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.

Experimentation

new silhouettesSweater, Top, Skirt

Part of the beauty of clothing for me is experimentation. I am constantly looking for new styles and silhouettes that will flatter my body, to further expand my wardrobe. Draped knits, off-the-shoulder tops, and pleated midi skirts are items I typically wouldn’t gravitate towards, but in the name of experimentation these three beauties are on their way to me for a true pearshaped fit review. I will be sure to let you all know the result!

Tips for working with chunky knits

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H&M sweater (recent), Ann Taylor curvy skinny jeans, Superga sneakers, gifted scarf from mom, J.Crew bracelet, LV Speedy 30 bag

Chunky sweaters are a cold-weather staple for most women. Thick knits and loose fits look great on many women, but as a pearshape with an already large bottom half, camouflaging my curves up top never sounded too appealing. However, this last weekend my boyfriend and I took a spontaneous trip to San Francisco, where of course I grossly under packed. In desperation I popped into H&M and picked up this gorgeous gold sweater that is now one of my favorite pieces. To make it most flattering to my frame, I followed a few simple steps that I think made this a winning Winter look.

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1. Dark colors on bottom: Because the knit is so thick and bulky, I tried to streamline the bottom half as much as possible. I opted for black skinny jeans and basic colored sneakers to de-emphasize the bottom half and slim it ever so slightly.

2. Draw the eye upward: I paired the gorgeous sweater with a bright red, thick scarf my mother gifted me many years ago. The color and texture draws the eye upward, again pulling the focus away from the bottom half and up towards my face. This was also accomplished with these awesome cheapy boutique sunglasses I picked up!

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3. Buy a size down: Typically I wear a size 10 or M in tops/sweaters. Because this particular piece was so thick I opted for a size 8 and am much happier with the fit. Sizing down kept the sweater from being too long and falling below my hips (further cutting off the leg line), and gave me some shape up top.

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Do you wear chunky knits? How do you keep balance and proportion?

When in San Francisco, layer.

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J.Crew chambray + gingham shirts, Banana Republic jeans, J.Crew boots, LV Speedy 30 bag

After a few particularly grueling work weeks about a month ago, the boyfriend and I decided to book a spontaneous trip to San Francisco. We have tons of friends in the area and love nothing more than walking the streets, eating our favorite foods, and taking in the spectacular views. Last weekend was our trip, and of course I packed improperly, so I layered as best as I could to keep warm without the bulk.

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No San Francisco trip is complete without some Swensen’s ice cream!

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