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I was introduced to the idea of a wallet on chain (WOC for short) back in 2016 when mini bags first started to peak my interest.
It was shortly before my wedding when I was looking for a small clutch that I could carry my needed items for the day in. And that’s when I discover the Chanel WOC.
It was a beautiful shade of pink in the Camellia embossed print–a prefect match for my wedding dress and theme.
However, the price tag, even used at that time was too much for me. I moved on to a cheaper bag, that I didn’t even use for the wedding day itself.
But the idea of a Chanel WOC stuck with me throughout the years, and I dreamed of one day being in a position where I could happily own one.
Well, my time came in April of 2020.
At this point, I’m well established outside of college and in a position where I could afford the WOC of my dreams. But the frugal mama in me made it hard to make the final leap.
But with canceled plans for my 30th birthday celebration, I had a nice amount of spending cash on hand to use on just me.
So I took to the internet and went a bit crazy.
You can see what I got for my milestone birthday on this post as well as this one here. But clearly, I finally got my Chanel WOC.
I was able to find my WOC brand new on Fashionphile in the most beautiful iridescent rose pink from the 19s collection (They periodically get pieces in from this collection so if you’re looking, check back frequently). It came with all tags, and wrapping, which was a wonderful touch since I couldn’t yet go into a shop and have that experience.
I had seen these WOC’s all over the internet at this point and thought they were just beautiful. But browser pixels simply don’t do the finish on this piece justice. How it shimmers and glistens in the light is just so mesmerizing and feminine, that it makes my heart sing.
Now after a year of ownership and frequent use, I feel ready to give a fair and well rounded review on this ‘bag’ that will hopefully be useful for anyone out there deciding on if they too should make this purchase.
Like with my other reviews I have done on this site, I want to break this review up into a brief overview of the bag, it’s cost compared similar items on the market, and how it has worn during my time of use.
I also think it might be useful to show you how I pack this particular bag, as I know many people question just what they can comfortable take with them in it.
Chanel WOC–A Quick Overview
Base Length: 7.5 in
Height: 5 in
Width: 1.25 in
Depth: 1.4 in
Drop: 24.5 in
Let me get this out of the way now; I will likely keep referring to this WOC as a bag throughout this post. But it’s in fact classified as an SLG (small leather good), as it is essentially just a wallet…with a chain attached to it.
That said, with a height of 5 inches and depth of about 1.5 inches, its a rather large wallet that gives you ample space to play around in.
The basic Chanel WOC currently has a retail price that starts at $2650 and only goes up from there. Chanel also likes to introduce price increases every year, so this base price will likely just keep going up for a while.
Structurally, the bag features a small and simple Mona Lisa smile pocket on the back. In the front, it opens with a button snap, and along the top flap, a zipper pocket that runs along the body of the bag can be found.
The bags interior boost of 3 sections; along the cloth lined back, 6 card slots to hold upwards of 12 cards (if you double them up), a cloth lined zipper compartment and a 3/4th slip pocket in the front.
The leather threaded chain is secured inside the bag and is not technically adjustable. However, you can cross the chain over itself inside the bag several ways to give you more versatility when wearing it (I personally love to wear it as a shoulder bag).
As is, the most common way to wear this bag is crossbody, or over the shoulder (though I’m 5’5 with a more petite frame so I often find this to be just a tad long for my taste).
The main reason why it took me so long to get the Chanel WOC is because it’s just flat out expensive for what it is.
There is a lot to love about this item and the brand itself is addicting. But objectively speaking, I can’t say that the quality is far superior to its counterparts on the market currently.
By comparison, the Coach’s Hayden wallet (which I also own and love), has a very similar structure and dimensions, more slots for cards, more leather areas in the interior and features a smooth metal zipper instead of the plastic zipper on the Chanel WOC. The strap is also interchangeable as well on the Hayden wallet. For $35, you can purchase a beautiful chain from Coach (which I find comparable to Chanel’s own metal chain quality to be honest).
With the chain included, Coach’s Hayden wallet will start at around $210– less than 10% the cost of the Chanel WOC. And with an equal variety of styles to choose from, it isn’t hard to find something of quality you would like.
I do recognize that Coach is a contemporary brand, so it’s not necessarily fair to compare its price point to Chanel’s (even if the quality is comparable here).
But even looking at similar products from luxury houses, such as Saint Laurent and Louis Vuitton, they are still coming in at less than half the cost of the Chanel WOC for essentially the same things (and in some cases, with better functionality too).
If you’re going to base your decision on the Chanel WOC solely on it’s comparative cost for what you’re getting, then you may want to pass on it.
Upfront, the cost compared to what you’re receiving just doesn’t seem to be worth it. However, there is something to be said about the brand staying power behind Chanel and its WOCs.
While expensive upfront, Chanel WOCs can make great assets, as they retain most if not all of their value if kept in good condition. Certain WOC’s (most notably the black caviar WOCs with gold or sliver hardware) will actually gain value over time because of inflation paired with Chanel’s constant price increases.
I bought my WOC pre loved from Fashionphile for around $3100, and can reasonably sell it for about $4200 today. So from this prospective, the Chanel WOC should be viewed more as an investment piece compared to its counterparts.
How It Wears
For me, the most important thing about any bag is how it wears and it’s functionality for me.
I’m not the one to buy things just because they are aesthetic–they need to be beautiful and work with my lifestyle .
In this regard, I’m very happy to say that the Chanel WOC works great for me in many instances.
My bag is in caviar leather, which means that it’s somewhat resistant to scratching and easily wiped down with a wet wipe. This is prefect for me as a mother of soon to be 3 in 3 years.
When out and about these days, I can keep it in my Neverfull GM that I like to use as a diaper bag, where it functions as a standard wallet/ catch all for my essentials. And when I don’t need to have the kids things with me, it’s easy to pull it out and go with everything I need.
Because it can hold so many cards in the slots in the back, I don’t have a need for a card hold when I use it (though sometimes I’m lazy when transferring bags and just toss it in) and both the slip and zipper pockets in the font are long enough for me to place bills in without folding them.
The zipper pocket along the top is large enough to slide a fold sheet of standard paper in there without taking up space in your bag as well. I have actually used that a few time when I needed a place to keep a longer receipts or document for a project.
The bag has a strong structure to it that allows for it to be stretched out just a little without it loosing its shape. So in the caviar leather, this makes is a great option for traveling, as I’m not worried that it will get easily misshapen.
In the year that I have owned this bag, I have worn it frequently and there is little to no wear that shows and it functions perfectly for my daily needs.
I have only been able to take this bag out on one date night occasion, but it functioned well for that as well.
There are a few minor annoyance at least for me with this bag that I figure I would share them here to keep this review well rounded.
The first being that while I can carry my phone in this WOC, it really will only fit in the main compartment. If the zipper compartment was only a fraction of a centimeter longer, my phone would fit perfectly. If your phone is larger than an iPhone 11, then this bag may not be able to carry it.
My second minor gripe is the zipper design for the top pocket. It ends up poking into the leather of your bag and over time, this will cause a minor dent in the leather.
You can stave it off for a bit by storing it with the clasp closed. However, ultimately this damage is seemingly inevitable and part of the natural aging process for this bag.
I don’t like it, but it’s super minor
What Fits Inside
Since the WOC is an SLG, it won’t fit much. But I think I will fit most of what you’ll need for day to day use if you have become accustom to using small bags.
Typically, this is what I keep in my WOC with no issues pulling out what I need:
- Face mask
- Small hand sanitizer
- Small perfume sample\
- Pill bottle
- 2 wet wipes
- 6 ring key organizer
- Dior Lip Maximizer
- Hand Lotion
- Pen (from my shop!)
- Target gift cards
- A few bills
- Credit/debit cards
- iPhone 11
Lately as my pregnancy has progressed, I have also started keeping a small fruit leather or trail mix in my WOC as well with little problems. Thought generally, I have to take my phone out at this point. Though that is hardly a problem for me, as I prefer to have my phone in hand or my pocket most times anyways.
As mentioned earlier, there have been a few times where I was lazy have have tossed my cardholder in the WOC as well, with no problems either. The catch is, I have to remove my phone at that point. But again, for me that’s not an issue, as I prefer to have easier accesses to my phone.
While we were on vacation and out for dinner, I decided to see if I could get away with fitting my Sony ZV-1 camera in the WOC as well. The answer is sort of . While it could fit in the bag and snap up a long with other necessary items, I really wasn’t comfortable with the way it misshaped the bag, even with noting else in there. So it’s not something I recommend doing.
I have also seen a few people ask if an epipen will fit in the bag. While it depends on what version you’re carrying around with you, I can indeed fit an epipen over the basics I carry in my bag and close it up just fine (Which has reminded me that I should probably be better about taking my own epipen with me when I’m out, though I always have my kiddos epipens on hand).
Is The Chanel WOC Worth It?
I have zero problems saying that for me, this bag was worth it and that I can’t wait to add a few more to my collection.
While it is over priced for what you’re getting, could feature a few higher grade finishes and the chain could benefit from some adjustments (at least for my build), over all, the bag is just as functional as it is beautiful.
it’s an easy grab and go bag with little fuss about it and honestly prefect for moms who just need a little bag real estate for themselves.
On the fiancee end of it, for most, this bag will require a bit of saving up. But if you’re the type to frequently sell and rotate your bags, if you keep it in good condition, you’ll likely see all your money back, if not more.
If you are the type of person however who prefers to always use a wallet with your bag or just enjoys more space in a bag, then this may be one you want to skip . It is after all and SLG so there’s only so much you can get away with in there.
But over all, I think that the Chanel WOC is a wonderful introduction to Chanel bags and a really bad way to start a Chanel addiction.
Where to Buy
If you’re looking to buy your first or a new Chanel WOC, you have a few options.
Of course, If you live in a city that has a Chanel Bouqutie, you can call or pop on over to see what they currently have in stock.
I use to live just a 10 minute drive from my nearest Chanel store, but Now I live 3.5 hours away in the country. So If you’re like me, your best option is to check out consignment shops. I prefer the online consignment shops as I feel more secure in their authentication process. Though the trade off there is that you have to deal with shipping and that is a whole other story.
Fashionphile is my go to for online luxury consignment. However, tThe RealReal just partnered with Rakuten, allowing for first time user to get 2.5% cash back from their total purchase and returning users to get 1% cash back, which I think is amazing. If you don’t have an account with The RealRealm you can sign up here, and If you haven’t signed up for Rakuten yet, click here to get an addition $25 cash back on your first purchase through them for free.
Lastly, you can use resellers sites, such as Poshmark, Mercari and eBay–Even Instagram and Facebook to some extent. While there always seem to be an abundance of options on these sites, I still always seem cautious about them. I’m a believer that most people are good and decent, but there are also a lot of scammers on these sites. I do like that Poshmark and eBay offer authentication services that you can use to make sure that you aren’t getting ripped off.
However, still use precautions when possible. use PayPal and don’t use the friends and a family option when making purchase with folks you don’t know. It will allow you to get your money back if you get scammed.
Are you considering adding a WOC to your bag collection? which one are you getting?