Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel once said that “a girl should be two things: classy and fabulous”. Building her brand ethos around this philosophy, Chanel rose from seamstress and sometime singer/entertainer, to becoming the go-to couturier for sophisticated individuals in the post-war periods of the 20th century. Her legacy has continued with the brand she founded and today, the Chanel bag with iconic double Cs are statement pieces every girl wants to own.
For ladies making their first purchases from the French luxury house, or for Chanel fans who are unsure of what to splurge on next, we’ve got a list of 8 pieces that are timeless, classic, and that will last through the years. We believe Madame Coco would have approved.
The OG of all Chanel bags, the 2.55 is an essential for those who have yet to make their first Chanel purchase. Debuted in February 1955 (hence the 2.55 in its name), this bag is a classic piece that will be forever stylish.
Hailed as the next 2.55, the Boy Chanel was first introduced in 2011, fashioned in Chanel’s iconic quilted design and with the classic double C hardware. Named for Coco Chanel’s lover and muse, Arthur “Boy” Capel, this bag is one for the die-hard romantic.
Originally known as la marinière, the Breton stripe was first introduced in Coco Chanel’s 1917 nautical collection, where she drew inspiration from the sailor’s uniforms. Now a classic piece in every French girl’s closet, it should be part of yours, too. Dress up a Chanel Breton stripe with a blazer, or keep things casual with a white t-shirt and sneakers.
Tweed was a fabric that was once reserved for the elites, and was once only used in menswear. Tweed was originally used in Chanel’s designs to create the la garçonne (boyish) look. Naturally, it became a hit. Today, tweed remains a strong look for the house of Chanel, and Karl Lagerfeld — head creative director for Chanel since 1983 — has been constantly updating the traditional fabric with a variety of designs.
A delightful little scuffle in history on who exactly designed it first (Coco Chanel or her chief rival Jean Patou) and the fact that it was once seen as a mourning dress, makes the LBD rather more interesting than one first thinks. In any case, the LBD is a sartorial piece that serves through the ages, and one from Chanel — the house has made it in velvet, satin, lace, and almost everything you can think of — is always a winner.
Pearls were once so rare that only nobles and the very rich could afford them. These lustrous objects were, at one time, the most expensive things in the world of jewellery. As she has been with so many other things, Coco Chanel was the harbinger of change in the 1920s, making costume jewellery with affordable, man-made pearls. The look that the inimitable Chanel ignited that of excess and provocation — she herself wore layer upon layer of these items, piling one on top of the other. Today, pearls remain a key look for the house of Chanel.
Dating back to early 1950s, the Chanel skirt suit was seen as a revolutionary sartorial option. Chanel herself, then in her 70s, had come out of retirement to design these suits for women, and was lauded for making comfortable clothing that didn’t corset or pad a woman’s frame, the way Christian Dior’s “New Look” of the day did. A symbol of sophistication, power and mobility, Chanel suits have famously been worn by Jackie Kennedy and Anna Wintour. Join them, darlings.
Did you think we’d forgotten about Chanel’s revolutionary two-toned shoes? Never. These were first created in 1957, and were hailed by the press as “the new Cinderella slipper”. The clever beige-and-black design elongates the foot, and when it first debuted, won fans from Brigitte Bardot to Catherine Deneuve. For those who do not want to compromise on comfort or style, know that these shoes are a classic that will forever be linked to the house of Chanel.