How to Choose a Wallet

13 How to Choose a Wallet
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 Billfold

22 How to Choose a Wallet
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 Breast Wallet

33 How to Choose a Wallet
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.

The Travel Wallet

42 How to Choose a Wallet
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?

The Zip Wallet

51 How to Choose a Wallet
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.

The Money Clip

61 How to Choose a Wallet
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.


  • The British pound is 8.5 cm tall, the Japanese yen is 7.7 cm tall, and the American dollar is 6.6 cm tall. You might need to look into buying a new wallet when traveling overseas.
  • Though some wallets contain compartments for coins, they can rapidly turn a fairly thin wallet into a bulky monstrosity, and a savvy EveryGuyed reader into that idiot who’s holding up the rest of the line while looking for coins.
  • When choosing a wallet, remember that all leather on your body should compliment each other. Brown shoes dictate a brown wallet, and black shoes dictate a black wallet. And Crocs dictate a fanny pack.


Have you got any wallet advice for us? Rules that we might have missed, suggestions on brands, or designs? Use the comment box below to throw in your two cents!


Xiaoli Li
Xiaoli Li is an often-missed former editor at the EveryGuyed network. He's currently working as a freelance writer, and probably yelling at a soccer game somewhere out there.
Xiaoli Li

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What's on your mind?

  1. Just a little note,

    only the English £50 note is 8.5cm tall, they get 5mm small as you go down in denomination,

    so £20 is 8cm, £10 is 7.5cm and £5 is 7cm, so might be worth getting a slightly smaller that is more versatile and just break up you cash a bit

    • Thanks for the tip, Andrew!

      The point was chiefly to help our readers bear in mind that not every bill on Earth is shaped the same way. Perhaps if travelling to Zimbabwe or Weimar-era Germany, the reader would benefit from carrying a large garbage sack full of money.

      Best regards,

  2. Personally, I find a money clip is a great/stylish element to add to one’s collection. On a night out, a money clip allows you to reduce the bulk and heft of a traditional wallet….some people feel it’s a ostentatious, but I think if you’re discreet about using it, that’s not an issue.

  3. I personally found a great unisex wallet made of one piece of leather with no stitches that carries both money and cards and it doesn’t look cramped at all. Best choice I ever made when it comes to wallets!

  4. Good list. One type of wallet you should add to the list is the cardholder. It’s slim and holds a few cards + several bills. Perfect for guys who hate lugging around a bulky wallet.

  5. Hey Im looking for a wallet.
    Ive been looking for a lot of different ones and I want something that dosent look cheap etc.
    looks good. Im just a student so im not going to have more than 2 cards, just mostly money.
    any suggetions? (please leave a specific wallet)
    and what about money clips??

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