Chanel Classics: The 19 Items Every Devotee Would Love to Own

There's nothing quite like an indulgent daydreaming session where the subject is Chanel and the storyline is what we could own… It's a house full of classics and coveted novelties alike—the tickets you can wear everyday safe in the knowledge that Coco designed them to last a lifetime are just as desirable as the madcap creations this power-brand has also become known for. Hula-hoop bags, anyone? Or maybe you'd prefer a set of Chanel skis?

Some ladies are of course lucky enough to own one (or many more) of the French empire's wares. Some, not so much. But one thing remains the same for both camps, more Chanel could never be considered a bad thing. So to set you off on a daydream par excellance today, we've trawled through the archives (and our CC-obsessed minds) to bring you an edit of the most important Chanel classics, both vintage and modern.

Scroll down to see the Chanel classics and vintage pieces we would always be happy to own…


Chanel Dream #1: A Wedding Dress
(Image credit: Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images)

Well, we may as well start big, right? At each haute couture show, Karl Lagerfeld has made it a tradition to walk the finale with his fashion bride, resplendent each time in a radical new take on what a wedding ensemble could be. Here he is with Claudia Schiffer in 1991.


Chanel Dream #2: Strings of Pearls
(Image credit: Lipnitzki/Roger Viollet/Getty Images)

Sure, we could buy regular pearls from some regular shop… But nothing beats the authenticity of Chanel's pearly creations. Coco started it all; here she is in 1936 to prove it.


Chanel Dream #3: The Breton
(Image credit: Daniel SIMON/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

As many of you will know from reading up on Coco's life, or by watching the brilliant Coco Before Chanel, the designer brought the classic fisherman's striped top into the upper echelons of fashion. Many decades have passed, but this remains a classic. We particularly like it with the five stamped over the top, as seen on the runway in 1988.


Chanel Dream #4: A Classic Quilted Bag
(Image credit: Christian Vierig/Getty Images)

We don't mind which shape—2.55, Flap, Boy… Whichever silhouette, just make it black, glossy and quilted, and we'll be very happy. These are still one of the most spotted items at any given fashion week on the streets.


Chanel Dream #5: The Chain Belt
(Image credit: Daniel SIMON/Contributor/Getty Images)

Chain belts have been a fairly constant presence throughout Chanel's timeline. Karl continues to employ them on his runways now, often piling them up. We found a great example of strong chain-belt game on Linda Evangelista in 1991.


Chanel Dream #6: The LBD
(Image credit: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images)

One of Coco's most famed sartorial signposts is the little black dress. We don't know where we'd be without them today and this backless number (and the pearls, obviously) from 1991 would make our collection all the more amazing.


Chanel Dream #6: Any Pair of Gloves
(Image credit: Getty Images)

You may think the glove love from Chanel comes solely from Karl Lagerfeld because he wears them all the time—not so. Coco's ladies almost always had a pair of them too. These, from 2013, aren't so much of a style to be worn 24/7, but to be exhibited in your imaginary Chanel museum at home instead.


Chanel Dream #7: Bouclé Everything
(Image credit: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Okay, so bouclé wasn't first introduced into the land of Chanel via a bra and hot-pants, but rather as an integral part of the skirt suit line-up for Coco. Since then, the woven fabric has been used in every which way possible—and this combo from 1994 makes us smile.


Chanel Dream #8: Skiwear
(Image credit: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

What kind of self-respecting ski pro would even consider hitting the slopes without a full head-to-toe Chanel ensemble? Fingers crossed someone managed to buy this look in 1984.

Related: Chanel Takes You Inside the Atelier for Couture Fashion Week


Chanel Dream #9: No.5 Perfume
(Image credit: Ed Feingersh/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Not strictly a fashion item, we know, but if ever a fragrance could be a must-have forever and ever, it's this. Pictured on her way out for the night, this is Marilyn Monroe making the scent even more famous in 1955.


Chanel Dream #10: The Novelty Bags
(Image credit: Stephane Cardinale/Corbis/Getty Images)

We simpy couldn't just pick one outrageous piece of arm candy, so here's a rundown of our favourites—starting with the more recent shopping basket, which debuted on 2014's Instagram-frenzy of a supermarché runway.


(Image credit: Alexis DUCLOS/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images)

Aha, the hot water bottle bag… Something we're fairly certain no other designer has ever mastered. This was Karl's creation in 1993. You could say it was hot.


(Image credit: PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images)

Who could forget the (super-pratical) hula hoop? Shown in 2012, many über-fans made it their life's work to get hold of one of these. 


(Image credit: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images)

In 1991, the ingenious hybrid of purse and garter came together into one very secure way to carry around your evening essentials.


Chanel Dream #11: Double C Logos
(Image credit: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

There are plenty of subtle CC-logo'd items out there in the Chanel archives, but we'd rather opt for the all-out "yes, this is Chanel"-ness of this sequined sweater from 1992.


Chanel Dream #12: A Skirt Suit
(Image credit: KAMMERMAN/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images)

It's 1959 and Coco Chanel's skirt suits are already well and truly cemented in the fashion house's DNA, but skip forward over half a century and they're still so very important, wearable and on many a most-wanted list. Also, take a moment to admire the designer's elaborate interiors, please.


Chanel Dream #13: A Tiered Party Frock
(Image credit: Bettmann / Contributor/Getty Images)

This isn't the most obvious of Chanel classics, but look through decades of runway pictures and you'll find this tiered silhouette crops up time and time again. It's the 1958 pink fondant fancy that really tickled our taste buds…


Chanel Dream #14: Statement Sunglasses
(Image credit: Daniel SIMON/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images)

In 1993 Carla Bruni stalked the runway wearing this beachy Chanel look, and we'd like to urge Herr Lagerfeld to bring these sunnies back into existence. On a side note: excellent towel.

Related: 2-Tone Shoes Will Always Be the Chicest Around, and These 12 Show Why


Chanel Dream #15: Two-Tone Shoes
(Image credit: Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images)

The two-stone slingbacks everyone loves again were first introduced in 1957, but they remained a mainstay for many years—as you can see from this 1963 shot.


(Image credit: Timur Emek/Getty Images)

Karl's latest highly-coveted take on the two-tone style arrives in the form of a pointed mule, with a serpent-and-pearl decoration on the heel. Rihanna has them already, naturally.


Chanel Dream #16: Sports Equipment We'll Never Use
(Image credit: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

It's called being a collector. Goodness knows if anyone could be enough of a fan of surfing and Chanel to take their branded board out for some rad waves, but it would be a great tale to tell the grandchildren—ideally with the story including this version from 1990.


Chanel Dream #17: Camellias
(Image credit: Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images)

Camellias are the flower of Chanel, and as such you will find they are omnipresent and always in bloom, whether as jewellery, surface decoration or print. We like the idea of one sitting atop a black dress, like Helena Christensen's in 1989.


Chanel Dream #18: Modern-Girl Trousers
(Image credit: Arthur Elgort/Conde Nast/Contributor/Getty Images)

Coco was one of the first designers to really liberate women, stripping them out of their trussed-up underpinnings and placing them into sports gear and such radical items as the time as… pants! Karl cuts a mean wide-leg trouser these days, too, but we love the simplicity of this look from 1977.


Chanel Dream #19: Big Gold Bling
(Image credit: Michel Arnaud/CORBIS/Corbis/Getty Images)

Giant gold jewellery was popular among many fashion houses in the '80s, but it's still Chanel's we admire the most. These clip-ons would fit perfectly into the '80s trend on the runways for this autumn/winter.

Which Chanel classic is your favourite? Shop pre-loved pieces from the fashion house on Vestiaire Collective.

Hannah Almassi
Editor in Chief

Hannah Almassi is the Editor in Chief of Who What Wear UK. Hannah has been part of the the Who What Wear brand since 2015, when she was headhunted to launch the UK sister site and social channels, implement a localised content strategy and build out the editorial team. She joined following a seven-year tenure at Grazia magazine, where she led front-of-book news, fashion features and shopping specials as fashion news and features editor. With experience in both print and digital across fashion and beauty, Hannah has over 16 years in the field as a journalist, editor, content strategist and brand consultant. Hannah has interviewed industry heavyweights such as designers including Marc Jacobs and Jonathan Anderson through to arbiters of taste including Katie Grand and Anna Dello Russo. A skilled moderator and lecturer specialising in the shift to digital media and e-commerce, Hannah’s opinion and work has been sought by the likes of CNBC, BBC, The Sunday Times Style, The Times, The Telegraph and, among many others. Hannah is often called upon for her take on trends, becoming known as a person with their finger of the pulse of what’s happening in the fashion space for stylish Brits. Hannah currently resides in Eastbourne with her photographer husband, incredibly busy son and highly Instagrammable cat.