From the Mailbag: Losing Wallet Weight

Slimming down with card case/money clip combos for <$75
Shedding Billfold Bulk – Card Case & Money Clip Combos under $75

I’m a young guy (28) who’s had  a hip problem ever since junior high. Because of this, I have been told by all of my doctors that I shouldn’t keep anything in my back pockets, especially my wallet. So because of that, I keep my wallet in my front pocket, but it seems like my wallet is ever increasing in size! I do try to keep it as empty as possible, but it doesn’t help. I could use some help finding a nice stylish wallet which is good for the front pocket and super thin. I don’t want people to think I’m trying to compensate for something when I walk around with a huge bulge from my wallet in my front pocket.

- James

An angry hip this young is nothing you’d want to wish on anyone, but the good news for James is that he’s been forced to lose the bulky wallets most Men tend to carry.  This is going to sound a little extreme, but even if you carry a nice and slim bi-fold (tri-folds are torture devices) with little inside… give this combo a shot:

  • A leather card case (to be carried in either the back pocket, front pocket, or inner blazer pocket)
  • A slim, non-metallic money clip.

Never in a million years did I think I’d ditch my billfold for the above duo full time.  Sure, I had a card case and money clip on hand for when I was wearing a suit.  But I haven’t carried a true wallet in at least a year.  Why?  Because the opportunity to stuff that wallet is gone, and the card case carries lighter and looks better in a pocket or is invisible w/out bulk inside a jacket.  YES you can do this.  Here’s a few combos to give this a shot with:

Chester Mox Slim Dogleg Wallet – $39.00 | J. Crew Tie-Stripe Money Clip – $15.55 (via eBay)

A good setup for James

A can’t-miss combination.  The Chester Mox dog-leg wallet is simple, sleek, and holds up to 8 cards.  Most of us can get by with three (License, Debit Card, Credit Card for emergencies).  Made in the USA, sleek Italian leather, and your choice of black or natural thread.  The J. Crew money clips are hard as hell to find.  They used to be everywhere (Factory was making one at one point) but there’s only a few tie-stripe patterns lingering about on eBay.

 

Saddleback Leather Small Card Case – $33.00 | Allen Edmonds Money Clip – $12.00 ($15)

If you’re looking for nonsense, you’ll find none of that here.

One of the best values out there.  Thirty three bucks and a 100 year warranty.  Thick though.  So if you’re looking for something lightweight, while this is still a card case, it’s a bit of a tank.  Money clip is made in the USA.  This is the type of combo that’s so lacking in any sort of frills, you’ll want to stand outside over a roaring flame, pounding your chest about how you made fire.

 

J. Crew Factory Magic Wallet – $16.50 | Coach Bleeker Legacy Money Clip – $48.00

The unbrowns.

Who needs brown?  The black watch plaid option from J. Crew Factory is one of those magic wallet things.  Y’know, the one’s you can flip around every which way but deep into a 5th dimension wormhole.  Goes on sale all the time.  As far as the money clip… hot damn, cool grey.  Available in five colors in total, and there’s complimentary monogramming available on it.

 

Old Calgary Felt Card case – $25 | Cole Haan Hermitage Money Clip – $38.99

Made in the USA, and most certainly not.

Speaking of grey… The Old Calgary Felt Card case is equal parts casual and, um… debonair?  It’s like a favorite tweed suit (consider yourself uber-lucky if you have one of those).  It’s soft, it’s tough, and it’s not quite as board-room slick as something smoother.  Twenty five bucks direct through Etsy.  Usually under $20 on Maxton Men, but they’re sold out right now.  The Cole Haan clip is magnetized, the contrast stitching jumps out just enough, and the embossed CH script logo is a nice touch.  Ships free via Zappos too.

 

Wheelmen & Co. Leather & Cork – $69.00 | Roman Lee Money Clip – $4.99

Leather & cork… and a cheap money clip.

Who is Roman Lee?  No clue.  Ask that Galt guy, maybe he knows.  But it is cheap enough to get under the self-imposed $75 threshold.  Wheelmen & Co. can get expensive, but they know how to nail one detail just different enough to make something drool worthy.

 

Rugby Skull & Bones – $35.00 | Bosca Slim Money clip – $35.00

Small, dark, and in your pockets.

If you’re going to carry something with a little character, like this card case with the skull and bones, keep its partner on the quiet side.  The moneyclip has a grain pattern to the leather but that’s it.  Dead simple.  If you like the card case (not all will like the skull & bones) keep an eye on it.  With sales, it should drop quite a bit.

Final notes

Switching to a card case & money clip is a transition.  It’ll take time to get used to.  Avoid card cases with that plastic window for your ID.  Watch where you lay that magnetic money clip (magnets + credit card strips, smartphones, and/or other computing devices = not good.)  Don’t worry about matching your card case and your money clip.  They’re barely visible on their own, let alone being seen together and having leathers clash.  Try and keep at least twenty bucks on you at all times.  It’s a smart play, and two singles in a clip can look a little sad.

At top:  Wallet by Jack Spade.  Card Case by Chester Mox.  Tie-strip money clip by J. Crew Factory.