Ask men what they’d grab when evacuating a hotel because of a fire alarm. Their wallet will likely be at the top of the list. But although it’s arguably their most valuable accessory, men don’t give a great deal of thought to what kind of wallet they carry.
Choose yours with intention. Consider the various styles and designs and what they say about you. Select wallets based on your unique needs and circumstances. Make them an essential component of your wardrobe.
Where You Carry Your Wallet
A billfold is a folding wallet that’s small enough to fit in your pants pocket. Other wallets are longer, to accommodate unfolded money, a checkbook, or documents like airline tickets or your passport.
Most guys stick their billfold in their back pocket, which is why those pockets may button down for added security. You can carry a non-folding wallet in the chest pocket of a coat, which creates a slimmer look around your hips since you lose the extra bulk of a billfold. If you are concerned about pickpockets, carry a small billfold in your harder-to-access front pocket.
Fashion Statement Wallets
A wallet or billfold isn’t just for utility, but makes a strong statement about your personal style. Your wallet should be a signature item to complement your wardrobe, just as accessories like belts, cufflinks, and watches are.
Choose one that matches the color, craftsmanship, and quality of your belt. Begin with universal colors like black and brown, then add to your collection with tones like oxblood, cognac, navy, and green. You’ll find wallets in beautiful textures too, ranging from exotic eel and classic alligator to ostrich quill and smooth, supple Italian leather.
Wallet and Billfold Tips
Once a year, empty your wallet and only replace items that are essential and are used at least once or twice a month. Otherwise, wallets tend to get bloated and start to resemble an overstuffed sandwich.
It’s also a good idea to buy a wallet with a zipper-secured coin purse feature inside. That’s where you can stash coins, subway tokens, or even a spare key. You’ll want enough slots for IDs and credit cards, but resist the urge to carry too many. If you start to accumulate lots of currency in your wallet, remove the excess and only carry the amount you really need.
Leather wallets also benefit from routine maintenance, just as your dress shoes do. Dab on a little saddle soap or leather conditioner when they get dirty or the leather starts to dry out. If the leather gets scratched or scuffed, you can treat your billfold or wallet with a little shoe polish. That will revive its elegant luster.
When using saddle soap, conditioner, or polish, just test an inconspicuous spot first to make sure the color matches and there’s no unwanted discoloration. Just like fine footwear, a well-crafted wallet is an investment that can last a lifetime, if you take care of it.