If I Were Rich I Would Buy... a Chanel Suit

While browsing through vintagecouture.com (honestly, it's the best place to procrastinate), I stumbled across a vintage cream Chanel Couture suit (once owned by Kitty D'Alessio) with black piping, the kind I've been dreaming of since... the dawn of man. A Chanel suit is pretty much the only style of dress that has gone unchanged for almost 100 years. The suit turns 100 next year, with its origin dating back to 1913 when Coco Chanel wore it for the first time. In her own words, it was "a fashion statement of the century." And it truly is. 

Coco in her cream suit 

It was constructed according to precise rules decided by Chanel. It was cut to allow ease of movement, its sleeves had to be fitted precisely at shoulder level, it had to have pockets and trim, the top and bottom had to be cut from the same fabric to avoid any colour variations, and each jacket was to have a chain sewn into the hem to allow the fabric to hang perfectly (it's all in the details). These rules are still closely followed by Karl Lagerfeld, who has always respected the original design. 

Kitty D'Alessio by Andy Warhol (1984)

This particular one is not only the dream suit, but it also happens to be from a couture collection, making it the suit. And it used to belong to Kitty D'Alessio. "Who?" you ask. Well, she was at one time the president of Chanel and a dear friend of Coco herself (and maybe even an inspiration for the character of Peggy on Mad Men, having been the most successful female advertising executive in the 1960s). She was responsible for bringing Karl Lagerfeld to the house, stealing him away from Chloe, only to be grossly betrayed by the designer for enlisting Inès de la Fressange, whom Lagerfeld had a falling out with, as the face of the label. As an explanation for her leave, Lagerfeld said, “The good news is that Kitty D’Alessio has been made ‘Director of Creative Projects.’ The bad news is that there are no Creative Projects.” Maybe she wore this suit when it happened? Think about that.

$4,500 at vintagecouture.com.

PS. I do have a cream "Chanel" jacket by Milly that will do in the meantime. 


  1. I love Chanel, the suits are just perfect!
    Un Kiss

  2. Total dream item! Thanks for sharing vintagecouture.com going to go procrastinate now!

  3. Oh man, that last quote is the best thing I ever read. Oh Karl...

  4. Christina WolthersMarch 22, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    Ahhh, me too!!!  There is nothing more chic than a classic Chanel suit. 


  5. Gorgeous and classic (and very timely considering all the Chanel-inspired jackets and cardigans in stores this season!).

  6. Kitty D’AlessioMarch 23, 2012 at 9:44 AM

    Sleep with one eye open, Lagerfeld.

  7. Each new chanel suit costs around 8000 dollars at least, sometimes reach 10000 dollars, not to mention the huge taxes, which is absolutely ludicrous, I know chanel suits are absolutely impeccably made, but I still think the price is far from reasonable. They are just made out of tweed, I mean they are not studded with diamonds and jewels, so the price is just crazy.
    I prefer to buy well- made copies
    I owe a few copies, they are so like the originals (almost mirror image) and even the chanel staff thought they were real.
    each chanel copy cost around $400-600, I think they are worth it.

  8.  even jackie kennedy wore Chanel copies, her blood-stained pink chanel suit on the assasination day was copied by chez ninon

  9. Oh, man the dry-cleaning bill on that one...

  10. I think some ready-to-wear suits start at $5,000 and Couture at $10,000. But yeah, it's very expensive. Still, I think one would get a lot of wear out of them in comparison to, say, a gown or something equally expensive. 

    I'm pretty sure I won't be buying one anytime soon, hence why this post is titled "If I Were Rich, I Would Buy." Getting one tailored is a pretty brilliant idea, I must say. Although, so far, I'm happy with my Milly "Chanel" jacket. 

  11. I saw you in your Milly jacket in a photo, you looked like a million bucks.

  12. I have a vintage chanel suit size 38 that looks like the picture... anybody want to buy it from me? 

  13. What is Kitty D'Alessio doing today, I haven't heard about her for a long time?

  14. Hello,

    Several of my peers and I are doing a project called Final Conference, which focuses on immigrants' impact on America. My group is making a documentary about the influence of French fashion and immigrants on American fashion. My peers and I were wondering if you would grant us permission to use some of the pictures from your blog, specifically the picture of the white and black Chanel suit.


  15. You're welcome to use it. The picture originally came from vintagecouture.com.


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