Mens Wallet Prestige, What Is It?

June 11, 2017

Mens Wallet Prestige, What Is It?

With all the new wallets hitting the market every week, you'd think the collective first-world would be losing wallets all the time.  There are seriously only so many configurations of a wallet to drive mens wallet prestige.  The basic bilfold (bi-fold) wallet hasn't changed in its core function for more than 40 years (when the credit card came on the scene).  There have been some very creative interpretations which can be seen frequently on Kickstarter, as there's a new crop of wallets being launched there every week.  

​But honestly, wallet psychology regarding why we purchase wallets is fascinating and continues to fuel the reason why men continue to purchase essentially the same thing over and over again. For being something we think very little about, we tend to spend lots of time looking and buying many of them.  And it's not like there is collector value, appreciation of the asset over time or anything substantial. It's that men like collecting wallets, always searching for the next best thing.  So let's break this down a little further to understand what drives the desire for new wallets and how does that relate to the idea of mens wallet prestige?

Mens Wallet Evolution

Why are we so quick to abandon what we know?  When looking at wallets, several factors contribute to this thinking evolution. These factors include behavior, technology advances, function, form and prestige.


An interesting factor driving mens wallet prestige to purchase more wallets, is due to the never satisfied quest to organize and reorganize the contents of the wallet.  The thinking goes that there has to be a better, smarter, more clever way to carry the few things we have in our wallets.  Also, the allure of "new" and "shiny" always is an attraction, and when the price point is usually less than $50, it's a no brainer.

Technology Advances

True wallets, in the form factor we know them as today, have only been around for 40 years. Before then, cash was king, so were coins and other documents.  Before credit, you had to literally carry what you needed with you.  So when the credit card came around, the need to carry large amounts of cash slowly, but inevitably decreased.  Additionally, with the move to Oyster cards, you don't even need to have physical cash in your possession anymore.  And with physical door access having moved to electronic cards, there is really no bulk necessary in wallets.  So with technological advances, wallets have evolved, to smaller, more minimalistic designs.  Expanded use of mobile phones for many of these technologies, has also made bulky wallets obsolete. With the speed of technology you'd think you'd need a new wallet every few years, but you'd be wrong for many men...that's simply too long to wait.


Again, function has evolved, but not much in the last 40 years.  So as mens wallet prestige has been building, we've been converting bulky items into small, more compact ones.  Thus, the wallet has been able to offload many heavy things while at the same time becoming an organizational welfare state for our pockets.  What the new wallet has provided many is the ability to move loose pocket items into the wallet.  No longer does one have to have all pockets filled or occupied with something.  The wallet is now more than capable of holding and maintaining those items.  Need a pen?  You can get a small wallet pen to provide that quick access when needed.  Need your keys?  Many keys have been removed through electronic access cards, proximity or via punch/touch pads.  Everything else has probably been replaced by an app on your phone, digital replacing physical, that trend will continue.


I think you get the idea from technology and function, the trend is toward small and slim in your pocket.  If the wallet has multiple card pockets, you're covered.  What else is needed?  These same slots can be used for anything else you want to stuff in your wallet, but those who do wallet audits know that only the bare necessities are required, so keeping the form factor small and lightweight is the winner.  Most new wallets on the market are either 1) remakes of older designs with a fashion brand, or 2) a refactor of how things are stored in the wallet...always pushing them smaller or making them more organized.



​Finally we get to mens wallet prestige.  This is the elusive factor, where psychology meets practicality, but more often is driven by fashion, vanity and public perception.  Mens wallet prestige can be very much like mens watch prestige. But while watches are more visible and serve a singular purpose, wallets are always in your pocket, UNLESS, you're in front of people...when you're paying for something, demonstrating your wealth, WANTING those around you to notice.  So what is it that drives the prestige?  Personal confidence in the wallet choice you made?  The uniqueness of the wallet and the ability to stand out, talk about what makes it yours, and how it's different from the unwashed masses? Or is it a demonstration of wealth.

If it's a combination of all three; personal confidence, uniqueness from the crowd, and the ability to demonstrate wealth, then the trifecta is yours!  But honestly the type of wallet, the fabrics and function really do more than trying to show off wealth. If you really have wealth, then you're smart enough to not show it. If you like to flaunt it, then you likely don't really have it.


So what is mens wallet prestige? Like most things in life, wallet choices are a first-world problem.  We only elevate the importance of it the more we try and justify it's relevance to the world around us. Those who care will and those who don't, won't.  Go for practical, don't go for prestige.​

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