Wallets have undergone such a huge transformation than when they were first invented in the 1300s. From being treated as bags, they have now become more of bi-fold wallets that can carry bills and credit cards, among others.
The origin of the wallet was traced back to as far as the 1300s, but they were bigger back then as they were used to carry valuables. They only flattened in design in the 1600s when paper currency was created. Wallets used to be carried around on the hip and had designs that greatly vary, from being simple to being adorned with crests and stitching during the Renaissance. Back then, they carry not only money but also food. Their placement on the hip also made them vulnerable to being stolen by thieves and cut-purses.
It was in 1834 that flat case wallets started coming out, although the norm back then was to carry them while attached to belts or anywhere where they can be easily seen. Fat wallets were among the sign of opulence too, hence the need to show them off. They were also mostly used by men.
In Spain and England, wallets were mainly used to tobacco and other smoking accessories instead of the usual food or money. They served as pre-modern cigarette cases, carrying flint, a small white paper, and a small piece of steel. However, the attitude toward the use of wallets changed in the late 1800s. Wallets were no longer used to carry food.
A centennial later, more wallets were made and brands like Hermes rose to popularity while making them with more upgraded styles, styles that are almost similar to the modern wallets. It was in the 1920s that wallets were considered as a fashion item, especially with Hermes’ creation of wallets made of saddle leather. Their unique tan color and proven durability helped build Hermes’ loyal following and name for themselves as a producer of luxury leather wallets and other accessories.
But the fashion industry came to a halt during wartime. Fabrics, textiles, and other materials needed to make fashion items were in short supply. But this did not stop wallet makers from creating new wallets with durable materials meant to withstand wartime difficulties. During the war, wallets did more than just carry paper money. The men’s leather wallets were also used to carry dog tags, photos of loved ones, and other small items.
As the world got up and started its recovery efforts after the war, the wallets also made a comeback with an even more important role in people’s fashion. Parisian-designed wallets rose to popularity and were mainly used to keep cash, credit cards, and small notebooks. Some were even created out of various types of leathers and in different colors to make them match one’s outfit.
Most modern wallet styles can be traced to the 1950s. It was during this time that high fashion wallets were at its peak, but this evolved into simpler wallets in the decades that followed until the 1980s. Wallets became even more popular, along with the production of dark colored wallets with nylon, chains, and other textiles. In the 1990s, Velcro wallets were in, so did chained wallets, which were first created out for the need for more security.
Now, wallets have remained as they have been in the past 100 years – pocket-sized, foldable accessories used to hold paper bills. The materials used, though, have changed. More than leather, wallet makers have found ways to use man-made materials to give wallets more versatility. You can find modern wallets that are waterproof, washable, patterned, pastel, and in various sizes.
Since credit cards were invented in the 1950s, wallets have also come to change to make way for these square-shaped cards. There are also wallets that feature money clip styles or big ones that can hold checkbooks. You can find any leather wallets for men, including breast wallets, bi-fold and even tri-fold wallets. There are also minimalist wallets that are preferred by those who prefer using fewer physical cards in favor of electronic wallets.
With the evolution of men’s leather wallets comes a variety of choices for you. Just pick one that you’re most comfortable with putting in your back pocket, attaché case or purse.