Something I have wanted for years and years is now mine.

This special something makes me feel like I am part of some secret club.

One thing I noticed in those who's style I consistently loved was that their looks were usually quite classic, almost achievable, paired with enviable accessories.

The ever-present accessory is a Chanel handbag. Worn casually with jeans and converse, or held as a clutch with an evening dress - the classic Chanel handbag is stunningly simple yet enviably desirable.

I went into Brown Thomas and upsettingly discovered that Chanel experiences near annual price increases of up to 5% and as you are dealing in an item that costs thousands that's a lot of money. The current price for a classic Chanel bag is €4250. While this may be possible for some people, it wasn't for me. I didn't see it ever being possible.

I had worked on TV3 Xpose with Designer Exchange where we showed some of their beautiful bags. Designer Exchange buy and sell designer accessories. I was really impressed with the owner Paddy's commitment to selling bags in near perfect condition but for me the bag was a classic Chanel which I knew was in high demand.

On a whim I casually popped into their Dawson Street store and as fate had it they had one classic Chanel bag on display. They wouldn't frequently have them and they tend to move quickly.  It was a strange moment where you wish for an opportunity and it comes quicker than you can expect.

After trying it on (with my tracksuit bottoms and a TShirt on!) I fell in love.  I had wanted the yellow gold hardware and it was exactly the right size. The great thing about Designer Exchange is they offer both a trade in and also an instalment scheme. The price it was on sale for was far less in store and brand new.  I didn't have anything to trade in but I knew that committing to paying off, slowly but surely, was achievable.

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When buying a Chanel whether online or in-store you really need to know your facts. There are so many online videos and tutorials like this one:

Paddy assured me about the complete authenticity of the bag and showed me the various key details to look out for such as making sure the stitching aligned between the top flap and the body of the bag, the serial number and authenticity card. He also gave me the option to bring it to Chanel in Brown Thomas to verify this which was very reassuring.

I left with a deposit on the bag and a strange feeling of completion. The bag would eventually be mine. Gradually over a series of months I chipped away at my deposit. I actually enjoyed having the goal of something to save for but at no time felt under any pressure from Designer Exchange which was important. Being freelance and also with occasional unexpected expenses popping up each month was different in terms of what I could pay.

When the happy day came when I made my final payment on the bag I was delighted they had the box and all the fun trimmings you would get buying in Chanel. My bag was beautifully wrapped up with all the beautiful ribbon and signature Chanel camellia.

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For a few days I just looked at my bag sitting beautiful in the box almost scared to wear it.

A wedding invitation in Castle Durrow was the perfect first time to wear it. I picked up a faux fur jacket in Enable Ireland last week and a simple black dress. Red lipstick and my new bag completed the look.

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I know I will love my Chanel bag for the rest of my life and I am so pleased to now own something I have wanted for so long!

My bag was bought from The Designer Exchange. You can follow them on Facebook and contact them >here<

www.DesignerExchange.ie 

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