The best Chanel bags to add to your forever wardrobe

(Image credit: Getty Images)

I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you're going to part with your hard-earned cash for one fashion item, then designer handbags should be top of your list, and none so much as Chanel bags. Yes, they are costly, but as you'll see from my guide below, they are worth it.

What is a Chanel handbag worth

There's no beating around the bush, if you want to buy a Chanel bag, then you'll have to splurge, since the entry point styles (small bags and clutches) will set you back around £3,000.

Are all Chanel handbags a good investment

Oh yes, though it depends on what style you buy. The more trend-led pieces and new styles probably won't hold their value as well as the iconic styles such as the Chanel 2.55, the Classic flap shoulder bag and the Chanel Boy bag. These three styles in particular have not only held their value over the years, but increased it as well.

For example, the flap bag cost just over £1,000 in the 90s, but it's now worth over £7,000 and the 2.55 has increased in value by over 70% in the past decade. So if you think you'll end up selling it in the future, then do go for those styles.

How can you tell authentic Chanel

There are a few ways you can tell if a Chanel handbag is fake, for example if the stitching isn't perfect, the chain straps are lightweight, the serial number is more than eight digits long or if it's marked as made anywhere else other than France or Italy. There are a lot more specific things to look out for, so I recommend buying from a reputable site which has a team of experts who will have authenticated the bag for you. The general rule of thumb though is if it's too good to be true, ie the bag is cheap, then it's likely to be a scam.

Chanel bags sale

Sadly, if you're hoping to shop the Chanel sale, you're out of luck. Like many luxury retailers, Chanel doesn't do sales, and you can't even shop the label at other sites who might, like Matches or Net-A-Porter. You can however get a discount if you're willing to buy second hand.

Where to buy Chanel handbags

You can't actually buy new Chanel handbags online. While you can see the styles and prices on their official website, you have to visit their boutiques to actually buy the handbags. This isn't a bad thing as you'll then benefit from the full luxury retail experience, and for the price, you want to see it IRL too.

However, if you're looking for second hand and vintage Chanel bags, there are plenty of official resell sites you can visit, from Selfridges' RESELL to Farfetch and Vestiaire Collective. Make sure you buy yours from a reputable site that will have authenticated it for you. Keep scrolling to shop my edit.

Penny Goldstone

Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.

Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).

Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.

However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.

Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.