Just for the record, I always love a great knockoff! That being said, Chanel bags (and belts and jewelry) have a special place in my heart. The main reason is that unlike all my other fashion decisions, my Chanel bags hold their value when I resale them. Sometimes, I even make a profit! Because of this, I’ve spent years scouting out vintage Chanel bags and here is what I’ve learned.
Spotting a Fake:
- The Stitching and thread count. The 2 main things to examine are the thread count and the color of the thread. For the thread count, every square inch should have at least 10 stitches. For the color, the thread should disappear or blend nicely unless it’s supposed to be a design detail to have contrasting stitching. Either way, the stitching will always look meticulous if it´s the real deal.
- The hardware. Chanel used to plate with real gold. They stopped doing this around 2008 (and incidentally, the price for their new bags went up. Especially the for the new “Jumbos” or “Maxi” classic bags. They literally doubled in a year.) Study the hardware on the vintage bags. It should have a rich antique quality. If it looks unsubstantial, it is probably a dupe. Distressing is normal over time, but it should still look rich.
- Check to see how the pattern lines up. As the surface changes or in the corners, there should always be a smooth transition. If anything jumps out as odd, that is usually a sign of a copy.
Why stick to vintage bags?
Don’t get me wrong, there are a couple new bags that I’m lusting over on my wish list. But for classic styles, vintage Chanel is the way to go.
Versatility: With the classic dressy flap bag it literally can look just as great with a flannel shirt and jeans as it does with a little black dress.
Price (although still a pretty penny): The vintage bags (most of mine are from the late 80s and 90s) are much less expensive and the quality is better. For example, The new Chanel “boybags” are lined with fabric. This blows my mind! For the jaw dropping price of boybags, I would think the interior quality would match the exterior. The real vintage bags were always lined with smooth calfskin. So it feels like the bag was made from the inside out.
The look of aged leather: It can only occur with time. It’s just beautiful because it had a life previous to me. I like to wonder what other women have owned the preloved bags that I purchase. It’s kind of fun to imagine a lady walking into a Chanel boutique in the 80s and picking out the same bag that makes me giddy with excitement in 2018.
And finally, buying vintage is like recycling. enough said 😉
Thanks for visiting!