When was the last time you changed your wallet; one year, five years ago, maybe more or even less? Let’s put it this way. Is scotch tape holding it together? Is it bursting at the seams? Does it look like it was dipped in bleach? Has the leather cracked? Thought so!
It’s time to consider putting this long-suffering companion that’s warping the shape of your good trousers and shirts and bulking out of your pocket, out of its misery. After all, what better way to revamp your style, than with a modern and chic men’s leather wallet?
But, as you embark on your search, you’ll quickly realize that there’s an ocean of options on the market that come in different designs and serve various purposes. Undoubtedly, this can have you entangled in a web of confusion, which is why we’ve stepped in to help. We’ll walk you through the ins and outs of selecting a men’s leather wallet that will have you oozing style and confidence. Read on!
Types of Leather Wallets for Men
Here’s a breakdown of the various types of leather wallets for men that have littered the market.
Out of the types of men’s wallets, bi-folds are regarded as the oldest and the go-to option for a majority of people across the globe. Featuring a standard structure, it allows you to access your cards and other essentials, in a heartbeat, with just one flap lift. But the greatest perk that makes bi-folds stand out is their slim profile.
From time to time, it has a vast assortment of revolutions in its compartment arrangement and structure to elevate its slim nature. In turn, this makes it a breeze to fit in different-sized pockets, from front to back, and vice versa. This includes breast pockets. So, if you’re on the quest for a product that’s comfortable to sit on with no unsightly bulges but still gets the job done, then bi-folds are an option to consider.
It’s strikingly similar to a bi-fold with the only difference being that you need to lift the flap twice to access the contents. The access is not as swift as a bi-fold due to the increased number of compartments to accommodate more and better-organized essentials such as a spare key. However, tri-folds are suitable for most occasions, making them increasingly popular amongst men, particularly the older.
Keep in mind that if you cram a tri-fold with expired gift cards and your favourite coffee shop tokens, it’ll easily end up looking like a Costanza wallet. This means walking around with an embarrassing bulge in your outfit. So, to avoid this, you’ll need to de-clutter it frequently.
In contrast to the bi-folds and tri-folds, slim leather wallets have rapidly taken much hold in the marketplace as a result of the unmatched convenience they bring. Keeping a very low profile, you’ll forget about a slim wallet each time it’s in your back pocket because you can barely feel it. While it comes in different variations such as minimalist and bi-fold, it packs two general attributes.
Firstly, it has the uncanny ability to keep your valuables securely in place and accessible in the blink of an eye while remaining flat. Secondly, it’s not as organized as the tri-fold and bi-fold counterparts. This is because it’s designed for those who prefer to travel light with more room moved over to the usage of cards and less cash. This translates to no clutter and something to easily fit in the back pocket with no problem.
4. Money Clip
It comes in two basic designs; one that solely has a money clip and one that also includes a few pockets. So, the style you settle for depends on your usual mode of payment. For instance, if you’re minimalist who mostly relies on cards, then a money clip would be the better choice. It comes with a magnetic or metal clip to safely bundle up your cards and a few banknotes in place.
Contrarily, if you still keep cards and cash for daily payments, then a money clip with more pockets could be a better option for better organization of your valuables. All money clip wallets have a slim profile that allows you to effortlessly slip them into your front or back pockets.
5. Breast Pocket
It’s also known as a long or chequebook wallet and is designed with shindigs, soirees, or travels in mind. Breast pocket wallets allow you to fit all your essentials, ranging from coins, keys, cards, and banknotes to a passport while making you stand out of the herb. With the ability to hold any type of currency, long wallets are favoured by avid travellers. And, they’re a snug fit in jacket and coat pockets.
If you deal with a fair chunk of coins, then this type of men’s leather wallet is right up your alley. With a few card slots, the main feature that sets this wallet apart from the pack is its zippered compartment that adds a layer of security for your valuables. And, others have a spring steel snap closure. This prevents them from getting lost in transit. Nonetheless, the major drawback with coin wallets is that it’s bulkier than the bi-fold, tri-fold, money clip, slim, and breast pocket counterparts.
But, fret not because some designs are impressively scaled-down to be used as a key chain and go unnoticed in even the smallest pocket. If you settle for this option, we recommend picking a product that comes with different compartments for better organization. This avoids you rummaging through your essentials each time you need to make a payment or collect some change.
If you’re a minimalist who prefers not to fumble over cash and gravitate more towards card payments, then this type of men’s leather wallet could be the way to go. It isa very minimalist wallet. Facilitating easy access, cardholders are compact (an inch or two larger than credit/ debit cards) and slim which makes them ideal for everyday use. They have enough compartments to also accommodate an ID, a couple of banknotes and receipts, without getting bulky.
Designed with frequent overseas travellers and commuters in mind, travel wallets have larger dimensions to comfortably fit a passport. And, they have scaled up compartments to accommodate flight tickets, different currencies, SIM cards, and bank cards. They come in variations such as neck travel, belt, and passport holder wallets. The belt and neck counterparts contain more sections to hold keys, coins, and even a phone, depending on your preference and the essentials you need to carry.
Built for fast action on the move, this type of men’s leather wallet was made with sports in mind and as a hard-wearing front pocket option for daily use. The highlight of this item is that it wicks away moisture from the body, thus preventing over-sweating while it’s in your pocket all day. Its compact design also makes it a popular option.
Just like a slim wallet, it’s a contemporary and sleek model that recently penetrated the market and comes in different versions.
Some are focused on the aesthetic side of the spectrum with sturdy and strong material. And, they’re built with outdoor enthusiasts in mind that like to keep things clean and tidy while having easy access to handy tools. These include a bottle opener, pocket knife, ruler, and a nail puller. Other tactical wallets focus more on functionality whereby they’re built to help a user streamline their cash and cards better, which ushers in increased convenience.
Tips for Finding the Right Men’s Leather Wallet
If you want to be an armchair expert on leather wallets for men and know how to make a selection like a pro from a lineup of cheap imposters, below are the essential tips to consider.
1. Type of Leather
When choosing a product to buy, consider the different types of genuine leather as discussed below.
It stems from the top layer of the hide and brings along all the grain, hence the name. Full grain leather retains the inherent imperfections coupled with the toughness, due to the absence of surface splitting or alterations. Men’s leather wallets designed from full grain are not only the most superior in quality but also in price. And, it’s an excellent body oil absorber which makes it develop a patina over time. This makes it a popular choice. Full Grain leather wallets are roughly 10% heavier than their counterparts due to their density. In turn, they’re resistant to dirt and water.
Also known as Corrected Grain, it comes in at a close second after the full grain counterpart. It’s acquired from shaving off or sanding the top of the skin of the hide that has a wealth of imperfections such as blemishes and scars. While this gives the leather a smoother look and feel, and even elevates its flexibility, it lacks most of the toughness that the full grain counterpart has.
As a result, it stretches permanently in the long run, which also decreases its longevity. And, it won’t age as gracefully nor blossom into an equally alluring patina as Full Grain. However, it’s a more pocket-friendly option, particularly for those looking to switch up their wallets from time to time. And, it’s used to produce suede.
Also termed as genuine leather, it’s generated from the skin layers which remain once the top has been shaved off and predominantly from the corium. It’s much like splitting the tar paper and shingles only to leave the plywood for a roof. Split leather has a tougher texture because it lies just underneath the top layers of the hide. As is the case with the top grain counterpart, it’s sanded to get rid of natural blemishes and scars.
Typically, the surface is embossed and painted with a pattern that mimics the appearance of natural leather. But, the processing changes its inherent breathability. Therefore, it succumbs to wear and tear with excessive bending and rubbing.
While split leather is thick, it has about 50% half the strength and 10% less the weight of the Full Grain counterpart because it has a lower density. So, it dries out in a jiffy, water easily seeps through, and it’s more susceptible to stains.
It stems from leather that comprises what’s left of the hide. This includes shavings and dust that are glued together via latex or polyurethane on the surface of a fibre sheet. It’s usually spray-painted to mimic the appearance of the Top Grain counterpart. And, it’s nearly impossible to determine the percentage of natural leather it contains unless disclosed by the manufacturer. Bonded leather wallets are not only the cheapest but of the lowest quality. So, they typically last a few weeks or a couple of months, before a replacement is needed.
It’s designed from the alternative tanning processes that include vegetable or aldehyde. The adverse negative effects that chrome-based tanning has fueled a myriad of tanneries and governments to implement the chrome-free alternative. It possesses all the attributes of the chrome-tanned option, such as excellent resilience, shrinks resistance, and flexural strength. And, the best part is the absence of toxic effluents that degrade the environment.
Also called antiqued, it defines leather that’s aniline dyed with a darker colour over a lighter one to create an artificially aged outlook coupled with rich highlights. In turn, this emphasizes the attributes of the hide, such as wrinkles, scars, and scratches.
As you search for an aesthetically pleasing option, the functionality of a men’s wallet boils down to its compartments. So, if you usually carry an array of credit/debit cards, banknotes, coins, receipts, and IDs, then a product with numerous slots is right up your alley. Not only will it protect the strips of your cards from damage but will also keep your essentials well-organized and more easily accessible.
If you carry memory cards or SIM cards, then you’ll need to gravitate more towards leather wallets that have specialized compartments or pockets to accommodate these items. And, they usually have a metal zip to securely hold your essentials in place while you’re out and about.
Some wallets have clear pockets to hold a driver’s license or government-issued ID card. This handy feature saves you the hassle of pulling it out from your wallet and returning it each time you’re required to show it.
3. Keep It Simple
A men’s leather wallet is an accessory that you should consider keeping simple yet classy. So, you can’t go wrong with a subtle colour like dark green, navy blue, brown, or black because its versatility is unmatched. You can bring it along to your casual or formal shindigs. Moreover, it pairs well with just about any outfit in your wardrobe to give you the elegant look you desire.
Keep in mind that a wallet unveils a person’s personality and style. So, avoid going cheesy on your wallet, more so, where it counts such as at a business lunch as it may hinder the other party from taking you seriously. You're going to want a stylish wallet you aren't afraid to show.
Avoid over-sized wallets because they create an illusion that you have a barrage of items to carry around everywhere. The result of this is a Costanza wallet that gives produces an unsightly bulge through the pocket of your jacket, shirt, or trousers, hence botching your look. To avoid this predicament, first de-clutter your current wallet by getting rid of items you don’t need, such as invalid gift vouchers, business cards, or old folded bills.
You’ll then know the size of the wallet and the compartments you require that’ll best suit your needs. For instance, if you usually travel light with just a few credit/debit cards, then you should opt for a cardholder. Moreover, men who carry a combination of coins, banknotes, IDs, debit/credit cards should consider a tri-fold that’s roomy without looking bulky.
It’s no secret that everyone wants quality. But remember, quality products come at a price, and men’s leather wallets are no exception to this rule. For instance, full grain leather options are pricey but have greater longevity compared to cheaper poor quality products that are cheaper but more susceptible to wear and tear.
Moreover, wallets with rounded corners are more expensive and of superior quality compared to those with sharp corners that deteriorate faster. And, these sharp corners damage pockets in the long run with the frequent sliding in and out.
Lastly, keep your eyes peeled for solid construction that’s defined by a coated or waxed thread, grosgrain lining, or exquisitely stitched lines. These are indicators of excellent craftsmanship which will, in turn, cost you notably more than products with loose, untidy stitching. When it comes to the price, always keep in mind that you get what you pay for.
In today’s world, finding a great men’s leather wallet can be an uphill battle due to the countless options in the market, with each claiming to be the best. But, now that you have the inside scoop on what to look for, you’re well on your way to finding an excellent wallet that’s worth your hard-earned money.