There are certain items a woman should own by the age of 27. A Chanel 2.55 bag is one of those items. Nearly two years ago, I treated myself to my first Chanel bag after I passed the bar exam (I say "first" because it sounds better than "only"). I was living with my parents planning my wedding and spending money like it was nobody's business. My parents really enjoyed watching this process (especially after I quit paying them "rent" - I mean, come on, really?).
My dad joked that I was hurrying up and spending all my money before I got married and my future husband put a lock on my finances (for those who know Joe and I, that's hilarious because Joe, unbelievably, actually encourages lavish purchases. Plus, as I told my father, I'm a grown ass woman and no husband is going to dictate my spending habits). I thought Dad's comment was ridiculous at the time, but 14 months into marriage, I can confirm that the big guy had a point; it's definitely not as easy to drop more than a month's rent on a bag when you share money with someone (and when you're actually paying real rent).
But back to the bag. I remember that crisp Saturday morning (October 20, 2007) like it was yesterday. As I pulled away from my parents' house, Dad ran after my car waving his arms yelling "Don't do it!" as I chuckled in the rearview mirror and sped away from 420 Thayer Street like a bat out of hell. The bag, a black caviar leather with signature silver and leather chain straps called "Pocket in the City", had been ordered by Neiman Marcus from a Chanel boutique. When the SA took it out of the dust bag my heart skipped a beat. I could smell the expensive leather from across the counter, and I knew that from that moment on, I would have a good life. I resisted the urge to wear the bag out of the store (what am I, 10 years old and putting my old sneakers in the box so I can wear the new ones home?) and skipped through the parking lot, nearly as giddy as the morning I received the bar results. Riding down the Blue Route with a bag that was worth more than my car - a mint condition 1990 Mazda Miata - felt a little weird, but it was one of the happiest days of my life.
The 2.55, named after the month and year of its issue, February 1955, has been my obsession ever since 10/20/07. Whenever I'm at KOP and have a minute to spare, I stop by Chanel at Neiman's and try it on. I almost sprung for it right before last Christmas but realized I was talking crazy when Joe said, "I don't think now is the best time for this purchase, but I will support your decision no matter what."
The bag comes in a plethora of materials and colors with either gold or silver hardware, but I don't have the stomach to splurge on something trendy. When the 2.55 and I are finally brought together, the bag will be a classic black caviar leather (more sturdy than lambskin) with gold hardware. Maybe by then I'll have a new car. Probably not.
Chanel 2.55, $2,425 (caviar) and $2,695 (lambskin - shown above) at Neiman Marcus
Side note on pricing: When I first looked into purchasing the 2.55 in 2007, the caviar version was priced at just $1,995. Goes to show that waiting around clearly doesn't pay off.