Picking out a wallet seems like a small thing—hell, a wallet is a small thing, physically—but which one you choose can be a pretty big deal. I’m not talking about it being some grand declaration of identity or anything like that (though if you’d like yours to be, by all means, go for it with something that speaks deeply to your personal aesthetics). Instead, I’m talking about the simple fact that this little bit of leather or canvas or what have you is going to be with you constantly, holding and protecting some very valuable stuff. And seeing as you only really need one, there’s a decent argument to be made for investing in a luxury wallet.
What do I mean by “luxury wallet?” Basically, one that costs more than the amount of cash that will generally be residing within it. You can go big, or you can go really big, but you should be willing to lay down a few extra bucks while buying it so you can reap the rewards of carrying not just a wallet but the wallet—your perfect wallet—for months and years to come. You could opt for a designer billfold emblazoned with an instantly recognizable logo, or a slim and subdued card case that only whispers luxury. You could choose buttery-soft leather or hard-wearing coated canvas or even a combination of the two. And if you’re really feeling bold, you could get yourself something louder than any piece of clothing you’d dare wear, something with a bold-as-hell pattern or print that’s a crowd-pleaser, for sure, but is mostly just for you. Whatever you do, though, start with one of the 18 options on this list.
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Best Futuristic Luxury Wallet
Logo Detail Wallet
Team A-Cold-Wall*’s penchant for architectural asymmetry takes this zip-around from sleek-but-standard to truly special.
Best Beautifully Macabre Luxury Wallet
Embossed Leather Billfold Wallet
Does your current wallet have an embossed ribcage on it? No? Why not??
Best Printed Luxury Wallet
Medusa Chain Leather Card Case
If you’re gonna go for it, you might as well go for it.
Best Minimalist Luxury Wallet
Masterful Italian minimalism, courtesy of a brand that made it a signature. Bonus points if either of your initials begin with a “T.”
Sleekest Luxury Wallet
Meisterstück Leather Wallet
That little star emblem? When you know, you know.
Best Animal-Print Luxury Wallet
Leopard Print Leather Bifold Wallet
“Hey babe, take a walk on the wild side.”
Best Graphic Luxury Wallet
Leather-Trimmed Coated-Canvas Zipped Wallet
Come for the big ol’ “CELINE” graphic. Stay for the iconic repeated “Triomphe” logo behind it.
Best Text-Graphic Luxury Wallet
‘For Money’ Bi-Fold Wallet
In case you ever need a reminder what wallets are good for.
Best Exotic Luxury Wallet
Croc-Effect Leather Cardholder
High shine and croc-effect on a sleek silhouette? It doesn’t get any more Tom Ford than that.
Best Logo Luxury Wallet
Ophidia GG wallet
Doesn’t get much more iconic than the “GG” and the green-and-red Gucci stripe.
Most Colorful Luxury Wallet
Feeling blue never looked so bright.
Best Coin-Friendly Luxury Wallet
Neo Classic Square Fold Coin Wallet
Who knew a simple zipper pull could look so damn cool?
Best Pebble-Grain Luxury Wallet
Striped Billfold Wallet
Turns out Browne’s signature tricolor stripe looks especially good on a pebble-grain leather wallet.
Best Woven Leather Luxury Wallet
Intrecciato Leather Billfold Wallet
The Italian fashion house’s woven intrecciato leather is still one of its most sought-after offerings—and with good reason.
Best Mixed-Materials Luxury Wallet
Excursion Signature Canvas and Leather Billfold Wallet
Mixed materials from a brand that knows (more than) a thing or two about great materials.
Best Top-Stitched Luxury Wallet
Puzzle Stitches Bifold Wallet
A luxury wallet for the arts-and-crafts set.
Best Striped Luxury Wallet
Printed Saffiano Leather Wallet
Ever since Prada’s spring 2011 collection—one filled with bold, beautiful stripes—the motif has been a mainstay in its offerings, beloved by the brand’s fans (*raises hand*).
Best Under-the-Radar Luxury Wallet
Characteristic of The Row, what this wallet lacks in flash, it more than makes up for in thoughtfulness and proportion.
The key factors to consider before purchasing a luxury wallet…
Brand: The maker is crucial in all luxury—and that especially includes wallets. Because what you’re buying isn’t just an item, but the cachet behind the name. Companies try their damndest to extol their histories and clout, courting customers into their world. They want you to be inhabitants, and a great entryway is through small leather goods.
Material: Leather is the standard material used for luxury wallets, the best is sourced from Italian tanneries and produced meticulously by master craftsmen—or at least overseen by them. And of course there are a variety of leather treatments: smooth calf, pebbled, croc-effect, saffiano, and woven being a few.
Size: Whatever floats your boat. Just make sure your wallet is able to fit into your pocket or wherever you want to hold it.
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