The Look for Less: Classic Flap Bag - une femme d'un certain âge

The Look for Less: Classic Flap Bag

Chanel Beige Jumbo, $2,995 in Caviar Leather (if you can even find one…they’re sold out everywhere right now). The bag pictured above is a vintage version; Chanel doesn’t sell their bags online and authentic online pictures of current bags are tough to find.

Marc Jacobs at ShopStyle

Marc Jacobs “Large Single,” $625 and available everywhere. This is one of those bag designs that our friend MJ got very, very right. I know, it’s not an iconic Chanel. But for less than 1/4 the price of the Chanel classic flap, it’s pretty darn cute and has that same dress-it-up/dress-it-down versatility and its own classic-with-just-a-bit-of-edge look. (Just a note, the color IRL is less pink and more beige than it appears in the picture.)

For a less literal interpretation of the classic flap, this kate spade “Windsor Palace” snake embossed leather bag is cute, and still a fraction of the Chanel at $595. (I’d probably remove the bow, but some might like it.)

If you have your heart set on le vrais Chanel, that’s OK too; start saving up and get your name on some waiting lists now, as the demand for these seems to be outstripping supply. Go figure.
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29 Comments

  1. March 1, 2010 / 1:19 pm

    I think the Kate Spade bag is so sweet and I love the color on all three bags. I’m starting to look forward to your bag posts, I always learn something new!

  2. March 1, 2010 / 2:22 pm

    I would actually go for the Kate Spade before the other two bags…and only if it were on sale.
    If I’m going to splurge on a status bag it’s going to be a Nancy Gonzalez croc bag or a YSL muse. The chanel just seems so meh.

  3. March 1, 2010 / 3:38 pm

    I’ve never yearned for a Chanel bag.

    Now that I say that, I’ll probably start obsessing over one.

  4. aaonce
    March 1, 2010 / 3:53 pm

    My, MY the KS bag is adorable! I actually like that interpretation beter than the original (which I have never desired), but I understand the allure. Many iconic bgs I love in theory, but when I look at them in person–I just can’t commit. I don’t mind spending the funds for an “investment piece”, but I just haven’t found my goldilocks bag. 🙁

  5. March 1, 2010 / 4:30 pm

    Though these bags are not “me”. I admire them on others, classically feminine and so wearable.

    I’d look like a moose! My go-to maker has been Bree for decades- most annoyed that the local seller is discontinuing the line.

  6. March 1, 2010 / 4:57 pm

    Marc Jacobs has some really great bags and I agree his homage to Chanel bags have a quality look and are much more affordable…the Chanel is pretty but it looks like it is too small to hold my wallet and glasses…looks buttery soft and summery though…hmmm, more research required on my part but you are helping, merci!

  7. March 1, 2010 / 5:48 pm

    I love the way Marc Jacobs interprets Chanel. After all, Karl interprets Coco, so it’s only fair…

  8. March 1, 2010 / 6:48 pm

    Yes, I was just about to mention the bow. Glad you did first. We’re big girls now. I like the Kate Spade because it doesn’t look like it’s trying to be something it’s not.

  9. March 1, 2010 / 8:22 pm

    My heart is always on the Chanel but when it comes to money you do have to question why!

  10. March 1, 2010 / 8:51 pm

    I’d love to get my mitts on the Chanel but the price point is off putting. Chanel is really ‘spensive in Australia and can be hard to source.

  11. metscan
    March 1, 2010 / 2:15 pm

    Chanel has great bags, but the one today does not appeal to me at all. But I would never settle for MJ or Kate Spade bags either. So sorry.

  12. vicki archer
    March 1, 2010 / 3:09 pm

    A great classic….xv

  13. Marsi
    March 1, 2010 / 5:41 pm

    My husband treated me to a medium black caviar leather 2.55 three years ago, after I’d lusted after them since age 14. I now have no use for any other handbag, and will use this until I take my last breath. It goes well with the refined gamine look I aspire to. I’m madly in love with my bag.

  14. La Belette Rouge
    March 1, 2010 / 5:49 pm

    The Kate Spade copy is my favorite. I just could never enjoy a bag that costs more than my computer. I would never put it down and I would have to have a Lojack installed in it. I’d rather have the KS and then have the $2300 left that would have gone to buying the Beige Jumbo.;-)

  15. Golla
    March 1, 2010 / 6:00 pm

    Oh the bags, the bags. I love the Chanel, but feel it is too dressy for me. I lust after the Louis Vuitton Speedy (not the smallest one, but the 40, I think it might make a great carry on for the plane), but every time I think about buying one, I hesitate so long that I still don’t have one. Have been doing that since 1989 🙂 Anyway, dear Une femme,I am going to Paris for the first time in my life on Wednesday. I live in Norway and will meet an old friend from California for her 50th birthday. I love your blog and want to thank you for all your inspiring posts in general, and Paris in particular!

  16. Frugal Scholar
    March 1, 2010 / 8:28 pm

    You need the real Chanel to go with your new shoes. That bag is a true classic..

  17. Arabella
    March 1, 2010 / 9:36 pm

    I always think of a quilted cosmetics bag hanging on a lavatory chain – pretty sure that’s not what Coco had in mind but still….!

  18. LaurieAnn
    March 2, 2010 / 5:39 pm

    Even iconic bags like the Birkin and the 2.55 wax and wane in popularity. Five years ago it was all about the Birkin and now it’s more about the 2.55. Usually I don’t care for inspired bags, but chain bags in general don’t scream knock-off to me because they’ve been available at different price points for years. Rather like the Hermes Bolide. I would love to indulge in the blush toned Marc Jacobs bag you feature, but this is the year that my household gets debt free: no mortgage, no car payments, no credit card balance. So I’m just going to have to forgo.

  19. March 3, 2010 / 12:06 am

    Lovely. I always like your look for less posts. And I think the MJ one is great…..

  20. Kalee
    March 2, 2010 / 10:56 pm

    I have to say that I really like the Kate Spade bag. It’s cute. However I have a black quilted chanel bag with chain straps on my list of things to buy before I die.

  21. tiffany
    March 3, 2010 / 2:30 am

    Funny, they just don’t really do it for me … Maybe it’s the colour.

  22. cybill
    March 3, 2010 / 10:21 am

    I have never really wanted a status bag, oh except a Bally one that I saw once (I did but see her passing by and I shall love her ’til I die).
    I just change my mind so often about what I love I know I would regret laying a large sum of money on one bag when I could have several.

  23. March 4, 2010 / 12:48 am

    Bonjour Madame – I’m so glad you enjoy the bag posts. kate spade really has been doing some nice bags lately.

    metscan – that’s OK. YSL’s are gorgeous too!

    Belle – the Nancy Gonzales bags are quite pretty, and the YSL Muse is a classic in its own right.

  24. March 4, 2010 / 12:50 am

    vicki archer – we love our classics!

    WendyB – I could see you with one of the more contemporary, edgy Chanels.

    aaonce – yes, keep looking for that “goldilocks” bag! It will sing out to you and you will know it’s the right one.

  25. March 4, 2010 / 12:56 am

    Duchesse – how annoying that they are discontinuing your favorite brand! I first heard of Bree over at the Purse Forum; the brand has some fans there.

    hostess of humble bungalow – the Chanel classic flap bags come in three sizes, the largest being the Jumbo (which I think is 13″ lengthwise) so they’re not huge bags.

    marsi – that’s a fabulous classic! And the caviar leather wears like iron.

    LPC – so true. There’s nothing wrong with “inspired by” designs.

  26. March 4, 2010 / 12:59 am

    La Belette Rouge – I could SO see you carrying that kate spade!

    Golla – oh how wonderful for you! Have a fantastic time in Paris!! And you’re very welcome, so glad you enjoy.

    Tish Jett – I’ve found an even better version today, sans bow and even less $$. Will post tomorrow.

  27. March 4, 2010 / 1:02 am

    Make Do Style – and they just keep raising the prices. At some point we all need to start saying “enough!” New, they’re definitely out of my price range.

    Frugal Scholar – well, if you say so… 😉

    Faux Fuschia – the price is off-putting here too. I keep scouring my sources for a “gently pre-loved” version, though demand has driven the prices up there too.

  28. March 4, 2010 / 1:05 am

    Arabella – too funny!

    LaurieAnn – the Birkin is one of those bags that I just don’t find appealing. Now the Bolide on the other hand…but not in this lifetime. I’ll have to content myself with one of the many “inspired by’s.”

    kalee – I don’t think you can go wrong with the classics. (See marsi’s comment above.)

  29. March 4, 2010 / 1:08 am

    Semi Expat – thanks! The MJ bag really is a nice one. The detailing is nice and leather is a pretty color.

    tiffany – some people really aren’t into beige. What is your favorite bag color?

    cybill – variety is the spice of life! I don’t think I could limit myself to only one or two bags over the long haul…too many pretty temptations out there!

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