BEYOND THE WARDROBE / BLOG POST

  • Alison Catchpole

THE CHANEL BAG


Boy oh boy: Chanel bags in this summer’s colours

Chanel-spiration: ready for summer with the reissue 2.55 in attention-seeking red

Chanel – chic, versatile genius. And that’s just the bags.

A few years ago, when I didn’t seem to need to carry quite so much stuff, my ‘knockaround’ bag was a small and much-loved black caviar leather Chanel. Nestled snugly under my arm, with its silver hardware reassuringly but subtly resplendent and just the right side of punk, it fitted almost everything I needed, though it didn’t have an external pocket for an Oyster card, which meant I opened and closed it a lot. On a birthday shopping trip to Bicester, I opened it one too many times and my iPhone ran away to find a new home.

I’ve tried Prada, various Robert Clergerie numbers and am currently using a rather distinctive Elena Ghisellini cross body bag, with the option of a shorter chain. It’s stripey and really supple. It holds everything – well, almost everything – I need. It has an exterior pocket (Oyster friendly). And it was bought in a sale.

The 2.55, on the other hand, seems to be accessible on most of the vintage fashion sites, and is worth some careful attention; not least because it really doesn’t go on sale in the Chanel boutiques. So whether you can afford it full price is a decision for you and the bank manager. Or a generous Significant Other.

The classic Chanel bag takes some guts to carry every day. It’s quite a lot of arm candy and in the lambskin, potentially best for a girl with a gentler lifestyle, and who wants to be one of those. But that doesn’t stop the 2.55 and its cousins being right at the top of their sartorial game. If you were to engage in analytical thought about the 2.55, you might realise, or at least begin to consider the possibility, that it’s actually a Pretty Good Thing.

It’s a good size – like the bed that eventually proves the undoing of Goldilocks – not too big and not too small. It’s convenient, with just enough pockets that you can find the Oyster and the pesky loyalty cards, and not so many that you can’t find anything. It’s got different strap lengths and it really will take you anywhere. Buy the caviar leather and it should see you through a range of times. It should be wonderful.

Will it change your life? Well, it might not bring the dream job or the dream whatever. But it might well be the best solution to being utterly disorganised, or under prepared. It might solve a problem you didn’t yet know you had.

Need extra reading? Try this potted history on Vogue.com

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