A decent wallet is a man’s best friend. If you really think about it, it holds all the money you’ll need to buy that damn dog in the first place. Of course there are general rules and guidelines to buying a quality wallet and none of these involves velcro or nylon.
If you’re in need of a place to put your hard earned pennies then you’re in luck. We’ve scoured the world to hunt down the best wallets for men in 2017 which won’t only cater to a varying degree of tastes but should also outlast your mother-in-law.
The famously well-tailored style of Thom Browne isn’t just for your suits. This slick striped billfold wallet has been carefully crafted in Italy from pebble-grain leather, then finished with the brand’s iconic red, white, and blue stripes. Inside you’ll find eight card slots, two bill sleeves, two receipt pockets, and a matching striped grosgrain tab.
Christian Louboutin’s signature shock of red is on full, unapologetic display inside the Kaspero wallet, while the outside is decorated with a coat of tough metal spikes worthy of a Sex Pistol. Let’s call it the perfect wallet for the well-heeled punk. Alternatively, try the Kios cardholder if you like the look but want an even slimmer profile.
Like the studded aesthetic, but want something more restrained? Try this toned-down option from Valentino. The buffed calfskin bifold wallet features pyramid stud detailing on the front and back faces, and logos embossed on the back and interior. It’s a little bit rock ‘n’ roll, but tasteful enough to rock in the office without drawing glares.
Saint Laurent is not about subtlety, and neither is this vivid accessory. The in-your-face neon shade is one part glam rock opulence, one part rainbow raver gear, and 100% not for the faint of heart. Only Saint Laurent could craft such a small package that carries such a powerful punch.
Sophisticated, inconspicuous, and decidedly not neon, Balenciaga’s Phileas billfold wallet is an ideal choice for the restrained gentleman. Details are kept to a minimum – only small silver hardware on either side – to allow the grained leather and Italian craftsmanship to take centre stage.
Bao Bao Issey Miyake
Bao Bao Issey Miyake has built a cult following for its forward-thinking accessories. The pieces combine versatile function with a modern aesthetic and are instantly recognisable from their repeated geometric shapes. The wallet doesn’t stray from the signature vibe, and fans of the brand wouldn’t want it any other way.
Gentleman extraordinaire Paul Smith delivers a wallet fit for a classic man (preferably one with a knighthood to his name). Although the brand often embraces colour (just look at its iconic stripe pattern, which features more than a dozen), this slim and simple leather number proves it can do black with the best of them.
No logo is needed to determine the brains behind this navy bifold – that check could only be the work of Burberry. The British heritage experts apply their infamous horseferry check to the exterior of this versatile wallet, finishing it off with a leather trim and interior. The name can be found inside, along with a subtle jacquard logo graphic on the face, for anyone who needs their memory jogged.
Our picks this year have plenty to offer the guy who fancies himself a rockstar, but what about wallets for men who prefer another era all together? That’s right, it’s disco time – courtesy of the devilish minds of Maison Margiela. A dash of sparkle could be exactly what you need to liven up your pockets.
Dolce & Gabbana
Over to Dolce & Gabbana for a wallet that skips sparkles in favour of a more subtle shine. The polished pebble-grain leather has just the right amount of sheen and no distracting details. Inside you’ll find space for six cards and a pocket for notes, receipts, scraps of bar napkins with phone numbers scribbled on them, etc.
Berluti prioritises comfort and classic craftsmanship over trendiness. The Jagua Polished-Leather Bifold Cardholder boasts exceptional workmanship and an easy-going style designed to season beautifully with age and use. Take special note of the Venezia leather, the signature material that has earned the French house its acclaimed reputation.
Dolce & Gabbana
Taking its cues from the previous Dolce & Gabbana wallet, this grained calfskin cardholder provides a similar look in a more stripped back package. A gentleman with more subtle tastes can skip the former’s shiny exterior in favour of the latter’s matte leather, tonal textile lining, and small gunmetal logo plaque.
Though it’s one of the oldest fashion houses still in operation, Lanvin’s designs are anything but dated. The brand regularly experiments with a mix of high-tech and traditional elements, and isn’t afraid to whip out the occasional unexpected colour. Case in point: this extremely eye-catching cardholder in an electric blue shade.
Alexander McQueen’s contribution to this year’s best wallets for men is precisely what you’d expect from the daring brand: teeny skulls, as far as the eye can see. With so much going on print-wise, McQueen keeps the rest of the cardholder simple. Black borders and a few card slots finish off a look that ensures the brand’s trademark stays in the spotlight.
Radical conceptual designer Martin Margiela has always had a flair for the dramatic and avant-grade. The label consistently reinvents classic menswear with repurposed materials, minimalist accessories, distressed treatments, and a mod-yet-elegant aesthetic. Adding a multi-colour ‘paint splatter’ effect to an otherwise-classic leather cardholder is a quintessential Margiela move.
Trust Valentino to find a way to make the camo trend feel upscale. The label mixes things up with an unexpected dash of red amongst the traditional olive green and neutrals, and sticks a logo patch on top so no one can miss knowing whose handiwork they’re admiring.
Givenchy takes a more-is-more approach to accessorising with this embossed wallet. Its trifold structure makes it the largest wallet on this list, and with an array of flaps, pockets, and a zippered pouch, it’s built to hold all the sundries you can squeeze in. The prominent snaps also feel like a nice ode to adolescence (though mercifully the chunky wallet chain isn’t included).
Bottega Veneta doesn’t deviate far from its signature style, but that’s exactly what the brand’s fervent fans are looking for. The famous intrecciato weave is a luxurious addition to your pocket that won’t fall out of fashion, but the deep blue hue keeps it feeling fresh and modern. With space for six cards and a central slot for receipts, this compact piece has ample room for all your essentials.
It’s not just the amount of money in your bank account that matters – how you choose to carry that cash is important too. A magnificent bastard of your calibre deserves a magnificent wallet to match, and Gucci delivers with this sleek black leather bifold. Its simple, smooth design means the gold embroidered bee stands out all the more. Dare we say this wallet will cause… a buzz?
What Makes A Good Wallet
There are five key areas to look out for when searching for quality wallets for men: Leather grade, construction, the turnover, pleated corners and creasing. Each one plays a vital role in not just serving its purpose but ensuring that the integrity and longevity of the accessory will stand the test of everyday abuse.
When it comes to leather grade, try to avoid ‘top grain’ leather as these are hides which have imperfections that have been sanded down and then covered in resin to form a smooth surface. The internal strength is there but it leaves the wallet feeling more like plastic than anything. Full grain leather which has not been corrected is the way to go and it also adds character as it ages naturally.
Scoping out how the wallet is made is often ignored but just as crucial as the leather grade. Wallets are made in two ways: Turned of Cut Edge. Cut Edge is the shortcut way where leather is cut, stitched together and then resin coated on the edging. When this resin wears away it will reveal frayed leather. Turned is where the leather is thinned down before stitching to create a more seamless bond. It’s a lengthier production process but will last much longer than the latter.
Testing the integrity of a wallet is a must if you’re going to drop a good amount of money on one. One way to do this is to test the width of the turnover (the bend) as well as the stitching position. A narrow turnover is what you should be looking for in a quality wallet as well as stitching which remains central and straight.
Another key indicator to a well crafted wallet is its corners. Pleated corners are leather bonding areas on the edge which have been thinned down before being rounded into a strengthened corner – that means no cutting of this area. If the corner is a right angle, it has been poorly made. Avoid at all costs.
A good wallet must stand the rigours of everyday use and wear. To determine if this is the case, look for any creases on the leather that have been made by a hot iron on the turned edge stitching and card slots.
On Trend Styles
Wallet trends come and go just like fashion but one mainstay in 2017 is the continual slimming down of the men’s wallet. With pay wave technology pretty much negating the need for thick wads of cash to be carried around, wallets are starting to get thinner to accommodate just the bare essentials like cards. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as bulky wallets filled with receipts from 1999 should no longer be a part of the modern gentleman’s wardrobe.
When looking for the latest wallet for men styles, go with the colours, textures or patterns that best reflects your own personal style. If you’re the conservative type, opt for darker colours with minimalist designs. For the more creative type of guy, take a look at brighter colours, graphics prints or elaborate finishings and chain attachments to show off your unique style.
Although bear in mind that this wallet will go with you from the boardroom to the bar, so what you choose will be a reflection of your personality amongst peers.