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How to Choose the Right Wallet

September 6, 2017
A wallet is one of a few accessories that you’ll carry daily. It truly becomes part of you. If I forget my wallet at home, the rest of the day isn't the same; I feel incomplete. If your wallet has finally keeled over and you're ready for a new friend, here are a few questions to consider before making the most important decision of your life...well today, at least:

Consider Wallet Functionality and Style

  • How much paper money do you typically carry?
I carry a lot of cash: If you find you always have paper money, then you’ll want to go with a traditional bifold or trifold.

Trifold Wallets


Bifold Wallets
Very little, if at all: If you only carry a little cash here and there, then a front pocket with a money clip would be a great option. You have the ability to fold up a few bills, store your cards, and free up space in your pocket. That's a win.

Front Pocket Wallets

 
  • Do you travel internationally?

I do travel often: If you are regularly on the go internationally, there are wallets that fit Euro and Pound notes, which are larger than the U.S. Dollar.

Euro Wallets

 
  • How much space do you need?
I don't actually carry that much in my wallet: If you don’t have very many cards or you are ready to free up space in your pockets, then consider card cases. It’s a minimal approach that lightens your load and keeps your posture even.

Card Case Wallets

 

I need every pocket possible!: If you are carrying a lot of cards-whether they are bank, credit, loyalty, or other-you should consider going with something that will give each card its own slot. If you double up on cards, they will eventually wear out.

8 Pocket Hipster Wallet

 
  • Are you concerned about your personal information?

Who isn't? With technology moving at a fast pace, it's easy to get left behind. RFID blocking technology helps prevent scanners from accessing your personal information when scanning your pocket or bag. There are now several options for wallets with RFID technology built in.

RFID Blocking Wallets

 

Consider Wallet Construction and Craftsmanship

Now that you've decided what type of wallet you want to get, let's look at a few other key factors you should consider before making a purchase. Function and style are important, but we all know what it's like to buy something that looks nice only to find out the quality wasn't up to par. Below are a few questions to ask before making your decision.
...the material will determine the life of the wallet...

Will the Material Age Well?

Look, there are a myriad of materials used to make wallets. Nylon, plastic, fabric, wood, metal, you name it, you'll find it. The question is; does the material age well? Not all wallets function the same, but the material will determine the life of the wallet and how it will break down over time.
  • Harder materials like wood, metal, and plastic have a sleek, modern feel, but are subject to impact failure and warping.
  • Fabric wallets have the advantage of affordability, but the everyday wear-and-tear a wallet endures takes a toll on fabric rather quickly. Fabrics are constructed by weaving smaller strands of fabric together. Some have a tighter weave than others, making them a bit stronger than others. Regardless of the quality of fabric it will wear away causing it to fray and the wallet will slowly (or quickly) fall apart.
Not all leather is created equal...
I'll be honest, we're a bit biased, but after 100 years of experience making leather goods and wallets, we think leather is the best choice for making a quality wallet that will last. When we say last, we're talking decades (with the right care, more on this in a future post). Leather has several advantages:
  • It is not susceptible to the wear-and-tear of fabric, and
  • It does not have fracture possibilities like some of the aforementioned solid materials
Not all leather is created equal, though. When considering a wallet you plan to have for a long time you will want to avoid genuine leathers and bonded leather. Genuine Leather is a blanket term used for the lowest quality leather of all types. Bonded leather is typically formed by bonding layers of scrap hides or left-overs from split hides. Genuine and bonded leathers have the advantage of lower cost and for some applications it can be great, but the life span is considerably less than that of higher grade leathers. High-quality wallets are made from Top Grain or Full Grain leathers. These leathers have the characteristics and thickness to withstand years of use and absorb the stain keeping it from wearing away.
Our mantra around Bosca is that our products wear in, not out.
Here at Bosca, we have spent years perfecting the way we source, select and process our leathers. Most of our leather is sourced by our tanner in Italy from farms in northern France, where the cattle can roam free. We personally inspect and grade each hide for our collections of hand-stained Italian leathers: Old Leather, Dolce, and Washed. Our mantra around Bosca is, “our products wear in, not out.” It’s possible to use the best leather in the world and fail at the crucial step of construction, making expert craftsmanship the link between quality materials and a quality product. We regularly see Bosca wallets that are decades old and still in use. Now that you’re convinced quality leather is the way to go, let's talk about craftsmanship.

Why Leather Craftsmanship is Key

The trick is knowing how to shave a little off and maintain structural integrity.
There are many layers in a wallet, and with that comes the possibility of a lot of bulk and weight. How do you slim a wallet down while maintaining the durability? That's where construction techniques and craftsmanship come into play.

Turning an edge

“Splitting” leather is the process of thinning the leather. Splitting is often used to cut down on weight and improve the workability of the leather. If you shave off too much or start with a piece of leather that is too thin, the wallet will show signs of wear sooner and shorten its lifespan. The process of “skiving” is shaving off small layers of a piece of leather on the edges to give it a thinner profile. If you skive it too thin, it loses its durability and can rip where the needle and thread penetrate the edge. The trick is knowing how to shave a little off and maintain structural integrity. An approach Bosca often takes is splitting the leather to the right thickness, then skiving the edges and turning them. Turning the edge allows a thinner piece of leather to wrap around another layer giving a total of three layers to provide a solid foundation for your stitch. The end-result is a wallet that has the right amount of thickness for longevity and wear, a thinner profile, and a stronger stitch.

Invest in Quality Now for Wallet Longevity

Whew! Thanks for hanging in there. I hope this gives you enough information to narrow your search. The number one thing to take away from all of this is that quality matters. Spending a little more now will save you a lot in the long run. If you choose a Bosca wallet, with the right care, you'll have it for years.  
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