Middle-aged man in search of the perfect wallet
November 22, 2017 7:01 AM   Subscribe

I have spent years looking for a good, buy once, wallet. They are generally too small (Credit cards don't fit) or the leather is shoddy and falls apart. I will pay top dollar for a really great leather wallet. Suggestions please.
posted by captainscared to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (32 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
I find it hard to beat the design of the taxi wallet. I've had mine for 7 years and it's still going strong.
posted by oh pollo! at 7:06 AM on November 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

I’ve only bought women’s bags and wallets, but Frye has classic design and absolutely gorgeous leather that lasts forever (so far) and ages beautifully.
posted by kapers at 7:09 AM on November 22, 2017

Are you tied to leather? I have an older Machine Era wallet (sadly, discontinued, but the new ones seem great). It's metal, thin, but rigid and really strong. Holds about 6 cards, and I routinely keep a couple bills folded in 4ths in there too. The bands do wear out, but are cheap to replace. I've had mine for a few years now, and it's bulletproof. I will say, it's so small that I no longer keep it in my back pocket, it lives in the front. I use it as a bottle-opener with frequency.

If you're set on leather, I would check out Wood and Faulk. I don't have one of their wallets, but many of their other leather goods live in our house. The leather they're made of breaks in wonderfully, are made in the US, and are just all around incredible quality.

"$description Wallets" are like one of the biggest categories on kickstarter. You could cruise around there and find something that fits your needs too.
posted by furnace.heart at 7:12 AM on November 22, 2017

Duluth Trading Company.
posted by lobstah at 7:13 AM on November 22, 2017

I have this leather wallet from Fossil. I've had it for several years now and it is holding up great. It's very sturdy. I have around 10 cards in there plus my license at any given time, plus whatever papers and receipts I've accumulated. Accommodates them all fine.
posted by SquidLips at 7:24 AM on November 22, 2017

I am one of seemingly many MeFites who swear by Allett wallets. They're made of quality leather exteriors, ultra thin ripstock nylon interiors, and best of all, are designed specifically to comfortably fit a lot of cards/content without becoming thick/unwieldy/like a giant tumor on your butt cheek. Mine is 3 years old and looks great and was inexpensive to begin with.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:31 AM on November 22, 2017 [5 favorites]

How many credit cards do you need it to hold? I have a leather money clip style wallet from Coach that has been going strong for probably 8 years. It has room for four credit cards, drivers license, insurance cards, and Costco card plus some cash. (However, a couple of the credit cards are the new metal Chase ones without raised numbers — those are probably a little bit thinner than the old style ones).
posted by primethyme at 7:33 AM on November 22, 2017

It's a bit unorthodox, but I highly recommend Phil's Wallets. I've gone through 2 in the past 8 years -- only had to replace the first because my dog chewed it up. It's the perfect size and functionality for me.
posted by so fucking future at 7:37 AM on November 22, 2017

Should have included this above, but my Allett wallet is about 4" by 5.5" and has four slots for cards and two sections for currency/receipts/other. Right now, it has ten cards, six business cards, about a half dozen receipts, and maybe 5 bills of paper money. It is maybe 3/8 to 1/2 of an inch in thickness with all of that. No matter how lovely the design other wallets might have, I cannot imagine ever going back to sitting on a lump of cards all day.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:43 AM on November 22, 2017

You might check out Waterfield (sfbags) here. I've had one for over 5 years and still in great shape.
posted by parki at 7:47 AM on November 22, 2017

I've had this for about 10 years: http://www.coach.com/coach-double-billfold-wallet/58397B.html?dwvar_color=FOR

It's definitely not cheap, but it has really lasted. It looks beat up now, and I hate the idea of spending all that money to replace it, but I will probably do just that...
posted by gregvr at 7:49 AM on November 22, 2017

I've had my wallet from M0851 for coming up on twenty years now. I have a spare from them as well, but the old one refuses to die.

Superb quality. Ages very well. Does what it's supposed to do, and nothing more. I have the 'Small Billfold with Six Card Slots". Cards in the slots, multiple cards in the slots, room behind for storing whatever, bills go in and out perfectly well.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:00 AM on November 22, 2017 [3 favorites]

I gave up a SaddleBack bi-fold leather wallet and then a Bill's Urban Wallet for a Taxi Wallet, carried in my front pocket. NO REGRETS.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:01 AM on November 22, 2017

Based on suggestions from other AskMe's, I picked up a Saddleback bifold. I'm only a year in, but so far it's looking good for durability, and unlike many other wallets it doesn't crack my cards.
posted by soundguy99 at 8:04 AM on November 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

I am always looking for the perfect wallet because what I really want is something that has been in a guy's back pocket for a decade but I can't always get that. I finally splurged on a new wallet which is this very nice wallet only I bought it on Ebay so it cost about 30% of that.
posted by jessamyn at 8:05 AM on November 22, 2017

Seconding the recommendation for Phil's Wallets.
posted by Malleable at 8:31 AM on November 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

Couch guitar strap company on Etsy makes wallets out of vintage car leather and mine has been intact for 5 years with no wear. My husband loves his too.
posted by agregoli at 8:38 AM on November 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

Based on a suggestion from jessamyn long ago, I bought a Bellroy wallet a while back. It’s a good design but the best part is the wonderfully soft leather, it is a pleasure to touch.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:49 AM on November 22, 2017

I went on a quixotic search for the ultimate wallet earlier this year, and after hours of research finally bought this one:

Vaultskin Manhattan bifold

(...which has been sitting, unused, in the nice box it came in ever since. Absolutely nothing wrong with it, it's just that it will require me to streamline my wallet contents -- one of the goals of the wallet search to begin with, of course. Who knew buying a new wallet could turn into a major lifestyle crisis?)
posted by Bron at 9:09 AM on November 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

Between us, my wife and I have 4 Bellroy wallets -- 2 wallets and 2 passport wallets -- and we love them.
posted by terrapin at 9:32 AM on November 22, 2017

I have a $1.99 trifold poly canvas Velcro wallet that I love! Ample CC storage, and not to thick for my rump. My last one wore out after five years, so I asked my dad for one for Christmas, and he rolled his eyes and got me two. So I am set for like 10 years.

Bonus: the envious looks I get when my wallet makes that super cool Velcro sound at the register. Scrrrritch!
posted by museum of fire ants at 10:36 AM on November 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

I've had a wallet from these folks for ~4 years. If anything it looks better today than when I bought it.

It's hard to go wrong with thick pieces of leather held together with thick thread.
posted by gregr at 11:06 AM on November 22, 2017

My wife bought me this (or its equivalent) Luis Vuitton wallet on our honeymoon 5 years ago. It was stomach-churningly expensive. It is also, functionally, the most satisfying wallet I have ever owned. However, do not buy this wallet. No one should spend this much money on a wallet - I have nothing to put in it.
posted by bluejayway at 12:26 PM on November 22, 2017

I like my Saddleback bifold a lot.
posted by hollyholly at 12:46 PM on November 22, 2017

I had a Coach leather wallet for 15-20, don't remember exactly, years that finally got too ragged. I went into a Coach store in DC and bought another one several months ago that seems just as good. Fits 8 cc-size cards (more if you put them in a bunch in the catch-all pocket.)

I guess you'd have to see them yourself for size and features, but I'll vouch for the quality/durability of Coach wallets.
posted by ctmf at 1:02 PM on November 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

Eleven years ago, my then-fiancée, now wife bought me a wallet from Aspinal of London. It's one of the best things I own, and it's weathered but still retains full structural integrity. Not a stitch out of place.

I don't want to know how much it cost, so I'm not going on the website to link it, but if you're willing to pay top dollar, well, thank Brexit the pound is down.
posted by kandinski at 3:39 PM on November 22, 2017

How abt a nice, German Montblanc — my wife bought me one a couple years ago, it has held up great since then and is nicely balanced between capacity and size
posted by charlemangy at 4:00 PM on November 22, 2017

I have a leather Guess wallet that I got from my brother maybe 7 years ago(?), and it's still going quite well. It's a very simple design - bi-fold with a flap over the plastic ID sleeve, and it holds a dozen plus cards and money without being too bulky. Unfortunately, the current selection of men's wallets from Guess don't include this one, and they're heavier on branding than my simple triangle and question mark GUESS stamped corner logo, but assuming their construction is still the same quality, I'd suggest them to others. As a bonus, they have a site-wide sale right now, if you're looking for something imminently.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:03 PM on November 22, 2017

You said top dollar so...Bottega Veneta bi-fold wallets hold up incredibly well (and have a lifetime warranty) because the construction is entirely leather (no cloth pockets, very limited stitching) and of a very high quality. I bought my husband one for our wedding and despite daily use and constantly being crushed (in skinny jeans no less!) it looks as good as the day we got it.
posted by BusyBusyBusy at 10:49 PM on November 22, 2017

My black leather bifold Tumi has served me well for 10ish years, comfortably holding 6 cards (or 8 in a pinch) plus US dollars.
posted by actionstations at 8:34 AM on November 23, 2017

About four years ago I found the perfect wallet, but I suspect you're not going to like it.

The real benefit for me was not the wallet itself, though it's great, but that it has forced me to cut down what I carry around to two or three cards and a couple of notes. It's amazing how many random little cards I was carrying around that I pretty much never used.
posted by katrielalex at 11:05 AM on November 23, 2017

This is the best leather wallet I've ever looked at. Clever design, too. I bought a couple for my sons-in-law. Not cheap, but I don't think you'll ever wear one out.

The artisan is a friend, otherwise I'm not sure I'd have ever seen them.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 6:41 PM on December 7, 2017

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