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October 2017

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Chanel Boy or Diorama (That is the Question)

Following up on my recent post on my favorite Dior handbags, this post will be my thoughts on the Diorama vs. Chanel Boy. I’ve debated between these two bags for over two years now (not exaggerating) and recently while working on the Dior post, I caught the Diorama vs. Chanel Boy fever (again). I finally decided it’s time to dig in, research, and make a decision once and for all. This post will cover topics from price, size, resale value, staying power, and more. If you are also torn between these two bags then hopefully this post will be helpful!

The Chanel Boy and Diorama are both undoubtedly beautiful, they are very similar and different at the same time. Here are the key considerations:

Both the Diorama and the Chanel Boy come in various sizes and for both I like the small and (old) medium sizes the most. I think the small would look the best on a petite frame while the medium / old medium would be more practical. The wallet-on-chains are great if you want the design and have a limited budget. I personally have too many small bags so I am shying away from the WOCs. The new medium and large sizes have more carrying capacity but it can look overwhelming f you aren’t tall enough. On size I am pretty much decided on the medium for Diorama and the old medium for Chanel Boy.

Design and Staying Power
Now let’s talk about the designs of these two handbags. These two bags are often compared due to the similarities between the designs. They both tout the boxy shape, the chunky metal strap with the adjustable leather portion on the top, the flap closure, the border, and more. It’s hard to deny that the bags are not similar and because the Chanel Boy was introduced in 2011 and the Diorama was introduced in 2015, the Diorama is often criticized as copying the Chanel Boy. As a result, many people argue that one should get the Chanel Boy because it was the “original”.

To some degree I agree with that argument and I generally prefer to buy the “original” design. However, in this case, I think the Diorama and Chanel Boy have enough differences that it would be fairer to evaluate the bags separately. The Diorama sports the enlarged cannage print from Dior while the Chanel Boy comes with Chanel’s classic quilting. The pattern difference gives the bags different looks and feels. To me, the Diorama gives off a more contemporary vibe while the quilted Chanel Boy is dressier. Secondly, the closure of the Chanel Boy is a cinched lock while the Diorama uses a push closure. Either way, I think for anyone debating between the two bags, it would be silly to buy one or the other just because one was the “original”. Can you imagine if someone argued in 2007 to not get the iPhone because it was not the original touchscreen phone or smartphone? Sounds pretty ridiculous right?

Although the Diorama and the Chanel Boy have a unique and specific design, they also both have sub-designs or variations.
The most popular Diorama design is the enlarged cannage print (upper left blue bag). The second most popular design is the micro-cannage motif (bottom right silver bag). Besides these two designs, other Diorama variations include multi-colored, studded, other printed patterns, and exotic leathers. My favorite design is still the enlarged cannage print, the simple and symmetrical lines make the bag very modern, sophisticated, and timeless.

The Chanel Boy also comes in various sub-designs. The original is the classic quilting (upper left metallic bag), and then there is the large chevron print (bottom right black bag). Other designs include small chevron, Chanel Boy with a top handle, interwoven pattern, hardware outlines, etc. My favorite is definitely the large chevron print. In fact, I am not a big fan of the classic quilting on the Chanel Boy, personally I think it looks too busy. The modern chevron print fits perfectly with the casual Boy design. Large chevron print + Chanel Boy is just so beautiful!

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