The marketplace has a sheer amount of wallets that vary in shapes, sizes, and materials. Knowing the different types will help you choose one that's comfortable and practical for every day use or one that you can proudly whip out in a five-star restaurant.
Wallets existed before paper banknotes and were once used to carry more than just money and cards. Knapsacks, or small fabric packs with drawstrings, were worn by ancient Greeks attached to their belts and used to carry daily essentials, including their lunch and coins.
When people started using paper money during the Renaissance period, the wallet evolved into a purse made from leather and came with specially made pockets for identification cards such as calling cards and visiting cards.
In the 1800s, the wallet became the pre-modern cigarette case as it was used chiefly to carry tobacco and smoking accessories.
At the turn of the century, the wallet became the modern wallet as we know it today. It’s foldable, pocket-sized, and used for carrying paper bills.
Types of Wallets for Women and Men
This “wallet” is actually a belt that has a secret compartment which is a zippered section to hold documents, folded bills, and anything else that is small. It has the same look and functionality as a regular belt.
In fact, no one should ever know that it is both a belt and a wallet, and even though it won’t make you a secret agent, you can easily feel like one because of its design and overall look. It is an all-terrain belt that is both stylish and attractive and is easy to get in and out of as well. If you’re out bike-riding or shopping and don’t feel like carrying around your wallet, the belt wallet is the perfect solution every single time.
A bi-fold wallet is not too big or too small; in fact, it is a perfect size for everyone. Bi-fold wallets are usually rectangular in shape and fold in half. They are both stylish and compact, and they feature a long open pocket that can be used for your money and sometimes different slots for the placement of credit cards, ID cards, and even receipts.
Bi-fold wallets often have coin purses in them as well. Their slim profile means they can be folded in half very easily to fit inside a jacket pocket or a pocket in the back of your pants, as well as in a bag or briefcase. They are a very common type of wallet, and very popular as well.
Card Case Wallet
The card case wallet usually has a place only for ID cards and credit cards, and sometimes even your bills. It is compact, sleek, and very slim, and it is made to be carried anywhere you need to go with comfort and ease.
Some card case wallets have a money clip attached to one side to hold your bills, but they all have one thing in common – their main emphasis is to hold your ID and credit cards and little else, making them very convenient for millions of people, especially men.
ID Card Wallet
With an ID card wallet, you never again have to worry about where your driver’s license or other ID card is. ID card wallets offer an ID card window and sections for cards and banknotes. They are practical, compact, and extremely convenient, and when you use them, you’ll know that your ID card is always close at hand.
Although sometimes used by women, these wallets are used mostly by men because for the most part, men do not like bulky, large wallets. They want just enough of a wallet to hold what they need to bring around with them and nothing else, making the ID card wallet just perfect for their needs.
Also called long wallets or breast wallets, large wallets feature numerous internal compartments and are specially designed to fit in the inside pocket of your jacket. They do not accommodate as much space as you think they will, and they have pockets that are large enough to hold all currency sizes.
Large wallets are usually rectangular in size and are very long because they are meant to accommodate a lot of items. Usually folded in half, they are made to hold a lot of items without being too bulky, and most of them are, indeed, made this way.
The best thing about the leg wallet is that no one will even know it is there. You can wear a leg wallet either on your lower leg or around your calf, and it is a great place to safely hide an ID card, money, or even a passport. It is tactically designed to fit securely yet comfortably and to fit discreetly so that no one knows it’s there.
It has zippered pockets to organize items such as your currency and your passport, and it has stretchable straps that secure around your lower leg and underneath your pants. If you want to keep valuables hidden from street robbers and pickpockets, the leg wallet is for you. As a matter of fact, this is just what it is made for, and if you buy it for this specific reason, you will never be disappointed.
Money Clip Wallet
The money clip wallet is a very slim wallet and is designed to hold items such as your ID card and your folded cash. It is also a great way to keep your credit cards well organized and convenient to handle.
You can remove your bills from a money clip wallet very easily, and you can even adjust the tension to secure a stack – rather thin or thick – of cash and other items simply by rotating the clip, which is conveniently spring-loaded.
If you never carry cash around with you, not to worry. Simply unwind to remove the clip, and you can get a wallet that is even slimmer. Convenient, comfortable, and attractive as well, and you can’t ask for any more than that in a wallet.
Also called neck pouches, neck wallets are synonymous with smart travel. If you wear it like a gun holster – that is, over your neck with one strap under one arm – it offers the most security and comfort. Neck wallets are safe and convenient, and although they are a little larger than many other types of wallets, they can hold a lot more items than you think.
In fact, people sometimes use neck wallets as a purse because once you put all the important items inside of it, you likely won’t need a lot of other items when you head out to your destination. They are also comfortable to wear because they are usually made out of very smooth materials.
The RFID wallet is specially designed with a very unique lining that protects the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips in your debit and credit cards from being scanned by unscrupulous individuals and thieves. They work by blocking unauthorized RFID, BLE, and NFC scans, keeping the wallet safe and offering greater peace of mind.
Also called secure wallets, these wallets offer the best protection against would-be thieves who are trying to steal personal and delicate information that, once they have it, can create a legal and emotional nightmare for you.
Every day, thousands of people have their identity stolen, wreaking havoc on their lives and costing them both time and money they may not have. RFID wallets are a great way to protect yourself from this occurrence and prevent it from happening to you.
A very unique type of wallet, these wallets sit on top of your shoe and discretely keep items such as keys from bouncing around in your pocket. If you’re heading out to jog, shoe wallets are the perfect way to run hands-free and without worrying that things will be uncomfortable in your pocket or t-shirt.
Most shoe wallets have loops that tie around your lace and allow the wallet itself to sit on the front top of your shoe, making them both comfortable and convenient. These types of wallets are perfect for people who are always on the go, and the compact size of the wallet means your feet will never be uncomfortable either.
Slim wallets are specifically made to be compact, and they are normally able to hold cash, international currencies, and roughly 8-10 cards, even when folded in half. They are slim enough for the front pocket of your jeans, put less wear and tear on your clothing, are better for your back and for your back pocket, and even provide a smoother-looking silhouette than most other wallets.
They can hold more items than you might think, and since they are specifically made to have a slim design, they are both convenient and attractive, sturdy, and practical. If compactness is what you want, but a slim design is what you need, the slim wallet will be perfect for you.
If you’re looking for the perfect wallet for a night on the town, a weekend getaway, or even to take on your next travels, the taxi wallet is the one to get. Taxi wallets are small-folding wallets that have pockets and which fit very neatly in a small bag or in your front pocket.
Taxi wallets are perfect for people who consider themselves minimalists and who wish to uncomplicate their lives. They are meant to carry only the basics and nothing else, which includes cards, bills, and coins, plus they have an extra pocket that is made to hide just a few folded bills, a note, or a folded check.
If you think, “just the basics, please”, whenever you’re shopping for a wallet, you can’t overlook the benefits of the taxi wallet, because it should suit all of your needs perfectly.
This travel wallet can also be called a passport holder wallet or a passport travel wallet because you can keep all of your important travel documents in one place when you purchase this type of wallet. These wallets are tall and slim, and there is plenty of room to store your driver’s license, boarding cards, currency, passport, credit cards, a pen, and much more.
The wallets are very handy, and they usually come with snap-type, magnetic button closure. Travel wallets prove that their name is appropriate because you can store all of your travel essentials in style and still get a wallet that is comfortable enough to carry around wherever you need to go. If you’re even considering traveling anywhere, you owe it to yourself to purchase a travel wallet for yourself.
Trifold wallets are great if you need a wallet that can accommodate a lot in a very small space. Also rectangle in size like the bi-fold, a tri-fold wallet instead has two flaps that fold to close the wallet. Each section of the wallet is roughly one-third of its length and has one open pocket you can use to put your money in, as well as several other slots.
Unlike a bi-fold wallet, however, the slots in the tri-fold wallet are vertical instead of horizontal. In fact, most trifold wallets can hold up to 10 of your ID or credit cards. It also contains numerous receipt pockets, an ID window that has a thumb-slide for easy access, and a double-bill compartment.
Tri-fold wallets have a lot more space than bifold wallets, making them seem a little bulkier than a bi-fold wallet, even though they aren’t. They take up less space than you might think, and they are extremely convenient when what you want is a spacious wallet. If you’ve chosen to live the compact life, heading to the store to find yourself a great trifold wallet is a very smart thing to do.
Wallet with Coin Pocket
These are very popular with women because they are specially designed to hold not only bills but also coins that are readily accessible while shopping and eating out. With coins that are stowed away inside your wallet, you can easily go through all of your loose change when you purchase something later on when you’re shopping or in a restaurant.
Wallets that have coin pockets can be used by both men and women, and they blend the perfect amount of convenience and style so that you get something perfect in the end. Attractive and useful, wallets with coin pockets are easy to find and affordable as well.
Just as its name implies, the wrist wallet fits on your wrist and is made for outdoor activities such a walking, hiking, or jogging. It fits tightly but comfortably against your wrist and can store items such as keys, money, phone, ID card, or even an mp3 player if you like.
It is usually made with an elastic loop so it can adjust to the size of your wrist, and even though they are not large enough to hold items such as a passport, they are perfect for holding the items you need while you’re outside exercising.
Wrist wallets are visible, yet they are still able to prevent pickpockets because it is, in fact, difficult for people to steal something from it. If you spend time outdoors and hate big, bulky wallets, the wrist wallet is for you.
These wallets have zip closures and zip pulls that are usually trimmed in leather, meaning they aren’t likely to rip or tear away anytime soon. You can’t lose anything because the zippers conveniently keep everything on the inside, and it has an inner pocket that is perfect for your banknotes.
The wallets are stylish but compact, unique, and attractive. They are also perfect to store credit or membership cards, and the fact that they come in a variety of designs – including stripes, floral designs, and many more – make them a favorite among women.
Some people call them wallets with zip pockets, but whatever they are called, zippered wallets are always a convenient and fashionable way to carry around the things you might need while you’re out and about.
Clutch Wallet (Women)
A clutch wallet is essentially something you can consider the same as a purse that comes without a strap that you do not have to carry on your shoulder. Much smaller than your average bag, a clutch is something that you can use just like a wallet to carry your currency and cards. You can also use it to store some small personal items.
Clutch wallets can vary in size but they are not so large that they become inconvenient for you to carry around. Clutches are actually quite fit for everyday use but women tend to use them only when they are going to special events or on special occasions.
A wristlet is a small pouch or a small wallet that also has a loop that goes around your wrist. It is small enough for you to carry it around easily in your hand or dangle on your wrist and it is large enough for you to carry around some essentials other than what your typical wallet holds.
This is a type of woman wallet that can be seen both as a wallet and as a small purse. A good thing about this type of wallet for women is that you can store it inside your pocket as well.
String Wallet (Women)
A small leather bag and a wallet on a string are pretty much one and the same. The leather wallet is the size of a tiny bag that has a thin strap on both ends, which you can use to hang it on your shoulder. Offering you the benefits of your typical wallet, it also adds a little more space, thereby making it more of a small bag. It is a convenient wallet to have on you – lightweight, portable, and spacious for your essentials. It also offers you the added benefit of going hands-free if you want to.
Large wallets or long wallets are also known as continental wallets. They offer the most amount of space when you consider the wallets which do not come under the handbag category as well. They have a large amount of space in them as far as wallets are concerned.
With dedicated compartments for your currency, multiple slots for all your cards, and a secure overall closing mechanism, continental wallets are very versatile.
They have more than enough space for you to store your checkbooks, unfolded currency bills, and even your passports. In fact, you can even use your continental wallet as your travel wallet if you want to. All of your important documents can stay in just one place without you having to rummage around in your handbag looking for them.
If you are someone who has to carry your checkbook with you a lot, then this is the perfect wallet for you. In this age, most people use their credit cards to make the payment. However, there are some professionals who prefer writing a check. Owning a checkbook wallet gives you the opportunity to carry your checkbook with you at all times without the worry of it getting creases or folds. You can also use this wallet to carry your passport.
This is a popular choice among people who wear a suit or sport jacket on a daily basis. This wallet can easily fit inside the breast pocket while remaining flat.
Cell Phone Wallet Combo
This wallet allows you to store your cash, cards, coins, and cell phone in a single place. If you have a habit of forgetting your phone, then you should definitely get this wallet. These wallets have a slot for all your things which makes it a convenient and stylish choice. You can easily manage all your things and will not have to hassle while looking for your phone.
FYI, my wallet of choice is the cell phone wallet combo. I love it because I have everything I need in one convenient case.
Hard Shell Wallet
For a while I used a hard-case wallet. It was cool in some ways, but I ended up breaking two them by stuffing them too full of stuff just like George from the “Exploding Wallet” Seinfeld episode.
The selling feature of these wallets is they block RFID scanners so that your credit card info can’t be stolen. I’m not paranoid about this sort of thing so the wallet’s main purpose was lost on me. The reason I gave this wallet a try is it’s fairly compact.
However, now that I carry a cell phone everywhere, I prefer the cell phone wallet combo option.
The Tall Wallet
The tall wallet is old school and was more popular 40 years ago. They’re larger wallets that fit well into the inside pocket of a suit or jacket. Their length makes it easy to retrieve from the pocket.
This is likely the most common material for wallets, and once you purchase a leather wallet, you’ll understand why. The leather is both flexible and durable and is created by tanning the rawhides of animals, which mostly includes cattle hide. The leather is used to make thousands of goods that people use every single day, including footwear, in bookbinding, and even as a covering for furniture.
Dating back to 1300 BC, leather has various types and styles – including a very popular type called suede – and can be decorated using a wide range of techniques. The leather used in wallets usually includes various shades of brown, although other colors are possible as well.
More often than not, the fabric used to make wallets are blends of different fabrics, but they can be made out of many strong fabrics, including polyester and cotton, nylon twill, twill, polyester and twill, polyester, nylon, and 10000 CORDURA, and many others. In fact, many of these fabrics are so strong that the wallets come with a lifetime guarantee, which makes them well worth the money you spent on them.
Of course, fabric wallets are usually very inexpensive, so finding a fabric wallet that is expensive can be difficult to do. Fabric wallets are also very fashionable because this material comes in hundreds of colors and designs.
You can choose a wallet that is solid-colored or printed, light or dark, textured or smooth, and whatever you choose, you’ll love the fact that you can walk around with a wallet that is both functional and beautiful.
The term “nylon” is used to describe numerous materials because there are a lot of blends that have nylon in them. Nylon is a type of synthetic polyamide that is manufactured by copolymerizing diamines and dicarboxylic acids.
The material can then be molded into the articles that are needed, including not only wallets but items such as machine parts and combs as well. Nylon monofilaments can be used for materials such as the bristles of a brush, and nylon fibers can even be spun into yarn.
Other examples of products that are made with nylon include sheets, fiber, stockings, many types of clothing, and many others, all of which have great elasticity and great strength.
The great thing about denim is that it is not only strong and sturdy enough to make wallets out of, but it is also a very beautiful fabric, even coming in various colors. It is a common fabric for jeans, and in fact, these types of pants were once called blue jeans to describe the color of most denim.
Denim now comes in colors such as white, red, black, yellow, and orange, among others, and it is unarguably one of the most popular types of fabric on the market today.
Denim is made out of a sturdy cotton warp-faced textile whereby the weft passes under two or more warp threads. This is a twill weaving process that results in a diagonal ribbing, which distinguishes it from cotton duck. Indigo denim is the most common type of denim, and this type involves the warp thread being dyed and the weft thread is left white.
Most commonly found in grey, duct tape now comes in a variety of other colors and designs, and since it is so strong and flexible, it makes the perfect material for wallets. You can also design them any way you wish, which means you can take duct tape and make a bifold wallet, slim wallet, or even a neck wallet, all of which should remain attractive and sturdy for a very long time. Its strength is hard to beat, and the style and design options you have a truly endless.
Fine Mesh with Copper or Stainless Steel
Not only do these types of wallets come in various colors, but they are usually water-resistant or waterproof, strong, and often semi-transparent as well. They are usually strengthened with either stainless steel or copper, especially when used to make items such as wallets, and can also be made resistant to corrosion.
Mesh wallets can sometimes look like they are not very sturdy, but once you use one for a bit, you’ll understand that this isn’t true. Fine mesh wallets are popular because they are durable and attractive, not to mention flexible enough to fit comfortably in your pants pocket. In addition, some RFID wallets, as well as other types of wallets, can be made out of fine mesh, so it is a truly versatile material.