Shopping Chanel: Vintage vs. New

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A few days ago I gushed about a new purse in my life. I cannot tell you how in love I am with her and how happy I am with my decision. Chanel is a timeless, classic brand and I know this bag will be something I carry for many years, and will pass down to future generations.

After deciding on the bag I wanted (more on that in a later post), I spent a good year researching and determining where to actually purchase the purse. I listened carefully to Jean and Tiffany‘s advice about shopping vintage, and wanted to share my thoughts about the process:

The vintage resellers I perused (like a madwoman…):

Malleries (pictured below): This online vintage reseller is sensational. With a site of hundreds if not thousands of pieces, there is surely something for everyone. Almost daily I would visit this site and search “chanel woc” to see if any new treasures appeared. The site gives details of every bag including measurements, year the bag was manufactured, and information as to any defects. They also supply some tidbits about the reseller the bag originally came from: how long it has been on the site, the number of bags this particular reseller has sold, etc. Like most resellers, they have an “all sales final” policy, another reason I chose to buy from a store.

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Portero Luxury (pictured below): This reseller is known for upping their prices. With a more limited selection of items they often showcase more unique bags + jewelry. One thing I appreciated about Portero was the detailed “rating” they gave their bag. They use a Good, Very Good, Excellent, Pristine rating scale and give details as to what each of these notations mean. They also tend to provide more detailed and specific pictures of the bag itself which I found helpful. Also non-refundable, I felt slightly more comfortable purchasing from this reseller as I saw many more pictures of the bag.

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A Detailed Price Comparison of Vintage vs. New:

Vintage bags: I saw vintage WOCs range in price from $1300 to $2400. More unique colors and textures (patent, snakeskin, etc) were more expensive in price while black tended to be less expensive. However, on occasion I did see a black caviar WOC priced well above retail price. This inconsistency in pricing and the huge shipping charges (Malleries was often about $30 alone in shipping), the prices of these bags hovered around $1600 to $1800 after all was said and done. To top it all off, as you can see in the Portero picture above, a basic black caviar WOC was priced at $1330 + $30 shipping + $7% taxes AND was only a “very good” rating, meaning the bag had some serious wear and tear.

New Chanel WOC purchased from retailer: Currently the Chanel WOC retails for $1500. I purchased it for this price about 3 weeks ago, though I have heard that another price jump is coming in March. I bought the bag from a Chanel Nordstrom boutique over the phone and had the bag shipped for free. After paying North Carolina tax the bag came to a total of $1625 and was never touched, worn, tried on, etc. It was completely 100% new and absolutely stunning. It also came with the box, authenticity card, in its original packaging.

My Decision: For about the same price as vintage, I got a brand new bag that had never been touched and had a 100% guarantee that it was authentic. It was shipped to me by a retailer I trust (Nordies for the win), and got all of the fun accessories like box and card that come with it. Finally, the process with Nordstrom was entirely seamless. I called a few Nordstrom Chanel boutiques around the country and put my name on some wait lists, and three weeks later I was called by the one in Topanga, CA, paid for the bag over the phone, and it was shipped to me within 3 working days.

This was just my personal experience and choice in purchasing Chanel. I would love to hear your stories! If anyone has any questions please leave them in the comments below.

My dream purchase, come true

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Banana Republic vest, “Feel More Better” campaign shirt, Ann Taylor curvy slim jeans, Steve Madden boots, Chanel Wallet On Chain purse

I don’t even know where to begin with regards to this purse. Anyone who knows me well knows that Chanel has been an obsession of mine for many, many years. I have dreamed of owning a 2.55 double flap bag for as long as I can remember and it was only until recently, in my current work position that I could even dream of owning Chanel at all. I realized very quickly that my budget would not allow for a double-flap purse even vintage and discounted. Plus, with my on-the-go lifestyle I wanted something that was cross body. And so, I settled on the Wallet on Chain (WOC) pictured here.

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As a side note, I plan on doing a few posts related to my experience in shopping Chanel but I just couldn’t hold back debuting my new beauty. I wear her everywhere (ask my boyfriend…) and miss her when i’m away on work trips. It’s a weird relationship, I know.

In short, I ended up buying this particular bag from a Chanel boutique at Nordstrom. After many many years of researching and patiently waiting for the right bag to come along on the pre-owned market, I realized that the “discount” I would see buying used didn’t justify the waiting or the secondhand nature. Nordstrom has always been my go-to for amazing customer service, so I put myself on a few wait lists and lo and behold, in just a few short weeks she was mine.

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A few follow-up posts to come including: pre-owned vs. new, shopping the vintage market (where to, how, etc), caring for Chanel, and ways to wear the WOC. Please let me know if there is anything else you’d like to see with regards to Chanel, and, link me your Chanel beauties below if applicable!

Review: A few Prabal Gurung for Target pieces

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Believe it or not, Prabal Gurung for Target is the only Target collaboration I have tried. I usually feel like the collaboration pieces are cheaply made, more so than standard Target clothing. As a fan of Prabal Gurung, I decided to order just two pieces from the collection to test out. However, upon receiving the goods I am less than impressed and ended up returning both. For reference, this is the top I ordered (in a size M), and this is the dress (in my usual size 10), and neither fit properly. See below for more fit details.

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For starters, the shirt fit very large everywhere but the arms. As you can see in the above photo, this top would do well if I was about 9 months pregnant but currently it is much too baggy. However in the arms, it was tight when I moved, and I don’t consider myself to have thick arms. Finally, the shirt was semi see-through and the lace did not sit properly on the front of the shirt but rather laid flat and created a sort of shelf look. At nearly $40, I have found much better work options elsewhere.

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Online this dress looked like it would have potential. I’m a fan of anything that has side panels as it inherently slims the body, but this dress was terrible in so many ways. First off, the material was itchy, stiff and had no stretch. The bottom had a “flutter” hem and looked childish. The band across the waist sat much too high for someone with my chest, and most importantly, the dress didn’t even come close to fitting. The above right photo shows how off the sizing is. I range between an 8-12 in dresses depending on brand and for this dress to fit I would have to order at least 2-3 sizes up. The arms were also incredibly tight much like the shirt also described above.

Have any of you tried out the Prabal Gurung for Target collection? I’d love to hear your thoughts on these pieces or any I haven’t tried.

Fashion bucket list item purchased: Ferragamo “vara” pump for work

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J.Crew silk top, Zara dress (similar), Ferragamo “vara” bow pump, Stitch fix + J.Crew bracelet, Gorjana rings

This week was one of classic purchases and scratching items off longtime wishlists. These Ferragamo Vara bow pumps were high on the list of loves for years. My dad, a longtime lover of Ferragamo shoes for men, always said that when I was old enough, I could wear the beautiful bow pumps I saw on mannequins in the women’s department. That was years ago, and more recently, after seeing them on Jean quite a few times, I decided to truly begin my hunt. These bow pumps retail for almost $500, very expensive for a work shoe in my humble opinion. I knew they would go on sale at some point and decided to be patient and price watch. It was a few weeks ago during one of Bloomingdale’s sales that the price of these shoes dropped to around $300 that I decided to pull the trigger, and i’m in love.

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I decided to go with the Vara 1″ heel pump versus the popular Varina flats simply for a bit of interest. My love for flats is well documented and I thought this low heel version would make for an interesting contrast to my growing flats collection. I have actually tried on the Varina before and have found that the Vara is actually more comfortable.

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The low heel provides extra support and I found they break in a bit easier. The patent leather is definitely more durable than standard leather, but fair warning that they do take some time to mold to your foot.

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In other news, I love the idea of mixing colors in the same family and reworked this dress worn during summer for a Winter look by pairing a silk top. I’ve been using my basic Blythe silk blouses as cardigans or layering pieces to get more life out of expensive work staples.

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Have you purchased any Ferragamo shoes? Which are your favorites?

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