16 Accessories Every Man Needs

These are, to me, the 16 accessories every guy needs to own, regardless of your age, occupation, and lifestyle. Some of these items you may not wear often, but there will be an occasion, as a grown man, when you will need them and you’ll be thankful that you thought far enough ahead to take care of them before it’s too late and you’re scrambling at the last minute. I’ve also included my favorites for each of these items below. But these points below are just skimming the surface compared to the much more through Men’s Essential Accessories Series I did recently.

Have questions? Curious what others think?

Join us in the comments section of the video above.

16. White Pocket Square

Like I’ve mentioned before, every man should have at least a grey suit. Even if you only wear it once every year, you’re going to need a suit. Along with that, looking well dressed is always about the details and a white pocket square is an easily overlooked item that really does make a big impact and it’ll only set you back a couple of bucks.

White Pocket Square Ashley Weston

$175 – Tom Ford Solid Classic Silk Pocket Square
$60 – Boss Solid Silk Pocket Square
$10 – The Tie Bar Solid White Cotton Pocket Square

15. Silver Tie Bar

This is another overlooked item. I talked about this in my article about the 12 Things Men Wear That Women Love, but a tie bar is something that adds that special touch to your outfit. It’s also so cheap to own so order it once and you’ll never think about it again.

Silver Tie Bar Ashley Weston$15 – The Tie Bar Silver Shot Tie Bar
$70 – J. Crew Sterling-Silver Tie Clip 

14. Solid Black and Navy Tie

These two ties will work for any suit you have in your closet, making them an absolute must have. Make sure the width of your tie complements your body type.

Black and Navy Tie Ashley Weston

$19 – The Tie Bar Grenafaux Tie (available in black and navy)
$60 – J. Crew American Wool Navy Tie
$60 – J. Crew American Wool Black Tie

13. Dress Socks

Get rid of your white socks. These socks can and should be worn as your everyday socks. If you need heavier duty, thicker socks for your job or because of the weather, there are plenty of companies that offer warmer versions.

Solid or Patterned Dress Socks Ashley Weston

$4 – Uniqlo Argyle Socks
$20 – Brooks Brothers Egyptian Cotton Jersey Knit Crew Socks
$15 – J. Crew Tipped Microstriped Socks

12. Sunglasses

Whether you’re a sunglass man or not, sunglasses are important because they’re going to protect your eyes from the sun, prevent you from squinting, which creates wrinkles around your eyes, and they can add a stylish, cool touch to your outfit. Check out my sunglasses story so you choose the right frames for your face shape.

Sunglasses 1 Ashley Weston 2

$415 – Tom Ford Snowdon Sunglasses
$98 – J. Crew Jack Sunglasses
$95 – Warby Parker Winston Sunglasses 

11. Baseball Hat

We all have those lazy days, myself included, where you just say F it, I’m gonna throw on a hat. When it comes to baseball hats I have very specific opinions about them so I shared some of my recommendations below.

Baseball Cap Ashley Weston

$48 – Gents ‘The Directors’ Baseball Cap
$22 – Flexfit Blank Snapback 2014

10. Black and Brown Oxford or Derby Shoes

Not only do these oxford dress shoes look great with your suit, but they also look nice with chinos, jeans, and trousers when you want to dress up a more casual outfit.

Black and Brown Shoes Ashley Weston

$395 – Allen Edmonds Carlyle Plain-Toe Oxfords
$750 – Prada Plain-Toe Bluchers
$175 – Johnston & Murphy Melton Cap Toe Oxfords

9. Black and Brown Dress Belts

Since you’re going to own dress shoes, you absolutely need to match your leather belt to your shoes.

Black and Brown Dress Belt Ashley Weston

$98 – Brooks Brothers Leather Dress Belt
$98 – Allen Edmonds Poplar Dress Belt
$25 – H&M Leather Belt

8. Weekender Bag

Everyone travels. Whether it’s to some exotic country, or across town, you’ll need to put your clothes in something AND trash bags are not an option. Like every accessory you own, it should not only serve it’s purpose, but look damn good at the same time. I have a whole article about weekender bags you should check out.

Weekender Bag Ashley Weston$965 – Frank Clegg Signature Travel Duffle (in black, chocolate or chesnut)
$800 – Killspencer Weekender 3.0 (in black leather or charcoal grey leather)
$115 – Everlane ‘The Dipped Weekender’ (in black/black, navy/black or reverse denim/black)

7. Dopp Kit

This item goes great with your weekender bag. Again, doesn’t matter if you’re traveling to another city or to the gym, a dopp kitt is essential because it’ll keep your grooming products organized and contained in a respectable manner.

Dopp Kit 1 Ashley Weston 2

$148 – Jack Spade Mason Leather Zipper Top Dopp
$300 – Shinola Travel Kit
$200 – This is Ground Tech Dopp Kit

6. Backpack or Briefcase with Detachable Strap

Depending on what you do for a living, if you live a more casual lifestyle or you’re a student, then a backpack is great. If you are in a more professional environment, a briefcase is best.

Backpack Briefcase Ashley Weston 1

Backpack

$800 – This is Ground Venture Regular Backpack
$210 – Cõte & Ciel Rhine Backpack
$120 – Aer Fit Pack Backpack 

Briefcase

$990 – Frank Clegg Zip-Top Briefcase
$895 – Shinola Slim Briefcase
$325 – Uri Minkoff Pebbled Leather Fulton Briefcase 

5. Casual or Dress Watch

Like the last point, which one you go with will depend on your lifestyle. Whether you’re a watch guy or not, any self-respecting man should own a watch or two.

Casual and Dress Watch Ashley Weston

Casual Watch

$7,000 – Rolex Submariner 114060
$3,400 – Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch
$375 – Orient Diver Mako USA II

Dress Watch

$12,700 – IWC Schaffhausen Portugieser Automatic
$532 – Hamilton Intra-Matic Silver Dial Leather Watch
$195 – Tissot T-Classic Tradition Silver Dial

4. White Low Top Sneakers

Everyone has casual days, and white sneakers look so sharp on every guy regardless of your age or body type. If you’re really scared of wearing white, or think that it doesn’t look right, ease yourself into it with a nice low top lace-up black or navy sneaker.

White Sneakers 2 Ashley Weston

$370 – Acne Studios Adrian White Leather Sneakers
$75 – Adidas Stan Smith Sneakers
$65 – Converse Jack Purcell Classic Low Top

3. Boxer Briefs

All women find boxer briefs, specifically darker colors, so sexy on a man. And all men should be wearing them. Period.

Boxer Brief Ashley Weston

$26 – Exofficio Give-N-Go Boxer Brief
$13 – H&M 3-pack Boxer Shorts
$6 – Uniqlo Supima Cotton Boxer Briefs

2. Black and Brown Casual Leather Belts

Whenever you’re wearing jeans, chinos or shorts, throw on a casual leather belt because it’ll add a visually nice touch to your outfit.

Black and Brown Casual Belts Ashley Weston

$98 – Allen Edmonds Sun River Casual Belt
$295 – Salvatore Ferragamo Reversible Leather Belt 
$18 – H&M Leather Belt

1. A Quality Wallet

The things a man carries tells a lot about him and that’s no more true than with your wallet – check out my  article to the left for bifold, card cases, and phone wallet recommendations.

The below are only a few recommendations for bifold wallets.

Wallet Ashley Weston

$195 – Shinola Slim Bifold Leather Wallet 
$525 – Louis Vuitton Slender Wallet
$80 – Bellroy Low Down Wallet

2016 Holiday Gifts For The Women in Your Life

It’s that time of year again, just like the last two years (on this very site as well as PrimerMag), so I want to show you the gifts the women in your life will love to receive this time of year. Trust me, I know we’re a strange bunch when it comes to gifts, and shopping for all the women in your life can be tough – especially if that means you’ll be giving gifts to multiple women like your wife/girlfriend, mom, mom-in-law, sister, and female friend/co-worker/boss.

There’s a few things to consider in order to deliver a thoughtful, special present to the women in your life:

  • Who are you shopping for?
  • Should you splurge or not on that person?
  • What will she appreciate the most?

So let’s ensure you knock it out of the park when it comes to giving the women in your life an incredible present this holiday season – regardless of your budget.

FYI: If I can toot my own horn for a minute –  I’ve got a 100% perfect track record when it comes to helping my clients pick out gifts for their special ladies. Just saying 😉

Mother / Mother-In-Law

The goal with giving your mother or MIL the right gift is to find something that’s useful and will go with whatever her design/style aesthetic is. With that being said, I truly believe if you can, you should splurge on her. Show her how much you love and appreciate her.

Notebook

With that being said, I love Smythson and Hermes notebooks because not only are they extremely useful, but they’ll come beautifully packaged in their iconic blue and orange boxes, respectively. Your mother (or MIL) will be so excited when she sees the box because she’ll instantly know she’s about to receive a super special gift.

Scarves

Another really great gift is a scarf – I especially love (and own myself) the Louis Vuitton scarf. The fabric is beautiful, silky smooth, and will dress up any outfit. A fun alternative is the Kate Spade scarf that’s easy to wear and stylish.

Home

If she loves anything kitchen-related, then you won’t go wrong with a Vitamix or zoodle maker. More than likely, she doesn’t own these items, but will appreciate how useful and awesome they are. Also, I really like the sleek design of West Elm’s marble and copper serving board and Roar+Rabbit’s Free Form Terrarium which will look great on her desk or next to the sink – these are especially great gifts for your MIL because they’ll be appreciated by her regardless of her design aesthetic.

Food & Wine

Another crowd pleaser, and a gift that I had on last year’s list, is Cakebread’s red and white wine gift set. Any winelover will appreciate these fan-freaking-tastic wines. For something outside of the box, order her a box or 6-month subscription to TryTheWorld.com. Every month, she’ll get a themed box of gourmet foods from all around the world. I actually was given this last year by a client and I have to say the packaging alone was super nice and the items tucked inside were so unique and fun.

$590 – Louis Vuitton Monogram Shawl (Beige, Charcoal Grey, or Night Blue)
$78 – Kate Spade New York ‘Swan Around’ Silk Scarf
$320 – Hermés Ulysse Notebook
$80 – Hermés Ulysse Page Refill
$230 – Smythson Panama Collection ‘Soho Notebook’ (personalize with initials for $12/letter)
$18 – Moleskine Color Hard Cover Notebook (black, red, or navy)
$330 – Vitamix Blender 
$160 – Nutri Ninja| Ninja Blender Duo with Auto-iQ
$200 for 6 months – Try the World ‘Signature Box’
$110 – Cakebread Cellars Treasured Classics
$60 – West Elm Marble + Copper Serving Board 
$50-$70 – West Elm Roar + Rabbit Freeform Terrariums
$24 – West Elm Mid-Century Turned Leg Tabletop Planter
$24 – WonderVeg Vegetable Spiralizer

Girlfriend or Wife

The challenge with finding the right gift for your girlfriend or wife is that you want to make sure she’ll think it’s thoughtful, special, and enough. Now when I say “enough”, I mean that we want to feel like we opened up something that feels representative of how much you love us because you better bet we’ll be doing the same when shopping for your gift. Buying us something like a pen or coffee thermos feels, well, cold.

Massage

For an incredibly thoughtful and unique gift, pamper her with an in-home massage. Trust me, she’ll love this. My fiancé got this for me as an anniversary present one year and it was so awesome that I don’t know what woman wouldn’t want this. I’m going against my “no gift certificates” policy for significant others because there’s almost no other way to give her something like this without it. Zeel or Soothe are amazing apps where she can order up a massage whenever she wants – they’re like Uber but for massages.

Jewelry

As for jewelry, if your woman is stylish and loves fashion, then I highly recommend Jennifer Fisher’s choker or a close second is Eddie Borgo’s pearl choker. The clean yet unique designs of both items will compliment every woman’s style – I’m definitely crossing my fingers and toes that I get one of these this Christmas. If your lady is more classic, then go with a necklace with her initial(s) – I personally love Jennifer Fisher’s mini gothic letter pendant with pave diamonds. A more budget-friendly option is by Kate Spade. Both are dainty and delicate and will be loved the moment she sets eyes on it.

Clothing

Other than jewelry, we’ll always appreciate a soft, warm sweater/cardigan or a silky robe that’ll make us feel sexy every time we wear it.

Fitness Trackers

If she’s health-conscious, I’d recommend a Fitbit or Apple Watch. If you go with an Apple watch, I would buy the one with the cheapest strap and then buy a couple of after-market watch straps on Amazon (listed my favorites and the ones I use all the time below) since they’re way cheaper and just as nice (think $12 versus $100 on Apple).

Flowers or Perfume

If flowers and perfume is the approach you want to take, I’d recommend Maison Margiela’s perfume below – It literally smells like freshly laundered sheets mixed with white flowers. The scent is so magical and light! There’s also Eric Buterbaugh’s perfume kit which is pricey, but totally worth it. His scents are extremely high-end but you understand why because they perfectly capture the scents of various flowers.

I feel like every woman I know is lusting over Venus et Fleur’s roses – and for good reason! The company has somehow found a way to make their roses last a year! Yep, a full year! They’re beautifully packaged in a box and are the perfect item to sit on her desk every single day for the next 365 days. These roses are definitely expensive, and I’ll always maintain that flowers should be a supplementary gift, so if you don’t want to splurge on the below collections, then get the Venus et Fleur Le Mini Round ($39) as it’ll be the perfect size to sit on her desk all year long without taking up too much room.

$1,475 – Jennifer Fisher Abstract Line Choker (Yellow Gold or Silver Plated)
$275 – Eddie Borgo Pearl Hinged Choker (Yellow Gold, Rose Gold, or Silver)
$20 – Topshop Double Bar Choker
$1,300 – Jennifer Fisher Mini Gothic Letter Pendant with Pave White Diamonds (Yellow Gold, Rose Gold, or White Gold)
$60 – Kate Spade ‘One in a Million’ Initial Pendant Necklace
$500 – Venus et Fleur ‘The Eternity Marble Collection’
$140 – Venus et Fleur ‘Lé Petite Eternity Arrangement’
$385 – La Perla Silk Satin Short Robe (Pink)
$385 – La Perla Silk Short Robe (Black or White)
$50 – Victoria’s Secret Satin Kimono (Clover Green, Bright Cherry, or Ink Blot)
$315 – Eric Buterbaugh Discovery Kit
$125 – Maison Margiela “Replica” Lazy Sunday Morning
$270+ – Apple Watch
$27 – Apple Watch 38 mm Leather Band (Brown, Black, Blue Jay)
$23 – Kartice for Apple Watch 38 mm Band (Double Tour Brown, Double Tour Blue, Double Tour Black)
$12 – Apple Watch Stainless Steel 38 mm Bracelet Strap (Champagne, Black, Silver, Rose Gold)
$150 – Fitbit Charge 2
$200 – J. Crew Italian Cashmere Cardigan Sweater (Charcoal, Camel or Midnight)
$80 – J. Crew Tippi Sweater (Deep Copper, Navy, Vintage Cabernet, or Heather Smoke)
$160/60 min – Zeel Massage Gift Certificate (price varies based on your city)
$100/60 min – Soothe Massage Gift Certificate (price varies based on your city)

Sister or Friend

I always think shopping for your sister or friend is the easiest because their gifts are less pressure-filled and you can have more fun with it. There’s really no need to go all out – save that for your mother or girlfriend/wife.

Hats

If you’ve ever noticed your sister or friend wearing a hat, then the two options below are the best and most wearable hats out there. I’m personally a huge fan (and owner!) of the Rag & Bone hat, but I’m tempted to pick up this burgundy J.Crew hat because the color (and price!) is 10 out of 10. BUT, if you’ve never seen your sis/friend wear a hat, then DO NOT get them this because it’s for a very specific woman. Instead, go with the bag or wallet and add a nice, personal touch by getting her initials monogrammed on it.

Skincare/Haircare/Makeup

Every woman loves anything makeup or skincare-related which is why the Foreo Luna facial scrubber, Fresh spa set, and Urban Decay eyeshadow palette are so perfect. The eyeshadow colors will compliment every skin color and the Foreo Luna or the Fresh spa set will work wonders for even the most sensitive skin.

Probably the most exciting news that came out of the hair world this year was the official launch of the Dyson hair dryer. Trust me, your sister or friends will know what this is and they’ll will be so excited when they lay eyes on this beauty. If the Dyson is a little too steep, then the Hot Tools blow dryer is one of the BEST budget-friendly tools on the market.

Headphones

If you want to get her something tech-related, gift her Bragi’s earphones. They’re super minimal looking and it’s one of those items that she probably doesn’t have/won’t think to pick up until she’s forced to but will really appreciate how useful they are while working out or riding the subway or walking around town.

Cookbook

Every girl who is half into cooking has been raving about this one cookbook by Chrissy Teigen, who wrote all about her favorite comfort food dishes.

Shoes

And lastly, I’m actually getting my sister this for Christmas, and that’s the classic Adidas Stan Smiths, but with a twist! I’m going to take the shoes to my local mall where they have those stalls that monogram items with gold foil and I’m going to have the right shoe monogrammed in small letters (see photo for example) with her initials. It’s such a chic, stylish yet minimal touch that I know she’ll appreciate.

$400 – Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer
$50 – Hot Tools Turbo Ceramic Salon
$250+ – Bragi The Dash Truly Wireless Smart Earphones (White or Black)
$200 – Rag & Bone Floppy Brim Fedora (Black or Pecan)
$75 – J. Crew Wide-Brimmed Italian Wool-Felt Hat (Cabernet or Camel)
$200 – Foreo Luna 2 for Combination Skin
$95 – Fresh Mini Mask Spa
$130 – J. Crew Signet Bag in Italian Leather (Roasted Chestnut, Festival Red, or Black) – (get initials monogrammed for $10)
$22 – J. Crew Zip Wallet (Bistro Blue or Pink Flamingo) – (get initials monogrammed for $10)
$75 – Adidas Stan Smith Shoes (get initials on one shoe)
$54 – Urban Decay Naked3 Palette
$20 – Chrissy Teigen ‘Cravings’ Cookbook

For Everyone Else Or The Hard To Shop For

For everyone else in your life, whether it’s your aunt, cousin, co-worker, boss, etc, it’s important you select gifts that are useful, yet feel personal. I don’t feel it’s necessary, nor expected, to splurge on pricey gifts for these women in your life unless she’s your boss or a significant person in your life.

The Most AMAZING Food Basket

First up, an easy gift that everyone will love and use right away is a Harry & David gift basket. If you’ve never heard of the company, they’re known for their perfectly ripe, juicy pears wrapped in gold foil. Their food is seriously a work of art and their gift baskets are a true holiday classic that’s not cheesy and stuffed with lackluster food. I’m so excited when clients get me these, you have no idea!

Tea & Coffee Samplers

Other great alternatives are a tea or coffee set. I’m a huge fan of the two companies I featured and personally use their products on a daily basis. Any tea or coffee lover will enjoy these!

Candle Sets

A great gift for you boss, aunt, or cousin is a Diptyque candle set (the BEST luxury candles out there IMO!) or the stylishly designed RBT wine carafe.

Skincare & Water Bottle

For your cousin or co-workers, they’d definitely appreciate goodies from cool-girl brand, Glossier, or a sleekly designed rose gold water bottle. Glossier offers gift sets, but I put together 4 of their must-have items that’ll create the perfect beauty kit for her.

Carbonated Water Maker

Another great gift, and one I’ll be getting some ladies this year, is a SodaStream carbonated water maker. I love carbonated water and how easy it is to use this machine. She can also make her own sodas, too.

Leather Pouches

Every time I travel, I use a smaller dopp kit to store my cords/plugs, but it’s also great at protecting makeup and sunglasses. If I’m going to a coffee shop to get some work done, I store all of my cords and chargers in their cable rollup – it’s an easy and stylish way to stay organized.

$200 – This is Ground Tech Dopp Kit (Bomber, French Grey, or Black)
$55 – This is Ground Cordito Cord & Plug Rollup (Bomber, French Grey, or Black)
$100 – RBT Carafe Decanter
$100 – Diptyque 3 Holiday Mini Candles Set 
$95 – SodaStream Source Sparkling Water Maker Starter Kit in Black (or White)
$70 – SodaStream Jet Starter Kit
$40 – Drop Bottle Rose Gold Infuser
$40 – Harry & David Harry’s Gift Box
$40 – Teavana Ultimate Tea Collection
$35 – Stumptown Blend Trio
$22 – Glossier Mega Greens Galaxy Pack (get all of the below Glossier items for the ultimate gift set)
$18 – Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser
$12 – Glossier Flavored Balm Dotcom
$12 – Glossier 3 Pink Pouches 

 

Think these are crap? Check out the previous years for other great gift ideas for the women in your life.

Leather Wallets

Like I said in the series Intro Video, the things a man carries on his person projects and influences his life and personality in ways he may not notice. And this is no more true than with the little piece of leather or fabric that he carries every single day – his wallet.

I’ve seen it all when it comes to how men carry their cards and cash. I’ve had clients with no wallets who just carry a bunch of loose or rubber-banded cards and cash in their pockets, while others carry these massive monstrosities that I wince at just thinking about how uncomfortable it must be to sit on something like that all day.

As I mentioned in my 10 Most Overlooked Style mistakes ebook, full pockets ruin perfectly good outfits. I see it all the time. The sad part, is a lot of wallet manufacturers continue to sell these massive and bulky things they call wallets. I often wonder what man would see these and think this is something they should carry everyday for the next decade.

I’m going show you the different wallets I recommend to my clients.

There’s a few things that every gentleman’s wallet should be:

  • Clean & classically designed
  • As thin or small as possible
  • Understated in color and material

So let’s get into the different types of wallets that are best for you and determine what to have and why.

Bi-fold or Bill Fold wallets

These are the ones you probably envision when thinking about wallets. These typically go in the back pocket, but some men carry them in their front pockets. I don’t advise this, though, because it’ll leave a very noticeable buldge and, depending on the pants, a very odd square fading on the leg.

Valextra – Simple Grip Spring

Valextra Simple Grip Spring Wallet Ashley Weston

Valextra Simple Grip Spring Wallet Open Ashley Weston

Buy the Valextra Simple Grip Spring Wallet

The only word that comes to mind when I hold this wallet is luxury. The textured leather and construction feels, pardon my french, so [email protected]#$ing good. I really love the classic design.

This wallet is the thinnest of all the billfolds I’ve seen, which is important because if a wallet is thick while it’s empty, imagine what happens when you start filling it?

The thinness is made possible by nixing the bill slot and using a spring-loaded money clip in the middle. There’s other wallets similar to this by other designers, but they were either not great quality, had a logo all over them, or just had an odd pattern or design.

If you want something almost as thin as a card wallet, but with the ability to hold cash, this wallet is the best I’ve ever seen. That’s on top of it’s impeccable attention to detail, like the hand lacquered piping along the edges that’ll keep this wallet looking new for a long time. If you can’t tell, I love this wallet.

In the video, I have a special edition Petroleum blue, but I also love their dark blue, black and gray colors, as well.

Buy the Valextra Simple Grip Spring Wallet

Bellroy – Low Down

Bellroy Low Down Wallet Ashley Weston

Buy the Bellroy Low Down Wallet

If the Valextra wallet isn’t your speed then definitely go for the Low Down.

I’ve recommended this wallet to a few friends and clients and they’ve held up amazingly well, even after a year of daily use.

The tapered corners and shorter height help make it feel less chunky and big. And the leather is sturdy yet supple without a hint of shiny or glossy-ness which plagues a lot of wallets.

There’s one thing that bothers me a little and it’s the contrast stitching. I wish it was the same color as the rest of the wallet, but it’s an admittedly small quibble since it’s close enough in color that most people would never notice.

The black and charcoal are the colors you should go for. I normally like brown, as well, but their brown and blue colors were too loud.

Buy the Bellroy Low Down Wallet

Octovo – The Purist

leather-wallet-purist-black-front_1

The Purist is constructed of thin, high-quality leather and features a simple but efficient design.

I love the angled slots, which diminish bulkiness and make it easier to access the cards. Even when full, this wallet is still quite slim.

I’m not the biggest fan of the two-toned leather lining, but it’s not enough to sway my recommendation.

My only concern with this wallet is the outter leather. Shiny leathers, like this, tend to show every little mark or stain on them. If you’re a little rougher on your wallets, I’d probably go with the Bellroy.

I’d recommend getting their black and chestnut colors.

Folded Card Cases

I didn’t include these in the video because they’re a little more niche than a bi-fold wallet or regular card case since they fold like a wallet, but can’t hold much cash. I still like them a lot and some clients prefer them over the non-folding card cases, so I thought best to include them.

Louis Vuitton – Pocket Organizer

louis-vuitton-pocket-organiser-front

louis-vuitton-pocket-organiser-interior

Buy the Louis Vuitton Pocket Organizer

With smooth, coated edges and the different interior pockets, my clients really love this wallet. I’ve even given them as gifts a few times. I think the design, pocket placement and textured leather really stands out and feels great in the hand. Just a warning, it’s a little thicker than the other card cases, so if you’re looking for super small and thin, you won’t get it with this one. It feels more like a wallet than a card case.

Buy the Louis Vuitton Pocket Organizer

Valextra – Folded Card Case

Valextra Folded Card Case Ashley Weston

Valextra Card Case

Buy the Valextra Folded Card Case

Just like with their bi-fold wallet and regular card case (below), the leather is awesome and the design so classic and thin that it’s hard not to love it. I especially like how they keep the logo very small and out of the way, unlike some other brands…

Buy the Valextra Folded Card Case

Coach – Card Wallet

Coach Crossgrain Card CaseCoach Crossgrain Card Case Opened

Buy the Coach Card Wallet

If the other options are a little pricey, you will love this one. I love the textured leather and the construction is quite good. A lot of times, Coach misses the mark, but they nailed it with this card wallet.

Buy the Coach Card Wallet

Card Cases

These are for the guys who want the slimmest wallet-ish thing possible and don’t have the need to carry much cash. Or, as I’ll touch upon later, as a secondary, going-out wallet.

Valextra – Card Case

Valextra Card Case Ashley Weston

Buy the Valextra Card Case

Just like their bi-fold wallet. This card case is super luxurious, thin and well-constructed. There’s not much else to say, I actually like this one because it has 6 slots, so you won’t have to stack a lot of cards in it. Most other card cases have 3 or 4 slots so you’ll have to dig through your cards to find the right one.

Buy the Valextra Card Case

Bellroy – Micro Sleeve

1_bellroy-wmsb-black-texture-bellroywebsite-01

Buy the Bellroy Micro Sleeve

If the Valextra isn’t your thing, this is a great alternative. Just like their bi-fold wallet, it’s a super durable, thin and features a unique and logical design.

The card slots with different orientations, make it’ easier to pull out your cards and squeeze the sides to expose the center pocket’s contents. I also love the curved edges since it’s easier to slip in and out of your pocket and not catch or snag on anything.

Just like with their Low Down wallet, though, I wish the stitching wasn’t so contrasting. I only like the black or blue steel colors because the other options are either two-toned or really loud.

Buy the Bellroy Micro Sleeve

Octovo – The Slice

mens-leather-wallet-slice-black-front

Soft, supple leather and classy as hell. Unlike with their bi-fold wallet, I actually like the two-tone top pocket because it’s just a little nice surprise and doesn’t scream at you.

Black is the best color for this wallet, and just like with their bi-fold wallet, I question the durability of the leather if you’re rougher on your wallets, but I really, really like the clean and simple design.

Phone Wallet

If you’re looking for a wallet that holds you cards, cash and phone, these are for you. Let me warn you, though, they’re the opposite of slim wallets. If you wear suits, carry a bag often, or don’t mind carrying your wallet in your hand, these are right up your alley.

I’ve had clients explain to me the joy of carrying their phone in their wallets – where it takes a little more effort and time to get to their phones. They say it makes their actions more deliberate and less reactive and schizophrenic. It’s almost like an excuse to take their time. One client explained the opening/unzipping his phone wallet like a sort of ritual. Like rolling up your shirt sleeves or doing something methodically.

I looked long and hard for good ones and even though there’s a lot out there, I found most of them to be lacking in one major area or another.

Bellroy – Phone Pocket

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Buy the Bellroy Phone Wallet

Like Bellroy’s bi-fold wallet and card case (above), the phone pocket is made from the same leather that is very scratch and blemish resistant with a buttery smooth zipper and an equally logical and well-thought out design. My clients who use this wallet really love it.

I love the pocket layout, where the phone fits in the main compartment and your cards fit in a bit of a floating divider, making everything easily accessible. It also has slots for extra SIM cards, small pens and a place to put your house key. They literally thought of everything.

They make two sizes – for larger and smaller phones. I only like the black, though, as the other colors have odd-colored zippers and pull tabs, and/or the color is just too loud and not befitting a proper gentleman.

Buy the Bellroy Phone Wallet

This is Ground – Stash, Phone Wallet

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Buy ‘The Stash’ Phone Wallet

After scouring the web for months trying to find other great phone wallets, I was so happy to find This Is Ground. Turns out that they’re located less than 5 miles away from my office! I got to visit them and they showed me all their goods and I was very impressed.

If you don’t like the Bellroy Phone Pocket, then go for this one. It cuts out all the extra frills and gives you just the essentials. Which is not a bad thing at all. Some clients noted how they preferred how this one opens flat over the taco-style opening of the Bellroy.

The leather is so supple and nice to hold that it really sets itself apart. It’s not as scratch/blemish resistant as the Bellroy, but this wallet will age and mature with you and have a much nicer patina.

The only downside is that the zipper tends to stick a little for the first week or two. My clients were definitely spoiled after using the Bellroy, but they all said it smoothed out after “working it in”, so it’s a minor quibble.

I love the Smoke (black) and Cognac colors the most. The Cognac looks amazing in person. The Stash comes in small and large phone sizes, as well.

Buy ‘The Stash’ Phone Wallet

 

So which wallet(s) should you own?

For my clients, I normally recommend they get a bi-fold or phone wallet and then a card case for when they don’t need to carry as much – like when they’re going out for the night or to a premiere or after-party, where seeing pocket bulges is a big no-no.

For a guy that likes his phone and wallet separate and needs to carry a decent amount of cards/cash with him, I’d say get a bi-fold and get a card case for when you’re going out for the night or just don’t need to carry all your stuff with you.

If you want to carry as little with you as possible and hate added bulk, get a card case. But don’t delude yourself and cram 15 cards into a card case and still think it’ll be slim. If that’s the case, you should just get a bi-fold, as it’ll do a better job of distributing that bulk in your pocket.

If you’re a guy who likes to carry everything all together, or doesn’t want to sit on a chunk of leather and cards, then the phone wallets are for you.

I think a man should have a regular, everyday wallet that can be placed into a breast pocket in your blazer or suit jacket and some form of a slim wallet that can slide into a front or back pants pocket when you don’t need everything – like when you’re going out for the evening, etc.

Just like with keys, you don’t need to and shouldn’t have to carry everything with you at all times. Most men/my clients love to say “But what if I need something in the wallet?”

The argument quickly crumbles when I ask them:
“So you’re going out for drinks with your friends, and need your gym, library, membership cards in case you need to go work out while reading a book at 2am?”

Most men know what kind of night they’re going to have, so don’t pull that BS of needing your tactical wallet with you at all times.