Chanel 101: The Shopping Tote

A Closer Look At Chanel’s Most Classic Tote

While it needs little to no introduction, the Shopping Tote is one of Chanel’s most iconic and classic of all of their shopping tote models. With its classic quilting, double C motif, compartmentalized roomy interior, and split chain handles, it is no surprise these styles fetch a high price on the resale market.

History

While the exact year of its debut is unclear, the Shopping Tote is part of what is considered Chanel’s unofficial “vintage collection”, a term coined by collectors. These vintage collection bags are a series of staple and classic silhouettes that have appeared over the years and rarely vary in construction during their tenure. Much to the chagrin of many loyal Chanel customers, the Shopping Tote was discontinued in 2015. Currently, the resale market is the only way to get your hands on one of these elusive bags.

Shopping Tote Sizing Breakdown

This tote is available in three sizes: the Petite Shopping Tote (PST), the Grand Shopping Tote (GST), and the Grand Shopping Tote XL (GST XL). While the most common size is the standard Grand Shopping Tote, the other two sizes are favorites to many.

Petite Shopping Tote

Grand Shopping Tote

Grand Shopping Tote XL

Base Length 9.5 Inches

Base Length 13 Inches

Base Length 17 Inches

Quilting, Materials, and Hardware

As a classic and staple piece, the Shopping Tote line is only available in classic quilting. An interesting difference, however, that has emerged in the design of the bag, is the double C motif. If you look closely at this tote over its many years of production you may notice that the Cs have either been a separate piece of matching leather stitched over the classic quilt or integrated into the quilting itself. This minor fluctuation in design does not have confirmed reasoning but is speculated to relate to year or location of production.

Double C Motif Stitched Over Quilting

Double C Motif Integrated Into Quilting

For the most part, these totes were produced in caviar leather but there are lambskin and patent versions scattered in the resale market. Only two hardware colors were made available: gold and silver tones, keeping choices simple and uncomplicated.

Color Range

With its classic simplicity, this tote was never made into special editions per se but often offered in seasonal colors. The most prominent and requested were black and varying shades of nude, but a wide variety of colors were made over the years.

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