In the world of luxury bag shopping, knowing which brand to pick is vital, especially when your three-digit dollar spending is on the line.
There are two well-known brands that you can depend on when you want top-of-the-class quality material, design, usability, and Instagram-worthy pictures—the ageless Coach and Chanel bags.
But in the process of choosing which item to purchase between those two, you might first want to consider comparing their features to get the most of your money’s worth on whichever bag you end up buying.
Coach vs Chanel: About Both Brands
Coach is an American mid-luxury brand founded by Lillian and Miles Cahn, who started making handbags inspired by baseball gloves around the 1960s.
Its bag-making path blossomed after creating leather totes known as a success because of the company’s niche in leather goods—despite some backlash on its use of natural animal skin.
Aside from their outstanding leather quality, their craftsmanship always makes them popular as they saw in double stitch stronger than the average single stitched bags.
Some of its most popular small handbags are the duffle, saddle, and dinky; meanwhile, its field tote bags are available for those who prefer a larger size.
On the other hand, Chanel is a French luxury brand founded by the great Coco Chanel in 1910.
The company began its fashion design journey as a millinery shop that also sold clothes, perfume, watches, then later on bags.
Chanel bags come from soft lambskin or caviar leather with at least 11 stitches per panel—you can catch a fake one if its stitches per inch are below 10, making its prices higher than Coach bags.
Despite its higher costs, bag enthusiasts still drool over their bag designs because of their timeless beauty and simplicity.
Some of its most famous bags are 2.55, the first-ever shoulder strap design created by Gabrielle Chanel in 1955, Chanel Boy made by Karl Lagerfeld, and Wallet on Chain (WOC).
Chanel also offers more significant bag designs, such as the Grand Shopping Tote and Gabrielle.
Chanel vs Coach: Handbag Review & Comparison
Chanel Petite Shopping Tote
The Chanel Petite Tote is a classic-looking bag with a nice design.
The tote features a back pocket, just like the classic Chanel flap bag with a big logo on the front to match.
This bag is a structured bag (i.e. it doesn’t have any flexibility), as the handle isn’t removable or adjustable.
But the bag is built to carry heavy items, considering the addition of the long strapped chain, unlike the tubular handle on the Coach bag.
There is also a hook on the inside where you can hook up your car keys or phones.
The leather is Italian and is made from high-quality material, which makes it withstand scratches.
The bag is available in a variety of colors, including black, purple, and yellow. Though the design looks basic, this bag has durability built into it to last you for years.
At the time of this writing, this bag is no longer in production.
Chanel has stopped the manufacturing of the bag, so it probably wouldn’t be available for purchase. As you would expect, it’s much more expensive than the Coach Satchel Tote.
Coach Legacy Double Satchel
This is one of the more popular bags from Coach.
It’s an elegant bag with a sophisticated look. Unlike the Chanel Tote, which is shiny, the leather on this bag is extremely smooth and soft.
The bag has a double top-zip closure and a front pocket which matches beautifully.
The hardware at the back is matte silver, unlike that of Chanel which is golf.
The interior has multifunctional pockets like Chanel so you can include most items like keys, phones, and other smaller accessories.
It doesn’t have a chain handle like the Chanel but a tubular handle, which is soft and comfortable to carry.
You can get this from different stores including Amazon, eBay, and the official website of Coach. Of course, it’s cheaper than the Chanel Petite Shopping Tote.
Coach and Chanel Purses: What to Look for
Just as there are distinct differences between Coach and Chanel, there are also subtle ones to pay attention to. Looking at their purses, it’s easy to think that they are similar.
However, a closer look will reveal they are indeed not the same. Let’s look at some of the differentiating factors between both brands.
Luxury As We Know It
Though Coach is another luxury brand like Chanel, there is actually a difference between them.
Chanel is a high-end luxury brand, which means its items are scarce and extremely expensive.
Coach, on the other hand, is a low-end luxury brand, meaning that the products are mass-produced and readily available to most consumers.
You can’t just buy a Chanel bag on a whim unless you’re really wealthy.
The price of a bag can be in the thousands of dollars. However, with a few hundred dollars, you can get a nice Coach bag for yourself.
Price of Both Brands
As mentioned before, Chanel purses are much more expensive than those of Coach.
A single purse from Chanel could set you back $5000 without change.
On the other hand, the most expensive Coach bag should be around $1500 and below, which a lot of people can easily afford.
The reason why Chanel purses aren’t as easy to buy is that most people end up owning more than one purse. Imagine spending $20000 on just four purses?
That definitely is a big investment. For Coach, you don’t need to spend as much to get multiple, high-quality bags. But the price isn’t the only thing you have to think about.
The quality is equally important, which takes us to the next point.
Quality of Material
The quality of Chanel purses is far better than those of Coach.
The basic material in the bags are similar, but the origin and quality are always different. Chanel uses high-quality materials (which are expensive to procure), compared to Coach.
This explains why the purses/handbags are more expensive. The quality of the material also has an effect on longevity.
With a Chanel bag, you can expect to use it for years and longer than Coach.
This is because they’re made from the highest grade materials, including calfskin and lambskin. Coach also uses quality leather/haircalf but those aren’t as expensive to source.
Coach sells its products in most stores, boutiques, outlets, and on its official website. As a result, Coach items are easily obtainable, regardless of where you’re located.
Chanel, on the other hand, has designated boutiques where you have to be present physically to buy the product. The channels you can buy a Chanel purse are very limited.
This allows Chanel to maintain its superior price point as well as better consumer experiences, compared to Coach.
In essence, Coach isn’t in the league of Chanel.
Brands that Coach can be compared to include Kate Spade, Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, and others. Chanel, on the other hand, is on the level of Louis Vuitton, Hermes, and others.
Coach vs Chanel: Final Thoughts
More than just being clothing items, bags have now also become fashion investments. One of the reasons why Chanel feels more exclusive than Coach is its purchase accessibility.
You can spot a Coach store in high-end malls or even online in the US.
Meanwhile, you would have to physically go to a Chanel store in only selected areas due to its limited supply chain.
Price is also a significant factor as Coach bags range from $300 to $20,000 while Chanel bags range from $1,700 to $107,000.
Despite their differences, what matters most is your choice (and resources) as a buyer—if it makes you happy, then it’s worth the money.
Read More: Dooney and Bourke vs Coach: Which Is Better?