There are so many types of wallets out there it’s pretty hard to decide which to buy for yourself. Even harder when you’re buying for someone else, although wallets rank very high on the best gift accessories for men and women alike.
When deciding on a wallet, the first thing you need to consider its functionality. Obviously, you’re going to look for something nice, but you have to think in terms of usage. Someone carrying mostly cash will certainly need something different than a person who only pays by card.
Also, you must take into account whether the wallet will most likely be kept in a purse, a pocket, or indeed around the neck.
As for the material, you might go for something expensive, like real leather or alligator, but for a young sporty person, a denim one might be more appropriate.
A teenager or a passionate jogger might appreciate something light, a fabric wallet with a cute design, or maybe even a waterproof wallet.
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What Are the Different Types of Wallets?
Let’s have a look at the most common types of wallets you’re likely to find on the market and examine each of them so you can make the best decision to complement your accessories.
This is the perfect choice for an active person who doesn’t want to carry anything in their hands. The belt wallet allows you to keep all your money or cards safely tucked in one of the many pockets such items usually have.
It’s great for going jogging or biking, as well as for going to a concert or some crowded place. You can keep your valuables in the pocket closest to your skin where they’ll be totally safe. The extra pockets can be used to carry ID, keys, or even your phone.
This is one of the most popular types of wallets as it is slim and compact, yet big enough to store your cards and money. Typically, you can keep your paper money in the largest compartment, where they’ll fit nicely folded in two.
And you get plenty of slots to keep your credit cards and whatever cards you usually carry around. Some models come with a special purse to keep coins, as bi-fold wallets aren’t exactly made for carrying your spare change around.
It’s a very versatile item, coming in all sorts of materials and designs so it’s easy to find something to suit your taste. Slim enough to slip comfortably into a pocket at the back of your jeans or inside a purse.
When it was first invented, the cardholder wallet appealed mostly to the businessmen type, but these days every one of us has plenty of cards to carry around.
Such a wallet is perfect to keep all your credit cards, security cards for your building or office, gym membership cards, dedicated cards for your favorite stores.
With a cardholder wallet, you can put everything in order so you won’t have to fumble in your pocket looking for the right card to pay for your espresso. Such wallets are usually slim enough to fit into your breast pocket, which is great since it’s something you cannot afford to lose.
Cell Phone Wallets
Keep all your important stuff in one place! Really, for most people, the phone is more important than the money they usually have on them. Such a cell phone wallet combo is a great invention because it’s easier to keep track of just one item instead of several.
Just one touch and your fingers will detect the comforting bulge of your cell phone. Yep, it’s there, alright!
Such a wallet comes with various compartments where you can store your paper money as well as your cards. Also, it acts as a case for your phone, protecting it from scratches and accidental blows.
A bit of an old-school wallet dedicated to those who still like to take their checkbook everywhere they go. This type of wallet is large and sturdy enough to keep your checkbook safe from creases or accidental spillages.
And, of course, it has dedicated slots for credit cards as well as a compartment for paper bills. It’s a timeless classic if you want and makes you feel stylish when you take it out of your purse or pocket. You can go for a fake leather model, but a real leather one makes a killer of a gift!
The term continental wallet refers to a long wallet, big enough to hold all your IDs, money, credit cards, and even a checkbook. Sort of a purse, really, only smaller and more compact.
And it won’t give you the same headache a purse would, as everything has its place in a continental wallet – you have a compartment for your bills, slot for cards, ID, or passport, and some models even have a place for checkbooks.
Best of all, continental wallets usually have a secure closing mechanism. You can carry such a wallet in your purse or your coat pocket.
Coin Pocket Wallets
Have many coins do you have at the bottom of your purse or pockets? Probably tons, only when you need to pay for a coffee it’s too hard to find your spare change so you end up paying with a paper bill.
And get even more coins in return. A coin pocket wallet makes it easier for you to store and actually use all those coins. Not to mention that such wallets have beautiful designs using patterned colorful fabrics, which make them look like mini-purses.
Since they’re designed for the modern person, such wallets also have special compartments for cards and cash.
Credit Card Wallets
Quite similar to the old bifold wallet, a credit card wallet is the perfect solution for those who rely on cards to pay for all their needs. This foldable wallet is extremely slim and allows you to store more than a dozen different cards.
In just a few days you’ll know exactly where can you find each and every one of them. Much more convenient than fumbling through the cards stored inside your old wallet, all in one place.
Since it’s very slim, you can easily slip it in the back pocket of your pants and you’ll barely know it’s there.
Denim Style Wallets
If you love jeans, you’ll love this type of wallet. Denim-style wallets come in various sizes and shades, not just your basic indigo.
You can buy one that matches the color of your favorite pair of jeans and it’s so discreet people won’t even notice it sticking out of your back pocket. Most models have a fastening mechanism, usually looking just like your belt one.
Very chic for young men and women. Such a wallet has plenty of space to hold your credit cards and the cash you might need for the casual outing.
Hybrid Slim Wallets
Money clip meets full-fledged wallet. This hybrid slim wallet is a versatile item, use it as it seems fit for the occasion. For a quick trip to the corner shop, the brushed metal clip might do just fine, but most days you’ll prefer to have the wallet with you as well.
You can use the money clip to store your cash safely and organize all your cards or IDs inside the wallet. It’s quite compact and easily fit inside your pocket, that is if you don’t have wads of cash stuffed inside the clip!
ID Card Wallets
Obviously, you can keep your ID in whatever wallet you have, but this particular type has a special window for it. It’s way more practical as you don’t have to take your ID card out, you just flip the wallet open and present it whenever you have to.
Works well for office ID cards or any other type of identification card you use daily. Since it doubles as a wallet as well, it also has slots for your various credit cards and a special compartment for cash, as you never know when you might need it.
If you’re like me and always lose your keys, this is exactly what you need. This foldable wallet has several hooks to keep all the keys you need in one safe place, and it also has some room for cash and cards.
Once you have a key wallet you can forget about going through all the purses you’ve worn for the past week. You know how painful it is to rummage through crumpled tissues, old money slips, and fistfuls of change to find one small key! With a key wallet, you’ll know exactly where it is.
Call it the mother of all wallets, if you want but this item is just perfect for those who carry around all sorts of cards and cash, not to mention IDs. A large wallet has several compartments, to put some order in your stuff.
There’s a place to keep your cards, a special compartment for cash, plus a zippered one where you can drop the spare change. And, yes, it’s large enough to store your ID and passport. Some even have a special slot for a pen, which is quite useful.
It is obviously bulkier than other types of wallets, but at least you have everything you need in one place, secured with a closing mechanism.
It might not be the most stylish wallet, but it sure is the safest thing you can imagine. The leg wallet was designed with the knowledgeable tourist in mind. Just slip this wallet around your calf or lower leg, under the pants where no one can see it.
The leg wallet is slim enough so the pants won’t bulge conspicuously, and has several zippered pockets to store credit cards, money, and some ID. Basically, all you need when you visit someplace that’s a magnet for both tourists and pickpockets.
Nothing in the pocket, nothing to pick! The leg wallet comes with adjustable straps to fit comfortably around your leg.
Some call it the wallet of the future, a future where people rarely use cash if they use it at all. For some, this future is already here. If you’re one of them, this minimalist wallet is for you.
While it looks much like a bifold wallet, it’s definitely smaller and slimmer. It has a couple of slots for credit cards and a place to store some ID, and that’s about it.
You could technically stuff a folded bill inside, just in case, but you probably won’t feel the need. Carrying two or three cards should be enough.
Money Clip Wallets
A very stylish way to store money and cards in an elegant wallet. The great advantage of this type of wallet is that the clip keeps all the bills secured, yet easy to handle.
Tip: You can adjust the clip depending on the amount of cash you’re carrying or you can remove it completely if all you’ll need is your credit card.
The money clip wallet also has a special compartment to hold some form of ID. While it’s mostly men that favor money clip wallets, such items have been rising in popularity among women as well.
Neck wallets are a great travel accessory, but they’re also quite practical for runners or bikers. You don’t have to carry a purse, you don’t have to stuff it in your pocket, just hang your wallet around your neck and you have everything you need within easy reach.
Neck wallets are usually made from soft fabrics so you can tuck them under a sweater if you want to keep your valuables out of sight.
The best idea is to wear your neck wallet like a gun holster with one strap under one arm to conceal it from prying eyes. Neck wallets come in various sizes, with some of them big enough to hold even your cell phone.
If you’re planning to go abroad, this is the wallet you need. You can try to squeeze in your papers in some large wallet, but this item has a slot specially designed to hold your passport. A passport wallet is big enough to store your boarding pass or other travel documents you might need at hand.
At the same time, it has various compartments that allow you to separate your national currency from the local one, and keep larger dollar bills out of sight. And you can also fit your credit cards inside, which are always useful to have at the ready when you travel.
RFID Blocking Wallets
A recent invention, this type of wallet is rapidly increasing in popularity since modern pickpockets don’t even need to touch your wallet to grab all your money.
On the outside, it looks like any other wallet, but what matters is the special lining inside that protects the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips in your credit cards against handheld devices that can copy all the information on your cards so that your account can be drained within minutes.
An RFID blocking wallet is great when you go out shopping or when you’re using public transport and you don’t know what kind of device the guy next to you might be carrying in his bag.
Much like a leg wallet, a shoe wallet allows you to hide your money and ID. Shoe wallets are best for people who like to go running or who walk a lot since they don’t hinder your movements like a leg wallet might do.
Such a wallet looks like a small pouch that can be tied to the laces of your sports shoes. They come in various colors so you can pick something that matches the color of your shoes and nobody will even notice the pouch sitting on top of your shoe.
A shoe wallet is big enough to hold a credit card, a few bills, as well as your keys, basically, all you need to have on you when you head to the park.
The name says it all. A slim wallet is made of a thin, yet sturdy material, to be as compact as possible. You can even slip in the front pocket of your pants without creating any sort of discomfort or bulging. Or you can keep it in your shirt pocket and it’s barely noticeable.
Since it’s meant to be slim you won’t be able to stuff a big wad of cash inside, but it has enough space for a few bills and some credit cards, which is basically all you need these days. Slim wallets have an elegant design and they’re very trendy.
A very elegant type of wallet, which looks very much like your regular bifold wallet. What sets it apart is the snap closure mechanism, specially designed to keep your important documents safe.
Maybe you stuff a receipt in your wallet, maybe you throw the change inside without bothering to put it in its designated compartment. No worries, the snap closure will keep everything safe for you.
Typically, such wallets have special slots for credit cards and IDs. It’s the perfect wallet for the no-nonsense kind of men who worries about safety first. If it’s real leather, well, that’s a bonus!
A classic design for a wallet that’s just perfect for the modern man. The taxi wallet is small and easily recognizable for its rounded pocket shape because it’s meant to fit in your pocket and hold everything you might need.
Back in the day, it was meant to hold bills and coins, but the new models have a special compartment for the ever-present credit cards.
Most models have a secret pocket where you can tuck in a folded bill, some ID, or a note with the address of the hotel where you’re going. Just put everything in your taxi wallet and you’re good to go!
If you want to travel in style, don’t forget about a specially-designed wallet. It’s not just about style, although they’re very classy, it’s about you being sensible and keeping everything you might need in one place.
Travel wallets are long and tall enough to store your passport as well as your travel documents, with plenty of space left for the various currencies you might need, including a special compartment for coins. Instead of fumbling in your bag for your boarding pass just reach for your travel wallet and there it is.
Tip: Great to have at hand when you hit the duty-free shop at the airport and you have to show your boarding pass every time you want to buy something.
Oldies, but goldies. The trifold wallet has been around for a long time and it’s still quite popular. The fact that it folds three times makes it feel extra-secure. Your money and your cards will be well protected inside.
The slots on each fold are vertical rather than vertical, something many people find very convenient. The different compartments are easy to reach and you can organize your stuff better.
Yes, a trifold wallet feels a bit bigger than your old bifold, but on the other hand, it has way more space inside. You can also store your ID, important receipts, or just a cute note from your kid!
When you go out for a run or to teach your kid how to throw a ball you don’t want to carry a real wallet with you. The wrist wallet allows you to take everything you need for a quick outing and still be totally free to move.
Such a wallet has elastic bands to slip comfortably around your wrist and there’s no risk of losing it. Obviously, you won’t be able to stuff too many things inside, but it’s big enough for a credit card, a couple of folded bills for a soda, and your keys. What more do you need?
This product falls somewhere in between a purse and a wallet, and it’s designed with the elegant lady always on the go in mind. This is why wallet purses come in a variety of colors and styles, to match any outfit.
Just like a purse, it has a strap so you can carry it on your shoulder or even cross-body. Wallet purses vary in size, but even the smallest model has plenty of room for your cell phone, your money, and ID. If you really must, you can squeeze in your compact as well. And maybe your lipstick, too.
A simple design for a classic wallet. What’s so special about this type of wallet is that the zippers are there to keep your cards, cash, and IDs totally safe. There’s no risk of anything slipping out and be forever lost at the bottom of your bag.
Zippered wallets are perfect for the practical man, but they’re even more popular among women. That’s easy to understand since such wallets come in a vast array of materials, colors, and prints.
A string wallet is basically a tiny purse hanging gracefully from your wrist or your shoulder. The strap and the wristlet are usually removable so you can choose which you prefer.
Feminine and classy, string wallets can be unicolor and totally low-key, or you can choose a bold design to complement your outfit. They’re big enough to hold your phone, credit cards, and cash, but you should try to keep it light.
Why carry around more than you need? String wallets are great when you want to go clubbing and don’t want to worry all night about your purse.
What Are the Types of Materials for Wallets?
Alligator Skin Wallet
It’s hard to find something more classy than an alligator wallet. Alligator skin catches the eye with its pattern and you can safely say every wallet of this type is unique, as no two patches are the same. Since we’re talking real leather here, it’s pretty durable.
Actually, it’s better than simple leather as alligator skin is naturally water-resistant so it won’t be ruined if you’re caught in a downpour. Since such wallets are aimed at a discerning clientele, the interior of the wallet is also made from exotic skins.
Carbon Fiber Wallet
Basically, the only wallet you’ll need in a lifetime. The carbon fiber material makes such wallets last for decades, it’s scratch-resistant, and you won’t get to see the normal signs of wear and tear. As sturdy as it is, carbon fiber is surprisingly light.
Such wallets are designed to be compact and minimalist. Best of all, most of these carbon fiber wallets offer RFID protection, keeping the information on the chips of your cards safe from potential scanning and cloning devices.
Also, many models come with a money clip which gives you easy access to your money, without exposing the cards stored inside.
Why do people love denim wallets so much? The fabric is light, sturdy, and comfortably soft if you want to carry your wallet in your pocket.
There’s no limit to what you can make with a piece of denim – you can cut it any shape you want, dye it any color, and put any type of print you want on it. It’s hard to find something more versatile than denim.
Denim wallets are most suitable for a casual outing when you don’t want to be carrying some bulky thing. Denim is the perfect material for a fun time. You want something cute to have all your friends go wow!
Duct Tape Wallet
If you want something resistant, low key and very practical, try a duct tape wallet. If you’ve ever had to peel several layers of duct tape off something you’ll know just sturdy such a product can be.
A fancy leather wallet might attract unwanted attention, but a duct tape wallet can easily go unnoticed, which is a very good thing when you’re traveling a lot or going to crowded public places.
You can find a bifold or a trifold in duct tape and such items are usually available in more than one color. Don’t worry it won’t get sticky inside your pocket!
There’s a reason fabric wallets are so popular – you have an infinite amount of choice. Since you’ll want a durable product, fabric wallets are usually made from strong cotton or polyester. The only problem you’ll have with a fabric wallet is finding the perfect print since there are so many to choose from.
You can opt between pastel or bright colors, delicate floral prints, or bold geometric ones. For the teenagers in your life, look for a wallet decorated with funny cartoon characters, emojis, or band logos.
Faux Leather Wallet
Faux leather producers are so skilled these days that most times it’s impossible to tell it’s not real leather. The main advantage is that fake leather is more affordable.
Also, faux leather can last you more than the real deal and these wallets tend to be more colorful. If your fake leather wallet gets wet all you have to do is let it dry and no harm was done, whereas real leather might get stained.
Genuine Leather Wallet
How do you know it’s genuine leather? It’s the refined smell of rawhide and then there’s the typical softness of a natural material.
Most leather wallets are made from cattle hide and they are very resistant. The sort of things you’ll be carrying in your pocket for decades and it won’t be any worse from the wear.
Sleek and elegant. Metal wallets are the most modern on the market and they belong in the pocket of a 21st-century person. Made of steel or aluminum, metal wallets appeal to the minimalist man or woman.
Not overly ornate, metal wallets offer safety above all. The aluminum provides RFID protection for your cards and if you want to carry some cash on you, you can look for a model that comes with a metal clip for your bills.
Nylon wallets are a great choice when you don’t want to draw attention. The material is very sturdy and versatile enough to be used for various types of wallets, including bi-folds and tri-folds.
Nylon is light so the wallet won’t bother you when you carry it in the pocket on the back of your jeans. Best of all, many nylon wallets use RFID-blocking technology to protect your cards.
Plastic wallets come in many sizes and they’re a great choice when you need to carry a lot of documents with you. When you go on holiday, you can get a midsize wallet to keep your passport and travel documents in a zippered compartment.
For everyday use, you can look for a small plastic bifold, good enough to carry your cards and a few paper bills. Best of all, they’re very colorful.
Hard Shell Wallet
Hard Shell wallets offer a sense of safety, and they’re quite stylish. The sturdy case is made of strong materials, such as aluminum, steel, or polycarbonate, which is actually plastic, but a very hard one. They come in various designs so you will have to look for something that fits your needs.
Do you need to organize more than 10 cards, do you prefer having a lot of cash on you at all times? Many models come with a dedicated ID slot, so you won’t risk misplacing it ever again.
If you’re an outdoorsy sort of person, waterproof wallets are a smart idea, you can never know when you’re gonna get caught in a sudden downpour. Such wallets can be made of plastic, water-resistant fabric, specially treated leather, or even metal.
Since you spend a lot of time exposed to the elements, you might want to look for a bigger model, so you can also keep your cell phone inside.
How do I choose a wallet?
The best way to choose a wallet is to think of what you need. You have to be practical. A slim wallet is good when you want to slip it in a pocket, but a bigger one will keep all your cards, bills, ID and phone in one place. You also need to consider materials – do you care for real leather or is a colorful fabric what you’re looking for?
What type of wallet is best?
The best type of wallet is the one that meets your needs. If you don’t carry around much cash, go for a cardholder. If you’re the organized type, try a snap wallet with compartments for cards, cash, and ID. If you’re into sports, you’ll need something comfortable to wear, like a wrist or shoe wallet.
Are wallets out of style?
Wallets are still very much in style if only for the many types of cards people need to carry around. A real leather wallet will never go out of style and then there are the modern metal wallets that look more like a 21st-century wallet than the old bifold your dad used to have.