Wallets, much like handbags, are the epitome of functionality meeting aesthetics. As such, they’re pretty much the most important accessory we carry along every day. Women’s wallets are much more diverse than men’s, considering that the latter are usually limited to a bifold monochromatic design. Thus, the process of choosing the perfect wallet is somewhat more complex for a woman. You might choose to own more than one type to fit different needs and handbags. Size, for example, is an important factor to consider. To make things easier, we’ll list the different types of women’s wallets here, according to their layout and specific function. That way, you’ll know what exactly you’re looking for in order to keep your money organized.
Wallets referred to as “continental” are the ones you see around the most. Their layout offers a truly diverse set of options. These are long, rectangular-shaped wallets, where any kind of paper money doesn’t have to be folded. They can have a couple of different compartments or slots to include coins and cards as well. Everything fits in easily and they’re extremely practical because you get a very clear overview of the belongings. But because of this, some are too bulky for smaller purses and clutches.
That’s why some continental wallets are designed as purse-like clutches that can be carried around on their own. Such is Prada’s Etiquette wallet that has an optional chain strap. Gucci is famous for their flower-printed “Blooms” continental wallet and you’ve surely spotted MiuMiu’s classic wallets or the quilted ones. All of these are designed using snap closures.
Personally, I prefer a sleek, minimalist yet classic feel. This brought me to experiment with a geometric approach to designing accessories, and so, the Geometric continental wallet was born. I make them with vegetable tanned calf, so they’re a bit thicker and sturdier, with credit card slots and a zip pocket for coins. Additionally, the full grain aniline leather gains a unique patina through the aging process, so the alterations of the material make each piece different from the other. The soft and thin lambskin interior adds a velvet touch, in black or metallic green lining, to give a sense of contrast and subtlety every time the accessory is opened.
This is just a variation of the continental wallet. The other option is the snap-closured one, such as the wallets that I’ve previously mentioned. The design principle of the continental wallet is equally applied, but zips are used instead of snap buttons. Obviously, this changes the outcome a little bit. Snap-closured wallets can hide the opening mechanism whereas zip-around ones expose it, so it’s really a matter of preference. I plan to add this variation to my continental wallet designs in the future, but so far, I’ve used zips only on the Geometric coin purses. As part of the Geometric collection, these coin purses are designed by the same principles, and using the same materials as the continental wallet. Only, they’re miniature and intended specifically for coins – perfect for those who find coins pesky and somehow always end up with lots of them.
As the name suggests, bifold wallets fold in half so they’re smaller and easier to fit in any bag – or even a pocket if you prefer. Typically, bifold wallets are more often associated with men’s style, as almost all men’s wallets are of this type. But designer brands such as Saint Laurent and Mulberry, among many others, also offer bifold as a type of women’s wallets. They’re ideal for those who prefer a smaller size and don’t mind having their paper money folded. Additionally, there’s the trifold wallet as well, which, as you can guess, unfolds into three sections.
Card holders are extremely practical for their miniature size and organizational slots. Intended for storing credit cards primarily, they usually feature a compartment in which paper money can be folded. This makes them ideal for travelling and those who generally prefer to carry smaller amounts of cash with them. Card holders can come in various shapes and sizes, but their interior is always simple and functional.
As I’ve been inspired by equestrian leather crafts since early childhood, I’ve developed a sensibility for classic, elegant accessories. To me, they evoke dedicated craftsmanship and an appreciation of fine simplicity. That’s why I’ve often admired the aesthetics that companies such as Hermes exhibit. The Albert collection, where I’ve featured a couple of card holders, represents my own take on elegant minimalism. The Albert card holders are clean-cut, with a thin piece of vegetable tanned calf folding over another to make an envelope-like shape. The lining is also made from calf leather, with three credit card slots and a main one intended for folded money. It’s one of the pieces I’m most proud of, in terms of both aesthetics and functionality.
These are the essential types of women’s wallets, so their designs can be adjusted to provide different variations. Knowing what fits your needs and preferences best makes it much easier to choose, so hopefully, this has been helpful. In the end, it’s important to always remember: you never have to choose between practicality and style. You can always have both.