Editor’s note: This is the first in an ongoing series covering quick and easy upgrades to style dilemmas a guy might face once in a while. Check back for more entries in the series.
What’s the one thing you carry with you, likely everywhere, everyday? A wallet, or some way or system of storing credit cards, cash, etc. But the thing with that is … it can be a lot. Sometimes, George Costanza-esque (although hopefully not!). Getting your wallet and valuables in order is but one step that goes hand in hand with bettering your style – and your lifestyle in general.
Swapping out that wallet, of course, requires an evaluation of the goods you’ve got in your current one. Excess or old gift cards or receipts? Unless you’re overly sentimental, those can probably be tossed. That value rewards card for a store you never visit? Ehh, probably to the trash can. So that leaves you with the essentials. Storing those is the next step – and with clothing getting slimmer all the time, what does one reach for? Even if you find yourself leaning toward straight leg pant cuts, a good answer is the card case.
In a way, it’s like a Lean Wardrobe for your wallet – making do with less, but using those items more efficiently. Paired with a sturdy money clip (like this clever option from Owen & Fred) for some cash, it’s a combination that truly does look stylish while also serving a nice function. And luckily, designers and brands big and small are making versions that lean either super luxe or quite rugged. New leather goods startup Issara makes a truly sleek version with two exterior slots for cards and one additional interior slot at a price that’s not quite investment-grade (but not exactly cheap, either).
Another significant upgrade at an affordable price would be the Land’s End Landmark Newton Cardholder. It’s on sale right now for just under $15, a pretty darn good price when you consider it’ll go with you everywhere, and the middle-of-the-road brown or black options work in equal measures. Linjer Leather Goods also makes a nice and slim card case in brown as seen above. If you can’t quite let go of your traditional wallet but want to lose the excess bulk, the Mocha Leather Billfold from Linjer is sleeker yet not quite as toned down as a card case.
Skagen’s Torben Card Case also would get the job done quite nicely, although there’s a small branded logo stamp on one side, which some might not like. If you really feel like selling out when it comes to this style upgrade though, The Hill-Side (one of GQ’s best and brightest) makes what looks to be an amazing navy herringbone tweed wallet featuring burnished edges, Italian cowhide leather – and more importantly, a slimmed-down yet still traditional wallet shape. There’s no way that thing’d get bulked down by receipts … right?
That’s all for the first Style Upgrade in this series – have you made the switch yet? What card case and/or money clip are you carrying around these days? Let me know!