How to Dress Like Coco Chanel? Learn about Fashion Heritage and Style Rules from a Legend in Her Birthday

Gabrielle Chanel

In the 1920s, the world of haute couture was ruled by a peasant lady from Auvergne (France), who was able to become a style icon and completely change the fashion of her generation. Gabrielle Coco Chanel began her career with hats; in a small shop, she spent days studying wartime outfits of an incomprehensible cut. It was then that the idea was born to create their own uncomplicated styles. Comfortable and, at the same time, very feminine. We offer you to watch the Coco Chanel style outfits through the photos with us. But first, let’s get to know a little about the biography of Coco Chanel.

Coco Chanel: The Beginning

Chane and Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich

Gabrielle Boner Chanel was born in Auvergne in 1883. She has left an orphan very early. From the age of six, she and her four brothers and sisters were brought up by relatives. From the age of 18, the girl begins to make a living herself, working as a clothing seller, and in the evenings she sings in a cabaret. Gabrielle had several favorite songs that she often performed in front of the audience – “Ko Ko Ri Ko” and “Qui qua vu Coco”. Since then, the nickname Coco has been assigned to the girl. Gabrielle had every chance to forever remain an unknown singer with mediocre talents, if not for one lucky chance and Coco Chanel love life – an acquaintance with officer Etienne Balzan, who from the first moment of the meeting was carried away by the young Coco Chanel model. He took the girl with him to Paris. However, their relationship did not last very long, and a new, rich and very influential admirer appeared in Gabriel – the English industrialist and businessman but not Coco Chanel husband Arthur Capel. It was thanks to him that young Gabrielle managed to realize her innermost dream – to open a shop of ladies’ hats in the center of Paris. The trade was successful, the Coco Chanel hat quickly gained popularity among fashionistas in the capital, and very soon the store was moved to Cambon Street, where this store exists to this day.

Coco Chanel Designs timeline: Fashion House

Coco Chanel And Duke LaurinoCoco Chanel And Duke Laurino
coco chanel
Coco Chanel in Her designed clothes

Chanel quickly moved from hats to women’s clothing, which later made it popular throughout Europe. Coco was the first to decide to dress a modern woman in men’s pants, and even in a men’s suit. It was Coco Chanel first collection. This caused shock and indignation at first, but the convenience of such a solution for women caused a demand for trouser business suits from Chanel. Moreover, Coco, like every Frenchwoman, knew how to successfully present any costume, adding elements of femininity and charm to it.

Style icon Chanel created the first fashion house in Paris in 1912, but the First World War made its own adjustments to the life and work of the designer, and the fashion house was closed. But already in 1919 he fully resumed his work and Koko rushed to work with new inspiration. It was then, in 1926, that a new world brand, Chanel, appeared – the “little black dress”. Coco dresses European women in loose-fitting skirts, fitted jackets, sailor suits, felt suits. Clothes from Chanel became a sign of quality and style of all fashionistas of that time.

The Perfume Revolution

chanel perfume no 5

Together with the emigrant perfumer Ernest Bo Coco created the first perfume of the Chanel cigarettes brand, which remains popular all over the world today. For the first time in the world, when creating these perfumes, a synthesized aroma of several perfumery components was used, which became a kind of revolution in the world of perfumes. By this time, only mono fragrances based on one floral component were used. Coco took a bold step – and this brought great success to the perfume. For Coco’s consideration, Ernest BO presented 20 options for various perfume compositions, and only the fifth option was liked by the woman. It was he who became the famous “Chanel No. 5”.

After the War

gabrielle chanel stylish
legacy coco chanel
chanel coat and hat

During World War II, Chanel closed all stores and boutiques in Paris. After the war, she left for Switzerland. It was a kind of creative lull. And it lasted until 1954. Then Coco returns to Paris and resumes his activities in the fashion world. She introduces fitted tweed suits with gold-tone oversized buttons and a rounded collar. In addition, Chanel offered fashionistas a collection of handbags and jewelry, which immediately became wildly popular.

Mystery Woman

After her death, when pics of Coco Chanel with the closet were opened, there were only three dresses inside Coco Chanel legacy. The woman who inspired others all her life as a trendsetter was quite modest and unassuming in everyday life and knew how to diversify the same outfits through numerous accessories and jewelry.

Coco Chanel had many men and admirers in her life, but she was never married and had no children.

What Is Chanel Style?

chanel in tweed suit

The first thing that comes to mind is a little black dress. Usually, people are limited by this thought. Some people still remember perfumes, but in order to really understand what the style of the Chanel image is, this is not enough.

This outstanding woman was a discovery, a breakthrough of her era. The outfits she has invented so far, every season, become the basis for creating new collections by different designers. They can be reshaped, altered, but will remain unmistakably recognizable.

Simplicity and freedom very quickly became symbols of the 20s era. Thus, the 1920s in the fashion industry, thanks to Coco, created a new, or rather well-forgotten, image of an ordinary American hard-working girl, which has survived and is popular in our time.

Chanel style
chanel collection

Coco Chanel’s clothes were innovative. With her arrival, fashion seemed to migrate from the nineteenth century to the twentieth.

Thin chiffon of faded colors and too pretentious plumes (a headdress made of feathers) were replaced by pullovers and short skirts made of wool.

So, women who followed her example, in clothes, began to look more and more like teenage boys. Images of Coco Chanel have fashioned ingenious simplicity. Instead of rich jewelry, women began to wear the simplest jersey dresses and skirts.

Clothes and Accessories

chanel black and white tweed suit

How to dress like Coco Chanel? At the beginning of the twentieth century, women of the age were the trendsetters. It was believed that the whole society should be equal to them, adopt their style. With the arrival of Chanel’s style, everything changed. Following her principle (“a woman should look young”), she has achieved great success. The roles have changed. To replace adult women, young women burst into the world of haute couture.

“It’s all about simplicity.” Young girls have learned to look luxurious and, at the same time, discreet. Chanel offered her clients pleated work jackets and an Indian headdress. In the outerwear category, a felt coat with sable fur inside was popular.

A talented Frenchwoman has come up with many things, without which it is impossible to imagine a modern girl’s wardrobe. These are cropped trousers, mules, tight-fitting lace dresses, ankle-length evening dresses, a little black dress, finally.

Chanel and Winston Churchill

Practicality is what prolongs the life of Chanel’s images. All her clothes are meaningful. Buttons must be sewn on firmly, the pockets are located correctly and conveniently.

Coco Chanel portraits often acted as a trendsetter. Thanks to her childlike spontaneity, striving for freedom from frames and clichés (she tied a children’s ribbon on her head in protest), a new trend appeared in the form of large bows in her hair. The fashion for bulky men’s jackets also took root by accident. Coco got cold on the pleasure yacht and wore this jacket and loved the big horn-rimmed glasses that are now very popular.

Chanel is a very sensitive person. She felt the colors very well. Gabrielle had two favorites: black and white. She considered black to be the basis of everything. Coco Chanel signature style is elegant and practical. White is a symbol of purity. Coco practically did not use bright colors, only to contrast with dark ones. Didn’t like pastel colors.

Basic Wardrobe

coco channel iconic women
chanel ball dress
  • The very first and main component of such a wardrobe with Coco Chanel-inspired outfits is a classic formal trouser suit. Although Gabrielle herself preferred skirts, the classic cropped skinny pants of the ideal length became, in a sense, a symbol of women’s freedom, and in combination with a strict jacket, a must-have for every successful and attractive woman. For the option: “for work”, flared trousers with arrows are more suitable, and for everyday life, it is worth choosing narrow cropped trousers.
  • The suit will come in handy not only for work but will also be an excellent option for special occasions (date, meeting with friends). A bright accent in the form of a shirt in a contrasting color or an accessory in the form of an intricate evening bag, hat, the scarf will reduce the tone of formality. This combination will give your image romance, grace, and to some extent even simplify it. You will look austere but tasteful.
  • When choosing shoes for a suit, you should give preference to heels. Classic monophonic pumps (Coco Chanel black and white or matching the suit) are suitable for everyday work. For a special occasion, it is best to choose a contrasting color. For example, if the suit is black or navy blue, it will perfectly complement the bright red patent leather shoes. Then you look will go from classic style to urban romantic
  • Another important component will be the skirt. A pencil skirt is relevant for absolutely everyone and at all times. This cut allows a woman to emphasize the silhouette, to model the figure (the hips look narrower), and the correctly chosen length (Chanel considered the length just below the knee to be ideal), visually lengthen the legs.

Classic colors will make you look more feminine and formal. Young girls can afford to experiment with color and even cut, the length should remain the same – below the knee, but the fabric, print, shape of the skirt can be absolutely anything. The taste and color, as they say.

coco chanel photo

A tweed suit is an integral part of Coco Chanel’s clothing style. Tweed is a low-pile wool fabric from Scotland. It is very pleasant to the touch, soft, elastic, not heavy, which is important. Chanel’s tweed suits are, first, amazing jackets. They are graceful, feminine, eccentric. You can easily distinguish such a jacket from any other.

It has a number of features:

  • Straight, fitted cut
  • Symmetrical patch in the form of 2 or 4 patch pockets on both sides
  • Lack of collar
  • Finishing the sleeves or sides of the product with braids made of braid, canvas, lace, and other materials
  • Chanel logo, gold buttons
  • The chain at the bottom with lining. Chanel styles used it to maintain perfect proportions.

Modern fashion designers make their own changes to the design of jackets. Now on the catwalks, we can observe various variations: three-quarter sleeves, loose fit, cropped jackets. Even the fabric (jersey, knitted jackets) is changed.

Also, a part of the suit is a pencil skirt made of the same material, identical in color to the jacket.

Delicate colors (pink, blue, yellow) are suitable for everyday wear. For social events, it is better to leave the classic black, dazzling white or royal gold.

Special Detail and Highlight from Coco

little black dress

Finally, where can you go without a little black dress? This thing should certainly be present in the wardrobe of absolutely every girl and woman.

Such Coco Chanel dresses were introduced into use by Chanel herself, oddly enough, under very sad circumstances. Coco wore a small, straight-cut dress with a round neckline, long sleeves, and a length that covered the knees for mourning. Nevertheless, it became popular very quickly and is still so.

The black color slims the figure, therefore it remains unchanged. The look will be perfectly complemented by a natural pearl thread, a small reticule on a chain, and, of course, graceful shoes.

Decorations add playfulness to any Coco Chanel fashion style look you create. Gabrielle adored jewelry, her favorites were a necklace of green and red natural stones, pearl threads. She believed that jewelry was only for fun. In everyday life, Coco wore a lot of jewelry, including costume jewelry. On special occasions, going out, she could only wear a bracelet or earrings.

We are convinced that clothes in the style of Coco Chanel signature perfectly combine classic and modern, giving a lot of charm to the female look… Her principles, affirming unconditional femininity and elegance, are listened to all over the world. And today, the concept of “Coco Chanel inspired clothing style” in clothing evokes persistent associations with good taste and impeccable appearance among all Coco Chanel lovers.

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