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What your wallet says about you

February 6, 2013

new walletsWhy is it so many men attempt to transport more paper and cards in their limited wallets than some women in their larger purses? Two weeks ago, I happened upon a perfect example. I watched as a man wriggled a billfold out of his back pocket. It was so packed it could provide shade for a small family in the hot sun. He had crammed his wallet with what looked like no less than thirty cards as well as papers and cash and photos. I bet the price of an organization seminar – he somehow jammed his high school transcripts in there.

Why the giant paper stash? You probably will never call that phone number of an acquaintance written on a napkin. Easy access to info? Make a mental note: a huge wallet overflowing with clutter looks especially terrible. Picture a first date. You pull out your mobile filing cabinet. Most likely, your date will notice. She’ll think it’s tacky. Sure, the weight will build your bicep strength, but the negatives outweigh the positives.

Maybe you can relate. Or, maybe you own a wallet so old and tattered, you couldn’t give it away even if it were filled with money. So, what do these wallets tell the world? It says you live a cluttered and possibly messy life. It may say you don’t care about your appearance.

Now, before you become a traveling version of Hoarders or your billfold literally disintegrates from age, you should bear a few things in mind. I suggest you:

1. Go thin. This prevents unsightly bulging pockets. Fill your wallet with only the most essential cards. I talked about this in one of my most popular posts, The 4 don’ts of cell phones.

2. Keep your wallet understated. Not flashy or Marvin the Martian themed. Simple and classic.

3. Own a new wallet. Or at least maintain your wallet’s new appearance. Once it starts looking weathered and worn, change it out.

In my mind, the ideal wallet is leather, made simple yet stylish, and does not interfere with the lines of a properly fitting pair of pants. More than a decade ago, I owned a terrible wallet for some time. You can see it in the photo below. It caused my pockets to bulge and my overall fashion display to suffer. Today, I own several fashionable Coach versions (shown above). If you wonder whether or not you should replace your wallet, ask an unbiased person. Chances are, if you have to wrestle with the question, you require an upgrade.

© Copyright 2013 Fashion for the average man.

old wallet

24 Comments leave one →
  1. marekzyskowski permalink
    February 6, 2013 12:11 pm

    Definitely change the wallet each year. The worn thing is bad.

  2. February 6, 2013 3:18 pm

    Excellent advice, Jeremy. You might also want to mention the health benefits too. Doctors recommend not sitting on a bulky wallet.

    Years ago, I started having numbness down my right leg. It took me a very long time, too long, to realize that the cause was the wallet in my back pocket. My wallet hadn’t been a problem for the several decades since I started carrying a back pocket wallet as a teenager, so it took me a long time to suspect the wallet as the culprit. Once I did, I moved it over to my left pocket and, within a day or two, the numbness subsided. I then immediately went out and bought a small, slender wallet designed for front pocket use and have been feeling just fine and looking much sharper and organized ever since.

    • February 6, 2013 3:22 pm

      Excellent point. Never thought of that aspect. I have always kept my wallet in a front pocket. Guess I did not want easier access for pick pockets.

  3. February 6, 2013 10:54 pm

    Great advice … should go for us girls too – we have our whole life in both handbags and wallets – the problem is I can’t find a wallet that does everything .. I need it to do. Have a perfect one now – but it start to .. look a bit tacky, it’s red .. I wish I bought 2 – because I looked for over a year now – and nothing yet. When I find a new I will buy 2 for sure. Great advice and I love that black wallet on you image. I know somebody that would like too. *smile

  4. mcouat permalink
    February 7, 2013 6:15 pm

    I like the advice. They wear out so fast though!

  5. February 8, 2013 6:07 pm

    Very good advice for the guys. The back pocket is not where they should want a big bulge. Weirdly, I find your blog very compelling (subscribed too). I was in fashion illustrating before becoming and architect, so I was constantly surrounded by fashion and fashion advice. I checked out some of your other posts too. Love your style.

  6. February 9, 2013 3:24 pm

    Jeremy–Just jumped over here from Donna’s post at GWGT. Your “wallet” post made me laugh and cringe in recognition! My family got me one of those thin aluminum wallets for Christmas, and it was so full when I filled it and closed it that we had to work and work to get it open! This kept happening. In the switch-over I had already pared down to what I thought were the “essential” contents, so I had to take the “thin” wallet back! Guess this says TOO much about me! –John

  7. February 12, 2013 3:26 pm

    What a great blog idea. Looking forward to following your posts!

  8. May 9, 2013 8:13 pm

    Great advice! I started carrying a card case a couple of years ago in place of a wallet. Thanks for checking out my GF cookie recipe yesterday. You might like my entry on how to make a leather card case even more…

  9. June 11, 2013 4:25 pm

    im so glad i stumbled on your blog. i like your style and i will be using your inspirations to dress my husband who lives in his t-shirt and jeans.

  10. July 1, 2013 9:11 am

    Leather wallets are a timeless accessory that both men and women can appreciate. With varying styles, colors and designs finding a great wallet to fit your needs or the tastes of someone else is much less complicated than you may think. If you take a few minutes to think about the questions below, it will take you next to no time at all to find the perfect leather wallets.

  11. July 4, 2013 1:49 am

    >>It was so packed it could provide shade for a small family in the hot sun. <<
    Loved this line. And oh my, how often have I seen it.

  12. homeflair permalink
    August 12, 2013 10:02 am

    Luv your blog! Thanks for visiting Homeflair:)

  13. November 17, 2013 6:28 am

    interesting, I never really thought about this before 😉 I was always of the opinion that if I couldn’t fit something in my pockets, I didn’t need it (lol), yeah, I have bulging pockets and plenty of them (I’m not much into fashion)
    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I’m glad you liked my post on Food for the Soul

  14. January 16, 2014 3:58 pm

    I’m thinking about changing my wallet soon. Thanks for opening my eyes. :3

  15. May 3, 2014 3:39 am

    Excellent advice! And it’s true that sitting on a bulging wallet slipped in your back pocket can cause numbness in the leg.

  16. February 4, 2015 2:12 pm

    Thanks for this post Jeremy. Added it to the Fashion Supermarket because of the good advice 🙂

  17. June 22, 2015 5:45 pm

    Its really hard to find informative info but here I can… Pretty nice post. I just wanted to say that I have truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing and I hope you write again soon..

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