Wallet Buying Guide – All You Need to Know
Of all the valuable accessories available for a man, the most valuable one is also the least appreciated… we are referring to the storehouse of money here. The wallet! Tucked securely in the depths of the pocket of a trouser or coat (or a handbag, in women), these effective holders of cash, coins, and cards, come out only on few occasions that matter – moments concerning money, bills and payments!
When people used the barter system and exchanged some things for others, there was no cash used. There was no necessity for wallets of any type. But as coins and paper money came into existence, wallets have not only become an essential part of life, but are actually indispensable. They hold our cash bills, credit cards, photo id, driving license, etc. safely.
This guide is dedicated to exploring the different types of wallets, for men and women, available in the market so you can shop confidently and buy a wallet that suits your needs and also fits the bill!
Classification of Wallets
The wallet you carry with you can reflect your personality as much as your outfit does. So, choosing the perfect wallet, that is not only functional but is also stylish can be quite a task. The main objective of the wallet is to keep your valuable things organized and safe. Since wallets are generally not in the open, looks are secondary, but significant. The wallet you choose depends on your lifestyle.
According to Material
Let us have a look at the different types of wallets based on the material they are made from.
Since the very early stages of civilization, there has been the concept of a ‘carrier’ or ‘pouch’ which was used to carry along important personal belongings. It is interesting to note that those pouches were always made of leather. So are most of the wallets of today!
Leather is the most durable and rugged of all materials available. Leather is soft, and can practically mold itself and fit snugly into any space. It also lends an undeniable touch of class and style that defies time. It is also one of the few materials that will wear sufficiently to withstand the ravages of daily use.
Quality leather wallets are made from cow hide or calf hide. These wallets improve in look and texture with time. More expensive and exotic wallets are made from the leather of crocodiles, alligators, or even snakes. The one obvious disadvantage is that leather is not water resistant. And original leather wallets can be quite expensive.
Leather wallets of the past came unfailingly in the same shades of black and brown. Year after year. Thankfully, modern technology has paved way to innovative methods in dying leather. So, these wallets now come in brilliant colors and even beautiful prints. All the more reason to opt for the classic leather wallet!
The silk wallets serve more in making a style statement than for using on a daily basis. They can be obtained in exquisite designs and prints in the finest quality of silk. These wallets are less expensive than a leather wallet but are least durable. They are susceptible to tears and get damaged easily.
Silk wallets endow a look of elegance and poise. Some Chinese silk wallets and clutches have very fine and intricate threadwork hand-crafted in them. Such wallets are treasured possessions of women. Men also use silk wallets, but they are of more sober, neck-tie-like designs.
Wallets are made from a variety of fabrics such as nylon, cotton, satin, polyvinyl, synthetics and microfiber. It is wise to choose the material depending on the purpose of the wallet. If the intention is to hold important documents and cash bills, it is advisable to opt for water proof material.
According to Style
Despite the large array of materials from which wallets are made, there are surprising few basic styles available to choose from. Since men’s wallets need to be handy and fit into pockets of shirts, jeans, or trousers, they almost always come in compact sizes. If you can decide in advance about the occasion of using the wallet, it will be easier to pick a particular style. Here are some of the more common styles.
Billfold or Bi fold Wallet
These are the perfect wallets for daily use. Most wallets designed to fit into pockets of pants or jackets are Billfold wallets. They were initially made to hold the American dollar bills, but can accommodate all currencies. They have several compartments to separate different denominations of currency.
Billfold wallets will fold in half. They also have space for housing your credit cards and store cards. Most will have a transparent window for displaying a photo id.
This is similar to a bi fold wallet but has more space for storage. It has three sections that fold into the same space as billfold wallets. There is an additional section in the back for organizing cash, notes, and receipts. They often have a small zipper purse to hold coins. All the three folding parts can be used to store credit cards, photographs, and ID pass. Though they have more capacity, tri fold wallets can be bulky.
Breast Pocket Wallet
This wallet is tailor-made to fit the breast pocket of a jacket or a trench coat. This wallet is usually long and thin. It contains many card slots and can hold cash without the need to fold the bill. This wallet is ideal when you travel. There is provision to accommodate a checkbook, your travel documents, and tickets. It is also called a ‘Checkbook wallet’, ‘Travel wallet’, or ‘Secretary wallet’.
This is along wallet that is meant to hold many different things. The wallet is thick and is provided with a zippered pocket where cash may be stored for better safety. There are several columns for keeping cards or even the passport and other travel documents. This wallet can get pretty heavy, but carrying all important documents with you can give you peace of mind.
In this wallet there are two full columns of card slots kept next to each other. The wallets will fold over lengthwise instead of breath wise. As the bills need not be folded, this wallet looks thinner and less bulky.
If you wish to have your hands free, or free yourself from the nagging fear of getting pick -pocketed, you can consider using a wrist wallet. These are thin, flexible, and have snaps or rivets that help secure the wallet in a place. This wallet also has a small purse with zipper for holding coins, and a pocket for holding bills. Wrist wallets are available for men and women (referred as ‘wristlets’, for women) in various colors and styles. Some of them have an outer pouch for holding smart phones too.
If a dangling wrist wallet is not your cup of tea, you have an even more compact option on offer – Wristband wallets. These wallets are the perfect confluence of fashion and functionality. They free your hands from incessantly clutching on to your wallet, and additionally help you define your personal style!
The wristband wallet is particularly useful to people who lead an active lifestyle. If a person is frequently in a sports arena or works out regularly in a gym, it can be a hassle to carry wallets around, and look for lockers to keep them safe. Wristband wallets could be their best bet. They are available for men and women in a range of colors and materials. Some of them are reversible and can hold a Smart phone.
This wallet is also called a money band. It consists of a heavy and thick band of elastic that holds money and cards safely. It is used in lieu of the traditional pocket wallets that are stuffed to their limits, and are bulky. These bands can hold a limited amount of cash and cards. The disadvantage is that the band needs to be removed every time something has to be accessed.
This is a hard plastic case that can hold some money and a few cards. It usually snaps shut to protect its contents. A clip on the back of the wallet makes it easy to slide on a belt band. These wallets are waterproof and are convenient for people on the go. This is also used by water- sport enthusiasts.
This is a heavy duty metal clip that holds cash and cards in place. People who prefer to pay with cash find money clips useful. Money clips help organize money and reduce the bulk of wallets. Many clips will be personalized, with the owner’s name or initials.
According to Color
In this rather biased world, until recently, men’s fashion had always been meted out with step- motherly treatment. In fact, the word, ‘fashion’, was rarely used outside the world of women! As a result, men led a dull, colorless life – confined to shades of grey and black. Thankfully, things have taken a turn for the better, and brighter!
Many a man is seen sporting outfits and wallets in bright and vivid colors. Popularized by prominent personalities, colorful wallets for men have finally arrived, and are here to stay.
Women’s wallets come in a rainbow of colors and in a medley of designs, not to mention the array of designer labels. As always, they are simply spoilt for choice of colors, shades, and hues!
Wallets have been popular accessories for centuries, but they have recently metamorphosed into branded, style statements. Most of the big designers have launched their own trademarked wallets for men and women. Those of Michael Kors, Fossil, Lanvin, Coach, Prada, Marc, Givenchy, Georgio Armani, Fendi, and Mulberry are quite popular.
Wallets with a difference
Are you tired of using the usual, traditionally designed wallets? Do you feel they are outdated and don’t reflect your young and vivacious personality? There is no cause for concern at all. In fact, there are many more path breaking concepts and ingenious materials and designs used today, than ever before! Enumerated below are a few of them.
Narwhal Co. Wallets
Named after an endangered species of horned whales, the company sells eco -friendly products made from recycled and used materials. Their slim, stylish Tri-fold wallets come in bold colors and patterns.
Go green with colorful wallets!
These wallets use rich leather, men’s suiting and gunmetal rivets that all have their own unique style. Most wallets are made of fabrics that have bold masculine patterns like pinstripes and plaid. They come in classic shades of navy, black, and grey. Their popular Swiss cross design is crafted in red leather.
If you are of a creative disposition and a lover of art, consider pocketing one of these wallets. Featuring a colorful assortment of contemporary artwork, each wallet is bright, expressive, and different. A brief biography of the artist is provided inside the wallet.
These are also among the range of eco friendly wallets. They are known for their creative graphics, highly defined prints and detailed landscapes printed on the wallets. They are made from recycled paper and use soy- ink and post-consumer vinyl.
Wallet – Security concerns
As discussed earlier, the primary reason for having a wallet is to securely organize our valuable belongings. To achieve this, some wallets have zippers. Some are provided with magnetic clasps that snap shut. A few have a separate compartment with a zipper, where important documents and cash may be kept.
General tips for buying wallets
- Decide on the wallet size and type, depending on the intended purpose of the wallet. This will help you narrow down your choices as well as save time.
- If you plan to use the wallet on a daily basis, be sure to invest in a material that is dependable, like leather. A leather wallet might cost you more, but you can rest assured that it will serve you well.
- If you wish to buy a designer wallet, then you need to ensure that the product is a original piece. The best way is to check the designer tag, logo, and the dust bag that come with the purchase. Do look at the returns or refund policy offered by the seller, and ascertain if they are favorable for the buyer. This information is invaluable, in case you are disappointed with your choice and wish to exchange or return the wallet.
- If your leather wallet gets wet, allow it to dry slowly. Do not use a hair dryer. It can change the chemical composition of the leather leaving it look dry and wrinkled forever.
- If the wallet doesn’t dry out, use a dressing cream to restore it. Leather can be treated with some oils, paints and wax.
- Important! Don’t over stuff your wallet. This will stretch the leather and make it baggy. Take care of your wallet in humid and warm weather.
Special features to look for before buying a Leather wallet
- Leather – First of all, check the quality of leather. Most leather goods are sanded in order to remove imperfections, and then coated with resin. This causes a plastic feel and is called top -grain. Avoid this and look for full -grain leather. Full grained leather will be stronger and more durable. It has more natural feel and is a unique possession.
- Construction style – There are two methods in which a wallet may be constructed – Turned Edge and Cut Edge.
In the case of Cut Edge, the leather is cut and stitched together. This will leave a visible mark on leather. Though the edge is coated with black resin to mask the stitches, it will wear out eventually.
In Turned Edge, the leather is thinned and then turned before it is stitched. Understandably, this takes longer to make and requires an expert craftsman, but the product will last much longer.
- Craftsmanship – A well -crafted wallet can be easily recognized by its fold and finish. A good wallet should have a narrow turnover, with the stitching positioned centrally. A poorly designed one will have a wider turn and is marked by crooked stitching. It is important for the leather to be thinned before it is turned.
- Creases – A quality wallet should have creases made by using hot iron alongside the turned edge stitching, as well as on the credit card slots and the dividers. Creases add to the aesthetic appeal and clean finish of a wallet. If enough attention is not paid to detail, it will result in a wallet that looks shabby.
- Pleated corners – Another acid test to identify a good wallet is to check the corners. A classic wallet will have a pleated, rounded corner. No cuts are made to the leather as it would weaken the wallet’s structure.
Remember, if a wallet has perfect right-angled corners, it is a sign of poor craftsmanship. Stay away from a wallet that has a diagonal cut. It is indication that the manufacturer has certainly ‘cut corners’ to make a cheap product!
Remember that every person has unique needs. Look at popular options for sure, but choose your wallet according to your requirement.