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It’s well known that I’m a major fan of pre-loved and vintage pieces.
You can find many of these items in amazing condition and for really great value. I truly think that its one of the better ways to shop and find unique pieces for your wardrobe, especially if you’re just starting out.
But with Chanel, I feel like vintage hunting is a bit different.
As I spoke about in this blog post here, Chanel bags (in particular the bags that are or mirror classic styles) are always in demand, thus making it hard to find a great deal second hand. A classic flap from the late 80’s-90’s can easily go for $3,000 plus on today’s market. And while that might be a steal compared to today’s Chanel prices, I personally can’t justify in my head spending that much money on a bag that is older than I am.
This fact however hasn’t deterred me from looking though. There are a few vintage bags that I have on a wishlist in my head. And every now and again, I take some time out of my day to search for them.
One of those bags that lives rent free in my head is the Chanel Chocolate Bar Flap in white with gold plated hardware.
I remember seeing this bag in high school, but really first noticed this bag around 2017 shortly before I got pregnant. The Chocolate Bar style comes in several variations, including a mini size with the famed Camilla flower attached, a very popular east-west iteration, some tote styles, clutches etc.
However it was the Chocolate Bar that mimicked the classic flap that caught and held my attention the most.
This bag is around the same size as a medium flap, being only slightly shorter in depth. It is also a single flap style bag (which is prefect for my bad shoulders and back) featuring a Mona Lisa pocket on the back exterior, a slip and zip pocket in the interior and a nylon or leather lining inside the main compartment depending on the year it was made.
This would have been the prefect bag to find–and even more so if I could find it below $1000.
And boy of boy, I have tried!
Shop Vintage Chocolate Bars on Fashionphile
My Search For Chocolate Perfection
Ya’ll I searched everywhere.
I had a certain budget that I wanted to stick to as well as a certain quality that I wanted in the bag.
As mentioned above, I was really looking for the bag in white with the 24 gold plated hardware for around or under $1000 USD.
The first place that I found exactly what I was looking for was on Poshmark. It was in patten leather (a lot of them are) with a few marks on it, but I know how to work that out.
I was a bit skeptical of the listing because the price was amazing at $750 USD. But Poshmark offers authentication services for all luxury items about $500 USD in price. The offer appeared to have been updated recently too. So I sent in an offer right at asking.
Poshmark gives their users 24 hours to respond to any offer given to them, and well, she never responded sadly.
The next time I would find what I was looking for, It would be on eBay. It was again a white Chocolate Bar in patten leather with gold plated hardware. This one was a bit worst for wear, but again, nothing that couldn’t be easily repaired by myself. It was listed for slightly higher at $850 USD, but it did come with everything including the original receipt, box, dust bag and authentication card.
I was so excited! When I found it, I immediately clicked ‘Buy Now’ and was so happy that I had finally made this purchase that I had been thinking about for years at this point.
But my excitement wore off when I received a notification that my order had been canceled on the buyers end. So another strike.
At this point, my mind was kind of in ‘secure’ mode and I don’t think I was making the best choices for what I wanted, as I was just now hyper focused on getting my hand on this piece.
So when I found the next Chocolate Bar that satisfied my basic wants, I went a head and put an offer in on it–which was ignored and that was truly a blessing.
While this bag met all my basic wants and came with an authentication card, the pervious owner had also busted it down with crystals. Clearly, I’m all for embellishments on Chanel, but I don’t think this would have been the best fit for me personally in the long run. I pretty sure that I would have regretted it if I bought it. So in the end I’m happy I turned it down.
The price on this one was more than I had wanted to pay too. She had it listed for $1300 USD– which might have been a fair price if the bag wasn’t so heavily modified. I sent in an offer for $850 USD for that particular bag but again was ignored, and again, I think that was best.
Fourth Time Lucky?
It was a few days after I was ignored/ rejected from the wrong bag, that I stumble across an ad for a good bag.
This Chocolate Bar wasn’t white, nor did it have the 24k gold plating. It is a beige clair color with sliver hardware and in lambskin all over. But it’s in the classic flap style and was in pretty good condition considering it’s age (it’s a 7 series so it’s coming up on truly vintage!).
Another perk was that it was being sold by a trusted Japanese seller. While I still like to get my bags authenticated when I purchase them online, Japan, a long with a few other countries, have strict policies when it comes to reselling luxury items. It is a major fine or even jail time for resellers who are passing off counterfeits as authentic pieces in these countries, so they tend to do their due diligences when it comes to authenticating them items themselves as well.
And the price was right too. It was over the $1000 USD I wanted to pay, but not by much. And it came with the peace of mind that I would actually receive this item.
I did have to think about it for a while. It wasn’t the same bag that I had in my head. But it was close.
And it was in a color that I eventually wanted to add to my collection anyways.
I decided to just go for it, with the intention of returning it if I didn’t like it.
With taxes and import duties, I paid just south of 1300 USD for this bag. While shipping felt like it took forever, it arrived to my door in 1 week, which isn’t bad at all.
I was nervous about how I would feel about this purchase as I opened it up. It wasn’t exactly what I was searing for, so I thought that I might feel some sort of regret upon receiving it.
That however was so not the case.
This bag is the most beautiful beige color I’ve seen. It has a bright pinkish/ yellow undertone to it that plays well with the silver hardware. The lambskin is buttery soft to the touch even after all these years and the square quilting still relatively puffy. There is some dirt and scuff marks on the bag and a bit of discoloration; but most of that can be fixed either by myself or by sanded it to a leather spa.
It has a longer chain drop– just about as long as the rectangular mini so it can easily be worn cross body or you can shorten the chain length to wear it over the shoulder. You could wear it over the shoulder without shorting the chain as well, but because of the long strap drop and my shorter body, I don’t think that works out as well with a bigger bag.
Needless to say, this was a great purchase over all. I can’t wait to get this bag cleaned up and ready to use. I have to admit that with this older lambskin, I’m a bit afraid to use any of the leather cleaners that I have on it, so I don’t want to damage it at all. So I’ll probably send it off for treatment here soon.
Either way, this is defiantly one of my favorite vintage finds!
Do you like/love vintage fashion? What are some of your favorite vintage pieces?