Long overdue post. Never really posted much apart from the box on Instagram, and well, not much to say. I’m not sure if I regret buying this because it was the spur of the moment thing – I actually don’t like the bag that much, but because it sort of suits my style and I just wanted it, I bought it. Well, so much for deep contemplation – I did think about it, but trying it on is a different matter and I possibly forced myself into buying. Well, doesn’t matter, at the end of the day this is just something I had to tick off the list so I did that and that’s all.
My one and only major purchase in 2013 was the Chanel Grand Shopping Tote (now CGST) in black caviar and silver tone hardware.
It’s my first time buying a Chanel bag so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I’m not really crazy about the brand because it’s really just only their designs that intrigue me. Otherwise if I look at value, design and workmanship, I have other brands that I probably prefer.
With sky rocketing prices and waiting forever to have a sales assistant serve you, I think it’s ridiculous how strong the demand is for Chanel. But pretty things, we all want them.
As you can see there is an authenticity card, receipt, care instructions and box with ribbon. I’m not really keen on the box because it’s kind of thin and flimsy. It’s definitely not what I’d expect after spending so much money. In fact, this is the most expensive bag I have to date.
I didn’t think of buying the CGST until I had an ex-colleague wear one (she had the large, black with gold hardware). She bought hers in France and apparently it was so well priced that I couldn’t believe it and had to get one myself. Unfortunately for me, I got it when they just had an increase in their prices, but since I was able to get it tax-free, I went for it anyway.
The original CGST size I was considering was the large, which is actually cheaper than the small. When I tried it on however, it looked oversized on me, and I didn’t like how long/ wide/ horizontal it was. The only other small difference between the small and the large was that the large has a sewn compartment for your phone – but there was no point in having one as the bag has no top closure and I could only imagine people slipping in their hands and helping themselves to whatever was inside. With the small however, I felt that it was a better size and easier to control. Despite that, I still think this bag is too big, but in a good way. It can fit so much stuff! On the other hand, if you wear this bag to a formal dinner, I think it will look really stupid.
This creased dust bag just BARELY fits the CGST, which I think is pretty stingy, as is the box. I don’t know what material this dust bag is made of and I don’t really care for it, but it’s just as bad and on par with Chloé‘s dust bags which feel like a rag. It’s just a thin piece of material with no double lining or different type of finish on the inside. Even DKNY’s dust bags feel thicker/ more gentle than this. I kept my CGST around in my closet on a shelf without its dust bag for about 8 months, but now that I’m ready to file it away back into the box, I’m using the dust bag again. Otherwise, I really cannot be bothered with it.
I didn’t like the black caviar leather several years back because I thought it looked really scary to me, but I grew to like it. It’s kind of hard wearing (at least compared to lambskin pfft) and it does soften over time. You shouldn’t squash the CGST too much or you will get ugly creases throughout, which is what I’ve seen on some people who have worn theirs for a period of time. I think the beauty of the bag itself is its squareness.
The handles look comfortable but they are only comfortable say, on your lower arm worn as a short handle handbag (which is how I’ve tended to wear it). When I wear the handles on my shoulder, they always always slip off and it drives me crazy. Despite this, I bet these handles are more comfortable than just a chain.
The back flap is good for storing the odd card or packet of tissues, and it’s strangely lined in leather.
The handles seem securely attached and the silver hardware is stamped with all necessary stampings.
The CGST is also available with gold hardware. I opted for silver however because I didn’t want to look like I owned a gold mine or something.
There are 2 large compartments inside, which is good for putting things like your sunglasses, umbrella, makeup case or a spare jacket. There is one large compartment attached on the back of the front of the bag (far top) which can be used again for cards, or your phone. There are 2 zipped compartments, one down the centre and another attached on the other side of the back of the back (far bottom). Generally I suggest zipping your wallet in the centre and keeping your phone in the zipped compartment at the back of the bag.
The attention to detail isn’t bad and the zippers are pretty smooth. Probably the worst zipper I’ve experienced to date is by Fendi, which reminds me, I need to oil it again some time soon.
There is a serial number which matches the one on the card on a leather patch somewhere at the bottom of the bag. Note that this will fade over time due to wear and tear – more so on wallets. I suggest that if you buy a Chanel bag, find where this serial patch is and try not to put stuff near it or scratch it up unless you are not planning to sell it. This part will most definitely peel and I think it’s pretty badly done. It would have been a better idea to emboss the number somewhere on a patch of leather or on a metal plaque instead of some plastic.
The bag is (I think) lined in black satin.
Probably my favourite thing about this bag (which I didn’t know about until I was using the bag for about a week) is that there is a long leather string with a parrot clasp on the end which can be used to hook up your keys or something valuable like a luggage key, wallet or phone case. I find this very useful as I don’t need to fish around in my bag to find my keys (as the bag is pretty big) and I will never drop my keys as it’s attached to my bag!
The CGST has actually been a good bag to go out casually with. It will also be great as a work bag if that’s what floats your boat. There are things that can be improved, say, there could be some metal bits on the bottom of the bag perhaps to stop the bottom of the bag from being scratched. As for the weight it’s not terribly heavy despite so much metal, and it’s actually quite practical and I think, well priced. If I had to go buy it now definitely NO. I’m sure the price has increased and I don’t even want to know about it. I’m glad I got this one over and done with, one is enough!
The CGST is also available in a range of different colours, being nude/ tan and red from memory. I’m sure there are other colours but you will just need to check whatever stock they have on hand.
In April 2013, this bag retailed at $3,360 AUD, while the large retailed at $3,200. No discounts are ever available as the Grand Shopping Tote is part of their Classic collection, so try to get it tax free or in a country that sells it cheaper. In May 2014, this bag retailed at $3,800 AUD. Please do not leave comments or email me asking what the current price is, contact your local Chanel boutique for up to date pricing.