Bottega Veneta Crocodile Wallet, $1150 via Mr. Porter

In the spirit of honesty, I would like to admit the following: My understanding of the men’s accessory industry is only a fraction of what I know about women’s bags and leather goods. There are a few reasons for that: First, I’m female, which means that my practical, first-hand experience with women’s leather goods is obviously going to be larger. Second, men’s fashion (and accessories in particular) have long been the redheaded stepchild of the industry, and only now are men’s fashion shows and trends starting to be covered with the attention that they deserve.

That’s a big part of why we started Man Bag Monday, but it also means that pieces like the Bottega Veneta Crocodile Wallet confuse me a little bit. Even though the price is well within the norm for an exotic women’s piece (if perhaps a bit high for a small wallet – it is Bottega, after all), how do men look at a wallet that costs more than a grand?

Naturally, it has to be said: This wallet is just about as gorgeous as you’ll find anywhere, for any price. The color variation on the crocodile scales is beautifully detailed but still plenty masculine, and I would gladly pony up a lot of money to have a bag or clutch made out of the exact same skin. If this were just any old wallet, it out be easy to dismiss as something that no one will buy for four figures, but it’s not.

Before writing this post, I sent the link to this wallet out to several male friends, both gay and straight and with varying levels of interest or noninteret in the fashion industry. Only one of them, a friend who is already well-versed in the prices of the fashion industry because of his mother and her enviable couture collection, though that the price was in line with what one might spend on a high-end wallet. The rest, even those who have the income for such things, thought that it was beyond the pale. And even my friend who was willing to shell out the cash had some concerns about crocodile and how well it would put up with the beating that a wallet takes, considering that fine croc is often more porous and fragile than other leathers. Could you see buying this wallet for your significant other? Or even for yourself, if you prefer a billfold to a traditional women’s wallet? Buy through Mr. Porter for $1150.

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