my fashion romance /// 31 Rue Cambon

I really haven’t told the story about going into the original Chanel in Paris.  On our honeymoon last year we did a European trip through Germany, Italy, and France.  (Some of my favorite highlights are here, here, here, here, and here.)  In the back of my mind, I knew that I wanted to make a very important stop in Paris.  My husband jokes that I planned the entire trip around going to 31 Rue Cambon…

chanel-staircasechanel-windowchanel-packagechanel bag with leather pants and black boots

That address is the original Chanel store and also happened to be where Coco lived.  I didn’t get to go up those magical stairs (trust me I tried) but here’s an inside peek of her apartment from one of my favorite sites The Coveteur.  Even though my dream of seeing her home was crushed, I did leave with a piece of evidence.  The black Chanel bag I’ve been carrying nonstop came from the original Chanel.  I was going to purchase a classic 2.55 bag but I fell in love with this one.  I love that the address is stamped on the interlocking CC’s and in the metal rings on top of the bag.  It’s a detail that is barely visible to the naked eye but I know it’s there and it will always remind me of going to the original Chanel.

There is one question I am constantly asked which is, “WAS IT CHEAPER TO BUY THE BAG IN FRANCE?”  Sorry significant others, but the answer is most definitely yes.  Now, after paying for your plane ticket/hotel/etc, of course, it’s not going to be less expensive. BUT if you find yourself already there and wanting to purchase something from Chanel it will be around 20 to 25% less expensive than purchasing it in the US.  For instance, the taxes in France were 20% so we paid the full amount then received a check several weeks later refunding the 20% VAT tax.  Also, because the bag is made in France you don’t have to pay for export tax, etc.  Basically, you won’t be paying taxes on the bag AND are getting it at a discounted rate.  For example, recently a blogger purchase her bag in Paris for $1958 and it was $2600 in California.  Not too shabby!

So that’s the story of my favorite bag.  A touch of fashion history mixed with romance.  For me, this blog has always been a love story to fashion and I would love to share your story. Let me know what your fashion romance is — I hope to make this a weekly post!

Until then, here are some vintage beauties that need a home…

Also I’ve heard some people complain about going through customs and trying to receive there VAT tax refund.  We had no problem!  Here’s an excellent guide to VAT refunds.  Most retailers are happy to help you with the paperwork and to guide you through the process.