Chanel Bags 101: Everything You Ever Needed to Know

From the 2.55 through to the collectors' editions.

There’s perhaps no greater fashion-girl dream than owning a Chanel bag. But from the high price tag to the number of covetable options, the decision can be daunting enough to make even Choupette’s hairs stand on end. And as the French fashion house brings out new iterations of the classics, as well as exciting one-off pieces, it just makes us want to own one even more.

This Chanel’s Minaudière is a collector’s edition piece, and you can get the price upon request.
And if your budget can’t stretch to the bags? You can always invest in the gorgeous hardback Chanel books.
Chanel’s backpacks have been popular for decades now, but they’re experiencing a particular resurgence at the moment: Here, you can see Chanel girl Kristen Stewart carrying one around Cannes.
Gabrielle is one of the latest additions to the classic Chanel bag lineup. Featuring a double strap that you can wear both on your shoulder and across your body at the same time, it has proven to be an eye-catching version no street style star can resist.
The classic flap bag traditionally can be recognised by the interlocking CCs (introduced by Karl Lagerfeld in the ’80s and now a permanent fixture) as well as the interwoven leather-and-chain strap. The classic flap comes in three sizes (small, medium, jumbo) and in many fabrications and iterations.
First introduced for spring/summer 2012, Chanel’s Boy bag is a more tomboyish, younger alternative to the ladylike, mature bags that came before it. The style—which was named after Coco Chanel’s lover, Boy Capel—still holds up as a mainstay on the street style scene. 
Chanel’s waist bags (or bumbag, for those straight-talking ladies out there) weren’t around in Coco Chanel’s time, but it is a style Lagerfeld has often come back to (this season included). Celebs like Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid are fully backing the fanny pack trend, choosing dainty Chanel styles to join the hands-free club.
No one can ever predict where Chanel’s most outrageous novelty bags will go next, but one thing’s for sure: They stay in a fashion editor’s memory— who could forget this hula-hoop bag from 2013? This season, it’s the crystal-and-pearl embellished styles we’re dreaming of…
You’ll find that many of the collector pieces revolve around smaller, intricate, often humorous minaudière bags. This boxy logo style was carried recently by Suki Waterhouse to the Serpentine Gallery summer party, and you can request the price in-store, should you desire it for your own wardrobe—as is the case with many of these ultra-luxe minaudières.
Coco Chanel debuted the 2.55 in 1929, updating it in 1955 once more, hence the product name. It was first introduced to the market because the designer was sick of clutching a bag underarm and wanted freedom, all of these decades later, and it still does gives a girl the same amount of happiness, if not more. You can tell a 2.55 from its rectangular fastening and the chain handle (which doesn’t have leather woven into it, unlike the flap).
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