"In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different."
- Coco Chanel
The interior and exterior of a Chanel jacket are sometimes constructed of several panels, and the seams and panels inside should be the same. The sleeves may have a slight natural curve.
Chanel jackets are constructed in a manner that they can be easily sized up or down two sizes. Below the lining, there is a bit of extra fabric at every seam that can be tailored out to create more space if needed. The same goes for sizing the jacket down.
Coco Chanel was known for using tweed, a supple and sophisticated fabric, which she discovered through wearing the clothes of one of her lovers, the Duke of Westminster. Tweed was originally made of pure wool, but today it can be mixed with various fibers like silk, cashmere, or alpaca. The iconic boucle and tweel are still often used by Chanel for their classic jackets, but they also present jackets in other fabrics.
One of the characteristics of a Chanel jacket is its buttons, and these small pieces of jewelry adorn it in several places.
Most of the time, they are attached at the center front for the jacket's fastening. Some jackets have a zip closure or no fastening at all. If it does close with buttons, you will find three same-style buttons in a smaller version on the back of each sleeve. When the jacket has pockets, a button will be attached to it.
The buttons will either show a CC logo, the brand name, or another Chanel signature. Chanel works with buttons that match the theme of the collection.
"Never a button without a buttonhole."
The trim (sometimes called braid) of a jacket makes you understand whether it is by Chanel. A Chanel jacket has a contrast or contour trim that follows the neckline, down the front, and all around the pockets, cuffs, and hemline to highlight the silhouette.
Most Chanel jackets have four pockets, two breast pockets, and two lower ones at the waist. These pockets were created for Coco Chanel's own practical needs – one pocket to hold her lipstick, one for her scissors, and one for her cigarettes. These days a pocket is great for your phone. Sometimes a jacket may have only two pockets or none at all.
For Coco Chanel, a jacket needed to be as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside. Most Chanel jackets are lined with luxurious pure silk. The color of the lining should match the palette of the jacket's exterior. It often features interlocking CC-logos, a Camélia flower pattern, and sometimes other Chanel signatures like pearls, depending on the jacket's production year. When the jacket's label has been cut off (sadly, this happens regularly), the lining will teach you more about the era it comes from. For instance, jackets made in the '90s are only marked with many tiny CClogos in the lining. Also, it does happen that a jacket has no print or even no lining because it is a lightweight summer jacket, or its interior is made of a different fabric, like wool. Don't be alarmed when your jacket has another interior.
To weigh the jacket down and make it hang perfectly straight around the body at all times, Coco Chanel added a chain to the jacket's interior at the hem. Till today, almost all jackets feature a chain that colorwise matches the jacket's buttons. If the buttons show gold-tone details, the chain will also be gold; if the buttons are metal-colored, the chain will be in the same style.
A Chanel jacket should have a Chanel brand label sewn into its interior at the top center. Over time the labels have changed. Check from which year your jacket originates, seeing if it matches the label used by Chanel at that time.
Under, the brand label, size, and composition tag should contain other important information about the jacket. Where the jacket has been produced, which is almost always in France. Jackets made before 2010 will also show exactly the year and collection. Jackets from recent collections only contain the item's reference number. With this number, you can contact the Chanel Boutique, and they will be able to tell you from which collection the jacket is. Newer jackets will have another tag attached to the lining on the left side of the body. The information on this tag should correspond to the one on the neck.
With vintage jackets, the size- and composition tag has often been cut off. The labels on these older models used to be quite big, and to make wearing the jacket more comfortable, their owners used to take them off.
Chanel works with European sizes. It should mention size in numbers, like 34-46, and not XS-XL.
Disclaimer: Some Chanel jackets may lack one or more of the mentioned features. That does not mean a jacket is not authentic. On the other hand, many counterfeit jackets on the market look like original jackets. Although a jacket has all the features described above, we do not guarantee it is 100% authentic as long as we do not check the item ourselves. Chanel S.A has not verified or authenticated the products for sale on this website.