In an increasingly cashless world, one might argue that the future of the wallet is going the way of the dinosaur. But right now, and with a million-and-one cards in our pockets, the wallet is still as relevant as ever.
However, gone are the days of carrying wads of cash that create bulbous wallets which ruin the line of our jackets or trousers. Instead, how we transport money today facilitates a much sleeker wallet design that can hide in a chest or trouser pocket virtually unnoticed. Hence we’ve done a deep dive on the finest minimalist wallets around today, locating the best bifolds to money clips via RFID-blocking cardholders.
Whether you’re after a slim classic leather style or something more future-proof, you’ll find a tonne of inspiration here.
Types of minimal wallets
If you hadn’t noticed, we’re living in the era of the digitisation of everything, including money, so one might argue that we need only carry around our cards because cash is pretty much redundant in the developed economies.
It’s why cardholders have quickly become the de facto wallets of today, which is great from a style point of view because they’re slim enough to go unnoticed in the pockets of your outfit. Svelte leather three-card holders, or even slightly bulkier folded styles, won’t ruin the lining of your clothing, unlike the chunky wallets of yesteryear.
The billfold wallet is not quite ready to hang its boots up yet. It may not boast the functionality it once did (packing cash, receipts, business cards and phone numbers written on napkins etc.), but while we still fleetingly use cash, every man should own one.
Leather is non-negotiable, since it ages beautifully. Clean lines and zero embellishments are what you’re after – the timeless quality of the design should do the talking, not any logo emblazoned across the front.
Let’s call it what it is: a purse – and that’s OK. Small, functional and extra safe, what the zip-up coin purse gives away in bulk it makes up for in diminutive dimensions.
Sure, you can stuff notes, Airpods and whatever else into the safe confines of the secure interior, as well as the small change that would otherwise be dispersed into every single pocket you own.
Metal cardholders & RFID blockers
With a heavy dose of futurism comes the metal cardholder, a slim creation seemingly designed some time in our collective future, and which often combines RFID-blocking technology to keep bad actors from corrupting your digital stash.
They are the yin to the leather cardholder’s yang, providing a compact and protective transit for your precious cards.
It doesn’t get much more minimalist than the money clip, the most pared-back and simple means of preventing your cash from tying itself in knots in your pockets or flying off into the ether. And while there might not be much to them in terms of functionality, money clip designs can be quite beautiful from a minimalist perspective.
Often crafted in sterling silver and sometimes gold, they infer a level of care and love of details in their owner, as well as a respect for his hard-earned.
What to consider
If you’re the type of guy that likes to carry around a stack of cash, ‘just in case’, or you have multiple store cards, or just can’t throw anything away, then the classic billfold is going to be your first choice for everyday use.
Alternatively, a money clip or coin zip-up wallet reduces the bulk and can be useful on one-off occasions such as black tie events or weddings when the last thing you want to be stuffing into your suit trouser or jacket pockets is a bulky wallet.
If you prefer to keep life simple and don’t mind a bit of cash swilling about in your pockets, then the cardholder – whether it be leather or metal – is the perfect option for most of us. With the digitisation of commerce, there’s not much you can’t pay for with a card so this option is going to be relevant for most people. Whether you go for a folded style or not is typically down to how many cards you want to keep on your person at any one time.
Synthetic wallets, zip wallets and card holders made from nylon look contemporary straight out of the box but don’t age well. All three of these styles take a battering with daily use, hence why the best ones are made from leather, which has the unique ability to age well.
The new genre of metal cardholders tend to be constructed from aluminium or carbon fibre and look as if they belong in the assault kit of a Special Forces soldier. The best money clips are often made from sterling silver but look hard enough and you’ll find some blingier action in platinum and gold.
Minimalism being what it is, colour shouldn’t even be a question. When it comes to the leather styles, choose black because it looks chic, ages well, is timeless and complements just about every sensible look you’ve got in your wardrobe. It’s understated, too, which is the right attitude to have around money.
The Best Men’s Minimalist Wallet Brands
The Ridge’s sleek titanium, aluminium and carbon fibre RFID-blocking cardholders look like they’ve come straight from the back pocket of the Terminator. With a built-on cash strap or money clip, the cardholders have space for up to 12 cards without stretching out and come in a variety of minimalistic designs that should be futureproof for quite some time.
Designers Ian and Felicity Campbell Cole are Inspired by simple timeless design, refined proportions and effortless functionality. We love their zip-up purses constructed from Italian vegatable-tanned leather and finished with a hand-knotted paracord lanyard.
As minimalist as it gets, Craighill’s Station money clip is crafted from titanium and its design is based on the Old Station hairpin turn at the Monaco Grand Prix.
In order to increase the spring strength, founder Hunter Craighill applied a process called annealing, which enhances the clip’s ability to grip its contents securely, as well as making sure that the contours of the clip sit flat in your pocket.
Where else would you go for impossibly chic leather wallets and card holders in black? Saint Laurent sticks to its black-or-nothing guns, with a perfectly proportioned collection of minimalist small leather goods that are as chic as they are understated, albeit with some subtle logo love.
Heritage English leather goods specialist Ettinger is the ultimate expression of handcrafted luxury, offering an array of sumptuous billfolds, coat wallets, cardholders and coin purses all crafted in the softest bridle and calf leathers with contrast tone details.
Pocket-sized elegance and sophistication.
Leather bag specialist Valextra also creates some sought-after small leather goods in the shape of billfolds, coat wallets and card holders. With minimal detailing and pleasingly geometric card compartments, its wallets are money itself while its accordion card cases are a genius piece of design.
One can spot a Goyard wallet from 50 paces thanks to the Parisian brand’s iconic geometric pattern. Its leather wallets, coin purses and cardholders are social currency in themselves, handcrafted to meticulous standards and available in a variety of colours to suit your personal style.
Whether it’s the grey Damier checkerboard that tickles your minimalist fancy, or the classic and instantly recognisable ‘LV’ monogram motif, Louis Vuitton’s wallets, cardholders and zip purses are a statement. We especially like the bifold pocket organisers which are svelte in dimensions yet contain plenty of function sleeves to store cards, cash and receipts in.
Italian leather specialist Bottega Veneta is famous for its ‘intrecciato’ woven designs, creating a textural and minimalistic leather fabric perfect for understated wallets and cardholders, as evidenced by its stunning bifolds and zipped card cases that will only get better with age.
While the Italian fashion giant might be best known for its maximalist collections, Gucci’s small leather goods and money clips are actually much more understated and timeless. Of course there are plenty of leather and canvas wallet options featuring the iconic interlocking Gs, but we particularly love the black leather card holders with metal money clips for a low-key luxury option.
The post The Brands Making The Sleekest Minimalist Wallets For Men appeared first on Ape to Gentleman.