7 Best Vintage Chanel Handbags That You Will Love

Buying handbags secondhand is currently all the rage, and in today’s world of fast fashion, it looks like it is here to stay.

Buying secondhand clothing and accessories is never a band thing. Here at Diary of a Vintage Girl we make a habit of it, after all.

7 Best Cheap Vintage Chanel Handbags That You Will Love

There is something wonderful about imagining where the item has been before.

It is also a great idea to keep clothing and accessories from going to the landfill too. More often than not, a vintage piece has a lot of life still left in it. Why let it go to waste?

Handbags are one of the key focuses when it comes to secondhand vintage finds. They are often still in great condition, and you can find a designer item marked down from its original price.

If you are wanting a vintage Chanel handbag, something that makes your outfit pop and unique, then look no further. Here you will find 7 of the best vintage Chanel bags that you will love.

History Of Chanel Handbags

The first Chanel handbag was introduced in 1929 when bags with shoulder straps were not commonplace among women with a high status. It was normally something that was frowned upon, but Chanel’s new metal straps were revolutionary.

They were inspired by the bags that were carried among the army. It meant women could have a bag without having to carry a clutch or something else handheld, which were far more popular.

Having said this, the iconic flap bag we see today wasn’t actually launched until February of the year 1955. Sometimes referred to as the 2.55 handbag.

This is in reference to its launch date of February being the second month, and 1955 the year it was launched.

It became discontinued by 1977, but in 1983 it was relaunched by famous designer Karl Lagerfeld who took over Chanel after the death of Coco Chanel. 

7 Best Vintage Chanel Handbags

Getting your hands on a Chanel handbag is always worth it, and fortunately there are many different bag styles bound to take your fancy. 

From the classic Chanel 2.55 handbag to the timeless clutch, there are plenty of designs to take a look at. Here are just some of the best Chanel handbags to get your inspiration flowing:

Classic Chanel Handbag

If there is one bag you recognize from Chanel, it is bound to be the 2.55. It is a timeless classic for a reason. People are still enjoying the design of this bag today. 

Its original design still looks just as good today as it did when it was first launched back in 1955. It is a style of bag that goes with any outfit and for any occasion, making it a great investment piece.

So, let’s take a look at the classic Chanel handbags. 

1. Chanel 2.55 Handbag

The original Chanel 2.55 bag was a revolution in women’s handbags. The handbags at the time were heavy and worn on either the lower arm (meaning the whole arm had to be constantly bent), or in the hand.

The handbags themselves also lacked femininity, and were used by those in the higher classes. Coco Chanel (otherwise known by her actual name, Gabrielle) wanted to create a handbag women could wear on their shoulder.

The 2.55 bag was released in February of 1955 – hence the name. The bag features timeless patterns and materials.

The herringbone and diamond pattern is a Chanel classic. It meant the wearer could use the bag with any outfit and for any occasion.

The lock of the bag is not the CC logo that is used today. Originally it was known as the ‘Mademoiselle Lock’. It was a clasp in a rectangular shape and is said to refer to the famous designer not being married.  

(Image source: Pinterest)

2. Chanel Classic Flap Handbag

The Chanel Classic flap bag was introduced in 1983 by Karl Lagerfeld. It was a take on the original design of the Chanel 2.55 bag that was released in 1955.

However, it should not be confused with the reissue of the 2.55 bag.

The Chanel Classic flap bag has the same design of the original 2.55. However, there are some noticeable differences. The original 2.55 Chanel bag had an all metal chain.

The Classic version has an interwoven metal and leather material chain. Chanel has become known for this chain style.

The lock of the bag became the CC logo which was designed by Karl Lagerfeld who took over Chanel and launched this bag in 1983. It gives the brand more prominence on the bag too.

However, the flap bag is generally instantly recognizable as a Chanel piece. 

Overall it has the same herringbone diamond design as the 2.55 bag, as well as a double flap. However, it is made using lambskin or caviar. However, it can be bought in many different colors, rather than just black.

(Image source: Pinterest)

3. Chanel Reissue 2.55 Handbag

The 2.55 Reissue models are recreations of the original 2.55 handbags. It was Karl Lagerfeld who decided to launch these in 2005 for the 50th anniversary of Chanel.

The bag used the original Mademoiselle lock instead of the CC logo, as well as the all metal chain. It was also made using calfskin which had been aged to make it look vintage, rather than brand new.

However, there have been many different variations and takes on the classic Chanel 2.55 over the years since this first initial reissue. Unsurprisingly, this has often confused many Chanel handbag collectors and Chanel fans alike.

(Image source: Pinterest)

Chanel Handbags Inspired By

There are a number of Chanel handbags which were inspired by the things surrounding Gabrielle. From the masculine Boy Bag to the wonderful camera bag.

Here are a couple of favorites!

4. Chanel Boy Bag

The Chanel Boy bag was first introduced to the world by Karl Lagerfeld in 2011. It is a reference to British-born Boy Capel (or Arthur Edward Capel), a man that Chanel herself had a long affair with – even when he married. 

He was known as being the person who financed her stores, as well as the man who inspired her masculine style when it came to French fashion.

The Boy bag itself has another inspiration, and that is a cartridge bag which is specifically used by hunters. It has a masculine edge to it, and is made from calfskin.

It has many different colors too, from the classic black to bright pink, and mint green. The bag can also be worn across the body and has 4 sizes to choose from. 

(Image source: Pinterest)

5. Chanel Camera Handbag

The Chanel camera bag was inspired by the cases used by both reporters and photographers. It was first launched in the 1980s and was seen in many of the collections at the time.

Chanel were going through a ‘rebrand’ at this time to recover from the difficult situation they were having since the loss of Gabrielle herself. Fortunately, Karl Lagerfeld had a few things up his sleeve!

The Chanel camera handbag has the same bag strap as the original 2.55 handbag. Due to the boxy nature of the bag, it has a lot of room for items, unlike the slimness of the 2.55.

The camera bag itself is available in a number of different colors, as well as styles. There have been many released since the ‘80s. 

(Image source: Pinterest)

Best Of The Rest!

Chanel is known for designing timeless bag silhouettes that stand the test of time. The reason for this is that the shapes are classic and can be used for a plethora of different outfits and occasions. 

6. Chanel Timeless Clutch

The Chanel Timeless clutch is very recognizable in the same way that the 2.55 handbag is. With its half a circle design – almost like an orange segment – it is both unique and very sought after.

The original Timeless clutch which came out in 2009 is now discontinued, however there have been many similar releases since. One thing that does stay consistent with these bags is the fact it is made from lambskin. 

The reason people like these bags is that they take on the design elements from the 2.55 but in an easy to carry and lightweight clutch. It can often be found in many different neutral colors, including classic black. 

(Image source: Pinterest)

7. Chanel Bucket Handbag

The Chanel bucket handbag comes in many different designs and colorways. This 1970s classic is perfect for those who want a bag by Chanel that looks less structured.

This is because the bag has a string pull enclosure along with recognizable elements of a Chanel handbag. While not all offer this feature, some have the 1980s 2.55 relaunch bag straps.

This means the strap is made from both metal and leather which are wrapped around each other.

You can find a number of different styles when it comes to the Chanel bucket bag which makes it a fun one to collect. 

(Image source: Pinterest)

Final Thoughts

Now that you have seen all 7 vintage Chanel handbags, which ones were your favorite? 

If you are struggling to only pick one (it is so difficult after all), then think about what size you would prefer to carry around with you, and which one will be the best style for the occasions you wish to wear it.

The other option is to buy more than one, but unfortunately we don’t all have the luxury of affording everything we would like. 

Even so, vintage Chanel bags are great to look at. There is something classic about the design of a vintage Chanel handbag that makes it great to wear no matter the decade.

If you enjoyed reading this article, check the rest of the website for more exciting fashion finds.

Willa Price

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *