Help me find a new wallet.
April 8, 2013 11:53 AM   Subscribe

My current wallet is getting a bit beat up and also mildly embarrassing in work situations. I'd like a cool-looking, functional men's wallet that isn't just a black rectangle with pockets.

I need to be able to get my MetroCard in and out of it quickly and frequently. I carry it in my back pocket, so it should be ass-friendly.

Preferably this would be an actual wallet and not a complex series of rubber bands and surfaces, or a locking clamshell. No duct-tape anything.

If it is relevant, I use a money clip for cash. Also, I have no idea how much wallets cost, but I'm willing to pay for quality.
posted by griphus to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (36 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
I love the Paul Smith wallets. There's a Paul Smith store on, I think 16th and 5th.

Check 'em out.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 11:58 AM on April 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

The men's style blog-a-logs recommend Chester Mox. I'm looking at one for myself - they have some nice colors and their leather is purported to be very good.

Alternately, JCrew has a couple on clearance that look pretty decent.
posted by Frowner at 11:59 AM on April 8, 2013

I've had my Big Skinny wallet for...six? years now, and it's still going strong. Perhaps you'd prefer this version since you don't carry cash in it?
posted by Grither at 12:02 PM on April 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Even though it is in fact a black rectangle with pockets, I love my Splaff wallet, made from recycled bicycle tire inner tubes. The rubber makes it nice and grippy -- so less likely to slip from fingers or pockets -- and it's extremely durable. Mine is still like new after several years of daily use.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 12:04 PM on April 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

I have a Prada wallet. I like it. The specific one I have is not available anymore, but check these out.
posted by jeffamaphone at 12:06 PM on April 8, 2013

Another cool option I've mentioned on AskMe before is Dutch leather artist Hester van Eeghen. Here's her men's wallets. I have a business card case of hers, and it's beautiful.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 12:11 PM on April 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm trying to get my hands on one of these bad boys.
posted by phaedon at 12:13 PM on April 8, 2013

Best answer: My 8-year-old leather wallet started falling due to injuries sustained in a puppy-related incident a few years ago. I finally replaced it with a wallet from Bellroy, and I'm pretty happy with it.

In my search for a new wallet I ended up buying two. The extreme minimalist in me really loves the one I got from All-Ett. It's my travel/hiking/beach/summer/etc wallet, while the bulkier leather Bellroy is the one I carry around most days.
posted by sportbucket at 12:13 PM on April 8, 2013 [3 favorites]

This fascinating-looking Yasutomo 2020 Wa-Ben Wallet just appeared in my Cool Tools mailing list last week.

If that style isn't your thing, they've covered a few other wallets as well.
posted by zachlipton at 12:17 PM on April 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Flattest wallet ever, and nearly indestructible.
It's easy on the pants pocket, being flat, and the $20 option is made of parachute nylon. I got the 7-8 years ago and it's barely worn.
posted by LonnieK at 12:28 PM on April 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

I own one of these (the ID Wallet.) I expect it to be the last wallet I ever own. Discovered via a discussion on Mefi.
posted by COD at 12:34 PM on April 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Seconding the Tyvek wallets Greg Nog mentions. Those suckers are sturdy but also very comfortable to have on your person. Doesn't get as bulky as most wallets (mine is the London Underground map).
posted by Kitteh at 12:35 PM on April 8, 2013

Seconding COD, except I have the small leather bifold.
posted by duckstab at 12:37 PM on April 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

I own a Chester Mox wallet (dogleg/slim wallet)... Great quality.
posted by raihan_ at 12:48 PM on April 8, 2013

Best answer: Budget? Personally I think the best compromise between style/size/practicality/price is found in this slim wallet by bellroy. but ymmv depending on if you have much less or more to spend.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 1:04 PM on April 8, 2013

This Dopp Front Pocket Wallet is far and away the best wallet I've ever owned. It's super slim, very well made, and extra convenient for Metrocards (I have mine in the front pocket of the "pocketed" side, and can slip it in and out of the wallet with my thumb WHILE IT'S STILL IN MY BACK POCKET).
posted by saladin at 1:04 PM on April 8, 2013

I second Bellroy! I have a Note Sleeve and it's excellent for back pocket use (not too thick but still holds enough) and has quick card access.
posted by sgo at 1:15 PM on April 8, 2013

I love my Cinch wallet.
posted by 4ster at 1:45 PM on April 8, 2013

I have this wallet from Ettinger - it's on the pricier end of the candidates here but if that's ok I'd give it a strong recommendation.
posted by ethand at 2:21 PM on April 8, 2013

Spent a lot of time on old AskMe's before getting a Kevlar bifold wallet from Ragged Edge, a small domestic outfit. I quite like it, and it looks cool, but it doesn't have a change pocket, so no easy way to carry coins.
posted by RedOrGreen at 3:03 PM on April 8, 2013

I use a business card case. The smallest possible way for me to carry around my bus pass, student id, drivers license, credit card, debit card, and two insurance cards is this. Keep an eye out, there are some nice ones out there.
posted by oceanjesse at 3:19 PM on April 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

These guys primarily make guitar straps, but also have a whole line of wallets. The wallets are made from new old stock vintage automotive upholstery.

I have a variation on this one but there are many to choose from - stylish, really well made, nigh indestructible, and environmentally friendly reuse of old materials.
posted by stenseng at 3:56 PM on April 8, 2013

I've had a rayskin "bifold economy wallet" for about a decade, and the only difference between the way it looks now and the way it did then is some discoloration (which I like better that the original all black). It might be too thick for back-pocket use (I slip it in my front pocket, out of a false sense of security that it is less pickpocketable there).
posted by subajestad at 4:03 PM on April 8, 2013

I was given a Daines & Hathaway billfold a few years back. Best wallet I've ever had, and I'm historically hard on wallets (I'm also historically cheap about wallets, which might explain some things). Not sure it's what you'd call cool, but it's definitely classic, and that's good for the long haul.
posted by mumkin at 4:53 PM on April 8, 2013

Taxi wallet. Compact, so it fits in your front pants pocket, the billfold and side pocket snap securely shut with hidden snaps, and it has a card pocket that allows instant access to two or three cards, with room for more in the side pocket. The leather is very high quality, mine is 5 years old and still looks great.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:54 PM on April 8, 2013

Belroy note sleeve. Nice leather, thoughtfully designed, slim. But if you want to keep using your money clip, maybe the card sleeve is what you want.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:18 PM on April 8, 2013

I have and love this bison leather trifold. The grain of the bison leather gives the wallet a look and feel that is much more appealing to me than the cowhide wallets I've owned in the past. Also, it smells *so* good. I pulled out the card sleeve it comes with and have just been using the integrated pockets for the few cards I carry. A trifold seems perfect for accessing one or two oft-used cards; I just keep them in the outside flap and flip it open when I have the wallet in hand. The backpack, briefcase, and belt I previously bought from Duluth Pack are showing little to no wear years later, and a few of their bags have been in my family for decades.

Also, if this sort of thing matters to you, all of Duluth Pack's products are made in the U.S. by well-paid craftspeople. I've found over the years that other tempting leather products, like Saddleback, are not. Which is too bad, because aside from not being made in the U.S., Saddleback's stuff looks and sounds very nice.
posted by Derive the Hamiltonian of... at 8:32 PM on April 8, 2013

I love love love the Tyvek wallets, too. Though one thing I'll point out is that while they might technically live foreverish, they start to get soft, wrinkly, and distended after about a year or so of being sat on.
posted by threeants at 9:24 PM on April 8, 2013

Saddleback has some handsome wallets. How many cards to you carry? The $14 Sleeve is nice. And... a 100 year warranty is kinda cool.
posted by at at 10:24 PM on April 8, 2013

My brother happily used stainless steel wallets for many years. I couldn't recommend a particular brand, but they're easy to find online it looks like. They come in traditional wallet shapes and only cost as much as a low-end fancy leather one - probably at least twice as much as that wallet you linked to, but not much more. Remarkable but not ostentatious.
posted by 23 at 1:07 AM on April 9, 2013

My last two wallets (former and current) are the Tyvek ones. They don't live forever but they do last a bit longer than the other wallets I've had and come in pretty cool cashier-impressing designs.
posted by furiousthought at 1:26 AM on April 9, 2013

You might like the smaller version of this Ainste thing, especially if you keep your cash separately. Also possible for super-slimness, the TGT -- both of these are Kickstarters that are now selling openly.
posted by acm at 7:00 AM on April 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! I think I've decided to go with the Bellroy slim-sleeve in cocoa unless someone has a particularly good reason as to why I shouldn't.
posted by griphus at 7:41 AM on April 9, 2013

I want to second the Yasutomo mentioned above by zachlipton: it is super light, super thin, and really cool looking. It's made from space age cuben fiber. Best wallet I've ever owned.
posted by Freen at 10:23 AM on April 9, 2013

Good choice, griphus. I can vouch for the quality (I have the note sleeve), and the cocoa pull up leather wears nicely.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:19 PM on April 9, 2013

Response by poster: The wallet came! Assuming the price reflects the quality, I'm very happy with it. Finally sitting on my ass instead of my wallet. Hooray! Thanks again y'all.
posted by griphus at 10:24 AM on April 22, 2013

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