It's Monday morning in 2024. On your way to work, you drop in at your favourite cafe, order and reach to pay. But how?
It's impossible to predict what the world of money will look like in 10 years time. However, futurists would have us believe that the humble wallet will be replaced with our smartphones.
Mark Twain once famously said "reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated" and we think the same is true of the wallet. Technology is racing forward with contact-less payments, phone payments, even bio-metric payments, and while many technology pundits are already telling us to ditch our wallets, we'd be lost without ours.
Wallets were originally invented in the late 1600's, immediately following the introduction of the first paper currency. Until then, most men had used a small bag-like purse to carry around metal coins. Typically made from cow or horse leather, the first wallets even had a small pouch for holding a gentleman's calling cards - the precursor to today's business cards and the closest thing the 1600's had to formal identification.
Today, most wallets are still made from leather, including our own handmade examples.
The wallet of the 1600's would remain predominantly unchanged until the introduction of credit cards in the 1950s. Slots to hold cards were introduced in much the same way as we see them today, although the number of cards that most of us carry has drastically increased. According to the UK card association, almost 90% of adults carry a charge or debit card with them all times and nearly 70% also carry a credit card. Add to this your driver's license, loyalty cards, store cards, other identification cards, and it seems like there might be no end to number of small plastic rectangles we need to find a home for.
When you think about how important the contents of your wallet are and how many times you will use it every day, it makes perfect sense to invest in quality. If you think nobody is looking at your wallet when you take it out, consider this quote from famous writer Jonathan Carroll.
"Most men, no matter how well or badly dressed, carry overstuffed, beat up wallets that should have been replaced years ago. Why is that? Every time I see a guy take out a wallet anywhere, it looks like a piece of old melted chocolate cake - with strings."
As specialists in men's fashion, we known that wallets matter and nothing accentuates the feeling of completeness that comes from wearing a piece of made to measure tailoring than having the accessories to suit.
So, next time you reach into your pocket for your wallet, ask yourself... isn't it time for something better?