Shopping For Chanel: Beware Of Colour Transfer!
Hello my friends! I have been meaning to write this post for the longest time, but for some reason, it’s just taken me forever to get it all together, but I’m finally here, photos taken and ready to write! So, where do I start, well, I guess the beginning! I got this handbag about 4 years ago now, it was a gift from my fiancé for a pretty major birthday and I literally fell in love with the colour of it! I can remember standing in the store and feeling completely overwhelmed, I adored the green bag, but I was also looking at the black version which I knew would be perfect all year round and go with so many more outfits, but there was something about this shade of aqua green I couldn’t stop looking at. Eventually my boyfriend told me to go look at the shoes on the floor above and he would make the final decision; green or black, and I would find out which one he got my on my birthday. Y’know, a birthday surprise!
I’m pretty sure you have all guessed what happened next! He bought the green version of the Chanel classic flap bag, he figured it felt more special, more exciting and he knew that I could get the black version of it any time, but the green was seasonal and once it was gone… it was gone for good! Of course I was elated, how could I not be?! It’s stunning! I wore it, loved it, stored it carefully and treasured it. I’m not sure why I’m talking in the past tense because I still love this bag, it’s just as special to me now, as it was then.
What is Colour Transfer?
Whenever you are shopping for a Chanel handbag which is a lighter colour (beige, white, pink, green, basically anything which isn’t black or navy) the sales assistant will warn you to be careful of colour transfer. It’s easy to nod along and not really think about the implications of what this actually means, which is why I wanted to share my experiences of Chanel colour transfer. Firstly, it’s important to remember the handbags which are most prone to colour transfer is the lambskin bags, this type of leather is softer, smoother, easier to scratch and generally less hardwearing than the caviar leather (you can read this post if you want to know more about the leather finishes!). Part of the reason lambskin is so luxe and soft is because it has not been heavily treated to protect it, so when it rubs against a dark coat or jeans, the dye from the darker garment can be rubbed/transferred onto your bag. Whilst you might expect your bag to stain if you spill a drink on it, you may not expect it to damage purely by rubbing up against your clothing, which is why the sales assistants will always warn you of the fact. I have tried to take plenty of photos of my bag to demonstrate what this looks like. I got this bag four years ago and I have worn it a good amount, whilst I was careful with it, I never baby my handbags and I totally admit I did wear it with darker coloured cotton dress.
What Can You Do?
If like me, you have fallen in love with a lighter colour lambskin Chanel handbag, there are a few things you can do to help protect it against colour transfer. Firstly, avoid wearing it with dark coloured clothing, especially items like dark denim which hasn’t been washed many times. It’s kind of the same principle as washing new black jeans with a bundle of white underwear… the colour will run! Instead try to wear your Chanel next to lighter colour clothes where the colour is less likely to rub, synthetic fabrics like faux fur coats and bandage dresses, over denim for instance. You can also spray your bag with a leather protector, however, Chanel do NOT recommend this as some leather protectors can leave your bag looking patchy and if it goes wrong, it’s hard for handbag spas to rectify the damage. That’s an expensive mistake! If you make the decision to use a leather protector, do it before wearing it, as you don’t want to protect the leather after it has stained as if you get the bag spa’ed, it will be much harder to remove the stain if it has been sealed in with a protector. Also, if you do decide to do it, it’s idea to do a patch test on a part of the bag which won’t be obvious, like maybe the base of the bag. Personally, I have never used a spray protector as if Chanel don’t recommend it, I don’t want to take the gamble, however, it is an option, so I wanted to share it.
What Do I do?
The only way you can truly protect your designer handbags is by never taking them outside. All designer handbags can be damaged with wear, you could walk past a shop which has just been painted, you could get pooped on by a bird, a child on the tube could reach over and touch it with greasy crisp-crumbs on their hands (seriously, this actually happened to me once and I also had a close call with bird poop!) or less dramatically, it could start to rain or the leather handles could start to crease. My point is, life happens! Handbags don’t stay perfect unless you don’t wear them and that’s not fun! I truly believe you get so much more enjoyment from clothes and accessories by wearing them, so personally, I have been careful with my green lambskin Chanel bag. I never put it on the floor in a restaurant, nor would I take it to a nightclub, however, I have worn it, loved it and enjoyed it. When I’m not using it, I keep it in the box and I never use it on rainy days. Whilst the colour transfer isn’t pretty, it’s important to remember that is on the back and the front still looks fabulous, and I would rather this than I never wear it but it still looks pristine. I’m sure at some point I will send my handbag to a spa to get a clean, as these places can work miracles (check out this post), but for now, I’m fine with it having a slightly dirty bum!
So, there we have it, a little information on my experience with colour transfer, what it looks like and how you can help prevent it. Whilst my handbag is Chanel, it’s important to remember this could happen with ANY luxury handbag, especially a lambskin one, it’s not a flaw of the product, it’s just the nature of the delicate leather. I hope this post has been of help and if you have any questions for me, please do drop me a comment and share your thoughts!