How to find a cool wallet
For any adult, a wallet is a necessity of daily life. It offers a safe and convenient way to carry around our IDs, credit cards and money wherever we might happen to go. Since a trip to the grocery shop or the bar generally requires a different attire than a day at the office, the wallet needs to fit well within pockets of different shapes and sizes.
Lately, the wallet is competing more and more for precious pocket space with smartphones and other such mobile devices who rather than shrinking, seem to gain in size by the year. The traditional wallet wasn’t exactly sightly as it bulked up from the pockets of classic cut denim trousers, to begin with, but this problem is made even worse with wearing skinny jeans or the slim jackets that are still fashionable these days.
As portability begins to be favored over carrying capacity, the minimalist or slim wallet is becoming more common over its larger counterpart. These might offer a little less space to store your most important belongings, but don’t have to disappoint when it comes to factors such as functionality, build quality or resilience. These are only some of the things to consider when shopping for a slim wallet, on which we will expand below.
How we chose the coolest wallets
Good quality material makes for a good wallet regardless of how slender the piece is, albeit some common leatherwork materials, such as alligator skin, aren’t often used for slim wallets because they add too much bulk.
Thin cow and calf leather is often employed both in a rigid or flexible form. The quality can vary a lot but leather is well appreciated for its handsome looks, softness to the touch and good durability. Most commonly, it can be found in black, dark brown and sometimes red color, with a natural beige being most often employed for rigid pieces.
Synthetic materials which mimic leather might look the part when new, but they can age extremely rapidly and flake at the edges. Despite their low cost, we don’t recommend them unless you are looking for a disposable item, which will only see limited use.
Synthetics fabrics endure a little bit better, but can stretch easily and tend to give a coerce, unpleasant feel to the touch. Almost always a cheap solution, they tend to also look the part but otherwise can prove practical for those with no aesthetic demands.
Natural cotton fabrics aren’t all that dissimilar to synthetic ones, but as with any item made from cotton, they tend to be somewhat more hygienic. Bacteria doesn’t grow as well on cotton, and they are generally easier to wash.
Canvas comes with the added benefit of being especially easy to dye and can hold to a wide variety of colors, matching the most eccentric outfits.
Wood is seen as something of a novelty material, but it’s still common enough to give you a wide set of options to choose from. While a wood model can make for a good looking, quality wallet, (especially if properly polished), they tend to suffer when it comes to functionality, since the rigidity of the material restricts them to a clamshell design.
Functionality and convenience
It’s true that minimalist wallets do suffer in this regard when compared to more traditional twofold or threefold pieces, but with a little organizational skill on the user’s part, he will be able to fit most of the day’s necessities for cards and cash into a highly portable package.
Most units can carry around 3 or 4 standard sized rigid cards (including the driver’s license), together with a dozen or so banknotes. If you aren’t a plain clothes police officer or federal employee who needs to carry a badge around, this should be enough for your daily needs.
Don’t expect to be able to store things in a slim wallet and just forget about them, however, since even items that you might receive during the day, such as business cards will most likely only find room directly in the pocket.
There are, however, possibilities for adapting to specific needs. Most manufacturers offer specialized models that can accommodate many cards or a higher number of banknotes. There are small clam shells where you can fit up to a dozen cards and simple leather money folds that keep as many banknotes as you’d like in a neat little package.
While not common, some minimalist wallets do come with specialized pockets for things such as spare change, pens or memory cards. It’s not usual to load your wallet with such things, but they can fulfill some specific need.
Generally, slim wallets feature either a steel clip or an elastic band to hold things in place. Choosing between them is mostly a matter of customer preference, but clips are a common thing to break loose with lower quality models. If you’re buying cheap, then elastic band should be the way to go.
Some models have rubber strings on the inside section to keep folded money or credit cards from slipping into the pocket. This is most useful for people who tend to wear loose fitting attire, since the material of the clothes themselves won’t push as hard on the wallet to keep it shut.
There are also some interesting high-tech features for those interested in novelties to look through, like RFID chips added to the insides of the wallet.
Looks and construction
Although (rather unfairly) associated with people that wear tight fitting clothes, minimalistic wallets cover a whole range of styles, from futuristic looking units that employ a lot of aluminum or titanium, to hand stitched leather ones that won’t look out of place in the Wild West.
The above comes to customer preference, but as a rule of thumb when it comes to quality, you should always take note that the edge of the leather was thinned and turned prior to being stitched in place. You can tell this method was employed by the creases of different shades it lives along the stitching line.