The valet tray takes its organisational traits from the clothes valet. Reaching back some 200 years, men with money and fine clothes had a clothes valet (a manservant of sorts) to organise their wardrobes and care for it when not being worn.
Valets also helped the aristocracy change throughout the day; moving from morning suits to cocktail attire to evening dinner party tails without a hitch (for a pop-culture reference think Lord Grantham and valet Bates from Downton Abby).
Nowadays, the valet’s been reduced to a neat place to store and organise your personal things. Designed more succinctly and smart, it’s followed menswear’s evolution into more pared back, quality wardrobe.
‘Where are my keys?’: a frustratingly familiar phrase, made all the more sickening when running late for work or a first date. Instead, maybe it’s your wallet that’s amiss? And, sure enough, you’re doing a mental-backtrack to where you used it last while padding down your trouser pockets.
So it’s time you bought a valet tray. A safe place for putting your Everyday Carry (EDC) – affordable wallet, keys et al. – the valet tray will put an end to unnecessary leaving-the-house frenzy. Plus, the best valet trays are designed so luxuriously, they double as interior art, adding some depth and texture to a boring benchtop or bedside table.
So, stop scattering your pocket change and keys all over the house and invest in a high-quality valet tray
The company's medium split tray presents the conventional valet tray in an entirely new way. Rather than settle for the standard flat design, it rocks a two-sided shape, so you could effectively keep your sharp, scratchy keys away from your watch, for example.
This Panama Trinket Tray is made from genuine crossgrain calf leather, is available in a few colours and can be folded flat thanks to popper fasteners in the corners.
The aptly named Valet Try is made from 3oz Meridian English bridle leather and hand sewn, before having Portland-made brass rivets placed on each corner. It may not gobble up the entire contents of your pockets, but for the real essentials, it'll cradle them with love.
Understanding that modern-day gents could have a varied selection of EDC to keep close by, Stow has designed a three-set of valet trays. Made from a combination of calf leather and Italian goat suede, all three valet trays offer your gear a luxurious bed to lie on.
Case in point is the Catch:3, a wireless charger on one side and a valet tray on the other, giving you plenty of space to leave your keys and any other paraphenalia.
The Catch valet tray is made from solid American hardwood and available in maple or walnut. It's received a smooth satin finish, and offers something a little different to the vast quantities of leather featured on this list.
The Blake valet tray offers plenty of space to store all your belongings, whether it be your phone, watch, keys or spare change. You're presented with three open storage compartments and one with a lid, with the whole tray made from a combination of leather and suede.
This chocolate valet tray is made from Vanchetta leather, vegetable-tanned by Artigiano Del Cuoio in Tuscany, Italy. Minimalistic in its design approach, this valet tray will blend in to any environment.
The Brown Buffalo
The Brown Buffalo's valet tray range isn't huge, but it doesn't need to be, as the XL tray (available in three finishes) is made from a tough-as-nails nylon, that also happens to be waterproof. It's sewn together in California too, so you can rest easy knowing you're getting something of true quality.
If you've got a good chunk of stuff that you want to make sure you don't lose sight of, then the No. 471 large leather valet tray is for you. Available in a choice of colours, this tray is made from full-grain vegetable tanned leather.