I put a lot of thought and care into my purse selections. I'll spend hours scrolling through secondhand Pandoras or looking for the perfect Prada nylon bag, and I am regularly late for, well, everything because I tend to agonize over my purse selection. For me an outfit revolves around a distinctive purse, and I spend a lot of time thinking about what message I want to convey with my bag choice.
Something I don’t tend to consider as much—or at all for that matter—is the message my wallet choice conveys about me. This is a mistake, because my choice in wallets is almost certainly a truer reflection of who I am. My purses are carefully curated to give others the image I’d like people to have of me, but I lose steam by the time I get to wallet selection and my basic instincts take over, because really who will ever see a wallet anyway? My purse is what I want it to be, but my wallet is what I truly am.
So what am I, truly, then? A few years ago I regularly carried a ziploc bag inside my Balenciaga City bag, after my usual technique of putting my credit cards and ID in a random pocket of my purse made it hard to switch bags often. I delighted in seeing the look of surprise and disgust on people’s faces as I pulled my tattered ziploc “wallet” from a designer purse. That’s right: I didn’t even use a nice ziploc bag.
This story in particular makes me think that no matter how far I come in life, or how nice my things are, there will always be a part of me that is disorganized and completely unsuited to the task of being an adult. I am not classy or responsible or in possession of even the slightest bit of common sense, and my wallet always gives me away. Or maybe I’m reading too much into this and I just don’t care about wallets that much.
I’ve since given up the ziploc bag (fare thee well, old friend!), but my subsequent wallets haven’t really been much of an improvement. My favorite of the bunch was a Sailor Moon wallet bought at a comic book store that I carried for years. Now I carry a polka dot pouch that I bought for one dollar at a thrift store, and I don’t particularly like it. Perhaps sensing my dysfunction in this area, this Christmas my mother sent me a cute wallet decorated with a black cat. It’s not high fashion, but I will probably use it until it breaks, because after all, it’s just a wallet!
I don’t understand where my resistance to wallets comes from: I suspect it’s my utter disregard for anything I consider too adult or boring. I see myself as Sid Vicious leading the rebellion against the constraints of adulthood by knocking down outdated societal expectations of what a wallet should be.
OK I’m giving myself entirely too much credit here. More likely it’s simply laziness combined with a lack of exposure: I have never taken the time to really get into wallets and appreciate them on their own terms. In 2019 I’m going to make the effort though, since I have never encountered a shopping challenge that didn’t delight me. I’m going to make a promise here that this will be the year I finally get a nice wallet. Hopefully it’ll be as waterproof and user friendly as my old friend the ziploc bag, but I’m not optimistic. Sorry, I just really liked that ziploc bag, OK?!
I’m curious too—do any of our readers have a similar disregard for wallets, or is this just me? And for the wallet fans, what are some of your favorite wallets? I've done a preliminary scan and here are my top choices so far...