Did Everybody Else Already Know This?

I have a secret to tell you. Or maybe I’m the last to know?

Men’s wallets are better than women’s. At least if you carry a small bag and/or are looking to jettison carrying weight.


I made this astonishing discovery in September. I wanted to bring my Céline bag on the trip to New York Fashion Week, but it’s way smaller than the Bottega Veneta large hobo that I usually carry. So I bought myself a new wallet.


I stuck with BV, but I picked a man’s version. It’s gray, which I love. Neutral but not black. Also works with my brown messenger crossbody.


I wondered, at first, if I could fit everything. AARP. Has anyone ever used their membership? There are enough slots for the cards I actually need. I carry my driver’s license in a separate holder anyway – so much easier for travel.


I worried about change. But, and here’s what made me feel like a genius (or else someone REALLY slow to figure out the obvious), I can put it in the zipper side pocket of my bags! Bingo! Paying with coins is something you have to consider really carefully anyway. I’m always the older woman annoying the younger person behind me at the cashier by counting. Five, thirty, fifty-five, sixty, sixty-two.

Men’s wallets these days don’t ask us to sacrifice style. Quite the contrary. And if I’m going to carry something artistically logo-ed I’d rather be able to pull it out for a flash and then hide it again.

You Can Choose From Wildly Ornamented

No need to go all the way to cobras if you don’t want to. Valentino’s studless accessories are really gorgeous these days.

Or The Subtle But Still Interesting

True, I don’t have as much room for receipts any more, but who needs to carry around every scrap in the universe to reconcile with a credit card bill some day? And probably nobody must have the business card of their tree guy with them at all times.

Jettison, hold.

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  • What a timely post! I found myself in the same predicament a few weeks ago when I decided to ditch that 10 pound weight on my shoulder and go cross-body. Of course my current wallet didn’t fit in the smaller bag, and not finding anything suitable in the women’s wallets I grabbed a man’s wallet in desperation. Best choice ever! And thanks for the tip on the coins, I wasn’t quite sure how to handle them!

    10:55 am
    Lisa said...

    @LostRoses, My pleasure! Great minds think alike!

  • Nice idea. As to receipts, I keep a Manila envelope handy to store them. Empty them out when I get home. Keeps them handy and out of my bag. Obsessives r us.

    10:56 am
    Lisa said...

    @Mary anne, Oh I need a good stock of manila envelopes! Trip to Staples!

  • Because I’ve lived in England for so long now I still think of ‘wallets’ for men and ‘purses’ for women – I say still because I may be out of date – many US usages are now de rigeur ! But of course many practical things are better designed/made if for men – my mother always carried a wallet as well as a purse , as do I – along with the enormous bag to put them both in .
    In clothing too I was introduced to boys’ stuff very early but have never graduated to mens’ because of being short . I wonder how long I can go on skulking in boys’ departments as I was today in pursuit of proper Autumn cords – I’63 now !

    10:59 am
    Lisa said...

    @Rukshana Afia, I think you can skulk as long as they fit! And I have to go look up the English meanings for purse and wallet – I don’t know what they are. Oops.

  • correction : I’m

  • I USE OLD TIN cigarette cases!
    For my credit cards…………LOVE IT and so do the people waiting on YOU!

    11:08 am
    Lisa said...

    @LA CONTESSA, That is so YOU! They are probably Italian tins too!

  • What a great idea!!!
    They are so much lighter, have better leather and fit in the hand
    beautifully. They give us more purse space. Only wish they came in vivid colors
    All we need are card slots, and a long slot for paper currency.

    9:20 am
    Carol said...

    Hi Joyce, Buy the wallet you like then take it to your local shoemaker to have sprayed a color you like. Most of them use Meltonian which you can buy YOURSELF and spray yourself. I have done it with shoes and purses forever!


    Smiles from Carol

    11:14 am
    Lisa said...

    @joyce, I had no idea bags could be sprayed. It doesn’t come off? And it is true, so far no pink, purple or kelly green men’s wallets are hitting my radar. You’d think they might at least do orange?

    7:57 am
    Carol said...

    Hi Lisa and Joyce, The Meltonian spray lasts a long time and is designed for shoes so is waterproof. Like any spray-on product, several light coats are better than one heavy one. No orange in the color chart but they do have Pink, Shell Pink, Fuschia and two colors of red. There is also Purple. At one time they had a brush-on version which I used to mix to get the colors I wanted to match my suits.

    Dharma Tradin Company sells s VERY high quality paint for leather (brush on) that is used by artists who do custom-painted shoes. http://www.dharmatrading.com/paints/angelus-leather-paint.html?lnav=paints.html They offer over 100 colors! That should satisfy just about anyone’s desire for color.

    Smiles from Charlotte

  • Somehow it seems there are a LOT of things that made better for men – shirts, shoes, cufflinks. Not suggesting that we go transgender but somehow it doesn’t seem fair!

    I like the Contessa’s Idea of using an old cigarette tin although I probably would not like the smell. Maybe a large Altoids tin instead?

    Smiles from Carol

    11:16 am
    Lisa said...

    @Carol, Altoids would be great. And it is a known fact that men’s products and services cost less often, example: dry cleaning of shirts.

    3:55 pm
    joyce said...


    Yes, to the Meltonian spray color…awesome stuff!!! I forgot that I used it to change my too bright gold Birkenstock sandals to a soft silver. It worked beautifully.
    Just remember to spray very light coats to build up the color, and mask any areas you don’t want colored with tape…even the soles. Good preparation is essential to a great outcome.

  • About six months ago I began using the very small but incredible useful Louis Vuitton Zippy Coin Purse (I’m not affiliated with the company). It easily carries all the cards I need (many fewer than I thought I did) and all the paper bills I ever carry (folded in half). A perfect little zipped-up, trim square that fits in my smallest bag. I never store change in my wallet, though. Never have. It’s weighty and not very useful to me. I just drop it in a side pocket–or even the bottom of the purse–and empty at the end of day. Your BV men’s wallet is a beauty though!

    11:18 am
    Lisa said...

    @Linda Green, Thank you! And the zip (they make zip up wallets too) does solve the open wallet issue Patsy mentions lower down.

    3:38 pm
    Jane said...

    @Linda Green, I did this very same thing about six months ago, too. Yes, indeed, the LV zippered coin purse is great for cards and paper money. Switching to this makes for much less bulk. Yay!

    3:41 pm
    Jane said...

    @Linda Green, Correction, I meant to say about three months ago.

  • Typo. “Incredibly useful,” not incredible useful. Sorry!

    11:20 am
    Lisa said...

    @Linda Green, See, I have an edit function on the comments I type;). Hardly fair, is it! xox

  • I purchased a trifold wallet made by HOBO before I traveled to Paris as I needed something smaller that fit inside my zippered inner pocket of my Barbour jacket. I still use it.
    My son has the same wallet you bought, his in in black purchased in Italy years ago and it still looks new.
    I like the idea of lightening the weight of our everyday handbags….and when is someone going to invent a universal loyalty card?

    11:21 am
    Lisa said...

    @Bungalow Hostess, Your son must have inherited your good taste!;).

    And I know, a single card, but, I think it is going to happen in our phones or on our computing wearables, ApplePay, PayPal, etc. if it happens at all.

  • I have always used a small trifold wallet plus a credit card holder because I prefer small bags. Now I have a credit card holder with a key chain and coin pouch (but the mfr discontinued it). I tried what I thought of as a “real girl’s” wallet once but it drove me insane.

    11:22 am
    Lisa said...

    @joannawnyc, Ha! I had liked my girl’s wallet but my older woman’s body doesn’t like it quite so much;).

  • Funny, I find men’s wallets to be a pain – because they are made to go in a pocket, they refuse to stay politely closed inside my purse. My wallet isn’t that much larger than a man’s, yet it has a change compartment. Maybe I have a freakishly small wallet! It’s an old (really old) Coach wallet.

    11:24 am
    Lisa said...

    @Patsy, And as we know, anything Coach made that is really old, is great. I find I don’t mind if my wallet opens a little in my purse.

  • I rarely have/keep receipts anymore – I use Apple Pay when I can – and charges to my credit card show up on my phone as they are run through the register. I have a place for my cards and ID on the back of my phone. I can put the phone in my pocket or in a little handbag.

    11:25 am
    Lisa said...

    @Ming, I have seen this approach – the phone holder with the cards/ID. It is probably the way of the future, except, how could I brush my hair? Apply lipstick? Hmm. The small handbag is still necessary I guess.

  • You know what else is better? Dopp kits!! They are sturdier, have better zippers, more durable material, easier to clean out if something spills, more practical shape, sit very nicely on the tank of the toilet if there’s no where else to put it, and never fall apart. I exclusively use mens’ dopp kits instead of womens’ often silly-looking and cheaply-made toiletry bags.

    6:06 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Christy, Oh yes! Unquestionably.

  • Hi Lisa, Men know this. And even we have to keep weeding out our wallets of those extra receipts and business cards. I like the bi-fold kind. They usually hold less, but are slimmer.

    6:07 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Parnassus, Yes, I have noticed that very few men are interested in women’s wallets. Our shoulder bags, however, that we did well on;).

  • Great idea!

    6:07 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Roseag, Thank you ma’am!

  • I have a lovely light green leather wallet from Hobo. It’s less expensive than those that you show, and the light, bright color helps me find it easily in my purse.
    As for all of those loyalty and membership cards, I use the free Key Ring app. You can photograph the card and scan in any barcode. It works great and saves a lot of weight in my wallet.

  • I’ve used men’s wallets most of my life as I prefer to carry a smaller cross body bag. I won’t buy one that doesn’t have a place for change, although I don’t use cash so much anymore The where to keep your change problem was never a problem for men. Their clothes always had POCKETS.

    6:08 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Cat, I have thought about that frequently. POCKETS. Why do we have to do without!?!?!?

  • Very interesting about the smaller wallet..No I did not realize the advantages of having a guy’s wallet…
    However, the part of your post that sent me laughing was the coin and the older woman annoying the younger by counting our the change….Oh, have I been guilty but its usually worse…its when I have a coin purse full of change and I say really in the past but not any more: “Can I get rid of my change?…”Then I proceed to count out $10 worth…Have to laugh…

  • So you only brought your Celine to NY – no other larger bag? I never considered that. I usually carry a large/normal size bag and pack a smaller one for evenings out. When I do use a small bag, I just put cash and one credit card in the side pocket. I’ve never considered a man’s wallet – so no, you’re not the last one to know about this. Hmmm….

  • I carry woman wallet for cards and all the documents we still have to carry on with us AND much smaller men wallet for money,both change and paper bills,and all irrelevant cards from different stores ((yes,I usually wear big bags,even my evening bag -although I have a beautiful evening bag not big enough for my car and home keys(but keys were much smaller once)-is not very small at all))for decades!
    Last year I’ve bought small women wallet for the first time, and am not very pleased with it


  • Why do women’s clothes button on a different side than men’s do? Men are supposed to have a “dresser” (or wife) help them while women are supposed to dress themselves.

    Why do women’s clothes not have pockets while men’s do? Well, not that long ago maybe 60 or 70 years ago)women didn’t usually handle money. The men did. Whenever our family went out to eat, my father always paid the bill. Even on shopping day, my dad would dole out the money to my mother. She was actually one of the first women in our neighborhood who had her own car! Purses were small and only for things like lipstick, perfume, a small hairbrush (although most women used so much hair spray that that might not have been needed), and finally, maybe a little pocket change for buying a quirt of perfume (or other personal “ladies” things)from the wall mounted dispensers in the Ladies Room.

    Of course, there were no cell phones or credit cards back then either.

    We’ve come a long way baby!

    Smiles from Carol

  • I have love my ladies wallet but had been considering a men’s wallet simply because it is smaller, and my ladies wallet has all kinds of pockets I don’t use. I used to hate it that the men’s wallet came open in my purse though. Perhaps my interest in a lighter load has taken priority over that little annoyance however. We shall see.

    I would love to have everything on my phone or watch and not have to carry any cards, although I’d probably still have things I’d want to carry around in a bag.

  • I had no idea men’s wallets were so beautiful. Thanks for those pix of/links to some. Now I get to decide whether hubby or I will receive a new men’s wallet for Christmas. ;)

  • My Coach wallet from 25 or so years ago was coming unstitched, and I needed something quick. (I may still see if I can get that one fixed but …)

    I found a men’s Coach wallet that has a small, snap-to-close change pocket in it! The women’s wallets were all way too big. Who needs one that holds a check book any longer?

    My men’s wallet does stay closed in my purse, especially when I slip it into the side zipper pocket, but even when I don’t.

    The coin pocket in this wallet is small, which encourages me to take change out every few days instead of hoarding until I have enough quarters to buy a round for the house at the laundromat.

    I also have a metal business card case that I use for my credit cards & license; the wallet is just for bills and coins. I love the card case b/c I can slip it in a pocket when I go purse-less and it is lower profile than anything other than slipping stuff into my pocket with a rubber band around it. I can generally even fit a couple of folded-up $20s in the case.

  • I have used small kiss-lock change purses as a wallet for years. The first one I picked up at MonoPrix in Paris about 10 years ago for a few Euros. It has two compartments, one for bills and cards, the other for change. It is of lovely soft red leather and has held up beautifully. It is hard to find these change purses though. I went looking for a replacement and tried high and low to find one, of nice quality, at a reasonable price, without luck. I was about to get a vintage one from eBay when I scored one at TJMAXX. White leather, DKNY, two sided with a sneaky zip pocket to slip car insurance card, etc in.
    It has become my favorite type of wallet.

  • I’m a big fan of the Taxi Wallet, which does have a little coin pocket but is otherwise quite small. They come in lovely bright colors which is a plus since I can always find it in my purse.