One of the great equalizers, almost no accessory is as varied and as universal as the man’s wallet. Everybody from the poorest pauper to the wealthiest industrialist owns a wallet. The wallet itself is as old as civilization. Once man created currency, he needed a way to hold it. So, the first simple sack wallets were created. People would use them to hold coins and other essentials, and as the mankind changed, the wallet changed as well.
Today, the choices available are varied from the classic American billfold to the more cosmopolitan travel wallet, and the simple money clip. To help you decide just which wallet is most suited to your needs and lifestyle, EveryGuyed has put together this list, containing the five wallet styles that all men need to familiarize themselves with.
The classic wallet, this form is the one most people are most familiar with. Usually made of leather, and folded two or three times to fit into a back pocket, the modern billfold wallet emerged in the late 1950s. As credit cards gained popularity, wallets began to carry card slots, and the form that people are most familiar with today emerged.
With few changes to the design over the last 50 years, the billfold is the most functional, most practical everyday wallet available. For those of you who can’t decide, for those of you who don’t need a wallet to do anything fancy, the billfold is a great, practical choice with no real drawbacks.
The billfold’s taller friend, the breast wallet is designed to store banknotes without folding. Too large to be carried in pants, this wallet is usually kept inside of your suits inside breast pocket, or inside a briefcase or bag.
Though this wallet creates an undeniable sense of class when pulled out from the breast pocket of a crisp new Prada suit, it does come off as pretty dumb looking if you’re just grabbing it from your messenger bag at the grocery store. A risky choice that can have a big payoff, or blow up in your face, the breast wallet isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s a statement.
A close cousin to the breast wallet, the travel wallet is a larger, fatter breast wallet, with space enough to hold some cash, some plastic, your passport, and your boarding pass. Too large to be kept in your pants, and sometimes even too large to be kept in your breast pocket, you usually stash this in your briefcase or some other carry-on bag that’s kept close at hand.
Infinitely useful for travel, if you find yourself in the air more than on the ground, the travel wallet is going to save you time and grief. Who can afford to search and search for a boarding pass every check-in?
Ostensibly just another derivative of the billfold, the zip wallet is a choice that’s gaining popularity among designers and fashionistas. A brilliant alternative to the billfold that’s just as functional and portable as it is stylish; the zip wallet comes with the disadvantage of coming off as somewhat trendy. Though it works for a twenty-something reaching for this in a dive bar in Brooklyn, a forty year old in a hotel lobby just looks pathetic; great if you can carry it off, and an absolute train-wreck if you can’t.
If you want to think of a wallet in terms of a piece of leather you put your money and credit cards inside of, the money clip doesn’t really count. But this simple bit of metal bent and twisted to hold your banknotes is an enduring design that never really goes out of style. While the clip carries an effortless sense of prosperity, the clip does carry one glaring problem.
Of course, we’re talking about the lack of any storage space. No room for IDs, no room for credit cards, no room for anything, the money clip is a great front-pocket choice, but is best used in combination with another wallet for practicality’s sake. Just the same, it’s a great accessory that should be in every man’s arsenal.