Exposing My Insecurities: An Honest Chanel 19 Flap Bag Review

If you’ve had your eye on the Chanel 19 Flap Bag or just want to hear all about it…this post is for you!  I’ll get into all the nitty gritty about this popular Chanel bag. Like the history of Chanel, the juicy details about investing in designer handbags in general, AND whether or not I’m happy I added it to my handbag collection. There’s a lot to consider before making a major purchase like this and you might be wondering, “Is it worth the hefty price tag?” I wanted to share my very honest review and personal experience. But… I also want to tackle worthiness because that’s an equally important part of the conversation.

Over the years, I’ve written a few luxury product reviews. Some of my favorites include the Valentino Wedges review, Golden Goose Sneaker review, and the Bottega Veneta Chain Cassette Bag review. I always share my unfiltered thoughts!

Chanel Classic Flap Bag Review

Chanel 19 Flap Bag Review

Chanel Flap Bag History

I mean, is there a more classic and recognizable brand than Chanel? Gabrielle Bonheur or “Coco” Chanel was a brilliant French fashion designer and businesswoman. She was most famous for her timeless designs like her trademark suits, classic handbags, and her Chanel No. 5 perfume which (can you believe it?) debuted in the 1920’s! I find it so fascinating that her iconic designs and collections have really stood the test of time. The very first iteration of the Chanel Classic Flap Bag was introduced in February of 1955. It was called the Chanel 2.55 (for February 1955). It was revolutionary and popular because of its functional design as a shoulder bag. Until its release, most women carried their bags in their hands.

Over the years the bag has been updated to include different sizes and hardware options. But the overall design has remained pretty consistent. In 1983, Karl Lagerfeld changed the classic square twisting lock of the 2.55 (known as the Mademoiselle Lock), to the iconic interlocking CC clasp.

Chanel Flap Bag Prices Over The Years

In the early days, you could buy the original bag for $220. Then in the 80’s it was around $1,000. And now, renditions of the bag can retail upwards of $10,000. All of this history was a consideration when I was researching the bag. Since I really wasn’t sure if I wanted to commit, knowing Chanel bags have amazing value and that it was also an investment piece really helped. But make no mistake, it was a really tough decision and I kept going back and forth on whether it’s worth it.

Why The Chanel Flap Bag?

I had my eye specifically on the Chanel 19 Flap Bag in black with dual-tone hardware. With its classic quilting and gold and silver hardware, I knew I could wear the bag with any jewelry. I had been on the hunt for this bag for over a year and had a difficult time finding it anywhere! I had checked the Chanel store while I was in Spain and then the NY store…but they didn’t have it. Which as it turns out, ended up being a good thing. I’ll share why in just a bit, but first…

Chanel Classic Flap Bag Review

Buying Luxury Items

For me, one of the primary struggles with making such an expensive purchase was feeling worthy. Growing up with a single mom, who was responsible for four children on a nurse’s salary, our family struggled financially. The old scarcity mindset creeps in sometimes dictating financial decisions. I also kept thinking to myself, “Do I really deserve such extravagant gift? And wouldn’t it be better just to save that money or spend it on my kids?” Unpacking these feelings took a lot of time and energy. But ultimately, after having a very successful year in 2022, and reaching a notable financial goal, I decided to reward myself and mark the achievement by buying the bag I had always wanted. It turns out it was such a great decision because it represents so much more than just a bag, it is a symbol of accomplishment, and a reminder to myself that, “I AM worthy of beautiful things!”

Exposing Insecurities

When I was 25 and working as an Executive Assistant to the President at The Miss Universe Organization in New York City, I was asked to pick up a gift for a former Miss Universe at Bergdorf Goodman. If you have been to this flagship store, you know how over-the-top stunning and luxe it really is. I walked in there completely unprepared for how out of place I would feel. I felt eyes leering at me and I was sure they thought I didn’t belong there. And I could not wait to leave! I guess you could call it my Julia Roberts Pretty Woman moment- minus the prostitute part ;). So, fast forward to last year…my family and I were in NYC for the marathon. As we walked by Bergdorf’s, I shared that exact story with my kids, and, spontaneously said, “Let’s go in! It’s such a beautiful store, I want you both to see it!”

I wanted to prove to my kids and to myself that we all belonged in that high-end store. It was a full-circle moment and the complete opposite of how I felt during that very first shopping experience. Instead of feeling insecure, I went straight to the Chanel section and started browsing…and would you believe they had the bag!?

Without hesitation, I bought it. It was meant to be.

My kids got to see me buying something really special for myself in celebration of my achievements. I hope by sharing this that I’ll break generations of scarcity mindset and a lack of worthiness. Moving forward, maybe they will be able to normalize ‘rewarding’ themselves, understanding that it is both important to reward special achievements or occasions…. AND they are inherently worthy.

It’s easy to feel triggered by the Chanel bag example and this story in general… as it IS a ‘thing’… and a very expensive thing at that! I hope you’ll see the bag more as a symbol. For me, it was a symbol that I’ve overcome my lack mentality. I’ve overcome feeling ‘less than’…and I’m now entering a chapter in my life where I fully believe and embody worthiness. For you, it doesn’t have to be a Chanel bag and it doesn’t even have to be a ‘thing’. Worthiness comes from within. No amount of external praise, achievements or things will ever be enough. If you feel worthy internally, you’ll feel more whole, peaceful, joyful and fulfilled.

I shared a bit more about my Chanel purchasing experience in this video if you want to check that out next.


luxury handbags review

Chanel 19 Flap Bag Review

It took me a year and a half to finally purchase the Chanel Flap Bag. It was most certainly not an impulse buy! So let’s dig into the reasons I DO love this bag and why I’m ultimately very happy with this purchase.

Chanel Flap Bag Colors

I decided on the black as I just really wanted a sophisticated and timeless black handbag. But the Chanel Classic Flap Bag comes in a ton of colors from neutrals like gray and ivory to statement-making shades like red. I mentioned the two-tone silver and gold hardware earlier…it really is one of the things that sold me on this bag. It has an edgy, elegant, and timeless component. I knew I would use this bag for all sorts of occasions in addition to every day.

Chanel Flap Bag Sizes

The single flap, double flap, mini flap, medium, large, and jumbo Chanel flap bags are all so timeless and sophisticated. There are very few changes in these bags from the original design other than updated materials, logo size, and hardware. It’s a classic, recognizable bag that will never go out of style. I ultimately felt most comfortable with the medium size and felt I’d use it the most. It has a very long strap so you can wear it over your shoulder or crossbody.

Chanel Flap Bag Interior

It’s really functional. It fits all the essentials like a wallet, keys, lipstick, and phone. So, it works both as a daytime and nighttime bag. It’s surprisingly roomy. I love the back pocket…so I don’t need to open the front flap when I want to access my phone. There’s also an interior pocket inside the bag which feels secure when traveling for protecting your passport, credit cards, cash, etc.

are designer handbags worth the price

Chanel Flap Bag Leather Type

It’s Chanel so of course the quality is top-notch! But it’s worth mentioning the caviar leather and lambskin leather bags are so soft and pliable. Not at all stiff and overly structured which I really appreciate. The durability is also amazing.

Investing in Chanel

Another reason I finally took the plunge was the resale value of the Chanel Classic Flap Bags. If for any reason I decided I didn’t like it, I knew I could easily sell it on any number of authentic resale bag sites. Chanel bags retain their value.

Chanel Heirloom

I don’t really have a lot of fine jewelry to pass on to my daughter, Elizabeth. So, I loved the idea of having an heirloom piece that I could eventually pass along to her. Or maybe even a granddaughter someday!

Chanel Classic Flap Bag Review

Is the Chanel Flap Bag Worth It?

For me, yes. It has absolutely been worth the investment! When I look at the bag on my closet shelf, I remember my achievement. I remember walking into Bergdorf’s for that full-circle moment with my kids. It’s a constant reminder of both and it simply makes me happy.

Find your version of the ‘Chanel bag’ whatever that may be…whatever that looks like for you…in whatever budget you can afford… and don’t be afraid to reward yourself, knowing you are worthy. You deserve beautiful, wonderful things or experiences!

Similar Bags

If you love the look of the Chanel Flap Bag but would prefer a similar bag at a more accessible price point…there are several look-a-likes out there that are also very high quality. Here are a few beautiful options from Kurt Geiger, Rebecca Minkoff, and more. And, if you want to achieve the Chanel look for less in terms of fashion, you can check out this post next.

What is your version of the Chanel bag? I would love to hear your stories and what you chose as a symbol of growth and worthiness.

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Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Join the Conversation

4 thoughts on “Exposing My Insecurities: An Honest Chanel 19 Flap Bag Review

  1. I don’t understand this post. The handbag being shown is not a classic flap. It is the Chanel 19. Is the review of the Classic Flap or of the 19?

    1. Great eye, Lori! Multiple Chanel bags are called the Flap but this specific one is the 19 Flap. Thanks for reading! ~Team Busbee

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