A vintage Chanel belt bag has been on my wish list for such a long time, I was able to finally get it after selling a lot of pieces during a closet sale last year. It’s also the most I’ve spent on a bag ($1,100) but it was 100% paid for by the proceeds from selling clothing I wasn’t wearing any longer. This is how I’ve always funded my designer bag purchases and I always make sure the price I do pay for the bag is low enough so I can resale without losing money in the future. In typical Capricorn fashion, I want to look amazing in my vintage, but I’m also prioritizing my retirement accounts to keep growing! Keep reading for my Vintage Chanel Belt Bag Buying Guide!
Vintage Chanel Belt Bag Buying Guide
Now that I had my budget secured, I did a lot of research because I wanted to make sure I got the right sized bag and belt. I only buy my bags vintage so I started looking at options from the 80s and 90s. My Vintage Chanel Belt Waist Bag is a black lambskin with 24k dipped gold hardware from the 80s. I’ve seen this style in black, red, navy, or beige lambskin and gold hardware. In the 90s, Chanel introduced this bag in velvet and caviar leather (note that the sizes of 90s bag will vary from the 80s style). This belt bag was produced before Chanel started adding serial numbers, so take a look at my authentication tips below.
Let’s start with the belt size. The belt is sized just like fashion belts so there are several sizes that the vintage Chanel bag comes in which you’ll see marked 75/30 or 80/32 which is the length of the belt in cm and inches). To determine your correct size, measure your favorite belt that sits exactly where you want the Chanel belt bag to sit. From there, identify your ideal belt size in the Chanel. For reference I’m a modern 25 or 26 in denim and purchased the belt bag in a size 75/30. It fits perfectly and I have the option to have it sit high on the waist or a bit lower on the hips.
Now for the actual bag size, this is where I had to do a ton of research because most belt bags, and mini bags for that matter, are TOO small for modern phones. I have the iPhone14 ProMax which is huge and it won’t fit most mini bags. As you’ll see in the graphic below, the V flap bag is a it wider and is about 6.5 inches wide. This fits my iPhone perfectly. The other style with the rounded flap is very popular but it’s much smaller at 5 inches and won’t fit a larger iPhone. Even if you have a small phone an extra 1.5 inches is very nice when it comes to mini bags! I also think the V flap is more modern looking.
Shop for Authenticate Vintage Chanel Belt Bag
Shop around. My best tip for buying a vintage Chanel bag is to do lots of research and shopping around before you buy. This will help you get a good understanding of prices depending on the item condition, whether it comes with a dust bag, and retailer. Trust your gut and use common sense when shopping. If the belt bag is underpriced compared to similar bags on other sites, then it’s likely a fake. If the pricing is pretty consistent, then dig deeper to ensure it’s authentic.
Authenticity Guarantee. Do not buy a bag unless there is an authentication seal and don’t rely on the authentication seal to prove it’s authentic. Check the store’s authentication process and ask if they’ll provide more information for a 3rd party authentication prior to purchase. Chanel Boutiques do not authenticate bags; I rely on Zeko for authentication of Chanel handbags. If a store isn’t flexible or won’t disclose their authentication process, purchase at your own risk (or don’t buy!)
Check the store policy. Each shop and even each seller on eBay or Fashionphile will have its own return policy, shipping rates, and other specific shopping policy. Be sure to read every store policy before you buy.
Get all the details. Find out everything you can about the vintage Chanel belt bag including if it comes with the dust bag and box. All resellers should provide an authenticity card or certificate of authenticity. Find out absolutely everything about the bag that you can. If it sounds too good to be true, then maybe it is.
Ask for pictures. Every shop will include pictures, but they may not be exactly what you want, so ask for additional pictures. For example, I always want to see a handbag modeled so I will ask for images with the purse carried as a messenger, shoulder, and also carried as a clutch.
Double check measurements. Pictures can be deceiving and sometimes they make a bag look larger than it actually is. In addition to asking for more pictures, ask for exact dimensions of the bag.
Where to buy vintage Chanel belt bag
Fashionphile. Fashionphile is one of the OG eBay sellers that I trust that has since launched its own online shop and brick and mortar stores in Beverly Hills, San Diego and San Francisco. They have a great selection of vintage and second hand Chanel bags and are one of the most trusted resale shops.
What Goes Around Comes Around. For nearly 20 years, WGACA has been the go to for rare designer vintage finds and they’re known to have those hard-to-find vintage Chanel bags. While their pricing is on the pricier side, they do have a beautiful and curated collection.
Farfetch. Farfetch is a luxury retailer that recently started selling vintage. They have a great vintage Chanel bag collection and are a reputable seller. Note that their prices are higher since they have done the hard work of finding the most unique vintage pieces to add to their inventory.
Vestiaire. Vestiaire Collective is a curated collection of thousands of new, pre-owned, and vintage luxury items. They check every item to ensure quality and authenticity before it is sent to you.
eBay. There are thousands of sellers on eBay so you need to really get to know the top sellers that are legit and offer eBay’s authentication guarantee. I have used this service and have always received an authentic bag (cross authenticated by Leather Surgeons or Zeko). You can also check out this list of Chanel resellers, which includes eBay sellers as well as other online retailers.
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