How to Choose Your Perfect Wallet
Wallets have been a gentleman's accessory for centuries. They became a requirement in the 1600's after the introduction of paper money.
Since then they have evolved, not only to carry notes, but also to store coins, cards, and passports - sometimes all at the same time.
Globally, the percentage of transactions using cash is expected to fall to only 15% by 2022 (source). The world is moving towards cards and mobile payments.
As our spending habits change, so the wallet has evolved. Wallets are now slimmer and better looking than they've ever been. No longer are they just for cramming huge wads of cash and enormous numbers of cards in - they're now a defining accessory, saying much about the type of person you are.
The type of wallet above - packed full and bulging out of your back pocket - is out. Leave those to your dad. And as for cheap, velcro-opening superhero wallets - leave them to your 12 year old brother.
Newer, slimmer, more beautiful wallets are the future. So let's get down to business helping you choose yours.
(featured above: the Ekster Parliament wallet. Slim, and with handy pop-up card storage - it's a great example of a beautiful, modern wallet)
What do you need a wallet for?
Most people need a wallet in for daily use, in order to carry all of their essential cards, notes and sometimes coins.
But it is becoming more common for people to have a couple of wallets - one for daily use, and another for going out. A wallet is more than just something functional. It completes your look.
The search for your perfect wallet begins with working out exactly what you want it to do. And that starts with determining the following:
- Will this be your main wallet, or a second one (e.g. for evenings out)?
- How many cards do you need to store?
- How much cash do you typically carry?
- Do you need it to be able to store coins?
- Should it have RFID protection?
We'll come back to all of the above, but it's worth having that in mind right from the start. First though, let's talk about looks.
Why Looks are Important
When it comes to wallets, looks are so important. If it's your main wallet then you're going to be using it every day of your life. People are going to see it at the office, when you're out with friends, and when you're on a date. Make sure it reflects well on you in all circumstances.
Bringing out a bulky, poor quality wallet is a sure way for people to form a subtle but unwanted impression of you. And of course it will bulge your pocket - that's not really the look you want, is it?
There's no excuse for having a bad looking bulky wallet these days. Fortunately, on our site all of the wallets are designed to impress. Let's get you upgraded.
We realise that your favourite wallet will be a matter of personal preference. Whether it's one of the smart, brushed-metal cardholders, a super-slim minimalist design, or the richness of a top quality modern leather wallet, we've got you covered.
If you're unsure, a great place to start is our ranking of best sellers. They're our most popular products for a reason: they're brilliant combinations of good looks and functionality.
If you're making an investment in a wallet long-term then we also think it's worth looking at leather. A good quality leather wallet - like the ones in the Bellroy range - gets even better with age, like all good people. Check out our collection of superb leather wallets here.
Storage Capacity - Important when Choosing a New Wallet
A highly important thing to understand is what capacity of cards and cash you need your wallet to hold.
People are using less and less cash these days, but many of us are still carrying a lot of cards. Before buying a wallet, think realistically about what you need to hold. It's probably time to have a clear out of your existing wallet. Only keep what you actually use. Then allow yourself just a little extra room.
There's no right or wrong answer. Whether you need a lot of cards and cash or very little, there are beautiful wallets to suit either case.
(Both of the above wallets contain the same number of cards. The one on the right, with a smart design and modern look is the right way to do it. Wallet pictured: Bellroy - Note Sleeve Wallet)
Our product descriptions always aim to make clear how much a wallet will hold, but here are some collections we've put together to help:
- Big capacity wallets: we class this as any wallet that can carry over 10 cards.
- Super slim wallets: if you don't need much storage and you've only got a couple of cards, why not consider a super-slim design. Fits in your trousers without you hardly noticing it's there - great for evenings out.
- Wallets where you don't have to fold your notes: many of the smaller modern designs require you to fold your notes in order to get them to fit. If you're old school and like them unfolded, or you just can't be bothered folding, check out this collection.
- Wallets that carry coins: Not that many wallets these days cater for this, but a few good ones do.
What is RFID protection and do you need it?
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a short-distance electro-magnetic method for transmitting small bits of data.
In plain English, this is the way we make 'contactless' payments or tap in and out on our travel cards.
If a wallet has RFID protection, it is designed to stop some or all of the contents being accessed by coming into close proximity with a reader. Cases of this type of crime are fairly low, and most cards have a maximum contactless payment limiting your loss. But having a wallet that gives you peace of mind against this kind of thing is a real bonus.
We've put together a list of all the RFID wallets we sell here.
Don't just stop at your wallet
So, you're smartening up your act with a wallet? Why not complete the upgrade to your pocket and consider some other types of wallets and accessories that will complement the look.
We've got notebook covers, travel passport wallets, phone cases and business card holders that will all turn heads for the right reasons.
Check out our list of accessories here.