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For something that gets used almost every day of a man’s life, a wallet is very rarely a considered purchase. Most men have either a battered wallet that was given to them as a gift years ago or will have a new one that they had to impulse purchase when the aforementioned model fell apart. Rarely is it a considered purchase and therefore rarely is it truly fit for purpose.

But what’s the use in taking a lot of time picking out the right trousers if you’re not going to take the same time and consideration over the far-more-used accessory in your back pocket?

Gentlemen, it’s time to evolve – and time to find a wallet that suits your spending needs. There are four main tribes in the wallet world and each has very specific demands for its currency carrier depending on how you like to settle the bill, plus one newcomer. Take a look at our breakdown of these tribes below and have a browse of some of the best wallets for each.

1. The cash-free convert

Bennett Winch Farringdon cardholder

Whether you want to future-proof your wallet for the cashless economy and a plentiful collection of credit cards or simply don’t want to ruin the line of your suit jacket, a cardholder is the obvious choice for a man who solely carries plastic.

2. The ATM junkie

These are among the best minimalist wallets out there. The billfold or bifold wallet, as Americans call it, is perhaps the most classic option and spot-on for a man who still likes a bank note or two with him just in case (or simply likes to pay for things in stacks of paper bills, which we can appreciate). You’ve got two main options here: a traditional billfold with a bill compartment for slipping notes into or a more modern interpretation with a money clip in the centre. Either way, it’ll keep those fifties crisp for their next night out.

3. The change carrier

Prada Triangle zipped wallet

Maybe you always need coins for the car park, maybe you’re always worried you won’t have change for tipping. If you are committed to coinage and don’t want to jangle down the street with them in your pocket, you need something with a coin pocket fitted as standard. Right now, the sleekest of these are zipped on the sides to stop anything spilling out, but if you want something a little different, there’s a new generation of leather coin purses right now that can be clipped to your belt loop using a chain.

4. The traveller

If you’re the kind of man whose other car is a plane, you need a wallet that does double duty. A travel wallet is one of the best slim wallets on the market, the polar opposite of a cardholder, combining a cardholder, multiple cash sleeves and a section for your boarding pass (if you’re still addicted to paper). If you want to slip it into your inside pocket, we would suggest one of the more slimline versions. If you have a bag with you (or prefer to carry it in hand so you have all your documents at a moment’s notice), go for a zipped one so nothing accidentally tumbles out at check-in.

5. The show-off

Recent seasons have seen the wallet on a rope emerge as a standout accessory for brands from Jacquemus to Dolce & Gabbana. Wear them over your neck or attach them to a belt loop on your jeans and your wallet becomes more than just a functional means to carry your cards, but a statement to elevate your outfits. Just be careful where you wear it – it’s a great look, but you are effectively asking to be mugged.

What type of wallet do most men use in 2024?

What are the most durable materials for men’s wallets?

A classic wallet construction is, of course, a full-grain leather. Durable and irrefutably suave, a good leather wallet or leather cardholder is sure to last years in your collection, provided that it’s cut from high-quality leather. For the best leather wallets, you’re going to want something constructed out of Italy or Paris; think a Bellroy or a Louis Vuitton.

A vegan alternative, however, is to opt for a minimalist card case. Infused with all the retro appeal of an old-school, Don Draper-esque cigarette case, a good card case can come in plastic, leather, faux leather, metal – whatever you’re looking for, it’s probably out there. Leave the leatherology to the carnivores.

See below for GQ’s pick of the best wallets for men…

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