The Chanel Flap Bag...Classic Never Fades

Dating back to February of 1955, the Chanel Classic Flap Bag, has grown in notoriety and fame.
According to Wikipedia, "In the 1920s, Coco Chanel became tired of having to carry her handbags in her arms and decided to design a handbag that freed up her hands. Inspired by the straps found on soldiers’ bags she added thin straps and introduced the resulting design to the market in 1929.  After her successful comeback to the fashion industry in 1954, Chanel decided to update her handbag. The resulting design was called 2.55 after the date of creation, February 1955."

Whether you’re a your a West Coast Celeb, a Southern Socialite or a  Upper East Side Ivy League Graduate, Chanel has a place in your closet and on your arm. Ladies who lunch philanthropic crowd wear the bag as a badge of honor the way a Dot Com Exec would style it, showing she has arrived.  If you prefer the mini in pink or the Maxi in black, Chanel ups your cool factor without being trendy. You are immediately included in a special girls club limited to only those who can pay to play.

With the varying sizes, shapes and colors, women from age 18 to 100, from the upper East Side to Downtown will find a Classic Flap that fits their specific style. Many designers have been inspired by the chain strap, quilted leather exterior and refined flap. But the original Chanel Flap has remained the top style and design. Why buy the inspiration when you can purchase a vintage version for a similar price? To many longtime collectors dismay, Chanel has regularly increased its prices to the point their bags tend to hold their value better than any other bag in the market place including the coveted wait listed Hermes Birkin or Kelly.

Although most plan to pass it to their daughters as an heirloom, if you buy one preowned and carry it with care, you can more than likely sell it to recoup most of your investment.

Additional details according to Wikipedia,
  • The lining’s burgundy color represents the color of the Nuns' uniforms at the convent where she grew up.
  • There is a zippered compartment at the inside of the front flap. That is where Chanel is rumored to have stored her love letters in her original bag.
  • The backside has a back outside flap for storage of money.
  • Chanel, recognizing modern women needed to have their hands free while attending social functions, designed a double-chain shoulder straps.  The chains were attached by leather-threaded chain inserted though eyelets.The caretakers of the convent where she grew up held the keys at their waist dangling from the same type of chains as the 2.55 shoulder strap chains.
  • The bag originally came with a front lock called “the Mademoiselle Lock” (in reference to Coco Chanel never marrying). Since the 1980s, versions can also be supplied with a lock in the shape of a double CC logo. These are called “Classic Flaps”.
  • The bag has a quilted diamond or herringbone pattern on the exterior. Using a running stitch, this gives the bag shape and volume. The pattern is believed to have been inspired by several sources: by jockeys’ riding coats, by the stained-glass windows of the abbey at Aubazine, as well as by the cushions in Chanel’s Paris apartment.[4]

The Chanel Classic Flap Bag

Sizes Available: Extra Mini, Mini Rectangular, Mini Square, Small, Medium, Jumbo, Maxi


6.7" W x 3.9" H x 3" D | Current Retail $2,400 in Lambskin, Patent or Caviar Leather


7.9" W x 4.9" H x 2.8" D | Current Retail $2,900 in Lambskin, Patent or Caviar Leather  


6.7" W x 5.2" H x 3.1" D | Current Retail $2,700 in Lambskin, Patent or Caviar Leather


9.3" W x 5.7" H x 2.6" D | Current Retail $4,700 in Lambskin, Patent or Caviar Leather


10" W x 6.3" H x 3" D | Current Retail $4,900 in Lambskin, Patent or Caviar Leather


11.8" W x 7.7" H x 3.9" D | Current Retail $5,500 in Lambskin, Patent or Caviar Leather

Chanel Jumbo Flap 34cm


13" W x 9.1" H x 3.9" D | $6,000 in Lambskin, Patent or Caviar Leather

LAMBSKIN - Soft & Luxurious
CAVIAR - Ages Beautifully 
Shop these and more on our website


Luxury Style: Mixing Dressy with Casual

How to mix authentic, timeless luxury with casual looks. 

In every outfit I style, I'm inspired to include texture, juxtaposition, bling, pop of color, and a fab bag. 

1. Texture

I used a lot of layers and texture in styling these pieces together. 

The raised texture of the vintage Etro chocolate velvet vest, set against a flat white cotton blouse, and a draped vintage Hermes silk scarf gives a multidimensional effect. 

Then, instead of stopping there, I opened the gold buttons at the vest to show the gold hardware of vintage Hermes H leather belt

See a couple more examples of how iconic women of fashion, Sophia Loren & Victoria Beckham, have used the same style.

The famous Italian actress, style icon, and beauty queen, Sophia Loren chose to accessorize with an Hermes Scarf for a more vintage look. 

For a modern look, Victoria BeckhamEnglish businesswoman, fashion designer, model and singer, also known as Posh Spice, added BOTH a scarf and Hermes Red 35cm Birkin to tie together her fabulous hip luxury style. 

2. Juxtaposition

When choosing to wear velvet and silk, most people consider the fabrics more appropriate for dressier or holiday occasions. 

I liked the juxtaposition of pairing the dressy, velvet vest, with silk Hermes Scarf and casual jeans. 

Taking a nod from the men, using the vest and men's size Rolex, while pairing it with dainty diamond bangles like these white or yellow gold Love Bracelets from Cartier, or these two, a diamond and sapphire yellow gold, & the Etoil bangle bracelet, 18K Gold Diamond from Tiffany.  

3. Bling

A little bling is always a good thing in my book. 

The flash of the men's Vintage Daytona Yellow Gold Rolex mixed with Cartier and Diamond bangles (see above) are the perfect bling for to pair with jeans, making this a laid back, juxtaposed mix of luxurious and casual look, perfect for either men or women. 

Elle Macpherson is an Australian model, businesswoman, television host and actress. 

She is probably best known for her record five cover appearances for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

I liked her best in her appearances on my cult-favorite show, Friends

She epitomizes femininity yet chose to wear a men's size, yellow gold Daytona.
The most famous star to wear the Rolex Daytona is cool guy Paul Newman, the one who made it famous.
 In 2008, upon Paul Newman's passing, California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger said:

"Paul Newman was the ultimate cool guy who men wanted to be like and women adored. He was an American icon, a brilliant actor, a Renaissance man and a generous but modest philanthropist. He entertained millions in some of Hollywood's most memorable roles ever, and he brightened the lives of many more, especially seriously ill children, through his charitable works. Paul was one of a kind. The beloved film star will be missed by a world of fans and admirers."

4 & 5. Pop of Color / Fab Bag

I chose Red as my pop of color. You can see it here in the bag, as well as the bit of red showing in the scarf. 

I'm not alone, either. 

Stylish American actress, film producer and former fashion model, Katherine Heigl,  chose a 35cm Hermes Red Birkin as her pop of color and fab bag, all in one. 

She show's here you can keep it simple, and still incorporate multiple rules into the same piece. 


What to Wear in Winter to Shop & Dine in Vail, Colorado

Mountain Casual Chic

1. Choose a Cross Body or Messenger handbag. 

Here are two we really like. 

2. Choose a large tote to carry all your gear. 

Featured: Louis Vuitton Neverfull

3. Wear All black with black vegan leather leggings.

Featured: Fur Stole

4. Mix Faux Fur & Real Fur.

For example, mix a faux fur hat with a real fur coat. 

 5. Pretty in Pink.

Pink sweater, Printed vest, pink scarf, pink Handbag. Everything Pink

6.  His/her Rolex Watches, Cartier love bracelets accessorize with MCM Leather Gloves. 

7. In the winter, leave the spike heels at home and instead, opt for rubber bottom boots with a wedge.  

For the Boys

1. The Louis Vuitton Duffle Keepall is great for travel or holding all your gear for skiing or Apreski.

2. Accessories pull it all together. 

Hermes Belt

Rolex Watch

What to Wear in Vail during Winter on the Ski Slopes

1. Bright Colors are the rage on the slopes. Colors such as pink, orange, purple, & turquoise are all popular choices. 

2. Choose a jacket with a fur accent on the collar.

3. Custom fit boots from Beaver Creek Sports

Ask for Greg @skibootfitting on Instagram. 

4. For the kids, we recommend renting skis, boots and poles for a full season. 

Go to Base Mountain Sports before Thanksgiving and rent for a full year for the same price for less than a week rental.

Activities for Kids in Vail During Winter.

1. For intermediate children's Snow Skiing, we highly recommend Ultimate 4 Lessons and recommend reservations. In peak season, classes fill quickly. 

2. Ice skating in Vail, Lionshead, & Beaver Creek. Call ahead for availability but reservations aren't necessary. 

DOBSON ICE ARENA, indoor, located in Lionshead.

For the recreational skater, Dobson Ice Arena hosts open skating sessions for all ages and abilities. The arena also offers a wide array of hockey options for youth and adults, beginners to seasoned players. Call 970-479-2271 for more information. Skate rentals available. Click here for online information.

BLACK FAMILY ICE RINK, located in Beaver Creek Plaza.

Located in the center of Beaver Creek Village, Black Family Ice Rink offers endless family-friendly fun. Skate and helmet rentals are available at the walk-up booth located next to Base Mountain Sports.


Nottingham Park ice rinks will be open to the public for ice skating seven days a week, weather permitting. Skating is free to anyone who has his/her own skates. Skate rentals are available to children and adults at the Recreation Center. Click here for information.

ARRABELLE OUTDOOR ICE RINK, located in Lionshead.

Open daily during the winter season and located in the Lionshead Village surrounded with fire pits! Ice skates available for rent.

SOLARIS OUTDOOR ICE RINK, located in Vail Village.

Open daily, located at the Solaris in Vail Village. Skate rentals available next to the bōl restaurant in the Solaris.

3. Bowling at Bol in Vail Village at Solaris. We recommend making a reservation. Click here for information.

4. Vail library is a great place for story time and visiting authors. Bella and I hosted a book reading of The Vintage Contessa & Princessa. 

5. Ice cream at Rocky mountain Chocolate Factory.

6. Watch a Movie and Dine at Cinebistro at Solaris. Reservations highly recommended. 

7. Watch TV8 for Local News, Activity and Weather.



Celebrate Independence Day in Style This Year!

The Fourth of July is almost upon us, and here at The Vintage Contessa we just LOVE to celebrate in style! Ahead of this weekend, we’ve selected our favorite blue, white and red items available on the website. We hope they help you perfect your Independence Day look. Happy styling!




Light and bright – the ideal summer color! These stylish white pieces will give your look a relaxed summertime vibe. Lovely for a weekend in the sunshine with family!




And why not add some sparkle to your holiday style? We think these glittering gold items from Chanel will help your holiday look shine out this year! Shop the full Chanel collection here.


We hope you now feel inspired to celebrate in style this Fourth of July! View the complete collection on our website. And, Happy Independence Day!