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Men’s Wallets – A Primer

Wallets are not only practical, but also make an important fashion statement. Your wallet should generally match your outfit, and any other small accessories. It should be the right size. When shopping for a wallet, look for one that fits your lifestyle, both in terms of style and practically, particularly in terms of space required. Do you usually carry around seven credit cards, and a thick wad of cash? Or does your wallet have at most a single card at any given point?


There are several different wallet types, mostly characterized by size: the classic bi-fold, which simply folds in half, and associated styles, such as the slim bi-fold; the tri-fold, which has two flaps that fold in towards the center; and the more slender breast pocket wallet. Other varieties include the two-pocket slim wallet, and the larger accordion zip wallet. (We won’t really count the money clip as a wallet!)


Wallets can, of course, be made from a number of materials, but the quintessential men’s wallet is made from leather. There are several reasons why you should consider investing in a high-quality leather wallet: with care, it will last for years; if chosen carefully, it is an elegant, versatile, and functional accessory that goes with just about everything. When shopping for a leather wallet, look for one that is well constructed (with tight, even stiches, and made from full-grain leather). There are some elegant wallets that are a combination of materials (leather and fabric, for example); more casual possibilities are wallets made from heavyweight canvas. Always examine the stitching, which serves as a great clue to the overall quality.


Note that anything brightly colored will be less versatile, because it will stand out in a formal setting, or potentially clash with your outfit, so try to stick with neutral or classic tan shades. Maybe consider having one wallet that is casual, but elegant enough for most situations (no Velcro wallets, ever!), and a separate one for business meetings or to match with suits. If selected carefully, however, a classic, and high-quality, leather wallet will be appropriate for most situations. While you generally have to consider matching your leather accessories to the rest of your outfit (and other leather accessories, such as your belt and shoes), it’s somewhat less of a consideration with a wallet, as long as the wallet is (relatively) neutral!

Michael Snell

Loving father and husband