I think there are very few fashion-aholics who don’t have a soft spot for Chanel. It is the holy grail of the fashion world and Karl Lagerfeld has become a Messiah. After 35 years at the helm as Creative Director, he has been responsible for more trends then I’ve had manicures!
The downside to this heavenly brand are the hellish price tags. Every time I blink the prices seem to go up, making it less and less attainable. This is exactly why the preloved Chanel market has become so buoyant. Even a discount of 20% on a preowned handbag can be in the region of £600+, which is a sizable saving.
Whenever anyone speaks about which luxury brands retain their value the most, Chanel always seems to be top of the list. However, this tends to be true of handbags, small leather goods and accessories. Surprisingly, it is less so of ready-to-wear.
In this post, I’m going to share everything I know about preloved Chanel ready to wear, including WHY it’s worth buying, WHERE to buy it and WHAT to buy.
Personally, if I had the choice between a Chanel jacket or Chanel bag, I would choose the jacket every time. Although, if their handbag prices are out of reach then the clothing may as well be in another galaxy. I can’t ever imagine myself walking into a boutique and dropping £5000 on an item of clothing.
Having said that, I actually have 5 pieces of Chanel ready-to-wear in my wardrobe. How? They’ve all been bought preloved. The amazing thing about preloved ready-to-wear is it doesn’t hold its value anywhere near as much as Chanel handbags. In fact, if you know where to look you can pick up a Chanel tweed jacket for as little as £300-£400.
The other great secret about Chanel is the quality of their products during the 90s and 00s was MUCH better than it is today. While you might be buying a preloved jacket/dress/suit which is nearing 20 years old, the impeccable quality and craftsmanship ensures it’s still completely wearable.
I have two favourite boutiques I go to for an incredible selection of preloved Chanel. The first will come as no surprise, as I’ve done an entire blogpost about this first store (catch it HERE).
Sign of the Times in London has some of the best pieces of Chanel clothing I’ve ever seen. This grey jacket is my most recent Chanel purchases from them.
For those that aren’t a fan of vintage then Sign of the Times is the place for you. This is because nearly all of their of Chanel stock is new or like new. For example, this jacket was brand new with tags when I bought it. I paid £1150 for it, so it wasn’t super cheap but compared to what it would have retailed for it was a steal.
The other shop I recommend is Decades in LA. Their selection of Chanel is second to none. They have rails and rails of it! Unlike Sign of the Times, they have a lot more pieces which are obviously worn, so you do need to check pieces over for holes, stains and general wear and tear. I would also say they are on the pricier side. However, Chanel has always been more expensive in American than Europe so this might just be a reflection of that. You can see what I purchased last time I was there HERE & HERE.
Vestiaire Collective also has a huge selection of Chanel ready-to-wear. However, if you’re new to buying Chanel clothes I would try and stick to purchasing from dress agencies and preloved stores. The truth is, when it comes to Chanel, it’s all about the cut and you can never tell how it’s going to fit until you try it on.
Finally, deciding what to buy is a huge consideration. If like me, your Chanel wardrobe is never going to be overly extensive, I would always recommend your first purchase to be a tweed jacket.
There have been 1000s of Chanel tweed jackets designed over the years, so there’ll definitely be one to suit your style. The most important thing to get right is the shape.
The best way to establish which shape suits you best is to try as many on as many possible. Trust me, when you find on “the one” you’ll know immediately. You’ll almost get that wedding dress feeling. The jacket will look and feel like it’s made for you and that is the beauty of Chanel ready-to-wear.
I hope this post has been informative and helpful in your quest Chanel ready-to-wear. If you’re desperate for a piece Chanel in your wardrobe but can’t bring yourself to pay the ridiculous prices, a second hand jacket might be the way to go. I guarantee you’ll find your perfect Chanel jacket for less money than your perfect Chanel bag.