Wardrobe architecture isn't just limited to clothing. Wallets count too, and dressing to the nines while pulling out a duct taped wallet is broadcasting to the world that beneath that well-kept façade, you really don't have your shit together. As soon as your existing wallet starts crumbling under the weight of all of the useless things you carry around, it's time to move on, one step at a time.
A lot of gadgety wallets are out there, and all with their own merits. Typically, they claim to save space so it doesn't look like you've got a tumor growing out of your leg/ass. To quote the #doyouevenliftbro gawd Bane, "Admirable… but mistaken." The problem here isn't storing all of your shit, but that you've got too much shit you think you need to carry around. Paring down your everyday carry gear requires more thought, but the payoff is worth not looking like a hoarder. So, before we look at some new digs, let’s start with a bit of cleaning.
Upon reading this, take EVERYTHING out of your wallet and lay it out. We guarantee at least 75% of the contents don't need to be carried around on a regular basis. Smartphones have apps to store pertinent information securely to trim the fat a bit. Is that “Buy 45 Sandwiches get the 46th FREE” loyalty card you got from the office building bodega really getting work? Membership cards for supermarkets, liquor stores, and so on are obsolete, plus you’re probably using your phone number to access them at point of sale anyway (shout out Big Data). Ditch 'em. If you can't even remember those criteria, you've got deeper problems than a fucking wallet. Just saying.
Trim It Down
There's some concern over storing financial information on your phone, and for good reason. But even in the case of a massive security breach, banks are insured for their funds they hold for customers, so don't sweat it too much. Safeguarding your phone by locking it via thumbprint and other security measures wouldn't hurt though. Now that you can stash some info digitally, narrow your card selection to the following: Driver's license, debit card, credit card, and medical insurance card. Venmo, Ca$h, and Paypal have all made paying people so much easier so hoarding cash for everyday activities shouldn't be a priority. With that said, it's still a smart move to keep about $100 worth of twenties in the wallet. It'll cover parking lot fees and a few tabs at cash only bars and late nice slice joints. Take a second, damn, isn’t that post-cleaning feeling nice? You probably feel lighter and more relaxed. Now it’s time to focus on upgrading your wallet itself.
Find The Right Wallet
A primary factor to consider is what style of wallet you favor. Are you a less-is-more money clip or card case sort of guy? Or do you prefer something more substantial, like a billfold or trifold traditional wallet? Our favorites are smaller bi-folds or card cases that not only support the lean wallet lifestyle you’ve hopefully adopted, but also won't give you back problems as you can switch to a front-pocket carry. If you’re a road warrior type and you prefer a larger billfold, there are plenty of options that integrate with phone cases in a nice, clean way too.
When shopping for a wallet, think less branding and more character. Besides, a brand name isn't nearly as important as materials and construction. Leather is the best route to go, and it’s worth it to spring for high-quality leather as well, this is something to invest in. Sure, a traditional black or chocolate brown leather is always a good move, but there are other options to consider. If you’re more traditional or old-school, vegetable tanned cowhide leather is a great way to go. The wallet starts off as a lighter beige, but over time a beautiful golden brown hue will develop (called patina), and just like your selvedge denim, it'll essentially turn into a custom piece that's exclusively yours. Alternatively, adding a nice pop of color via your leather goods (try a nice navy or green) is a stylish way to go. Whip out a cool, colorful wallet as you're paying for a lady's drink and it says a lot about your style and cool factor. If you do get to check out leather wallets in person, make sure the stitching is uniform and that a stronger thread is used (if that info is available). The edges should be burnished and smoothed out for a slicker looking finish as well.
Now that you've got that wallet situation sorted out, let's do some work on that bank account shall we?