The Timeless Style of Chanel

The Timeless Style of Chanel
Coco Chanel would have turned 129 yesterday. She was one very gutsy and industrious lady. Coco lived life by her own rules, which was not uncontroversial at that time or now. She designed some of the most iconic and enduring styles which are reinterpreted nearly every season in all price ranges. Her timeless styles are as popular today as they ever were.
Some of the ones I adore are:

Faux or real, she mixed them all together. She made costume jewelry acceptable to not only adorn yourself with, but look rich and chic doing so. I mix my South Sea colored pearls with my white cultured, Freshwater and Majorca Pearls with great results.

She made single or multiple strands of pearls modern and chic again. These are at J. Crew for Fall 2012.

Almost every season designers come out with variations on this look. Either simple or adorned with bling, they are a terrific piece to have in your wardrobe.
This Rebecca Taylor is classically chic and would look terrific dressed up for evening or worn with your favorite narrow legged jeans.

Who doesn’t have or need a LBD. Even if black is not your most flattering color, this dress can take you anywhere if it is the right silhouette for your shape. Just add a scarf in a more complexion flattering color to enjoy the versatility of this dress.
This Boss sheath at Nordstrom works for day or evening, a perfect base to layer over. Little black dresses are available in all price ranges, shapes and silhouettes to suit every purpose.

The spectator, makes your feet appear smaller by stopping  the eye at the color break. I have multiple pairs in varying color combinations but have secretly always lusted for a real Chanel pair. I did buy Chanel “tennies” one time at their Maiden Lane Boutique in San Francisco,  (for a not too absurd price), but they didn’t quite do the trick for me.
These AGL’s are a very comfortable flat version. Tory Burch has some cute ones this year.

I have striped T’s from multiple designers at all price points. They always feel just a little bit French, especially if I tie a jaunty little scarf around my neck. I made an emergency purchase of a terrific navy and white one in the French equivalent of Target last spring. I was in Provence freezing my tail off for 3 weeks, shopping the Brocantes and vide-greniers in the cold drizzling rain. The quality is wonderful and it gets worn a lot.
This Boden striped T would be fabulous with denim, white pants or skirt, and extremely nautical paired with red espadrilles. Breton striped T shirts were the original stripe for French Sailors, but Chanel made them chic  for women to wear.

I love how chic she looks on the beach in her pearls, beret, and white wide legged pants. So ahead of her time. And if you look closely, you’ll see she’s wearing two Verdura Cuffs, which are stunners.
In the 1920’s Chanel transformed another men only garment, Sailor Pants or Bell Bottoms, into women’s wear. She called them beach pajamas at the time, but they were the precursor to what we know of today as bell bottoms and  whose present day cousin is the Flare leg.
The 722 “Love Story” by J Brand
J. Crew makes a version of this coat every year. It is a perennial favorite in every color imaginable. Pea Jackets were another item Chanel styled for women from men’s wardrobes.

The original. Both the woman and the bag!

This Tory Burch is just one of the many designers who design quilted bags today that pay homage to Chanels original.

It appears her famous quote, “FASHION FADES, ONLY STYLE REMAINS THE SAME” is true.

What do you wear inspired by Coco Chanel?
Do you own any vintage Chanel?

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  1. August 31, 2012 / 8:11 pm

    I always knew Chanel had an impact on current fashion, but I don’t think I realized to this extent. Loved this post. This post has inspired me to wear my pearls this weekend!

  2. vintagefrenchchic
    August 26, 2012 / 11:14 pm

    Lovely post. I always think classy when I think of Chanel. Classy mingled with a healthy dose of feisty. I love her style and legacy. I do not own any Chanel but I do wear layers of pearls; I have a LBD; I am wishing for the two-toned quilted flats; and I have two vintage Koret quilted handbags that emanate her style. Can’t go wrong with Chanel. Except maybe the smoking bit. ; )

  3. August 21, 2012 / 6:05 pm

    Sorry to say I donot own one item of Chanel!Except a few lipsticks!I too have lusted after the REAL two TONED FLAT………..Love how she took the Mans sailor pant and made it ever so CHIC for ladies……..I’m sure you saw the JPG show at the DE YOUNG?LOVED How he took the sailor pant and opened the legs to make a long skirt!think I’m off to the ARMY SURPLUS to see what I can fine………then to top it off a few strands of pearls………that I do I have!

  4. August 21, 2012 / 5:21 pm

    Love this post – it was so much fun to read.

    Pearls! I love my pearls.

    And does wearing Chanel perfume count? There’s a new Noir fragrance out that I’m going to get this week – at least a sample from Nordstrom to try.

    • August 21, 2012 / 6:23 pm

      Of course it counts! Madame is famous for saying, “A woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future”.

  5. August 21, 2012 / 5:17 pm

    I love her style, she was such a brave and confident femme. We are in awe of her to this day.
    I have multi strands of pearls, some saltwater, some freshwater and love them to bits.
    If I were a woman of independent means I’d buy a classic quilted Chanel bag…
    I have Kate Spade’s version which is in it’s second season of wear.

    You’ve come up with a fabulous post today, Thank you!

    • August 21, 2012 / 6:20 pm

      Thank you! I love my pearls too and I’ve seen some of your pretties. I should mention I’m putting a link to your blog in my post today. Welcome home!

  6. August 21, 2012 / 2:49 pm

    Beautiful! I have a Chanel scarf I bought to remember my pilgrimage to Rue Cambon this summer!

    • August 21, 2012 / 4:10 pm

      I am enjoying reading your lovely blog. So informative for us hat wearers!!

  7. August 21, 2012 / 2:24 pm

    Sometimes I tire of the Chanel-adulation which seems tied to class in ways I find uncomfortable. That said, I currently have a classic pea-coat, navy-white stripe pullovers, wide-legged jeans, pearls, and a small rectangular (non-quilted) bag with chain to hang on my shoulder. Can’t do her boxy jackets on this frame.

    • August 21, 2012 / 2:58 pm

      LOL…she striikes all of our wardrobes somewhere. Considering Chanel’s beginnings, it’s ironic that she became synonymous with “class”.

  8. August 21, 2012 / 1:14 pm

    Thank you for this well illustrated and informative post!

  9. August 21, 2012 / 4:35 am

    I wonder what Mademoiselle would think of what Karl Lagerfield has done…

    • August 21, 2012 / 4:46 am

      I wonder that myself. Karl is in the habit of taking “pot shots” at Mademoiselle and I would bet she’d not find it acceptable. He has taken the Chanel brand down a very avante guarde path…and I don’t know if that’s what she would approve of.

  10. August 21, 2012 / 4:01 am

    Thank you, thank you for this post. I adore Chanel, especially her use of men’s styling for women. The only Chanel piece I own is a pair of sunglasses, but that doesn’t really count. These images are a great inspiration for me.

    • August 21, 2012 / 4:42 am

      Of course the glasses count!! A great pair of glasses make a huge statement. Then there’s always, how good they make you feel!! Can’t ever underestimate that.

  11. August 21, 2012 / 2:06 am

    What a great post and hey, thanks for the mention! It was unexpected but I appreciate it! That Chanel post has been one of my all-time favorites. I loved seeing what everyone wore! I love all the Chanel highlights you’ve hit on here. The only Chanel I own is a vintage black and white handbag, which I deeply love. Adrienne and I will be focusing on ‘Secondhand Treasures’ for our ‘How I Wear My’ post in September. Think about joining us, it is always a lot of fun! XO, Jill

    • August 21, 2012 / 4:39 am

      Your blog was very clever and I really enjoyed seeing what the ladies came up with!

  12. August 20, 2012 / 11:41 pm

    I love her style. I may now need to lust after the Verdura Bracelets. Every time I see them on her I drool!

  13. August 20, 2012 / 11:27 pm

    Great post! I don’t have any vintage Chanel, but I adore pearls and have many stands. They never go out of style! Thanks CoCo!

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