The Chanel Square Mini Flap

Today I’m reviewing a bag which is one of my current favorites – the Chanel square mini.

I thought I would be taking a long break from my mini bags after I had a baby, but after I got my routine down, I realized that the opposite is true – I use my mini crossbody bags more than ever, to hold my necessary essentials while I’m running around and don’t want to be weighed down by a large diaper tote. I hope this review is helpful to some of you considering this bag!

This blue chevron mini is the first and only mini I have from Chanel, and my only regret is I wish I had started buying them earlier, when they were a lot cheaper (and easier to find!). I’d been on the fence for a while, but when I saw that Chanel had introduced this cobalt blue shade in chevron caviar for the spring 2016 season, I knew I had to pick one up. The color just struck me!

Chanel Mini Chevron Bleu

Like the rest of the classic flap lineup, the mini has a back pocket where ticket stubs, ID cards, receipts, etc can be stored. I’ve also put my house key in here during short walks (it doesn’t fit a thicker car key).

Chanel Mini Caviar Chevron Back pocket

A little detail I’d like to point out and my least favorite design aspect of the mini – the way that the strap’s interwoven leather is closed. It’s basically just cut off abruptly. Of course I know that the strap has to be reattached in some way, but somehow I don’t think Hermes would ever finish a bag like this. But I wanted to show this detail, in case someone buys one and thinks it’s an one off flaw.

Chanel Mini Strap

Now one thing about the mini – it really is mini! And the square one, which I have, fits even less than the rectangular version. I usually pack mine one of two ways.

Chanel Mini What Fits 2

The first is the way I prefer – little card case, sunglasses in a slip case (you can find a similar leather pouch here), iPhone (I have the giant 6+), and favorite NARS lipstick, plus car keys (not pictured).

Chanel Mini What Fits

Sometimes I’m too lazy to swap out my cards from my regular wallet to a card case – in those times, I can only fit my phone, wallet, and keys (not pictured).

Chanel Square Mini WOC Comparison

I know that a likely question from this review would be one about the mini versus the Chanel WOC (wallet on chain, see my review here). Although I’m still a big fan of the WOC style and how easy it is, the strap is way too long on me naturally when I wear it crossbody. Here’s a comparison so you can see how the two hang.


Shorten WOC strap

My go to way to shorten the straps on my WOC are to cross them over, like shown above. When I do that, the WOC becomes significantly shorter – here’s the length of WOC compared using this method, versus the square mini.

Chanel WOC Strap Shortened

I know that some of you out there are shorties like me, so wanted to provide lots of pictures.

Chanel mini fans – I’d love to hear about your experiences with the bag! Do you love yours, and do you have the rectangle? That’s the next one on my (never ending) list.

Some Q&A on the Chanel Square Mini – if you have more, please leave in the comments and I’ll try to answer.

What’s the retail price? As of August 2016, $2700 in the USA.

What’re the dimensions? 6.5” x 5” x 2.5” inches. The chain drop can vary, between 19-21” inches. The square caviar chevron is a little bit shorter, around 18”. I’m 5’1, and you can see how it looks on me crossbody.

Square vs. rectangular mini? I love that the rectangular fits more (and the shape makes it easier to drop your phone in), but the strap is just a “tad” too long to be perfect on my short frame. I’d still probably get one if the right combination came up – the length isn’t so bad. The square length however, is perfect for crossbody.

Square mini vs. WOC? Both! But if I had to pick only one, I’d go with the square mini – fits a bit more.

The combo I want is sold out. How do I get one? I’ve come to realize that Chanel minis can be difficult to get ahold of, especially in certain color and leathers. If you have your heart set on a particular combination, I’d keep checking sites such as Fashionphile, and The Real Real.

Caviar or lambskin? I love both. Caviar is hardier, but lambskin can do well too, as long as you aren’t too sensitive to scratches. I would try to get a darker color if you’re going for lambskin and are going to wear the bag crossbody all the time, since it’ll likely rub against your pants, and dark denim can be a problem.

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  • Amy
    August 8, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Beautiful bag, Katherine! That color is just stunning. That IS interesting how they finished the leather on the strap. I would love another Chanel — likely a medium Classic this time. I have a 227 that I adore, and I am always on the lookout. The minis are darling, and I love seeing them out in “the wild” from time to time I just wish the price reflected the smaller scale! To your knowledge, why are the Classics less expensive than the Reissues? Do you think it’s because the Reissue is the “original”? There is such a difference in price!
    These reviews are always so helpful. Thanks!

    • Katherine
      August 9, 2016 at 9:42 am

      I had no idea the reissues were more than the classic flap! I thought they were quite similar? I love the reissue, even more than the CF.

  • alison*elle
    August 8, 2016 at 11:04 am

    I have the exact same mini but black on black. I like it a lot and love switching from cross-body to just wearing it over one shoulder (I am taller than you though). I’m actually surprised your iPhone 6+ can fit in there… seems like such a tight squeeze and I just have a regular iPhone 6.

    xo, alison*elle

    • Katherine
      August 8, 2016 at 11:15 am

      I love yours!! It’s gorgeous. I was surprised about the iPhone too, you do have to use a slim case.

  • Nancy
    August 8, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    Thanks so much for this review! I never considered a mini and now I think I need to. Thanks always for the detailed and thoughtful reviews.

    • Katherine
      August 9, 2016 at 9:42 am

      I hadn’t considered it either for years but now that I have one, I love the style!

  • Trang
    August 8, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    I have the classic black with gold hw square mini and I love it. Also, we are about the same height and I like where the square mini hits on my body best. As a matter of fact, I use it way more than my Jumbo (which I sold because it was too jumbo for me). Much the same way that you discovered small crossbody bags, I also gravitated toward them when I had my first baby. So glad that you’ve discovered this little gem too!

    • Katherine
      August 9, 2016 at 9:43 am

      Hi Trang, glad to hear you love yours…they are such a great little mommy bag 🙂

  • Olivia
    August 8, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    That blue is gorgeous! I would love to find one in black, with the Chevron pattern. So far, no such luck. Can I ask where your shorts are from? They are so cute!

    • Katherine
      August 9, 2016 at 9:43 am

      Hi Olivia, thank you! They are old Ann Taylor I think.

  • Anonymous
    August 8, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    Oh my your mini is SO cute! The color is just tdf and love the chevron pattern/square shape combo! I really enjoyed this review and seeing how much you love it. Thanks!

  • ClaraZ
    August 9, 2016 at 6:26 am

    Love your blog and I’ve been on a bit of a cross body journey myself and have the rectangular mini in red. I prefer the rectangle (I use iPhone 6 plus) as it seems to be able to fit a tad bit more and allows me to reach for things more easily as it’s laid out horizontally if that makes sense. I’m about 5’4 and found the square a bit short when worn cross body on me. When I want to wear my rectangle as a shoulder bag I usually wrap the strap once around the cover like the WOC (from inside) and it instantly becomes a great shoulder bag although the length also doesn’t bother me. Absolutely love this bag and goes with everything dressed up and down! I also have my eye on the LV Favourite MM which carries also a little bit more as there are days I may also want to carry my Kindle! If you have this LV bag, let me know what you think!

    • Katherine
      August 9, 2016 at 9:43 am

      I love the rectangle and the fact it fits more. Your height is perfect for it I think, I am jealous 🙂 It hits a little too long for me but I’ll still probably add one in the future for how much more easily the iPhone 6+ fits in it…

  • Mercy
    August 10, 2016 at 12:40 am

    This is one Chanel size and pattern that I’d like to know more and I’m glad I visit your blog today.

  • Alicia
    August 11, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    Hello Katherine. You have just made me want a square mini although I wanted the rectangular one initially. But I have the Woc, medium, boy and jumbo and they are all rectangular so I figured I should get a square instead to look different.

    I have been offered a few options and now deciding between the black caviar classic, navy chevron and the cobalt chevron. I would like to know if you notice creasing with the chevron as I read about creasing issues with chevron. Thanks!

    • Katherine
      August 13, 2016 at 8:19 am

      oooh! I haven’t noticed any creasing with the chevron, but will update if I see anything!

  • Jenny
    August 15, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    Thank you for your thoughtful review! This is a purse that I’ve been lusting after lately, but haven’t found any reviews that really show what fits inside.

  • Peggy
    August 16, 2016 at 11:05 am

    This is a really pretty color and the chevron pattern is so chic! However, I’m really disappointed to see the strap is finished as such… I have a mini square from my mother (over 20 years old) and I can see the detail of the construction changed… For example, the strap attached to the bag are just simple hoops in the newer version, but the vintage version has a fancier closure. About 7 years ago, I had the strap replaced because the gold hardware was getting tired, and the replacement has the same beautiful quality and details. But now they don’t even service vintage bags anymore (which is another disappointment). Really want to get a modern version of the square mini like yours, but it’s just sad that I’ll have to accept the “modern” built and service policy.

  • Stephanie
    September 23, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Thank you for your helpful review. The bag is so gorgeous! The color is so vibrant. I am in search for the square mini but have not seen them lately. It would be great worn cross body and run errands with my two boys. Can I ask where you got the burgundy/brown card case?

    • Katherine
      September 23, 2016 at 7:20 pm

      Hi! The burgundy wallet is a Silk In wallet from Hermes 🙂

  • Lynn
    December 2, 2016 at 1:02 am

    Love the mini square have that …would love to get the rectangle mini. We’re yours made in France?