Editor’s Note: This post has been updated to reflect new selections for 2015. Additional Contribution by Nick Caruso.
Call them what you want — card cases or wallets — but a minimalist approach to the tool that holds your cash, plastic and extra business cards is the high road to everyday carry. Slim is faster at the register and more comfortable in transit. There’s something out there for every budget, every need and in every style. Some carry more than others, others are flashy and a few are quite luxurious. But they are all a lot less “George Costanza” than your current cash canister. If there’s beauty in simplicity, these are the best-looking wallets that actually fit in your pocket.
Quality Mending Co. Card Envelope
Constructed from English Bridle leather, this budget-friendly wallet features a front enclosure with durable brass hardware. Available in natural, saddle brown or black.
Size: 4.6” x 2.9”
i ro se Seamless Card Case
Made in Japan, this simple leather wallet utilizes traditional origami folding techniques to retain its shape without a single piece of thread or glue.
Size: 2.8” x 4.3”
Il Bussetto Envelope Card Holder
This firm case is handmade in Italy from a single piece of leather using traditional leatherwork techniques. It is available in a range of colors, from neutral brown to yellow ochre or blue indigo.
Size: 2.5” x 3.8”
Tanner Goods Journeyman Wallet
In the respectable roster of Tanner Goods wallets, this is the thinnest, equipped with four external pockets (two on each side) and a central pouch for cash. Like most of brand’s Portland-made goods, it is offered in a range of different dyes, including Chicago tan and rich moc (pictured). Monograms can be added for an extra $20.
Size: 3.9” x 2.8”
Bellroy Elements Sleeve
This ultra-thin wallet is made from premium weather-resistant leather to combat the effects of rain and snow. It features both a front pocket and main compartment to organize most everyday essentials, plus a hidden stash pouch for a backup key.
Size: 3.9” x 2.9”
Winter Session Slash Wallet
This vertical holder, made from four-ounce Horween leather, is handcrafted in Denver, CO, and available in both monotone and tow-tone colorways. Cleverly constructed with V-cut openings, the design makes identifying and accessing cards and folded cash quick and easy.
Size:3” x 3.6”
Billykirk No. 145 Leather Bifold Card Case
This wallet features three pockets, two of which are fashioned with oval cutouts for accessing frequently used cards. Oiled and edged by hand, each wallet is finished with rugged wax cording.
Size: 3” x 4”
Postalco Card Holder
This narrow, vertically fashioned bifold from Tokyo-based brand Postalco features two internal pockets made from water resistant canvas, which are attached by a single piece of calfskin leather. The wallets are available in a number of colors, including signal red (pictured), olive green and navy blue.
Size: 4.3” x 2.7”
Böle Card Case
Made of leather sourced from Swedish cattle, this ultra-simple holder is vegetable tanned and finished with elegant white thread. The wallet comes with a 15-year warranty from Sweden-based manufacturer Böle, though chances are it will last you a lifetime.
Size: 2.8” x 3.5”
Mark Cross Flat Card Case
Founded in 1845, Mark Cross is one of America’s longest surviving luxury brands. The brand’s tasteful Flat Card Case is constructed from textured Saffiano leather and finished with a glossy top-coat. Each side offers two card slots with a central pouch for folded cash.
Size: 2.8” x 3.8”