When withdrawing your wallet becomes an occasion for embarrassment it’s time to upgrade.

The number of money carrying options has grown steadily over recent years; from wacky duct tape wallets to traditional tri-folds, the range on offer should present no challenge to the well informed male.

So why not try an upgrade and see how a good quality wallet can improve your style kudos:

Men’s Wallets: Basic Styles

Although there are a number of weird and wonderful variants on offer in the world of men’s wallets, the first stage is working out what style you’re after. It may be tempting to plump for the one that looks coolest, but don’t be fooled; if it doesn’t meet your needs you won’t be happy for long…

Billfold – the traditional single-crease wallet that bends in the middle. Most wallets are specifically designed to meet this criterion. Practical and tasteful, there’s no doubt as to why the bi-fold design is so popular.

Tri-fold – a classic three-fold wallet should divide neatly into thirds. The flaps and folds will hold most items without fuss, although the limited dimensions do tend to place a premium on space.

Image: Sanja Gjenero

Checkbook / credit card pouches – long and thin; if you need to carry twenty-plus cards or multiple chequebooks then it has good ‘first choice’ potential. However, being so ostentatious and unwieldy, it’s far more probable you’d have a man dealing with personal finances for you at this stage.

Hipster – like a folio for movie rental cards; this style of wallet has dimensions larger than your average bi-fold, but will sit firmly inside a breast pocket and carry a multitude of cards, coins, notes and payment slips.

Card case – if you want to abandon hard currency in favor of a digital existence, experiment with a card case. Slim line, enduring and sleek; an ideal choice when you need to travel with the barest of essentials.

Money clip – if you want to abandon plastic in favor of ready cash, why not try a money clip? A little flashy perhaps, but it takes wallet minimalism to a whole new level.

Men’s Wallets: Material Options

Leather – while leather isn’t your only option, it’s certainly one of the best. Hard wearing, elegant and classic, leather is the ‘go to’ material for a reason. A good quality leather wallet looks chic from day one, and will become even classier as it ages.

Eel Skin – be it real or imitation, eel skin presents a lively, glossy alternative to traditional fabric wallets. Don’t be fooled by its supple silkiness either – eel skin should last you an eternity; believe it or not, authentic skins are even more durable than leather!

Hemp – Want a wallet that’s not made of animal carcass or harmful to the environment? Hemp is the best eco-friendly option being both sustainable and bio-degradable. The tough fibers can be slightly abrasive, so keep on the look-out for those spun with added cotton for extra softness.

Men’s Wallets: Buying ‘No-Nos’

Wave goodbye to the novelties. Your Pulp Fiction replica ‘bad mother f***er’ wallet may have been in vogue five years ago, but now it’s time to ditch it for something a little more adult and a little less ‘adult’.

Image: Marcin Barlowski

Avoid the Velcro. Despite its convenience and versatility, Velcro still remains a young person’s clasp. ‘Man up’ with great alternatives like simple dot fasteners and metallic snap strips.

Pass on the PVC. Plastic and vinyl tend to be shiny, brash, tacky and ideally reserved for the use of discrete ‘bedroom activity’ and not a gentleman’s wallet.

Don’t overstuff. Battle your growing bulge! Shoveling too many cards into your wallet breaks & creases the fabric, feels heavy and ruins the line of your suit/jacket pockets. Either unload a few of those unnecessary cards or purchase a more forgiving wallet.

About The Author

Johnathan Bell is the founder, owner and main author of Guy Style Guide, a website dedicated to everyday male fashion, style and grooming. The primary mission? To guide clueless men through the tricky mindfield that is the growing world of male couture. Find him on , Twitter and Tumblr.