It is important to note that while wallets were considered an accessory in the past, they are certainly considered a status symbol in recent times. There are many varying theories on why it became this way, ranging from the aristocratic use of cow or horse leather billfolds in 17th century Europe to the halcyon days of the Industrial Era, where the thicker the wallet, the more critical the wearer seemed to be.
It wasn’t always this way as historically, the wallet had far more function than flash as before it took the universally recognized billfold shape – brought on by the introduction of paper money in 1690 by the Massachusetts Bay Colony – the wallet originally was often no more than a knapsack used to stock provisions. But, when it became less than civil to carry food that way, wallets – then known as a bowgett (or budget) – became a place where men could carry their cash, their book of accounts, and small articles of daily necessity.
This was especially important as pockets, historically, were only worn by women and didn’t appear in clothing until the 17th century. Men of that era were forced to carry all their most important documents around their necks. Fast forward a century, and now wallets were a place to hold a small flint, a piece of steel, and a bit of paper complete with tobacco. Perfect, for those times when smoking was more a way of life than a disagreeable habit.
The 1950s and the invention of the credit card brought the modern leather bi-fold wallet. Afterward, money compartments within the wallet began to slim down to accommodate the currency bills of the time and also more room for slots where credit cards, diners cards for eating, air travel cards for flying, etc, could be inserted for convenience.
This brings about the question. What things should a man from the modern era should have in their wallet?
Key Wallet Accessories
- Spare Key – Let’s start a bit unorthodox. Still, because the world is ever-changing, this ‘key’ accessory might become more commonplace, especially with card key storage holders that store neatly and safely in your wallet. For many reasons, having a spare set of keys to your home or your car may come in handy. When the original set is misplaced and you need help in a pinch.
- Condom – For this one, it is obvious but seen as something not to be discussed. However, as a man, it behooves you to protect yourself and others in case of unforeseen sexual encounters. You would want to put yourself at risk for contracting an STD or getting someone pregnant. As always, it is better to be too safe than very sorry.
- Piece of Wire – Believe it or not, sometimes things happen that we are unprepared for. These are things that could be useful. Trust me, I will see what I mean.
- Flashlight – Technology being as amazing as it is. It was only a matter of time before there would be portable lights the size of credit cards available for public purchase. I mean, the uses of this device are as exhaustive as the problems it would solve, from roadside emergencies to just simply finding a walking home in the dark, there should never be a time when you find yourself without extra light.
- Portable chargers – As someone constantly on the phone, I can attest to when my phone is running low on juice and needs a boost. These are compact and perfect to slip inside someone’s wallet. Precharge, then store in your wallet for battery life emergencies or non-emergency situations. If you have a cellular phone or multiple, you should have one.
- Identification Card – You must always carry your driver’s license or a form of ID. It would also make sense to carry any profession-related identification with you in your wallet. So you know, just in case you need to win an argument by showing off your credentials or if you get carded at a local club or bar.
- Credit Card/Debit Card – Bring your plastic money with you. A credit card is perfect because it is small, lightweight, and convenient for paying for things that cost more than small amounts of cash you should already have on you (for reference, please see the last paragraph). As previously discussed, when credit cards first became ubiquitous in transactional life, that was true when the design of wallets changed to reflect what was becoming standard. Oh, and don’t forget your debit card as well. If, you know, you want to use your own money instead of the bank’s to get a thing or few.
- Cash – What appears last here maybe should be first. First, of course, you have to carry cash. No one should leave their home with at least a little money on them to spend in case of anything. It could be argued that if you don’t have any money in your wallet, you should reconsider leaving your abode. As harsh or materialistic as it may sound, cash is still necessary every day. So please don’t go anywhere without it.