Bag Review: Chanel Wallet on Chain

A few weeks ago, my husband was thoughtful enough to pick up a small Chanel bag for me while he was passing through Heathrow airport. Heathrow is the only place that I’ve purchased Chanel accessories from in the last few years – the prices are always the lowest that I’ve found in the world, even more so than Paris! Just an little tip for future international travelers. Other places you can find the WOC discounted are at The Real Real and Fashionphile, but I’d get them authenticated on The Purse Forum before pulling the trigger.

The bag that my husband found for me was the “Wallet on Chain” style in classic black caviar with gold hardware – an item that’s been on my list for quite some time. It’s one of my favorite styles that Chanel has ever made.Β Honestly if I was in the market right now for a Chanel bag, my pick wouldn’t be any of their classic flaps (the price is too high now for me) but would rather be this little bag which I’ve found to be incredibly versatile. And since I’ve continually used my existing Wallet on Chain for the last five years, I thought I would do a review of it today.

Chanel Black WOC

My original Wallet on Chain was purchased about five years ago and was actually an impulse purchase for me while I was browsing around Neiman Marcus. Impulse purchases of bags are super rare for me – I’m totally somebody who doesn’t feel good about a purchase unless I obsess and research about it for a few days. However, the bag was love at first sight for me and I’ve never regretted it. The bag I purchased that day was a dark metallic crackled lambskin gray with ruthenium hardware, and I’ve worn it for formal events of every sort ever since.

It’s rare for me to buy two exact styles of a bag, and even rarer for me to buy them in very close color combinations – so you can see how much I love this bag! I wanted the black with gold to go with gold accessories.

One of my favorite features of the bag is the little back pocket (all of my Chanel bags have this detail, like the classic flaps). For these bags it’s the perfect place to tuck in valet tickets, coat check, etc. You can also see the textural differences between the bags here.

One of my very favorite things about this bag though, is the fact that it can be worn in four ways. First with the chain doubled up and like a shoulder bag, and second looped once and hanging at a more casual length.

chanel woc

Third with the chain tucked in and held as a clutch – and fourth crossbody (my personal favorite and how I wear the bag typically during the day).


Also one more tip – if you have a short torso and/or are just petite like yours truly, here’s a little trick I use to shorten the chain.

Shorten WOC strap

I hope this was helpful to some of you who have been considering this bag or something similar! Unless you have a lot of super formal, black tie/gown only events, I think this little bag will prove extremely versatile in your wardrobe for both formal and less formal events.

If you are looking for an alternative to the Chanel bag, this Ferragamo bag is a reader favorite and fulfills many of the same functions, all at $750 (less than half the WOC price). Ferragamo quality is wonderful as well.

This Saint Laurent is another great option with a shorter strap drop (perfect for petites) and with more room than the WOC.

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  • Tiffany
    December 21, 2012 at 9:09 am

    I love this bag! I’ve been thinking about getting one for a while now. It will be my first Chanel and I think it would be a good start. I love both of yours, they’re simple but gorgeous.

  • Mila
    December 21, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Great review, Katherine! Do you find yourself using this bag for more casual days too or is it too small for that?

    • Katherine
      December 21, 2012 at 10:25 am

      I use it for running around on casual days and am planning on bringing it with me on travels too (which is why I wanted the caviar leather). It won’t fit sunglasses – it will fit your basic credit cards/cash, a iphone, keys and a lipstick πŸ™‚

  • respect the shoes
    December 21, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Gorgeous purse – what a sweetie your hubby is! Happy holidays!

  • Irina
    December 21, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Good morning! Such perfect timing:)) Thank you, and Happy Holidays!!

    • Katherine
      December 21, 2012 at 10:24 am

      Hi Irina, you too! πŸ™‚

  • Girlie Blogger
    December 21, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Gorgeous! Hooray to impulse buys. You get the best stuff, even if you feel guilty.

  • Lili
    December 21, 2012 at 11:25 am

    i love mine especially when travelling. great for going to amusement parks, grocery shopping etc! so versatile!

  • Tabitha
    December 21, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Oh it’s a cutie, what a great hubs!

  • Whitney Worthington
    December 21, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    I love that Chanel style of handbag! I use my Mother’s in the cross-body style the most. Not sure why, I just like how it fits on my frame that way I guess? Love the texture of yours.

  • DSK Steph
    December 21, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Great review! Have a wonderful holiday season and happy new year Katherine!

  • Jenny
    December 21, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Such a great review! I have had my eye on the WOC for a few years now. It seems like such a versatile bag. Both of yours are gorgeous. I really think I’m going to pull the trigger soon and buy one. I agree with you about the classic flaps being too much money now also.

    xo Jenny

  • Beautygirl24
    December 21, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    It’s such a classic beauty πŸ™‚ I have one prized Chanel (a classic black jumbo in caviar) so I’m not sure I could justify a WOC anytime soon. But definitely in the future! Thanks for the review Katherine!

  • Mawi
    December 21, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    What is this bag called?! I absolutely love it! I own a classic Chanel bag, but I’ve been wanting a new one for a while now..

    • Katherine
      December 22, 2012 at 6:29 pm

      Hi! It is the Chanel wallet on chain style πŸ™‚

  • Jo
    December 21, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    My personal favourite would be the cross body style as well. Unfortunately I can’t have such small bags. I’m those kind who can’t go out with just my wallet. I found the classic flap too small to put all my stuff for functions and I stopped using it.

  • Tracey
    December 21, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Beautiful. If you don’t mind me asking, how much is it? I will be passing heathrow in two weeks. Thanks

    • Katherine
      December 22, 2012 at 6:29 pm

      Hi it was about $1400 vs. $1800 in the US πŸ™‚ All US dollars.

  • Jen
    December 22, 2012 at 12:49 am

    Im visiting the german inlaws via london…may i ask what the savings is?

    Btw, love the sleeve length of the tshirt

    • Katherine
      December 22, 2012 at 6:27 pm

      Hmm…it is around ~20% savings from US prices (before looking at US taxes) – pretty good!

  • Mrs C
    December 22, 2012 at 1:51 am

    I totally agree with you that LHR is the best to shop for Chanel. The 15% cut is divine, right? In Italy the VAT is 14% (better than 12% in Paris!) and since I go to Italy more than UK, I shop there when I visit my husband’s family in Rome. WOC is a great buy, best for travel or night out in town. Congrats on your new WOC, wear it in good health!

    Kisses from :

  • Vish
    December 22, 2012 at 4:13 am

    I have the exact same one that I brought to Japan with me – found it absolutely invaluable for travelling as it made everything so accessible compared to rummaging around the LV neverfull which I find is a black hole of junk and receipts. It’s a really versatile bag, wore it cross body when taking pictures, as a clutch for a cocktail party and on my shoulder whilst shopping. Best purchase ever!

    PS: Thanks for your Japan travel tips – it was amazing! πŸ™‚

    • Katherine
      December 22, 2012 at 6:26 pm

      Hi Vish, so glad you found the Japan tips helpful – and I love this bag for travel as well! Planning on bring it to our holiday πŸ™‚

  • Anouka
    December 22, 2012 at 7:41 am

    Such a gorgeous bag! The colour is perfect and I like the fact that it can be carried in different ways. xo


  • Ammu
    December 22, 2012 at 8:21 am

    Gorgeous bag – I can totally see why you wanted it with gunmetal and gold hardware.
    Merry christmas and happy new year to you!

  • kaloka
    December 22, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Thanks for the tip!

  • kiwifashionblog
    December 22, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    I think if a style works for you and you use it all the time, there’s nothing wrong getting them in more than one πŸ™‚

  • delaney
    December 22, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    really love your WOC! wondering what your thoughts are on WOC vs mini flap. are they about the same size? do you recommend the WOC over the mini?

    • Katherine
      December 23, 2012 at 3:39 pm

      I LOVE the mini too, such a cute bag! I like them both equally almost, the only consideration for the WOC for me is that it is quite a bit cheaper (at least I think it is)

  • Sanita
    December 23, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    I love this bag But I’m after classic flap bag in caviar leather too. As I live in UK I don’t get any discounts on VAT πŸ™ so I wondered when Im going to New York next year would I be able to buy it any cheeper??? I heard that some people say that I should .. as Im not resident of USA but then some of them say I would. Maybe anyone has bought a bag in states and can share they experience.
    Thank you

    • Katherine
      December 23, 2012 at 3:38 pm

      Based on my experience with the exchange rate, they will probably be at about parity. I might just buy it in the UK, if you buy in US the only way to avoid tax is if they ship to you in the UK and you might have customs, etc at that point..

  • Groupthink7
    December 23, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    I was going to purchase a jumbo flap last year; however I was afraid of my stuff not fitting. I have bags were I can’t fit all of my things in and kind of regret it.

    • Katherine
      December 23, 2012 at 3:37 pm

      That’s true, this little bag definitely cannot be a hold all!

  • Becky
    December 23, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Ahhh this is so gorgeous πŸ™ I want it. Time to save up…

  • Lindsay
    December 23, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Thank you! I’ve been looking for a wallet on chain for everyday use. I’ve been considering the Prada one since its under $1000 but I’m not 100%. I don’t have a Chanel yet, so I’m kind of tempted. What would you suggest?

    • Katherine
      December 24, 2012 at 9:03 pm

      Hi Lindsay can you link me the specific Prada?

  • Mona
    December 23, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Hi Katherine – I love the Chanel WOC and have long been contemplating purchasing one. Luckily I will be passing through Heathrow next month! Do you know in what terminal the Chanel store is located? Happy holidays!

    • Katherine
      December 24, 2012 at 9:03 pm

      T3 πŸ™‚

  • Joanna
    December 24, 2012 at 8:28 am

    The leather is just divine! Getting chills just looking at it.

  • Grace
    December 24, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    Love the wallet on chain! Do you think they carry this classic combo of black with gold hardware all the time, or did your husband just luck out and happen to find it there? Thank you!

  • Chic 'n Cheap Living
    December 25, 2012 at 7:32 am

    Oh no, my comment didn’t take for some reason. I wanted to say that the WOC has been on my list for a while. I was contemplating a camelia WOC but it only comes in lambskin. What is your experience with the lambskin WOC? I love the feel, but hate the delicate nature of lambskin!

    Chic ‘n Cheap Living

  • latkesanddimsum
    December 25, 2012 at 8:19 am

    Lovely addition! I bought one of these to free up my arms when running quick errands. Initially I didn’t use the bag much (too small!) but have grown to love it. Getting used to NOT carrying around the kitchen sink is tough but worth it for my aching arms, back, and shoulders! Enjoy πŸ˜€

  • Amy
    December 25, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    I’ve been a big fan of the WOC, but have always hesitated about buying one – simply, small bags never look right on me, and I always want to carry everything, just in case. I’ve seen some great wallet on chain looks from Chanel recently, that makes me think I can wear it more often than I’ve previously imagined. Do you carry your WOC during the day time hours or to work?

    • Katherine
      December 26, 2012 at 3:05 pm

      Yes I carry it during the day and tuck it into my larger work bags so I can have something easy to carry around during lunch and coffee breaks, etc.

  • Grace
    December 27, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Katherine!! You are so lucky to snag the black caviar with ghw. These babies always sold out in Sydney or Paris πŸ™ so I’ve given up and settled for a navy half moon and bought my mom the red envelope. WOC is my go-to everytime, its just too easy. Btw thanks for the Heathrow tip. I checked out Mulberry last time I was there and it was also 20% cheaper than everywhere else. I thought it was cheaper because Mulberry is English but now that you’ve mentioned it also applies to Chanel.. hmm πŸ™‚ *scheming away*

  • Anita
    December 27, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    It’ a very beautiful WOC. Can you give me the exact measurements please? (I mean the size/dimension). Thank you.

  • Yvette
    January 1, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Anyone know where to get caviar wallet on chain with silver chain? I call saks in New York, Chicago, n Seattle n on the waiting list. I really want it before next month.

  • Kay
    January 6, 2013 at 8:53 am

    Hi Katherine,
    I just found your blog and I love it! You are definitely a girl after my own heart :)…I love all the luxury goods that you reviewed.

    • Katherine
      January 6, 2013 at 10:24 am

      Hi Kay, thank you! Glad you like the blog!

  • J'adore les Macarons
    January 25, 2013 at 10:49 am

    i just purchased this same one but with the smooth black leather with embossed camellia flower in Dec. 2012. It is very soft and luxurious (so the inside zipper pull is actually scratching the leather under the main flap…arghhh)

    the price from the Chanel boutique on rue de Cambon store in Paris was 1150 euros including VAT tax.

    it is the perfect sized purse/wallet if you prefer small purses…since i’m used to carrying the LV Pochette for the past 15 years. I have many in different colors. I definitely prefer the durability of the EPI leather for everyday use. Thus, this new Chanel bag is a special occasion bag for me.

    BTW Heathrow has the best prices for Chanel skincare and makeup….it is approx 20% less than the Bay dept. store in Canada, plus no taxes.

    • Katherine
      January 25, 2013 at 1:20 pm

      Thank you for the tip on skincare/makeup! Your WOC sounds beautiful.

  • Amy
    February 7, 2013 at 3:42 am

    Your review is very helpful. I’m thinking of getting a woc with ghw just like yours. May i know if it is made in france or italy?

    • Katherine
      February 7, 2013 at 9:42 am

      France πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous
    February 18, 2013 at 3:34 am

    How much were these chanel’s priced at in pounds?

    • Katherine
      February 18, 2013 at 12:13 pm

      Hi there, I’m sorry I have forgotten by now – but you may be able to find the answer on tPF. Hope that helps!

  • Alizon jean bluthner
    February 22, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    may can i asking about wallet on chain in caviar A15206 … how much the price in germany and switzerland cause i really want to know for buy now.. thx more and more

  • B
    May 15, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    I just got my first Chanel bag and it is a black caviar WOC with GHW (exactly the same one as yours). I’m so excited! Thank you for your review. It really helped! Now I’m really interested in the Bolide. =)

  • alex
    June 30, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    hey, how much is that bag?

  • Anonymous
    July 16, 2013 at 6:15 am

    how boreing

  • Anonymous
    July 30, 2013 at 8:34 am

    How much was this? I love it!!!! Thanks for the review!!!

    • Katherine
      July 30, 2013 at 1:32 pm

      I’m not too sure about retail prices these days…around $1800? I’d check The Purse Forum for up to date info and questions.

  • Chrissabella
    September 10, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    Great review and I love that you showed the 4 ways the bag can be worn.

    Now I want this bag even more haha πŸ™‚

    Chris x

  • Irene
    October 25, 2013 at 5:04 am

    Love the bag!! thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  • Rose
    November 8, 2013 at 6:30 am

    I am a pretty petite person (5’2″) and I am wondering if the chain on WOC would be too long for me. What do you think?

    I am also wondering if I should go for a beige color or a black one. Can you give me some suggestions?

    • Katherine
      November 8, 2013 at 9:43 am

      Hi Rose, do you already have a good black evening bag? If not the WOC is a great choice. The chain is a bit long on me, I tie a little ribbon to shorten it when I want to wear crossbody.

  • Rachel
    December 28, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    I just got this same woc! I have to say if it wasn’t your post i wouldnt have known this woc can be worn in 4 different ways! Thanks so much for taking the time to educate us!

    • Katherine
      December 29, 2013 at 11:40 am

      Hi Rachel, congrats on your WOC! Wear it in good health πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous
    January 20, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    I will be passing through Heathrow sometime late March. I wonder if it is still the cheapest place to buy Chanel. Can you confirm?

    • Katherine
      January 21, 2014 at 10:40 am

      Not sure, I would check the Purse Forum.

  • rebecca
    March 27, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    Hi! Just discovered your blog! What’s your experience wearing it as a clutch? Does the chain take up a lot of room when you have to tuck it inside?

  • L2
    April 29, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Love the black on black look of the metallic. How has the leather held up? Is it a metallic landline or a metallic caviar?


    • Katherine
      April 30, 2014 at 10:11 am

      It has held up quite well thoguh there’s wear in certain places. It’s a metallic lambskin πŸ™‚

  • Ganga
    June 25, 2014 at 9:03 am

    I just purchased a Chanel cavier leather shoulder Woc wallet for Β£1,350 vintage .
    I have searched the real price every where but no clue . Do u think it is the correct price for used one

  • Purseshoppermom
    January 12, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    Hi Kat! I am planning on buying my first chanel bag( hopefully not my last) and am a little confused. Should I get a medium classic flap which seems a little pricey or get WOC and maybe the tote later(both for the same price as the classic). Any thoughts? Thanks!

  • Ayumi
    April 8, 2015 at 5:12 am

    Your hubby is so sweet for picking that out for you <3
    Can you do a review on it's wear & tear?
    I got my hands on a Black Chevron in lambskin, but am debating whether I should exchange it for the Classic caviar in GHW. My local boutiqe was out of stock of 4 months…

    • Katherine
      April 9, 2015 at 10:36 am

      Super durable….caviar wears like iron πŸ™‚

  • Ola
    February 15, 2016 at 6:44 am

    Hi Katherine πŸ™‚ Just stumbled across your blog while searching for this bag. I am stuck between this bag, the YSL camera bag, and the Prada mini bag. I’m only allowing myself to buy one designer a year so I need to make a good choice. I was wondering if you had the YSL or prada bags? and if you could tell me how they compare?
    I was also wondering if you pack this bag to its peak, does the chain dig in to your shoulder? I had a chain bag before (not chanel) and it was too painful to use day to day because of this. I have two little boys under two so I would need it as a cross body bag to keep my hands free πŸ™‚

    • Katherine
      February 15, 2016 at 1:21 pm

      I don’t have either but I’m probably a bit more partial to the YSL, it’s a lovely shape. I do find that chains can dig in, especially with lots of weight – if you are running around with a little one I’d look for a thicker strap.