases over the years. For example, a Classic Flap was $6,500 only 3 years ago and now they retail for more than $10,000.
If you want to buy a CF, you can of course buy it directly from a Chanel boutique. Unfortunately, Chanel does not sell its bags online – so you need to go to a physical boutique, or order by phone if you have a purchase history.
Alternatively, if you want to have a bigger selection of bags to choose from and to get a discount, you should try websites such as Fashionphile, Rebag, 1st Dibs or even eBay (but please authenticate after receiving it).
Similar Bags To The Chanel Classic Flap
YSL Loulou , Price: $ 2,950
Gucci Marmont, Price: $ 2,550
Dior Caro, Price: $4,600
Louis Vuitton New Wave, Price: $2,980
Versace Virtus, Price $2,325
As you can see, there are a few alternatives to the Chanel Classic Flap that are still designer and high quality. Of course, none are exactly the same as the Chanel bag, but they come pretty close.
Price wise, there’s a big difference between the Chanel Classic Flap alternatives and the Chanel option. As you can see, you can easily find a similar bag for under $3,000 USD. The most expensive bag on our list, the Dior Caro is still half the price of a Chanel Flap.
Is Is Cheaper To Buy A Chanel Classic Flap In Paris?
Yes, for an American tourist, it’s cheaper to buy a Chanel Classic Flap in Paris (or in general in the European Union). Depending on the exchange rate, the price can already be cheaper from the beginning. However, as of Spring 2023, a M/L Classic Flap costs €9,700 in Europe which is the equivalent to $10,507 USD.
However, don’t forget that as an American tourist you can claim VAT back which is around 12%, which means that your Chanel M/L will now only cost $9,240 USD saving you $1,260!
Will Chanel Continue To Increase The Prices For Its Classic Flap?
That’s the million dollar question! Many people are shocked by the recent price increase. It’s truly astonishing to see how much the price for this bag has increased over the years. There are many rumors that Chanel wants to become the new Hermes and they’re trying to limit the accessibility of their most valuable bag: the Classic Flap.
Limiting the accessibility is done in two ways: 1. limiting the amount of Classic bags that people can buy from the boutique and 2. increasing the price so much that many people are priced out of the product.
Our theory is that depending on how their Q1 is going sales wise, Chanel will either continue with aggressive price increases or tone them down in the next period. It is very unlikely that they’ll ever decrease the actual price of the bags, so don’t get your hopes up. The best scenario for us, the consumers is that they stop with the frequent and large increases.
Pros and Cons of the Chanel Classic Flap
- A timeless bag that’s unlikely to go out of style
- Works well as a day or evening bag
- Strap allows for versatile shoulder or cross-body wear
- Incredibly high resale value (perhaps up to 400% of the retail price)
- Lots of seasonal and special edition bags to choose from
- Double flap design limits storage space
- Large sizes are heavy, even when empty
- Lambskin bags scratch easily
- The interior zipper dents the leather
- Prices continue to rise
- Chain isn’t adjustable and may not fit all body types
- Widespread quality issues like hardware and chains coming off
Is the Chanel Classic Flap Worth Buying?
Now, don’t get us wrong, we love the iconic Chanel details on the Classic Flap, the styling versatility, and the high resale value, but we’re not going to recommend the Classic Flap. At least not new bags right now.
Many Classic Flap owners have noticed quality issues like rusty hardware, creasing, and leather peeling. At the same time, Chanel continues to increase prices. For instance, a Medium Classic Flap retailed for $7,800 in July 2021. In March 2023, the same bag retails for $10,200. That’s a 76% price increase in less than two years.
Sure, inflation is real and we don’t expect prices to remain the same forever. But charging that much more for an inferior product? Simply not cool. Our advice? Seek out a secondhand Classic Flap on a website like Fashionphile.
OUR FAVORITE FINDS