We spend a lot of time thinking about how to spend our money, but we rarely think twice about how to carry it around. Like a window into your life, a wallet can say a lot about you. A worn, basic bifold bursting with receipts might imply one thing—and a slim, classic card case another. No matter what kind you prefer, a good wallet should be sharp, durable, and easy to use. But that doesn’t mean you need to empty your wallet to buy your next one—although the wallets at the end of this list are certainly tempting. Your next one should fit your lifestyle. Whether you’re climbing the face of a mountain or the corporate ladder, we’ve got the best wallets no matter your top priority: stashing your cash, protecting your information, keeping all your valuables in one place, making a statement—or all of the above.
Types of Wallets
A good wallet should fit your lifestyle, so think about what you’ll be using your wallet for: stashing your cash, protecting your information, consolidating your valuables, making a statement—or all of the above. A leather bifold is the standard go-to for a slim, back-pocket wallet. Trifolds are sometimes a bit bulkier, yet more narrow and easy to fit in your pocket. Card cases are ideal for carrying in your front pocket, and card cases work well if you want to keep everything in one place. In any case, let your day-to-day needs lead the way.
What Kind of Leather Wallet?
When looking for leather, check the tag for quality indicators. “Genuine leather” isn’t certifying that the leather is real—it’s an actual grade of leather, typically the lowest quality used for consumer sales. Top grain, the most common leather, is often buffed down to remove blemishes. And full grain is the best quality that shows the full depth and texture of the hide. If you want the best, look for this term on the inside of the wallet.
How to Care for Your Leather Wallet
If you do opt for a leather wallet, always follow the care instructions included with the piece. But if you want to give your wallet a quick refresh, remove all your cards and cash, wipe it down inside and out to remove any debris, and use a soft cloth (an old T-shirt will do the trick) to apply leather conditioner or mink oil to keep your wallet hydrated to prevent dryness or cracking—and to give it a rich color that will develop more and more over time.