In honor of Shakespeare Loves Chanel turning two this month, I’m doing a special themed blog post on Chanel-inspired looks! From quilted handbags to tweed outfits, I’m sharing ways to channel classic Chanel style at a variety of price points.
P.S. My lovely Chanel-themed cake was made by my sweet step-sister for my birthday last September! 🎂
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. See my full disclosure here.
Note that if an exact item is no longer available for purchase online, then I link similar styles.
Quilted handbags are an iconic part of Chanel history. One of the most recognizable–and most coveted–is the Chanel classic flap. However with its steep price point, the classic flap is definitely an investment piece (and the price does vary depending on bag size and type of material).
Since Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel first designed the quilted flap bag back in 1955, this elegant and versatile purse has proven the test of time. It’s not a trendy bag that will go out of style next season or even next year–it’s one of those rare fashion pieces that truly embodies what it means to be timeless.
The interlocking CC logo wasn’t added until the 1980’s, under the late creative director Karl Lagerfeld, and is the classic flap that’s still produced today. There are also quilted flap bags called the 2.55, which are fashioned after Chanel’s original design and don’t have the CC lock.
In 2017 my husband and I visited Chanel’s flagship store on the Rue Cambon in Paris, which first opened in 1918. Being a longtime Chanel fan, it was a fashion dream come true to shop for my classic flap bag at this historic location.
Whether you’re on the hunt for a rare purse or are a fan of vintage styles, my favorite website to buy vintage or pre-loved handbags/accessories is The RealReal. I love their high standards of authentication, their wide selection of designer goods, and their excellent customer service.
I’d been eyeing the Chanel Medallion Tote for a long time but after Chanel discontinued them, I started looking on the RealReal and found one in great condition (pictured above). About five years have passed since then, and I’m still extremely pleased with my purchase; the bag has held up so well and is something I use often!
Shop similar quilted bags here.
However, if you’re looking for a brand new bag without the Chanel price tag, there are several contemporary designers I definitely recommend. Tory Burch, Marc Jacobs, Rebecca Minkoff, and Kate Spade all make lovely quilted handbags in a variety of sizes, colors, and styles. My Kate Spade mini quilted backpack pictured above is something I got a great deal on recently (under $60!), during one of the Kate Spade Surprise Sales.
Unlike Chanel (which never goes on sale), the aforementioned brands have sales throughout the year and are perfect opportunities to find a lovely quilted handbag (often for under $200). I also frequently check both Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack’s apps to see when these designers go on sale!
Coco Chanel first started using tweed fabrics in her designs almost 100 years ago, after being inspired by the tweed menswear worn by the Duke of Westminster, whom she was in a relationship with at the time. In the century since then, tweed has been an integral part of the French fashion house.
I bought the red tweed dress pictured above from Shein last year. Unfortunately it’s no longer available, but I linked similar styles here. Details like the white collar and neck tie also evoke that classic Chanel aesthetic.
Shop similar tweed jackets here.
This tweed jacket from Nordstrom Rack is an elegant option that would be just as perfect for a professional setting as it’d be with jeans on the weekend. I particularly like the contrasting trim on this jacket and the subtle metallic gold threads.
My Chanel brooch pictured above is an upcycled piece from the Designer Jewelry Finds. They repurpose authentic vintage buttons and charms from luxury brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci and turn them into jewelry and accessories. Not only do they extend the life of vintage pieces by transforming them into wearable art, their price points are far more affordable, since most of their items cost under $150.
Shop similar styles here.
Though it’s on my fashion bucket list to one day own a Chanel tweed skirt suit, this matching set from Zara is such a chic alternative! Black and white color palettes always remind me of Coco herself, so as soon as I saw this set a few months ago, I knew it would be the perfect addition to my closet.
I love how versatile it is because I can wear the jacket and skirt together for more of a statement look, or easily mix and match with other items (more on that in a future post!).
Shakespeare Loves Chanel has been such a passion project for me the past two years, and I’m excited to keep growing it! I’ve truly loved connecting with so many inspiring individuals and businesses. Thank you all for your love and support! ❤️