Budget Friendly Chanel Bags Under 5K

Anyone looking online at Chanel Spring Summer 2023 handbag prices may be disheartened to find not many bags retailing for under $5k. On the one hand, the selection opens up when you increase the budget to $6k. But on the other, there just are not many options in the lower range.

Unless… you get creative in your thinking and shopping. Especially if looking for classic Chanel style in a mini-sized bag. Even the actual minis are pushing up right against the 5K pricing, with some, like the mini with handle, jumping over it.

For starters, it bears repeating (over and over again) that prices for Chanel bags, and particularly Chanel Classic Flaps, have skyrocketed over the last few years. Since October 2019, three and one half years (and one pandemic) ago, the retail cost of the medium Chanel Classic flap soared from $5800 to $10,200. Factoring in the latest spike that took the medium flap into five figures in March 2023, that is a 76% increase! Not only that, but it puts the Classic Flap pricing in competition with Hermès Birkins and Kellys, depending upon size and leather.

Perhaps then it’s no wonder that many Chanel fans are looking for other options. Chanel makes many styles beyond the Classic Flap. But like the hallmark bag, those prices also are up. It is difficult to find a Chanel bag from the Spring/Summer 2023 collection below $5k.

Which brings us to a different section of Chanel offerings. Turn your attention to Chanel Small Leather Goods (SLGs) and you’ll find plenty of high fashion pieces to fit your ‘fit and vibe. Many of these offer the functionality of a true handbag, double CCs and leather-laced chains included. 

Don’t believe us? Well, here are some of the sweet items making it to our wishlists. 


Chanel’s Wallet on Chain often is considered the primary gateway to a Chanel bag addiction. Practical, functional and oh so chic, the style has been around for over two decades. In more recent years, other brands – like Hermès and Saint Laurent – have developed their own versions, to the acclaim of their devotees.

Well, little has changed for the Chanel WOC other than the price, more on that in a moment. It’s still a great option for those who travel light. And the versions over the years range from a classic flap look to the Boy and Chanel 19 styles.

Probably to no one’s surprise, the ever-popular WOC has become increasingly more expensive. Those new to the brand may be shocked (and dismayed) to learn that these “bags” once sold for under $2k. As you’ll see below from the most current models, those days are long gone. Nowadays WOC pricing is in the $4k range.

Interestingly, the options for Spring/Summer 2023 are all about the same size. Measuring in at 4.8 x 7.5 x 1.4 inches, the interior has slots for all (and then some) of your credit cards, some cash, and, depending on size, a phone. The primary capacity constraint is the depth (or lack thereof) – it’s a fairly flat style.


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Let’s start with the Classic Black WOC. As close as you can get to an actual classic flap bag, it bears all of the Chanel hallmarks: lambskin leather, flap, leather-laced chain strap, double CC closure. Inside there are slots for all of your credit cards, cash, and, depending on size, your phone. This one retails for $4300.

Image courtesy: chanel.com

For a variation on the classic, Chanel offers a WOC with a heart-shaped clasp. Shown in white, others colors should be available as well. It retails for $4,000.

Image courtesy: chanel.com

Another variation this season includes a bow-shaped charm on the leather-laced chain. Again, although shown in burgundy grained calfskin leather, expect to find it in other hues as well.

Image courtesy: chanel.com

Last, but not least, fans of the Chanel 19 will find a WOC version in the Spring/Summer 2023 Precollection, which is also in stores now. Shown in a tweed fabrication, it has a casual vibe, with the lowest of the price tags at $3975.

Image courtesy: chanel.com

Clutches on Chain and More

But, what if the WOC just isn’t your jam? It hews pretty close the Chanel’s hallmark fashion, and you want to stand out. Or its flatness won’t accommodate your lipstick, sanitizer or big fat car fob. No worries though. It’s time to get more creative in shopping. And that means, look to some other SLGs. In particular, the Clutches on Chain.

Despite the name, Clutches on Chain need not be dressy or even worn clutch-like. But they can be clutch when looking for a small bag that won’t break the bank. At least not as much as a five-figure Classic Flap.

Unlike the WOCs, which are fairly uniform in size and shape, Clutches on Chain are where you’ll find variation. Ranging from a classic oval snap lock to heart-shaped, vanity or satchel, all of these are options.

Probably the most classic as a clutch is the hardshell oval, lambskin Clutch on Chain. It has a double CC lock on top, bold gold Chanel lettering, as well as a chain. However, this is a style we imagine as handheld. On the other hand, measuring in at 3.3 x 4.7 x 2.3, your phone will likely be outside the bag. Shown in both white and dark purple, it retails for $4950. That is, just under the $5k mark.

Image courtesy: chanel.com

For something completely different to love, there’s the double heart Clutch on Chain in patent leather. This bag includes a larger black heart and smaller white one, both in patent leather with zip top closures and heart-shaped bag charms. Measuring 5.2 × 5.9 × 0.8 in, you can see that inner capacity is tight, with depth under 1″. But, the heart wants what the heart wants . . . 

Image courtesy: chanel.com

What’s red, patent, and shaped like a bowling bag? It’s another Chanel Clutch on Chain. With both a leather-laced chain shoulder strap and double leather-laced handles, this one caught   the attention of many Chanel aficionados. With its zipper top and bold double CC logo, that’s no surprise. It measures 4.3 × 6.2 × 2.1 inches and sells for $3625.

The vanity case trend shows no sign of abating, and sure enough, there’s a matching Chanel Clutch on Chain. From a functionality standpoint, it probably has the greatest and most flexible interior capacity. The zip-around top on this rectangular model makes the inside accessible, and easily holds a phone, key, lipstick, and more. Moreover, there are interior slots for credit cards and even a mirror.

Although it’s shown in white with a metal handle, on Chanel’s website, in boutique we’ve seen black with pink interior and a soft leather handle, as well as the traditional leather enlaced chain. Measuring 3.7 × 6.6 × 3.1 inches, at $4100, it just might the best deal of all.

Image courtesy: chanel.com

Another option is from the phone holder section of Chanel. Not the protective cases that attach to your cell. Rather, these are more phone holders resembling flap bags. Clearly, they accommodate cell phones, though it’s not clear whether maxi size phones fit. Stashing a credit card or cash also is no problem, but your keys likely won’t make the cut.

The model below is from the Spring/Summer 2023 Precollection, but we’ve seen a black version with pink trim and soft handle in the boutique now. It’s a viable option when you just want a handsfree way to carry a phone. This 3.9 × 6.7 × 1.3 accessory sells for $4200.

Image courtesy: chanel.com

With a budget under $5k, which of these will satisfy that Chanel itch? Or are you still feeling the need to save up for a bigger bag? Let us know.

Published: April 2nd, 2023
Updated: April 10th, 2023

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