The Chanel Boy Guide

Chanel Pink Alligator Boy Bag on The Boy Bag Guide

Originally introduced in 2011 by Karl Lagerfeld as an interpretation of the boyish charm that Coco Chanel was known for, the Chanel Boy Bag has become one of their most covetable designs and one of our best sellers.

Dreaming about a Boy? We’re going to tell you everything you need to know if you’re trying to decide which Boy is right for you.

The Chanel Boy, with a rectangular single flap style, thick chain strap with leather shoulder pad and an easy-to-open push-clasp, has a more casual feel and is released every season in an array classic and trendy variations. The Boy Bag has a more utilitarian feel compared to the classic flap’s feminine form.

The Boy Bag came onto the market at exactly the right time: young shoppers were finally able to buy Chanel bags on their own, but most of the brands bags skewed toward older, more formal shoppers who gravitated towards Timeless Classic flap bags and Grand Shopping Totes. The Boy Bag was released and immediately flew off the shelves for its boxy design with straight lines, thick border, and angular corners, reflecting a bag that is both modern and sporty; perfect for the today’s on-the-go woman.

The Chanel Boy Bag is named after Coco Chanel’s long-time lover, Boy Capel. Karl claimed that the very spirit of Chanel was inspired by Boy Capel.

Who Was Boy Capel?

It’s hard to appreciate Chanel as a brand without first understanding the life and history of Gabrielle Chanel. Gabrielle met Englishman Arthur Capel, nicknamed Boy, in 1909, at the ripe age of 26. Capel was described as “an intellectual, politician, tycoon, polo-player and the dashing lover and sponsor of the fashion designer Coco Chanel.”

It was Boy Capel who financed Gabrielle Chanel’s first stores in Paris: Chanel Modes (her first hat shop) at 21 Rue Cambon, along with two others: rue Goutaut in Deauville (her first clothing store), and the Villa Larralde on rue Gardres in Biarritz (a maison de couture).

Their relationship lasted nine years, in which Gabrielle was inspired to create “the Chanel look” based on Boy’s own tailored masculine style. She had hoped to settle down with Boy, but his life had other plans for him and he married into the English aristocracy. Ever the feminist, Gabrielle pretended not to mind and threw herself into her work.

You know the rest.

In 2011, Karl Lagerfeld debuted the Chanel Boy Flap bag.

The Chanel Boy Flap Bag

The defining characteristics of the Chanel Boy flap bag are the chunky crossbody chain, antiqued hardware, and the Chanel logo “lego” style push-lock. The wide shoulder strap is extremely flexible and adjustable, made to be worn as a shoulder bag or crossbody bag.

Chanel Iridescent Rainbow Small Boy Bag
Chanel Boy Bag Guide and Size Infographic

Chanel Boy Bag Size Comparison Between Small, Old Medium, New Medium and Large Flap Bags


Style Number


Small Boy


8?L x 3.2? W x 5?H

Old Medium Boy


10″ L x 2.5″ W x 5.5″ H

New Medium Boy


11″ L x 3.5″ W x 7″ H

Large Boy


11.8? L x 3.9? W x 8.3? H

Old Medium Chanel Boy Bag Versus New Medium Chanel Boy Bag

The Boy bag family has two “medium” sizes. The new medium was released a few seasons after the initial Boy bag debut. The new medium is slightly taller and longer than the old medium, and has extra interior pockets for extra storage.

Chanel New Medium versus Old Medium Size Comparison

Other Boy Bag Styles That Aren’t A Boy Chanel Flap Bag

After the overwhelming success of the Boy Flap bag, Chanel created an entire lineage of bags with the same design details: CC “Boy” push-lock, chunky chain and a triple-quilted border. Each season, new styles of the Boy Bag emerge in different leather, metal and design variations. If you’re hopelessly devoted to this Boy, then maybe you’d like to add another Boy style to your collection.

Chanel Boy Bag WOC

Measurements: 7.5″ L x 1″ W x 5″ H

Chanel Dark Pink Quilted Patent Leather Boy WOC Clutch Bag

Chanel Boy Small Tote

Measurements: 12.5″ L x 5″ W (at base) x 8.5″ H

Chanel Black Smooth Calfskin Leather Boy Small Tote Bag

Chanel Boy Medium Tote

Measurements: 12.1″ L x 6.5″ W x 9.25″ H
Chanel Black Glazed Calfskin Leather Boy Medium Tote Bag

Chanel Boy Shopping Tote

Measurements: 14.25″ L x 6″ W x 10″

Chanel Navy Blue Quilted Leather Boy Bag Shopping Tote

Original Chanel Boy Lock Versus Current Chanel Boy Bag Lock

There are two versions of the Chanel Boy Lock closure. Some Chanel Boy Bags are made of smooth calfskin with a larger button on the clasp lock, and the Chanel Logo embossed on the top of the bag. A few seasons later, the center CC button was reduced in size and the large CC logo was added to the lock–because who doesn’t want more Chanel logos?!

Chanel Boy Bag Lock Differences

The Boy Bag comes in a large variety of leather and hardware combinations–almost any combination you can think of has been made by Chanel.

Chanel Boy Bag Hardware

Antique Gold Shiny Gold Ruthenium
Shiny Silver Iridescent Black
Paris-Edinburgh Paris-Dallas Plexiglass
Cube Fluo

Chanel Boy Bag Lock Metal Comparisons

If you’ve got your heart set on a certain Chanel Boy Bag, Yoogi’s Closet specializes in rare and hard-to-find handbags and accessories. Ready to find your perfect Boy? Shop Chanel Boy Bags now.


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  1. Pingback: Chanel Price Increase | November 2018 - Yoogi's Closet Blog

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