Style Pick of the Week: Brothers Leather Supply 810 Wallet

Editor’s note: Expect these posts weekly detailing one standout item coveted by yours truly. Sometimes, these fit within budgetary restrictions and other times, they’re expensive splurges worth saving for. For more Wish List items from Beau, head here, and to see other Style Picks, head here.

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A durable, well-made wallet from the Michigan-based team at Brothers Leather Supply. Get 15 percent off all Brothers Leather goods with the code ‘BrotherBeau15’ until January 6th!

First of all, we’re wishing everyone a lovely Christmas Eve. Now, onto to business, shall we? The concept of small, daily style upgrades that make your life better is one that’s pretty big here at The Style Guide. Be it something more noticeable like the cut of your crewneck sweatshirt or the quality of your favorite waxed trucker jacket, looking to buy the best and use the best menswear out there is a fun — if taxing — pursuit. And that pursuit extends to your everyday carry — after all, building great style is a process that touches every aspect of your life (repeat that again, will ya?) I’m always looking for ways to improve my own style, and that’s why finding brands that make the search easier can be so fulfilling. Take Brothers Leather Supply — this brand first caught my eye during a summer trip back to Grand Rapids, when I had the chance to check out the Michigan company’s well-appointed storefront, as seen below.

My Grand Rapids trip this summer introduced me firsthand to a great leather goods brand.

My Grand Rapids trip this summer introduced me firsthand to the great leather goods brand that is Brothers Leather Supply.

And if you’ve been following me on Instagram, perhaps you’ve seen some of the stunning goods I’ve been testing out — including today’s Style Pick, the slim, useful and effective 810 Wallet.  We’ve talked in the past about upgrading your wallet, and if you’ve yet to do that, the 810 Wallet is an easy and effective way to check that off your list of men’s style resolutions before the new year even starts.  Whether you browse online or have the chance to visit the Brothers Leather Supply shop in Grand Rapids, I’d urge you to get up to speed on a brand that could steadily upgrade your accessories — in fact, you can use the code ‘BrotherBeau15’ to get 15 percent off any item, now through January 6th! Why should you do that? Read on, my fellow #menswear aficionados.

The 810 Wallet is made with full-grain Vechetta leather in a lovely medium tan-brown color — it’s supple, smooth leather that’ll age nicely over time. And for $75, you definitely get your money’s worth — although hey, that 15 percent discount looks pretty good, yes? The brand does you one better by offering your pick of personalized branding and leather conditioner, too. The striped, canvas-lined large back pocket is a neat design touch that’s complemented smartly by three easy-to-access slots on the left side, plus a larger slip pocket on the right side (complete with its own striped tab). Yes my friends, the 810 Wallet  ios a masculine, smart-looking wallet that slides easily in and out of slim dark denim or a trim wool overcoat — a bulky George Costanza wallet, this is not. And it should slide easily into your front suit jacket pocket the next time you suit up on a dressy day at the office. So, what’s not to love about (potentially) your go-to everyday wallet? I’d pick one up as quickly as possible, and I’d wager you’ll be surprised at how much lighter — and more stylish — your everyday carry can be.

Get 15 percent off the 810 Wallet — or any other Brothers Leather Supply good using the code ‘BrotherBeau15’ now through January 6th. Stay stylish!

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Style Q+A: Friday & River

A neat array of home goods from Friday & River on display, including excellent candle and planter options for your home. Photo courtesy of Friday & River.

A neat array of home goods from Friday & River on display, including excellent candle and planter options for your home. Photo courtesy of Friday & River.

Editor’s note: Stick around to catch up on the last entry in our Style Q+A series.

Here at your favorite neighborhood menswear blog — The Style Guide, c’mon guys — there’s inspiration to be found everywhere in terms of men’s style. And as we’ve often talked about when it comes to style upgrades, there are a lot of different things, some small and some large, that go into developing and refining great personal style. From how you buy and wear your favorite chambray shirt to the type of classic leather boots you put on every day, style is certainly an ongoing process — and that includes the things that surround you in your daily home life. Whether we’re talking a refined-yet-rugged candle or a neat planter, there are chances to put a bit more thought into nearly every aspect of your routine and the design of the spaces in which you live and work. Not to get all philosophical but… it makes a difference! And the small team at Friday & River approaches its work with all those small details and the process of excellent design in mind — that’s great news for you and me both. And when you learn more about the San Diego-based husband-and-wife brand, you realize that yes, even the unexpected items — like your leather wallet or your everyday belt — can make a big difference in the way you live your life. In discovering the brand and trying out its “Yuzu and the Sea” candle and a lovely white, leather-wrapped planter over the past few weeks, I found that I appreciate having subtly stylish goods around my Brooklyn apartment (small as it might be). And hopefully, you’ll give the brand a try for yourself — shop around at Friday & River, and learn more about what makes co-founder Joe Freitag tick. Without much further ado, check out the latest Style Q+A .

TSG: Tell about the start of the brand and your initial idea for it?

F&R: Friday & River is very much a collaboration between my wife Yumi and I. We have both worked in design or branding for brands like Levis, Burton, Luxottica, to name a few, and discovered the world of high-quality handcrafted leather goods while we were living and working in Tokyo. Inspired by the dedication to craftsmanship, minimalism and attention to detail, we learned the craft of leatherwork and started designing and making our own items as gifts for friends and family. Eventually we began selling our goods under the name Friday &River, which is derived from our last names – Freitag meaning “Friday” in German, and Kawamura meaning “Big River Village” in Japanese.

A lineup of items from the brand's very sharp "All-Black" Collection. Photo courtesy of Friday & River.

A lineup of items from the brand’s very sharp “All-Black” Collection. Photo courtesy of Friday & River.

TSG: You feature a wide range of product categories on your site — why is it important for a guy to take an interest in home design and other areas outside of just menswear?

F&R: I think most guys who pay attention to what they wear also consider their living space as an extension of their personality. Increasingly, when people spend their hard-earned money on something they are seeking items with purpose, or add a sense of joy and warmth to their lives. That way of thinking is one of the cornerstones of Friday & River and why we strive to make meaningful items for different aspects of a person’s life.

TSG: If you had to pick out one item from the Friday & River site for a guy to buy, what might it be?

F&R: I think there’s something very personal about a man’s wallet. It’s the one item that he’ll often carry with him every day for years, reminding him of where he’s been and where he’s headed. A well-made leather wallet can be handed down for generations.

TSG: On the style front, what’s an essential every guy should have in his closet?

F&R: Now that cooler weather has settled in, there’s something very satisfying about putting on your favorite watch cap. (Editor’s note: Head here for a few stylish winter accessories picks from 2016).

TSG: You post studio playlists on your blog — how does music inspire your design work, and what have you been spinning lately?

F&R: Music is a constant in the Friday & River workshop. It is the soundtrack to our work-whether it be design, production or day-to-day tasks, so we like to share that soundtrack on our site once in a while. We have a pretty eclectic taste in music, but you’ll typically hear a lot of classic soul and funk because it keeps the energy flowing, especially when we’re in production.

Want more from Friday & River on the daily? Follow along with the brand on Instagram and Twitter.

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Reader Giveaway Opportunity: Minimum Squared Wallets

Editor’s note: Thank you to all who participated in the giveaway! And congrats to the winner, Scott. T! 

A unique-looking, slim and minimal wallet from Minimum Squared -- one of which could be yours! Read on for more details. Photo courtesy of the brand.

A unique-looking, slim and minimal wallet from Minimum Squared — one of which could be yours! Read on for more details. Photo courtesy of the brand.

As I’ve tried to streamline the process of getting ready to face the day ahead, I find myself looking for items that are simple, effective and stylish. Be it a solid money clip or  a reliable leather messenger bag, anything that makes it quicker and easier to get from point A to point B is a winner in my book. So, a crisp, clean and unique-looking wallet definitely fits the bill — in fact, a slim wallet is a style upgrade I’d definitely recommend you make. With that in mind, we’re focusing on that theme for today’s giveaway, and introducing y’all to a brand that might be a new one for you. In fact, I was just introduced to Minimum Squared Wallets last fall. One of their co-founders, Sanela Kadric, reached out to me with the brand’s story, which is pretty neat (and which I subsequently covered for VOUCH Mag). The wallets are, as I quickly learned, stitched meticulously by hand from one piece of precision laser-cut leather– a very intense undertaking in and of itself — and yet they incorporate the equally precise and more mathematically challenging principles of engineering to design the wallets (Sanela’s husband has an engineering background — not common among the men’s accessories world, to say the least). As if that wasn’t impressive enough, the brand was just awarded the prestigious Red Dot Award, an international distinction given to brands and products in various categories that emphasize sleek, high-quality design. Pretty impressive, no?  It’s the result of a modern approach that aims to use the least amount of leather and stitching possibly, resulting in a wallet that, although it folds over on itself, is still about as slim as a thin card case when filled with about five to six cards. Now, on their own, they don’t come cheap (about $170, the result of these pieces being handstitched in Spain). Their precise selection — that phrase comes up a lot to describe these — combines unique, rich leather colors with a neat, slim elastic strap to hold everything together. Make no mistake, these aren’t the Velcro wallets of past years, and they’re definitely nothing like George Costanza’s wallet. In fact, I’ve found in testing mine out that it’s no thicker than my old card case, and it fits just as easily into the pocket of slim denim or chinos.

That’s a win-win, right? Right. And to recognize the brand’s innovative approach and award-winning quality via the Red Dot Award, we’re giving you, lucky Style Guide reader, the chance to win one wallet of your choice! The lucky recipient will get their pick of one simple, stylish Minimum Squared wallet. Simply follow the instructions below and look out for the winner to be announced via the top of this post!

Good luck, and thanks for reading!

To enter to win one (1) Minimum Squared wallet of your choice, click this link and follow the instructions!

Editor’s note: This giveaway ends at midnight on Friday, May 13th.

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Florsheim

Style Upgrade: The Slim Wallet

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.

Does this look like your wallet? Or someone you know? Friends don't let friends stuff their wallets.

Does this look like your wallet? Or someone you know? Friends don’t let friends stuff their wallets.

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.
Ben Sherman US
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.

What your wallet and credit cards situation should probably look like instead. Read on to learn more about both of these options.

What your wallet and credit cards situation should probably look like instead. On the left: Land’s End Landmark Newton Cardholder. On the right: Linjer Leather Goods’ Mocha Cardholder. Read on to learn more about both of these options.

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).

A money clip like this one from Owen & Fred will help you keep track of cash once you slim down that wallet.

A money clip like this one from Owen & Fred will help you keep track of cash once you slim down that wallet.

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.

The slim silhouette and eyecatching use of fabric make this piece from The Hill-Side a true splurge.

The slim silhouette and eyecatching use of fabric make this piece from The Hill-Side a true splurge.

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!

Ernest Alexander