Icona French Wallet $425
This one's for Grandma.
Let’s get something straight. A stocking stuffer does not have its status determined by its size, but by its price. iPhone – NOT a stocking stuffer. Candy pooping reindeer – STOCKING STUFFER. Now that we have that straight… A fantastic holiday gift idea, and a particular favorite accessory of mine, is the wallet! Wallets, wristlets, cosmetic pouches, card cases, money clips: all of these delightful little gems come in a range of styles, qualities and prices. This means that you can get them as “I love you so much!” gifts to yourself, “Thanks for employing me,” gifts for your boss, “I had to spend a lot of money on you, but you have such horrible taste in everything I didn’t know what else to get for you,” presents for matriarchal family members, “Holidays are awkward - this is personal, but not so personal that there’s worry of wedding bells,” gifts for boyfriends/girlfriends, or even “This is a cute way to spruce up the inside of your purse and it didn’t cost me much!” for your girlfriends. Wallets as gifts for men tend to be a bit more personal as they seem to use one until it is completely falling to pieces and then replace it. With us ladies, it’s like handbags. Excess is to be expected. Different wallets exist for different bags, moods, and seasons.
|Comme des Garçons|
Bright Star Wallet $210
Designer wallets all come with hefty multiple hundred dollar price tags. Even after selling them, I’m going to be honest with you – I'm not entirely certain why they’re so pricey. Saffiano leather is a draw, yes (that’s that lovely laser textured leather, and it does make your product more durable to things like that rude, grabby girl’s finger nails and cats). Brass zippers last longer and generally work a bit better. The colors are nice. As long as your product is made of leather and not plastic, however, it should be fairly durable! Maybe people won’t say, “OOH, she has a PRADA wallet!” when you go to pay for things, but do you really need to hear that to move on with your day? These fill the “had to spend a lot of money on you” gift category.
|Miu Miu Matelassé|
Leather Wallet $480
If you’re going to shell out the cash for a wallet/wristlet for yourself, it should at least have something exciting going on with its appearance, other than a designer logo. I love Comme des Garçons for interesting wallets. I can’t figure out for the life of me why they’re so expensive, other than the cool quotient. This little wallet sure is fun! It also comes in a pouch style (no strap, so sadly not a wristlet). Colorful. Shiny. Sure to bring smiles. They have some polka dot embossed pieces as well that are quite rich in color. For texture, Miu Miu does the matelassé leather wallets. I absolutely love this style. This is on the top end of what I deem an acceptable amount to pay for a wallet. I’m not even going to discuss wallets that cost more than this. There are people starving on the street in the cold. If you are thinking about buying an $800 wallet, I strongly suggest you think about just how ridiculous that is and buy the $480 wallet (which is ALSO ridiculous btw) and give the other $300 to a homeless shelter.
|Hobo 'Lauren' Double|
Frame Clutch $128
Let’s explore the personal/not so personal price range for girlfriends, girlfriends of family members, and just plain old NORMAL people. Some brands I really like for quality/style/price are Hobo, Lodis, and Cole Haan. Hobo makes the double frame clutch. The advantage to this lovely “wallet” is that you can fill it with all kinds of stuff for a night out on the town. It can take the place of a handbag. (It’s funny, gentlemen. As much as the ladies love to accumulate handbags, they find them to be a giant pain in the ass to haul around.) The drawback is that you have to hold it in your hand wherever you go, hence the term “clutch.” If you get a shiny one, though, it’s not so bad. You can stare at it in the light and entertain yourself whilst those around you start to wonder about your level of sanity. These run a little over $100 depending on the style. I don’t know anyone with one of these who doesn’t love it, including myself.
|Lodis 'Audrey' |
Continental Wallet $88
Lodis just makes lovely leather products. Sometimes they have really fun wacky wallets for people who want something different. I have a fluorescent yellow one with dead flowers shellacked into it. They almost always carry very basic wallets – ziparounds, frame, continental (long), and French (short, squat). And business card cases! For a less expensive or a “thanks for employing me” gift.
|Cole Haan 'Jitney'|
Electronic Wristlet $78
I love the idea of a wristlet. It used to be that you could only get wristlets at Coach, but now Cole Haan has quite a few of them and I really prefer their leathers. I find the wristlet far superior to the clutch for normal daily use. You put that little loop around your wrist, and you let go, and it just hangs there! Tada! Magic. I can be absent minded and know that my wallet is attached to my body. Just like my mittens used to be. My brilliant friend Jenifer has an entirely different use for the wristlet. She uses multiples of them to organize the inside of her handbag. Coach should probably be paying her for the good press she’s giving them.
|Lulu Wallet from Sears $9.98|
Now if you’d like a cute stocking stuffer style wallet to give as a gift, you can pay a stocking stuffer price ($9.98) and purchase this one at Sears. It’s shiny. It’s silly. It’s fun. It’s probably going to fall apart in a couple of months. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Rather than being sad about poorly made $10 wallets, I would approach this the same way I approach broken wine glasses. The sooner you break them all, the sooner you get to pick out new ones!
|Cole Haan Reflective |
Slim Wallet in
Tango Red $98
If you want to buy a wallet, money clip, card case for your man, do not fear... I’m not going to leave you hanging. While I am not a man and can’t tell you for sure what I would need in a men’s wallet, I once sold quite a lot of them. From my experience, if you’re not 100% certain he likes ornately decorated stuff, he probably doesn’t want a jacked up wallet. Like this Cole Haan reflective wallet in Tango Red? PROBABLY NOT. It needs to be soft enough leather that it’s not going to be painful in the back pocket, yet also durable. It’s not a good thing when the corners start coming apart or the stitching starts coming out. Some guys stuff way more stuff than they should in those poor bi-folds. (No one carries trifold wallets anymore, except very strange clientele). I really liked to sell this textured bifold at Ferragamo, though I don’t remember it costing $295. Inflation? It’s simple and durable. If you’ve found a man worth keeping, this wallet is worth buying. Money clips are fun too for a more old-fashioned type, or someone who routinely has lots of cash. Just don’t get the magnetic ones. They seem really great, until that one absent minded day when the guy puts a credit card in with his cash……