Buying Chanel for the First Time: Part Two – Test Drive

chanel, woc, wallet on chain, chanel woc, chanel wallet on chain, shopping guide, how to, first chanelYou read Part One – Determination right? If not, click here first, then come back.

After you have established you are able to afford your new Chanel and have done enough research, you should be feeling confident enough to continue to the next step.


Photo Credit : Marina Carlson

Step 2: Decide where you want to purchase

You’ve got a few options here:

  • Chanel Boutique
  • Online sites such as Ebay or online consignment sites
  • Physical consignment stores

What do you feel comfortable with? Would you like to buy brand new or second hand?

I am fascinated by the idea of purchasing a vintage Chanel. Owning a Chanel is like owning a piece of art. Owning a vintage Chanel is like owning a piece of history. The idea of it makes me salivate, but the idea of acquiring a second hand Chanel scares the living daylights out of me. You hear these horror stories of people purchasing used designer items just to find out a little too late that it is a knock off. The horror! I’m sure one day I will delve into the realm of second hand purchasing. But for my first ever designer bag, I needed to buy it from the actual boutique. Not only would this put my mind at ease, but I also wanted to have the full Chanel experience.

chanel, woc, wallet on chain, chanel woc, chanel wallet on chain, shopping guide, how to, first chanelStep 3: Go to the store and test out your options

Regardless of what route you decide to take, I highly suggest still stepping into an actual Chanel boutique just to test out your options. What you originally thought you wanted might change when you see it and try it on in person. That is exactly what happened to me.

We made our way down to Toronto and visited the Chanel boutique on Bloor Street. Bloor is Toronto’s high fashion destination and is home to not only Chanel but Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada and Hermes just to name a few. I’ll be honest. I had never stepped foot into Chanel before. I had been inside their boutique inside Holt Renfrew, but not the actual flagship store. I was prepared to face some snobby sales reps wearing this outfit of all things.

I walked in with my defenses up and approached the first sales associate (SA) I saw. I asked her to see a timeless Chanel wallet on chain (WOC). This was my first choice, a simple wallet on chain with two large iconic interlocking C’s. The timeless wallet on chain is a core Chanel item, meaning they will always carry this bag. The SA returned with three WOCs: the timeless I had asked for, the classic lambskin, and a third which she called a mix of the two. In reality, it was just the classic but made with caviar instead of lambskin. I proceeded to touch all three, opening and closing to compare differences. I tried them all on and looked at myself in the mirror. This was the turning point. Suddenly the timeless looked to youthful, like I was a 21 year old going to a nightclub. No, the whole point of this was to find a classic bag that would never go out of style and would always look good on me. I wanted to be able to wear this bag for decades to come. The timeless was out (for now, I still kind of want one haha. This one especially). So I was faced with a decision between the classic lambskin and the classic caviar. What’s the difference? The style of the bag is exactly the same; they were both even outfitted with gold hardware. The lambskin has a nice soft finish; think soft baby lambs, while the caviar has a rougher texture, think bubbly fish eggs. Although the lambskin appeals to my eye more, the caviar ended up winning out because of one major factor: durability. Having such an expensive bag for the first time I didn’t want to worry about scratching it or anything. If a scratch or stain were to develop, the caviar and black colour would hide. I had made my decision. The classic black caviar wallet on chain with gold hardware was going home with me.

Now that you’ve gotten your itchy hands on that baby, it’s time to take it home and wear it and love it forever and ever!

Which brings us to our next step:

Part Three – Loving

– Giving your Chanel the proper TLC


– Wearing/Displaying your purchase the way Coco intended

Click here for Part Three.