FASHION | My experience buying vintage Chanel, featuring my medium Diana bag in beige lambskin


I recently picked up my very first piece of vintage Chanel and I wanted to share my experience with you in case anyone was interested in getting one too.


I went into this process knowing the specific model of bag I wanted – the Diana. The Diana comes in two sizes; what I didn’t know was if I wanted the small or medium Diana, so I did a lot of research on the dimensions, weight, what can fit into each size, and how each size would look proportionate to my frame. Since the Diana is a vintage bag (they stopped production of it in the 90s, and while it was reissued in 2015, significant design changes were made for the reissue), I wouldn’t be able to go into a store to try it on and had to rely on internet reviews and photos to decide this. Since you are still spending a good amount of money on a bag that was likely going to be shipped to you from overseas, it was important to do a lot of research to make sure that the bag you are getting suits your needs.

Some amazing resources I found to research the bag itself included My Grandfather’s Things, a specialist in Diana bags who owns multiples of each size so she often does comparison photos and also videos; Facebook, specifically the Chanel Reetzy Groups; Instagram, using the hashtag #ChanelDiana; as well as Youtube. I also found this blog post which I thought was very helpful in pushing me towards one of the sizes.

The price of vintage bags has also changed a lot in the last 6-12 months, primarily driven by the multiple price increases, as well as overall consumer awareness to be more sustainable, so it was important to also understand the price trends so you aren’t overpaying for something. The best resources I found for pricing references are Vestiaire Collective; Tradesy; and Instagram. I found them to be the most helpful because the sold listings continued to be published, so you can see what were the historical prices for the style you wanted, as well as the purchase date so you know at what point in time those prices existed.

Based on my research, the Diana small was sized in between a rectangular mini and a small classic flap, and the Diana medium was sized similar to a medium classic flap. The primary difference in capacity being that the Diana is a single flap bag. Since I’m 5’6 and a US size 8 / UK size 12, and I have one Chanel Jumbo and two Chanel minis, I thought that the Diana medium would be a better fit for my body size and my needs.



Because the bag has been discontinued for almost two decades, the next challenge was trying to find the bag at the right condition for the right price. I had wanted the beige Diana, which is harder to find than the black, and usually came in worse conditions than the black because light-coloured lambskin is harder to maintain than black. Another challenge was making sure that the bag is authentic, since there are a lot of fakes on the market, some of them looking very similar to the real thing.

I had around 10 websites bookmarked which I refreshed every day to see if there were new stock that came in. Some of them included Hedy; Amore Japan; and eBay. I also looked at Vestiaire Collective; Fashionphile; The Real Real; Tradesy; and 1st Dibs.

Since I was new to buying vintage, I wanted to make sure that the transaction would be low risk, so I decided that I would buy from a Japanese seller. Japanese vintage sellers are some of the most reliable and trusted on the market, particularly because Japan has very strict laws when it comes to counterfeits, and from what I hear, Japanese bag owners also tend to take better care of their bags, so the condition of the item will be better when it hits the resale market. I also wanted to make sure that if for whatever reason, the bag was counterfeit, I needed an authenticity guarantee which would allow me to get my money back.

For those reasons, I ended up getting my Diana bag from a popular Japanese reseller of vintage bags from eBay, and paid using Paypal. The reseller had over 30,000 positive reviews on eBay, and eBay and Paypal also have authenticity guarantees, so I felt like I was protected in case the transaction didn’t go well.

One thing that came up in my research that I didn’t anticipate to be so common was that a lot of vintage bags are re-dyed or re-coloured. I had asked the seller if the bag had been repainted or redyed, and they did not know. They just said they didn’t do anything to the bag while it was in their possession, but the previous owner(s) could have. This is something to be aware of if you are looking for a vintage bag, particularly if its light coloured. It’s hard to tell via photos if the bag had been repainted; one thing to look out for is if the leather looks wrinkled, if the stitches and the corners and nooks of the bag look like there is paint on it. It should be fairly obvious once you receive the bag, as it significantly affects the feel of the leather.

Receiving the bag

Shipping from Japan was lightning fast via DHL. I paid on Tuesday night, it shipped Wednesday night, DHL got it on Thursday morning, and it arrived in Vancouver at around 1PM on Friday. If you’re buying from a Japanese seller, they have the option of shipping via DHL or EMS, which is similar to Canada Post Xpresspost. If you have the option, you should ask if the seller can ship via DHL. I knew of someone else in the Chanel Facebook group who purchased a bag from Japan and their package was shipped using EMS, and it sat in Japan’s export customs for over two weeks before it even left Japan.

There is always risk of buying something sight unseen. The eBay listing didn’t mention the inclusion of a dust bag or authenticity card, so I thought the listing was for just the bag, but when I received it, I saw that the authenticity card and the original dustbag had also been included. This was a good thing, yes, but it shows that eBay listings can be inaccurate.

The primary thing that made me a little bit disappointed about this bag is that the bag looks to have been repainted. The leather is a bit dry, stiff and wrinkled in the back. It is a 2 series bag from 1991-1994, so I’m not surprised it was repainted since I imagine beige bags are hard to keep in immaculate condition over nearly 30 years. The flap of the bag, though, looks perfectly smooth.

I did pay duty on this when it arrived in Canada, but it was very immaterial compared to the value of the bag. DHL didn’t include a detailed invoice breakdown of the duty and taxes owed though, just said that I owed an amount in duty, taxes and brokerage fees. I paid this over the internet using a link they had sent me, so by the time the bag arrived, the courier just dropped it off with no additional paperwork.

After receiving the bag, I did get it authenticated just for peace of mind, and confirmed that the bag was indeed authentic.


I’m very happy with the bag I received. I’m super happy with the condition and the price that I paid. Even though it was repainted, the leather still feels very soft. I’m also pleasantly surprised that I was able to receive the authenticity card and the dust bag, which I didn’t expect at all since those are things that can be easily lost. I’ve just started using a leather conditioner to enhance the leather and also ensure its longevity, so I hope that this bag will last me for the rest of my lifetime.

The TL;DR of this is that you should do a lot of research to make sure that you know what you are buying, and in the end, it might not turn out 100% perfect and what you expected, but overall it’ll still be a good experience.

Here’s a photo of me modelling the medium Diana. You can see the proportionally, it looks pretty good for my frame. I’ll provide a more thorough review once I’ve had more opportunities to wear this out.


Review: Ren No. 1 Purity Cleansing Balm

Ren No. 1 Purity Cleansing Balm review

I finished up my bottle of Guerlain Secret de Purete Cleansing Milk a few weeks ago and I’ve been on the lookout for a “weekend cleanser.” I use Shu Uemura cleansing oil and weekdays to get rid of makeup, but on weekends I like to use a more emollient, more luxurious cleanser to give myself a mini-facial (and also because cleansing oils can be stripping). I wear sunscreen on weekends mostly so I don’t need a heavy makeup remover product, just something that can clean off my sunscreen and help restore my skin for another week of stress/work.

On my way home from work, I walk through a Sephora. I’ve had my eyes on the Ren No. 1 Purity Cleansing Balm since falling in love with the Ren Rose 012 Ultra-Moisture Defense Serum. You use this balm like you would a cleansing oil, cleaning milk, or cleansing cream – rub it on dry skin with dry hands. I’ve used it for a few weeks and am seriously in love!

My skin profile: I have very dehydrated cheeks with a t-zone that gets oily. I occasionally get break-outs, usually 1-2 around that time of the month. My main skin concerns are hyper-pigmentation and dehydration in the cheek area and fine lines in the eye area. My ideal skincare products are ones that provide good moisture to my skin, absorb quickly and leave no left-over product sitting on top of my skin.

What it claims (from A luxurious silky rose infused cleansing balm. When applied with water the balm transforms into a rich milk and leaves skin purified, calm and glowing… It gently yet thoroughly melts away dirt and make up (including waterproof mascara).


  • Calms, soothes and purifies
  • Protects the skin’s defense barrier against everyday environmental stress, free radicals and pollution

Price: $56 CAD / $48 USD for 150mL

Texture/Scent: Solid balm that melts into a thick oil upon warming it between the palms. Faint rose-floral scent.

Ren No. 1 Purity Cleansing Balm review

The good: I use this cleanser as the pre-cleanse/suncreen remover on weekends when I have more time to massage my skin. This is an ultra luxurious product that is excellent at removing every last bit of makeup, grime, dust and anything else from the skin; when I run my toner-soaked cotton pad on my skin afterwards, it is completely clean. It feels amazing while being massaged on the face and my skin feels super soft and smooth after washing this off. The scent is great for using before bed – it helps calm me down and relax at the end of the day.

  • Cleanses really well without stripping
  • Ultra-luxurious feel when using it
  • Skin is soft and smooth
  • Smells great

The bad: If I use this alone and without the muslin cloth that’s included in the package, I find that it leaves a greasy film on my skin. I just do my normal thing and use a foaming cleanser after though, and that gets rid of any greasy feeling. If I use the muslin cloth then it comes right off (I don’t like using the muslin cloth too regularly because I find it to be too exfoliating). It is also pretty expensive at $56 CAD for just 150. I found that I’m going through this pretty quickly because I like to spend some time massaging this on my skin, so I need more product than if you were just removing makeup (to prevent it from drying out on my skin). For the price though, I would have loved to see glass packaging instead of plastic, but it’s not a dealbreaker.

  • Leaves greasy film on skin if the muslin cloth isn’t used
  • Very expensive

Overall: I love this product for the fact that it leaves my skin SO clean without any stripped feeling. I also love the scent – I feel like I am giving myself a luxurious facial whenever I use this. I think if you can get over the high price, I would recommend this product for everyone.

Product: 19/20
Packaging: 3/5
Value: 2/5
Overall: 24/30 | A-
Repurchase? Yes!


IRen No. 1 Purity Cleansing Balm review and ingredients
Ren No. 1 Purity Cleansing Balm review

Feature: Brush roll made by Fushigi Shop

I’m completely obsessed with the Fushigi Shop, an online boutique selling jewelry and sewn goods handmade by Yasumi of Worship at the House of Blues. Previously I’ve purchased unique jewelry made by Yasumi, but recently she’s started stocking on brush rolls and of course I bought two, just because I couldn’t resist the beautiful fabric that she uses on her creations. Yasumi uses a combination of contemporary fabrics from Liberty with traditional Japanese fabrics.

I recently received one of the two I purchased (I purchased them at separate times), and was amazed at the quality and detail put into it. The entire thing is padded and feels very squishy, but not bulky. The fabric feels smooth in my hands and of superior quality. I also really like the size, as it is the depth of the pockets are just long enough for the brush handles without the entire brush sinking into the pocket. I can clearly tell that Yasumi put a lot of attention and care into making these.

The one I have is with Hello Kitty x Liberty fabric and lined with a cotton Japanese-print fabric. You can see more photos of it at Fushigi Shop here.

Love? A thousand times yes.


A tale of two dresses

This past weekend, I took a 2-day road trip with my girls – Sarah, MizzJ, Karen, Angela and Ashley – down to Seattle for some shopping. I’ve been obsessed with clean-cut, modern work dresses with a trendy twist for the past couple of months so I took this opportunity to look for some.

The first thing on my list was a black or grey peplum dress. Zara had released some peplum dresses since early this year but the cut, fit and material of the dresses were not worth the money they charged for it. At the very first mall we went to (Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood), I saw this gorgeous peplum dress at The Limited. At first I wasn’t sure about the split peplum in the front or the stretchy knit fabric (I was looking for more of the non-stretchy, blazer fabric), but J convinced me to try it on, and I was super glad she did.


This dress fits beautifully around my curves, hiding my flaws but accentuating where it needs to be accentuated. My waist looks more cinched, giving me an hourglass figure. As the fabric is so soft, the peplum is very subtle because it doesn’t stick out awkwardly like other peplum dresses on the market. The stretchy fabric has more give, making it extremely comfortable to move around in. I am normally a size medium in 95% of the clothes I buy, but this one I had to size down to a small because the medium was too loose around my armpit area. The small fit me perfectly in all aspects.


The only thing about this dress that is very annoying is the hidden zipper sometimes doesn’t zip up so smoothly because of the sewn-in “belt” at the back, which creates folds in the fabric and some places are thicker than others. Some times it takes more effort to sew it up.

This dress retails $89.90 but The Limited had a 40% off all items in store at the time of my purchase, so I was able to get it for around $60 including tax.

The second dress from the shopping trip that I am very happy about is the crop-top two part dress from Ann Taylor. If you follow me on Twitter, you will know that I am completely obsessed with Ann Taylor as their clothes are clean, modern, comfortable but still affordable compared to other companies that have similar offerings. This dress has a simple black and white pattern with a crop top that accentuates the waist-line. It is not as fitted compared to the peplum dress from The Limited, but it still gives me a nice hourglass figure. The material is also stretchy, which translates to comfort.


I am normally a size 6 (or Medium) at Ann Taylor but I had to size down to a size 4 for this dress (as well as for this top that I bought). The size 6 fits, but is slightly loose around the waist area; the size 4 fits perfectly. The same dress also comes in a blue and red here. It retails for $98 with no discount so it came to about $110 for me after tax. I plan on wearing it often so it will probably be worth it.

What do you think of these dresses? Do they look like something you’ll add to your closet?

New Burberry trench coat

The Burberry boutique in Vancouver was doing end-of-season sales last month and I got my hands on this super versatile Burberry trench coat. The style is called the Kensington and the colour is trench. (Sorry I didn’t realize that the buckle was off centre when I got these photos taken)

What I love most about it is how it has a removable quilt lining on the inside, so it can be worn in colder weather.

It is not 100%% cotton ganbardine, which is too bad because Burberry makes great waterproof cottons, but rather a blend of cotton and polyester. This came at a perfect timing because I’ve been looking to get another trench coat since my other one from Banana Republic is not stain proof at all; it gets dirty very quickly and I end up spending more money on dry cleaning than anything else. The buckles on the waist and wrists are made of leather.

This trench coat was made in England, which is great because I’ve heard that they’ve started to move their factories to China, so if you want Made in England, please make sure to check the label.

If you are looking to buy Burberry, I highly recommend asking for Carla or Lisa at the Burberry Vancouver boutique inside the Shangri-La. You can contact them by phone at 604-974-1110.

Thanks to MizzJ for taking my photos =]

Salvatore Ferragamo Reveal!

I bought a pair of Ferragamo shoes when I was in Vegas. These are my second pair of designer shoes, the first being Dior black patent cannage-print pumps. I genuinely love designer shoes but I don’t normally buy designer anything because I prefer to either spend my money on other things, like good food, or save it for more important things, like a down payment for a place of my own.

I am really excited to show you these shoes because I rarely buy designer, and not because I am a showoff or whatever. I worked really, really hard towards the end of last year and this year from December to April and even got really sick in February due to exhaustion and lack of sleep and food. I got these shoes to reward myself for my hard work and to push myself to work even harder at my new job. These aren’t super expensive like other designer shoes, but they do represent my blood and sweat, and the effort I’ve put into my work.

Now… revealing my new Ferragamo patent leather Vara pumps in the colour Bisque.

I didn’t own a pair of nude shoes before these, and when I saw them at the Ferragamo boutique inside Caesar’s Palace in Vegas, I knew I must have them. Varas are not as plushy or padded compared to Varinas, which are the classic style flats by Ferragamo, but these are still super comfy because of the approximate one inch heel. Also because these are patent leather, the shoe is harder and will require more time to break in. The material is 100% leather, including the bow, which are normally fabric on more traditional styles of Varas or Varinas.

The Bisque colour is a perfect nude for my skin tone because it is not too yellow and not too pink. They make my legs look elongated and slimmer, which is ideal. I also like that the bow is leather and not the traditional fabric because I feel it makes the shoes look more luxurious.

I have yet to wear them yet because it had been raining nonstop since I’ve been back and I didn’t want to ruin them on the first day of wearing them. I will post up an outfit with them on when I get around to wearing them.

So, what do you think? =)

Las Vegas Shopping Spree!!

In continuation of my Vegas posts… here is my haul from my trip! Surprisingly, I didn’t actually buy too much. Almost all of the stuff I bought was for work which made easily made it justifiable. Everything was also pretty affordable as there were several friends & family sales going on while I was there. The outlets in Vegas were also very good for finding fantastic deals. I did splurge on one thing though, but I will talk about that later.

You probably already know I am absolutely infatuated with BCBG blazers. I had two before this trip, and now I have four. They are really well made and are cut nicely to fit my body shape. They are slightly stretchy, which makes them very comfortable to wear as they mold to your curves. One major feature that I love about them is a strip of stretchy cotton/lycra blend material that extends down the length of the back of the sleeve. This allows for easy bending of elbows but still keeping the shape sleek and fitted. From the BCBG outlets, I purchased two blazers, one is a more trendy, fitted style that is lower in the back and slightly dips down in the front. The other is a straight, boyfriend-style blazer, with a satin strip near the hem.

I was also obsessed with Ann Taylor on my trip. I hear so much about Ann Taylor on Extra Petite and coincidentally, they were having their Friends & Family sale when I was there, which allows you to save 40% off your entire purchase. I ordered four tops (top right and bottom three) and a pair of basic black suit trousers (not shown). From Max Studio Outlet, I also bought this gorgeous flowy top. I love flowy tops like this and this one looks amazing when wore.

Of course I could not leave Ann Taylor without purchasing a pair of their Perfect Pumps. I got a pair in black patent leather. These definitely do not disappoint; they are easily the most comfortable pair of high-heel pumps I own. Even though it is patent leather, the leather is super soft and molds to the shape of my toes. The sole is also nicely padded, which makes it easy to wear. I got them in a size 8.5, which fits perfectly on me.

The heel is 3.25 inches, which is about 8.26 cm. Even though they are a little tall, they are still very comfortable. I was very tempted to buy more! The only complaint is that stock varies by store. I found this pair in the Ann Taylor store inside Venetian, but I visited about 3 more Ann Taylor stores but none of them had this colour. Some other colours available in store that I saw were regular leather (none in my size, pretty much all sold out) and lizard print in light beige and black.

Now… a little peek of what I splurged on, which I will do a separate post about later! =)

New finds at Zara!

Sorry for being MIA for the past nearly 10 days. After work kind of slowed down, I caught the flu, so I was home sick and tired the entire week of being away from work. Since my brain was kind of fried at the same time, I didn’t know what to blog about so I just didn’t blog. Like I mentioned in my last post, I do have several new and excited things I want to talk to you guys about, but you will just have to wait a few more days to see what they are =)

In the mean time, I went shopping today and found some new things at Zara! Zara is slowly becoming one of my favourite clothing stores now that Esprit is closing their stores in North America. The clothes at Zara are chic, modern but still wearable for every day, whether for work or for fun. The new Zara Spring/Summer collection, which is just arriving in stores, basically screams ME. The main collection is comprised of mostly clean neutrals with a designer flair. I’m seeing a lot of Chanel-inspired pieces which I am loving.

I tried on three items today, the first is a dress that I have had my eyes on since last summer. Zara releases their famous tulip dress in new designs each season, and for spring they’re released a really cute baby pink women-material tulip design. The back is no longer a straight, horizontal neck line, but rather a slight V that goes down to the middle of the back. While I prefer the previous straight design, this one is pretty cute and can be worn both for a dress-up event, or with a blazer for a quick dress-down.

I also tried on two blazers. The first is a white cotton material that is kind of puffy, and the second is in the same material as the pink tulip dress but in a grey-blue colour. I really liked both of them (I LOVE blazers, I always seem to be wearing one in any outfit), but the prices were pretty hefty so I didn’t end up getting either of them.

In the end I only walked away with the pink tulip dress because I tried it on with my BCBG cream blazer and I absolutely loved it. I hope to get the other two blazers if/when they go on sale as well. The quality of these items weren’t fantastic (I prefer BCBG blazers) but the style is nice and something I can see myself wearing often.

Raincouver necessities… new wellies!

Vancouver is also known as Raincouver during the fall/winter/spring when it rains almost every day pretty much until April. This year has been particularly tame as we’ve jumped right into winter and skipped most of the autumn rainy periods. However this does not excuse myself as a fellow Raincouver resident to not own any rain gear.

I owned rain boots in Kingston but they didn’t last long due to me wearing them in sub-zero temperatures every day (my Uggs simply did not hold up to the snow that seemed to be perpetually melting). Both of them developed small cuts in the rubber that allowed the water to seep in. After I moved back to Vancouver, I just never thought of buying rain boots because of the amazing weather that we’ve been getting all summer long. Before I knew it, it was rainy season and I was in panic mode. I managed to hold off the purchase of rain boots by wearing my suede boots and avoiding puddles, but I knew this day had to come… so come Cyber Monday, I finally purchased them.

I purchased the Equestrian Bit Solid Black Rain Boots by Dav. I’ve been trying to avoid the farmer look so these are perfect for me. Thanks to Vonnie for sending me the link or else I would have never found them, and on sale too!

I love them, they look nothing like rain boots!

They are very nicely padded with fleece and cotton on the shaft and soles so they are warmer than normal rainboots. The problem I have though, is that they are very heavy and bulky. I also do not have big calves but these fit almost too perfectly around my calves that I wouldn’t be able to wear them with anything too thick. I didn’t have this problem with the rainboots I owned in Kingston (or with any other boots) so it means that the shaft is too narrow on these boots. I’m a size 6-8 (US) so anyone bigger than me would not be able to fit in these.

You can see Emmy Rossum wearing them, looking super stylish.

What do you think?

Boxing Day Haul!

Boxing Day is the Canadian (and British) version of Black Friday. Shops discount all of their items on this day and it is also a great time to stock up on Christmas products for the next year. As per my usual tradition, I got up at 7:00AM to be at the mall by 8:00. I had made a mental list of stuff I wanted to get, but sadly they were already sold out by the time I got there, crazy right?! I was able to get my hands on some other things that I love so I’m quite satisfied with my haul.

This year I purchased mostly work-appropriate clothing. I’m kind of in that stage of life where work takes priority over everything, so this was also at the top of my list of items to buy.

I purchase three items from Banana Republic, my go-to place for work-wear. They were doing 50% off last ticketed prices on all sale items, which is when I picked up a jacquard pleated skirt in store. The price for this skirt after the discount wasn’t that good, but I still bought it because I love the jacquard print on the skirt.

I ordered two of their non-iron shirts off of their website on Christmas night as the sale was just staring online. I absolutely LOVE their non-iron shirts as they fit very well around my curves and the fabric is very soft and feels great to wear. I haven’t received these in person yet so here are some stock photos. I ordered one in a dark plum and another in a pink stripe.

From Esprit, one of my favourite clothing brands, I ordered two lace items from their De.Corps line. The first is a lace dress that I fell in love with the first time I saw in store, but didn’t purchase because the price was a little high. I love everything lace and this dress is perfect both for work and for casual nights out, or media events (I am lacking in outfits in that area).

The second item is from the same series: a sheer lace top. This is a little sheer for work so I will wear a tank top underneath it. The quality is good and on par with other Esprit products. I love the lace bands on both this top and the dress.

I purchased two basic turtlenecks from Jacob. I didn’t take photos for them because they’re just basic turtlenecks. I picked up one in a knit grey, and another in a stretch cotton black. These will be great underneath blazers in the winter as turtlenecks are my go-to shirts in winter.

In addition, thanks to my awesome-sauce blogger friends in the UK, I managed to get my hands on two more items from Guerlain’s holiday collection for half off: the eye palette and the Rouge Automatique in Flirt d’un Jour, my first Rouge Automatique! Thanks Vicky!

Lastly, Murale was doing a customer appreciation event where they take $40 off your purchase of $100 or more. I took this opportunity to purchase a couple of beauty items, including eye cream, some dry shampoo and this…

Did you buy anything during this post-Christmas/Boxing Day sale?