When I first got into Chanel, two of the bags that I knew I wanted in my collection was a mini rectangular and a square mini.
These bags just seemed so dang cute and practical for someone with bad shoulders. Plus, as a mom of 3 now, I already have a Neverfull GM that gets lugged around with me wherever I go.
Having a smaller bag carrying just my needs is nice and honestly needed.
So when I purchased the square mini at the end of April of 2021, I was ecstatic!
At that point, I had already received my rectangular mini as an early birthday gift from my husband (check that post out here), so for a few months, I was rotating between the two and I love them–especially the square mini!
Now that I’ve had ample time to sit with this bag (a honestly a lot of procrastinating too), I feel like it’s more than time to give it a proper review!
I want to structure this review similarly to others I have done in the past, starting with a slight overview and history of the model, specifics about my particular bag, then some chat about how the durability, functionality and usability of the bag and wrapping up with some of my final thoughts.
Obviously, since I still have the bag a few years later and use it frequently, I 100% believe that it was worth it for me. But my goal with these reviews is to provide you with enough information to help you make a decision on if its worth it to you.
Feel free to skip around this review using the table of content below, or keep reading for the full review!
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Table Of Content
The Chanel Square Mini History
While not considered a Chanel ‘classic’, the mini’s (particularly the square style) has a rich history with the brand. Dating back to the 1980’s with the introduction of Karl Laragfeld’s interlocking CC design, the Square mini is easily recognizable and iconic all the same.
While the original Square minis were released in the 1980’s, they were a bit more slim in design. However in the 2000’s the style went through a slight redesign, introduction the Rectangular style as well as making the mini’s a bit more functional so that they felt like genuine Classic flaps.
Since the Mini’s are seasonal handbags, they are offered in a variety of different colors, as well as the classic black, beige and white. However, after 2018, they only produced mini’s in lambskin lambskin leather or tweed (you can still find 2.55 mini’s in calf skin but that’s a different story)
A Quick Review
Base Length: 6.25 in
Height: 5.25 in
Width: 2.75 in
Drop: 20.25 in
The Square minis seem to be designed slightly differently each year so consider the dimensions given above to be approximates.
That said, the Square (how I’ll be referring to this bag from this point on), has a slightly shorter length than the Rectangular and a slightly larger height than the Rectangular. For me, this means that these bags are practically the same size, even if they appear to look significantly different.
The Square is a single half flap style bag that features the classic turn lock to open. The interior of the bag is fully leather lined and features a single slip pocket on the back panel, followed by a zip pocket and then the rest of the space belongs to the main cavity. The back of the bag features the signature Chanel Mona Lisa pocket. The bag is attached to Chanel’s signature leather lined chain that is secured through D rings on either side on the bag and feed through two eyelets
This is a very simple bag ya’ll. But there is nothing wrong with simple either, especially when the main purpose of something is suppose to be utility.
As of March 2023, the Square mini’s are retailing for $4,700.00USD.
About My Chanel Square Mini
The Square that I ended up getting is a 17C, hot pink patten leather with silver hardware. This bag would have been released around 2012-2013, so it’s coming up on a decade old at this point.
For a handbag as old as it is, it’s truly in great condition! The patten later has minimal color transfer and has mostly patinated evenly with its oxygen and sun expose. She’s a little rounded around the edges, but ultimately still in shape with well conditioned leather.
I purchased my Square from Fashionphile, with a considerable discount and only ended up paying $2,495.00USD for it. This is still a hefty price tag for a handbag. But mini’s typically retain their value when kept in good condition.
Currently on the pre loved market, Squares in great condition are selling for around $3,500.00-$4,100.00 USD.
Functionality, Usability & Durability
For me, functionality and utility are just as important when it comes to investing in bags as aesthetics are. I want pieces in my closet that I can actually use and that will stand the test of time.
With my reviews, I like to reflect over the functionality, usability and durability of each item. With functionality, I look at how usable a bag is with intended wear. With usability, I explore how the bag actually wears on the body to gage how much I might actually grab for it and with durability I look at how robust the handbag is for normal situations. I find that for me, looking at all these factors really helps me determine more objectively if a handbag is a good fit.
I’m a huge fan of Chanel Mini’s because of how practical I find them to be. With only a single flap, a main cavity, and a small interior slip pocket, this bag is almost zero fuss.
While the bag is a bit narrow because of it’s square design, I still find that it fits my phone (although a bit snug) and all my other daily basics for the most part.
Because of it being a more narrow fit though, I find myself stacking up items a bit more than I normally would in other bags of a similar size. Because I’m pretty use to jigsawing the contents of my purses together, I can normally piece around my bags without this becoming a mess for me. But I know plenty other people who this would annoy so it’s something to consider.
Like all classic like styles from Chanel, the Square Mini comes with a tunrlock closure, and I really appreciate that. They could have done a snap or magnetic closure (similar to the WOC) but the turnlock closure feels like Chanel and just seems much more practical to me. I don’t feel like I’m fighting to ever get this bag opened or closed. It’s just easy. And with the turnlock, I feel like my items are more secure as well.
As mentioned above, the Square typically comes with a shorter strap length. At 5’5 this shorter length doesn’t bother me as it falls right at hip length for me. But for those that are taller the strap may be too short for them. Chanel does have the pearl crush Squares, which comes with an adjustable chain. I haven’t seen one of these in person yet, so I don’t know if those would be better for those that are taller. But I did want to mention that those are options!
I also find that because of its small and squat design, this bag typically lays nicely at my side when where it. I think impart because of the shorter strap, the bag doesn’t bounce around as much as some larger bags when worn crossbody.
This bag though is really only worn as a cross body or long shoulder bag for me. While you can technically wrap the chain across the flap inside, this may end up causing damage to the flap later on. If you’re super keen on wearing this as a shorter shoulder bag, you could use a chain adjuster. However because of its smaller size, your arms will just kinda squish the bag in.
While I personally haven’t done this yet, you could probably also use this as a top handle style as well if you shortened the chain on the inside enough as well if that’s your style.
Part of the durability of a purse will depend on the materials that it’s made out of. In general thought, the Square Minis have a very sturdy design.
Their small box shape I think helps protect them from a lot of wear and tear. One thing that I have noticed common with Squares however is that over time the sides can become slightly puffy. You can notice this in my bag as well. This is considered natural wear and tear as the bag relaxes over time. This relaxing of the leather on the side will depend impart on the leather that was used (calf skin or lambskin) and the finished used on. Lambskin for example is a softer leather, so it may sag a bit faster.
My Square in particular is made from patten leather which is a pretty structured leather. So while my bag may have a little puffiness to it, it’s not much.
There isn’t much that I dislike about this bag. If I had to nitpick, it would say that the strap could be a bit longer. And like mentioned above, there is the issue with the puffiness with the sides over time. But other than that, this is a pretty easy, carefree bag for me.
Caring For My Square Mini
The Squares won’t require any special care other than the basics. I order bag inserts for all my bags to help protect the inside as well as to help it retain its structure.
When I store my bags away, I store them with air paper inside (to help with shape, but to also allow enough oxygen to flow), and out on display away from the sun. This is because leather needs to ‘breathe’. Keeping them in the dust bags or in a box for too long can cause added dryness for your leather good.
Periodically, I’ll wipe the bag down with a water wipe, especially If I was wearing darker clothing when I last wore the bag, and I try to follow up with conditioning treatment about every 3 months.
What Fits Inside
- Small hand sanitizer
- Travel perfume
- Pill bottle
- Wet wipes
- 6 ring key organizer
- Cles Pochette
- Dior Lip Maximizer
- Small hand Lotion
- Pen (from my shop!)
- Card holder
- iPhone 13
While this is a small bag, the fact that it’s a single flap means that I can carry a similar amount in the Square mini as I can in a small or medium flap. Which, at half the price of the full version, feels like a great deal.
The list I have above is everything that I can comfortably carry in the Square and are my daily basic needs.I prioritize having smaller, travel sized items for my handbags though because I prefer smaller bags. If you’re the type of person who wants/ needs to carry around a bigger sized items, then this bag is probably not for you.
I did just want to mention here that unlike with the mini Rectangular and the WOC, the Square does not fit an epipen. I’m really bad about carrying mine around anyways, but my children all have allergies as well. So if I need to carry just 1 bag, and my children are coming with me, the Square isn’t picked.
This review took forever for me to get up! But the positive to that is I’ve had years to get to know this bag by the time I got around to this review.
Overall this is an easy grab and go type of bag that is prefect for people who are use to carrying a small compliment around. I think this would also be suitable as a date or brunch bag for most folks as well.
If you’re in the market for your first Chanel bag, this could be a good option as well, thought I think I would actually suggest the WOC for most, as I feel like that’s a more adaptable introduction piece.
While the Square does fit a similar amount in it as a small or medium classic flap, I wouldn’t suggest this bag for someone who is looking for 1 bag to use to transition between day and night if they are working and need to carry a bit more stuff around.
For me personally, the Square Mini is a perfect bag and I get a lot of use out of it, especially in the spring and summer with its bright color. I primarily use it for date nights and lunch dates. Though I do take it shopping and don’t have any trouble getting in and out of it. I love this bag so much that I have actually contemplated getting a second. Who knows if I’ll actually do it, but I enjoy the bag enough to consider a duplicate.
If you’re consider the Square for yourself, or if you already own it, let me know what your thought on this handbag are! And if you’re looking for a bit of eye candy, be sure to check out my IG below!