Size Comparisons // Saint Laurent wallet on chain + Chanel boy bag

chanel store boy bag vs classic flap purse
A trip to Paris wouldn’t be complete without a little shopping, right? : ) I snapped the picture above at the Chanel flagship store, where a shopper and her (very patient) other half were agonizing over her first Chanel bag purchase. Classic flap vs. boy bag … lambskin vs. caviar leather.  I was secretly eager to see the winner, but by the time we finished browsing leisurely, a verdict had yet to be reached. My vote goes to the classic flap in caviar (and most of you agree, according to my poll on Instagram stories)!

With splurge purchases, I know that some research and reference photos can never hurt. I try to snap pictures and jot down info when purse browsing, just in case it helps anyone else. Today’s post revisits two popular bag styles, both quilted leather beauties with a chain strap. The Chanel boy bag has been on my wish list for years, and the Saint Laurent wallet on chain is one of my longtime favorite purses!

1. YSL Saint Laurent Wallet on Chain (“WOC”)

Sizes: Larger pebbled WOC (6″ x 9″), smaller pebbled WOC (5″ x 7.5″), Kate tassel WOC (5″ x 7.5″)
Retail prices in USD: 1650, 1350, 1650 respectively
Retail prices in EUR: 1190, 895, 1190, respectively

I reviewed this bag in detail a few years ago and still love it! It goes from a casual cross-body bag to a dressy clutch, when the chain strap is tucked in or detached. Most of the questions I’ve gotten since are about the size options, since the pebbled chevron WOC comes in two sizes (sometimes both referred to as “small”). This can be confusing, so I’ve compared how they look on a 5′ tall frame. As a third option, I also tried on their popular Kate tassel bag with smooth leather, in the smallest WOC size (I was told this in red was a best-seller!):
YSL saint laurent wallet on chain kate tassel bag review

Left to right: Saint Laurent pebbled WOC (also at Neimans), smaller pebbled WOC, and Kate tassel smooth WOC (also at Saks)
Outfit details from this blog post

Capacity-wise, the larger WOC has lots of card slots and fits a good amount (see my review for interior photos). The two smaller bags are about the same size as Chanel’s classic wallet on chain, which many find to be sufficiently sized to fit necessities. In addition to the size difference, both the leather and the chain on the bigger WOC feel a little more weighty and substantial. Also, the strap length is actually shorter on the bigger WOC so it sits closer to my waist than my hips (good for petite ladies; might be too short for someone taller to wear cross-body!).

saint laurent wallet on chain bag YSL size comparison

I’ve always adored the iconic retro-inspired tassel bags, but they’re made with smooth leather (which is delicate and scratch-prone, even according to their sales associates) instead of pebbled. I returned a larger YSL tassel bag years ago for that reason, but on a mini size, the smooth leather felt more manageable for me.

Maintenance concerns aside, my gift to self for Christmas was the Kate tassel WOC in cream and gold! For a first bag, though, I’d still highly recommend their pebbled leather WOC, which has proven for me over the years to be versatile, durable and low-maintenance!


Sizes: Small, Medium (also referred to as Old Medium), and Large (also referred to as New Medium)
Retail prices in USD: 4300, 4700, 5200, respectively
Retail prices in EUR: 3660, 3980, 4440, respectively

When I visited Europe in 2016, the prices for Chanel after exchange rates were consistently lower there compared to the US. Chanel “normalized” global prices last year to balance things out, which was a surprise to me! Only when factoring in a VAT refund, is it still cheaper (by a little) to buy Chanel in Europe. I wouldn’t rely 100% on a credit card VAT refund, though, as it can take ages to receive and you have little recourse if you don’t!

chanel boy bag size comparison small medium large

Chanel boy bag sizes – small, medium (or “old medium”), large (or “new medium”)
Outfit details can all be found in this post!

The Chanel boy bag has been around for a while now, but its combo of classic + a little edgy still draws me in. However, the difficulty of finding the right color/leather/hardware combo, not to mention the increasing price tag sure are deterrents! Caviar leather colors are always limited, and the hardware finish in recent years didn’t seem as nice as the older ones.

The above photo shows how all three sizes look on my ~ 5 feet (152 cm) frame; below photo shows the three sizes next to each other. I used to want the Old Medium size, but it hangs just a little low on me for a bag that size. After trying on so many, I started to lean more towards the Small!

chanel boy bag size comparison cambon paris flagship store
This gray color below with gold hardware was the closest I’ve come to finding my holy grail combo. I tried on the same bag at two different Chanel locations, and the SAs at each store told me conflicting info. One said it was scratch-resistant calfskin, and one said it was delicate (scratch-prone) lambskin … big difference! SAs are not always right, so if in doubt, ask them to look it up in their stock books. It turned out to be lambskin which I’m too clumsy for, and they didn’t have it in a small size. At this price point it’d have to be perfect, so perhaps the Boy and I will meet another day!

Chanel boy bag gray grey with gold hardware 2018
Did you have a favorite style from these try-ons? 

See related blog posts:
Saving on Designer Goods in Europe (& VAT refund tips)
Reviews: Petite Designer Bags (Chanel, Celine) + Louboutin
Reviews: Saint Laurent Wallet on Chain vs Chanel WOC



47 thoughts on “Size Comparisons // Saint Laurent wallet on chain + Chanel boy bag

  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog January 23, 2018 at 3:07 am

    I love the bags! It’s super helpful of you to do a size comparison for us petite girls as well. 🙂 Can’t quite afford them at the moment, but a girl can dream! ❤️

  • fatou diaw January 23, 2018 at 8:56 am

    love these purses

  • Jessica January 23, 2018 at 10:16 am

    The grey boy bag looks beautiful on you!

  • Jae January 23, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    Such a good informational post! I hope you find the right boy bag!

  • Kay Nguyen January 23, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    They are both beautiful but I think the Boy bag wins me this time! It’s better investment and more practical in general <3

  • Elizabeth January 23, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    Love your handbag reviews! I am your exact size, so these are super helpful when it comes to seeing how they look size wise, etc. I am holding out for that classic black Chanel flap. I can only hope my hubby will get it for me some day but that price point is steep!

    • Jean | Extra Petite January 23, 2018 at 3:38 pm

      If you don’t mind pre-owned, the secondhand market (including sites like Trendlee, Vestiaire Collective) could be a great option for a black Chanel flap! I have a hard time finding specific colors pre-owned but oftentimes see the most classic black option pop up time and time again on those sites.

  • Cate January 23, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    Totally in the same boat as you. My only Chanel is the black classic flap (M/L black caviar with gold hardware (the most beautiful combo). I want a boy, and feel like I should get black, but just can’t decide, and haven’t found my “must have combo.”

    Would love your thoughts on the Gucci Marmont flap.

    Also… now I want the red YSL WOC!

    • Jean | Extra Petite January 23, 2018 at 3:40 pm

      I haven’t warmed up to the Marmont flap yet but it might be because I have their last hit (the soho) and use it so, so much!

      I’m a little partial to the black caviar with gold combo, too, from my first Chanel. I don’t see it ever going out of style! And yes … the red YSL with gold is beautifully bold yet classic! If I didn’t get a red bag from another store a while back it would’ve been a serious contender!

  • Tiffany Ching Bean January 23, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    I wish Id seen this post before I bought my YSL 🙁 I have the smallest size of the YSL wallet on chain and I often wish I had done one size up since i have a large cellphone. But i started using my YSl as a going out clutch.. it will hold my phone, a small lipstick, my ID and a credit card. Thats all I guess I really need while going out. If I need more stuff I will stick to my small and medium Chanel bags.

    • Jean | Extra Petite January 23, 2018 at 3:44 pm

      Hi Tiffany … ah yes these mini bags are getting smaller while our phones keep getting bigger : ) I resisted getting an iphone plus because it won’t fit in one of my favorite bags, the Celine mini box. Your collection sounds so lovely!!

  • Joyce January 23, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    Hi Jean,
    I love all your bag reviews. What would you recommend as a first ever splurge bag purchase out of all the bags you own? Which of all the splurge bags you own do you use the most? I saw in person the Celine Nano bag and it was surprisingly roomy.

    • Jean | Extra Petite January 23, 2018 at 3:48 pm

      Hi Joyce … tough one, but I think for a first bag my pick from my collection would be the Chanel wallet on chain. I have an older style (that I still see come up on pre-owned sites) that I’ve worn so much and usually pack with me on trips:

      However it’s a pretty small bag, so if the regular Chanel Medium flap is in your budget, that one is a forever classic and fits more. I have two Celine Nanos actually and love them, but to be honest I know they’re not as timeless and won’t hold their value as much as the aforementioned Chanel styles!

  • HB January 23, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    Jean, Chanel just had a huge price increase on their WOCs and Flaps, and the Boy is going to be very, very soon ($400?)! The Small and Old Med Boy Bags look wonderful on you — you should get your hands on one soon! 🙂

    • Jean | Extra Petite January 23, 2018 at 3:50 pm

      Haha sigh of course they are … I don’t think a Boy bag is in the cards for me. Thank you for the alert, though!

  • La Bijoux Bella | by mia January 23, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    Love ❤️ the looks … such a versatile look for almost every outfit! ❤️👍🏻❤️

  • Tai January 23, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    Thinking of getting the YSL Kate as my first major bag but now I’m worried about it being scratch prone… do you have a review of the pebbled version?

    Also do you recommend getting a YSL retail? On some forums I’ve heard it’s silly to buy it full price as you can usually find it on sales or if worse comes to worst preowned.

    I don’t know how I feel about preowned bags yet but I don’t want to be a chump and pay full price today for it to come on sale during let’s say an annual sale at saks or something.

    • Jean | Extra Petite January 23, 2018 at 4:37 pm

      Hi Tai!
      I have a review of the pebbled wallet on chain (linked to it at the end of this blog post) but it does not have a tassel. I’ve personally never seen a YSL tassel bag in pebbled leather so that is the tradeoff.

      I bought both of mine at retail because I wanted specific colors. I don’t think the popular colors ever go on sale for their classic bag styles, and if they do, it might be a returned product from a prior season.

      For example, on Saks online, I see some YSL bag colors marked down but with no stock, because it was likely just 1 bag left when the markdown happened. For popular colors the only “deals” I’ve seen are gift card promotions like the one Neiman Marcus is having right now, or if you buy from an international site and don’t get charged sales tax.

      For pebbled leather I would personally be okay with gently pre-owned because it’s more durable. A smooth leather one might be more scuffed up though from any prior use. Good luck deciding!

  • Anne January 23, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    I love these types of posts. Thank you for sharing!

  • Lindsay January 23, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    Hi Jean. I love your blog, since I’m 5’0″ also. Great post on the bag comparison. I noticed that you do not post about Louis Vuitton bags. Is it because you don’t like the style? They never go on sale, but the price increases at the retail store throughout the years. I have several LV monogram bags, but would be interested in reading your reviews. Also, where would you recommend reselling designer bags to? Thanks.

    • Jean | Extra Petite January 23, 2018 at 5:56 pm

      Hi Lindsay! I do have a Speedy 25 from years ago that I used a lot back when I got it. I usually just gravitate towards solid bags instead, although I have been lusting after the LV Pochette Metis!

      I don’t have a great answer for resale unfortunately because most sites will take a good portion of the proceeds (40, sometimes 60 percent). eBay takes less than that but you have to do the work dealing with potential customers and potential complaints from the purchaser. I love browsing Vestiaire Collective on the purchasing side, so perhaps that could be a good option for selling as well?

      • Lindsay January 23, 2018 at 9:43 pm

        Thank you for responding, Jean. Would you be able to let me know where you get your alterations done? I also live in Boston and have been in search of a good tailor to alter clothes to fit my petite frame.

  • Rajal January 23, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    Thanks Jean for this great review of bags. My husband just treated me with my first Chanel as a push present. Of course he wont let me have it until after the “pushing”. LOL 🙂 as a first time buyer it was very difficult and overwhelming to decide on one bag. I do like the classic flap ones but went with a new 2018 cruise collection bag in black caviar with silver hardware. I cannot wait to use it. 🙂

    • Jean | Extra Petite January 23, 2018 at 5:58 pm

      Aww congrats! (on the pregnancy, but the present isn’t too shabby either : ) It sounds like you went with a lovely unique style with a classic material and hardware. Enjoy it!

  • Mireia January 23, 2018 at 5:50 pm

    Absolutely love it!

  • Rebecca January 23, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    Hi Jean,

    I just want to say how lovely it is you respond to each of your readers’ comments. I enjoy the comment section on your blog and for you to personally respond to each question makes me love your blog even more! I hope things are well with you and Nick!

    • Jean | Extra Petite January 24, 2018 at 5:25 pm

      Thanks for your sweet note, Rebecca! I absolutely love reading each comment and am working on being a little more responsive with questions : )

  • Apoorva January 23, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    Very good comparison. Your phone case looks so good! Can you please share the website you got it from?

  • Taylor January 24, 2018 at 12:09 am

    My first designer bag was the bigger YSL WOC in pebbles nude-pink with gold hardware. Still my favorite bag and it’s kept so well over the years! I’m 5’1” and it’s the perfect size on me. My favorite thing is that it can go with every day outfits to dressy, and it’s really easy to clean with a magic eraser! Thanks for this post, I love the size comparisons and reviews.

    • Jean | Extra Petite January 24, 2018 at 5:30 pm

      I think I have the exact same one!

  • Sincerely Ophelia January 24, 2018 at 12:29 am

    Aw the search definitely continues. Good call on the YSL Kate tassle WOC. I have a Chanel WOC (which great minds think alike, just blogged/reviewed). And a Chanel Boy. My Chanel Boy is from 2014. Which is a lot more flat in comparison to the new Chanel Boys, which is more to my liking. Definitely wait for the holy grail and grab it when theres a chance! You never know what you may miss! Good luck in your search!

    XOXO //

    • Jean | Extra Petite January 24, 2018 at 5:31 pm

      Yes! I love the earlier Boys and my favorite color was from 2014 when they made more caviar. Lucky you for getting one before they changed!

  • Elizabeth January 24, 2018 at 3:09 am

    I have the ivory version of the YSL, and I really like it 🙂 <3 I've also had my eye on the Chanel bag for awhile too hehehe!

    XO, Elizabeth

  • Maureen January 24, 2018 at 7:12 am

    Both these bags are just super gorgeous! The Chanel Boy Bag of course is on my wish list but with the forever increasing price, it’s been tough to find out that fits my budget. These size comparison post though is really helpful and informative. I can envision the bag a lot better than viewing it by itself on a browser.

    Maureen |

  • Yan January 24, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    I’m torn btn boy small and old medium, I’m around 5ft 4in, do you think I should get small or old medium?

    I find small being a little too small and old medium a little to bulky when I wear.

    Can’t make up my mind.. 🙁

    • Jean | Extra Petite January 24, 2018 at 5:32 pm

      Hi Yan, if I were even a bit taller than I am (5 feet) I would get the old medium. So at 5’4″ I think you can definitely rock that size! It fits a lot more for your daily use than the Small.

  • Cindy January 24, 2018 at 10:48 pm

    Thank you for the reviews!
    Could you tell me how the YSL logo on your WOC is faring after a few years of use? Is it getting discolored? Lastly, are you encountering any issues from removing and re-attaching the chain? I’m debating between the 2 different YSL WOC sizes. I like how the chain removes on the smaller version as it seems sturdier. But like the size of the bigger one. Would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you.

  • Narhee January 24, 2018 at 11:41 pm

    Love these YSL bags! Great review

    Narhee | Made in Mauve

  • Shloka January 25, 2018 at 7:38 am

    They are both gorgeous and I’ve had a chance to see both of them and I think that I love them both but it depends really. I have the Chanel Boy but it doesn’t fit as much as the YSL!


  • Anonymous January 25, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    Hi, Jean, I’m a longtime follower of your blog (love it and you), and I randomly came upon a seller on Ebay that is using images from your website to sell items. Here are a few links:

    I’m not sure if there’s some copyright violation here, but I thought you might want to know!

  • Jane January 25, 2018 at 8:12 pm

    I got my Small Flower Power Chanel Boy (lambskin) from Paris in 2015. That was just before the global pricing adjustment. I saved a good US$1500 buying it overseas. I debated between the small vs. medium. But the small is exponentially cuter on a petite frame. With the current prices, I don’t think I will be buying another Boy any time soon. I rather save my money for more Hermes 🙂

  • Sneha Jain January 26, 2018 at 12:46 pm

    A little off topic but what are your thoughts on the Cameron pants by J.Crew. I am exactly your size and BR sloan 00P (old fit) were a godsend. Too bad they changed the fit and now I am back to square one, trying to find the perfect fit work pants 🙁

  • Jandrew January 26, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    Jean darling the investment in a Chanel bag is the first step to truly classic wardrobe! Great choices!
    Dress The Part

  • audrey January 29, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    I can’t get over the gold chains.. there just too good I’m dying.

  • Jennifer January 30, 2018 at 10:10 pm

    Hi Jean! My husband and I are going to Paris in October for our hooneymoon. Would you recommend me to purchase the classic flap in caviar? If so, should I just buy it in America? How long did you get your VAT refund? Im still at lost with the pricing of the classic flap in Europe versus in USA.

  • Hanna February 17, 2018 at 2:33 am

    what do you think about the wallet without a zipper or snap? the one that just flaps open/clutch style? I am looking at one right now and trying to decide if it’s something worth getting.

Comments are closed.