it was always you
I had flirtations with other contenders, and backed out from buying it once, but in the end, there wasn't anything else quite like it.
Thanks to an alert from eileen, I found this beauty at a price within my budget, second-hand of course. Size-wise, it definitely not for work bag, so I won't claim this is worth it because I'm going to get tonnes of use out of it. What I do love is that I'm just a little closer to the myth of Coco Chanel, and I love that it's a good example of enduring design, and I love the note of polish it strikes against my resolutely casual style.
Despite that I've heard way too much about its deteriorating/ho-hum quality even as prices have become astronomical, I think it's not a bad buy if you can find a second-hand one at a decent price. For example, in the case of the "reissue", re-introduced in 2005, it's better to buy ones made before 2007, for better quality, I've been told. If you persevere like Le Portillon, you may even find an original 2.55 from the 1960s, when Coco Chanel herself still reigned at the house. Alas, I had no such luck. It was hard enough to find a reissue in a classic colour to begin with.
I thought long and hard about buying this - I don't usually spend so much on any one item of clothing. It's been a relief so far in that it's slipped quite seamlessly into my life, whether I'm in shorts and loafers for Saturday brunches or cleaned up for a dinner in a nice restaurant. The instant I pictured buying it I immediately saw myself in all kinds of scenarios and outfits carrying the bag and I have a feeling this is the sort of bag that kills my desire to buy other similar bags - much like how with the current 3 large day bags I rotate between, I haven't seriously wanted a new day bag in a long time.
Time will tell if this splurge pays off, and in the meantime I shall revel in the giddy joy that comes with bringing home something you feel is quite perfect.