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Chanel 101:
The shopping tote

By Koyaana R. July 9, 2019

While it needs little to no introduction, the Shopping Tote is

Chanel’s most iconic and classic of all of their shopping tote models. With its classic quilting, double C motif, compartmentalized roomy interior, and split chain handles, it is no surprise these styles fetch a high price on the resale market.


By 1919, Coco’s fashion house had become so successful that she invested her profits in purchasing 31 Rue Cambon, just steps away from her original shop on the same street. The building went through an extensive renovation and, once completed, she opened her doors to the public and set the bar for what fashion boutiques should be.

Shopping Tote Sizing Breakdown

This tote is available in three sizes: the Petite Shopping Tote (PST), the Grand Shopping Tote (GST), and the Grand Shopping Tote XL (GST XL). While the most common size is the standard Grand Shopping Tote, the other two sizes are favorites to many.

Petite Shopping Tote

Base Length 9.5 Inches

Grand Shopping Tote

Base Length 13 Inches

Grand Shopping Tote XL

Base Length 17 Inches

Quilting, Materials, and Hardware

As a classic and staple piece, the Shopping Tote line is only available in classic quilting. An interesting difference, however, that has emerged in the design of the bag, is the double C motif. If you look closely at this tote over its many years of production you may notice that the Cs have either been a separate piece of matching leather stitched over the classic quilt or integrated into the quilting itself. This minor fluctuation in design does not have confirmed reasoning but is speculated to relate to year or location of production.

Double C Motif Stitched Over Quilting

Double C Motif Integrated Into Quilting

For the most part, these totes were produced in caviar leather but there are lambskin and patent versions scattered in the resale market. Only two hardware colors were made available: gold and silver tones, keeping choices simple and uncomplicated.

Color Range

With its classic simplicity, this tote was never made into special editions per se but often offered in seasonal colors. The most prominent and requested were black and varying shades of nude, but a wide variety of colors were made over the years.