1) Step one: Find out what model wallet he has now.
A: Most dads dislike change unless it drastically addresses a potential issue with his wallet. Ask him if he loves his wallet and what he would change-believe me that he has been thinking about more than he even understands. Just ask him; everyone has strong feelings about wallets.
2) Should I carry my wallet in my front or back pocket? Alternatively, is size important? Surface area and imprint of the wallet…
A: The range of wallet sizes from small to large includes card cases, money clips, clip wallets, tri-folds, bi-folds, and hipster or extremely skinny sizes. Unless they have hinges that rotate with the body, most bi-folds and hipster styles are typically too large for the front pocket (like the super skinny model). Most tri-folds fit comfortably in either bag, depending on how they are stuffed.
3. Does he bring any photos? Is he in need of inserts? Or has he already gone digital?
A: He can pull out his insert and place it into your new present wallet if he hasn’t gone digital with his images in his cellphone or keychain photo stuff. Some wallets already come with inserts, or he can use his existing inserts. All inserts have a “tongue” section that fits into a card slot.
4) Does he prefer trifold or bifold cards? i.e., most Dads continue to use these two basic styles over time.
A: The most popular tri-folds are the standard triple foldover or the L-shaped trifold; the most popular bifold wallet and classified as a bi-fold with a flap. Ahh, the world of wallets and what’s in a name… You have a 50/50 probability of succeeding if you choose one of those top two wallet designs.
5) Discover how many plastic cards he often carries to help determine the appropriate style.
A: Choose a model with a small number of card slots if he doesn’t carry many plastic cards. This will make the wallet thinner because it contains less material. Choose a card that splits the deck in half, just like the “ultra slim model,” if he has a bunch. Your Dad probably doesn’t carry everything in his wallet as George Costanza did in the Seinfeld TV show—remember the Seinfeld episode with the bursting wallet?—but the typical person has about 16 thick plastic cards in their pocket.
6) Is color important?
A: Most fathers choose black, while some stylish fathers choose brown or a lighter color they can quickly locate. Unless he already owns a different hue, black is the percentage play; in that case, take a chance without hesitation! If the wallet bounces around in the backpack or falls out of his pocket in the dark, other colors are simpler to discover. Learn from women who have been experiencing this findability problem for years.
7) How adaptable does he want his wallet to be in an ideal scenario?
A: Most leather wallets aren’t adaptable; they can’t get wet without quickly destroying themselves. Wallets made of nylon are much more flexible, especially for a sports-loving father. He probably never considered having one for each stage of his life or mood, but women have been doing it for years; why can’t men have different wallets for different situations? If he is a weekend warrior, you can buy him one for the weekends and one for the work week.
8) Does he require a unique wallet for distinct occasions?
A: Could it be that he requires a leather wallet for work but a wallet made of a different material for weekends and sports? A wallet with a card case for quick trips to the nearby bar? A full-on motorcycle wallet with a chain if he motors around and wants the security of a chain? A travel wallet or a passport holder when he is on the road or in flight? A wallet holding a checkbook is necessary when he is out and about with his best bookie. Okay, that can’t happen because your Dad doesn’t gamble, right?
9) Is he a divider? Does he separate his cash and cards into various pockets?
Then a card case wallet and a money clip would be more advantageous for him. There are card case wallets with lots of card pockets and some with very few-depends on size preference-if your Dad is concerned with thinness, go with fewer pockets. Most individuals only frequently use 4-5 plastic cards, so if your dad needs to see more, get the extra bags to preserve his vision and hand-eye coordination.
10) Does brand matter, i.e., does he care if it is a Coach or Walmart wallet?
A: If so, you are trapped, but if Dad is concerned about these things, the cache of a Coach or Prada pocketbook can go a long way. If not, a less well-known brand will do as long as the wallet is made well. Although it’s at least simpler to identify quality by brand, sometimes the name isn’t worth the money, and vice versa. Run bravely away if it says genuine leather unless you have a lower price. Go only with top-grain or full-grain leather if you go for cowhide. Other animal-skin leather wallets can be hit or miss.
11) How robust does his wallet need to be? Does he need the wallet to be fit for a construction site with lots of sweating involved?
A: If that’s the case, avoid using leather and opt for a nylon material instead. Pick either cordura, which is thick and durable, or a high-density denier weave nylon; the higher the weave count, the longer the nylon will endure. Purchase only 200 denier nylon or above.
12) How much do you want to spend on a gift wallet? Or how much should I spend on a gift wallet?
A: Wallets can cost $9.95 to hundreds of dollars. Okay, how much do you love or not love your Dad…kidding aside, don’t spend less than $20 on a present wallet unless it is a card case wallet. That’s a good baseline figure for a decent enough, very affordable wallet-anything beyond that, and you are a great son! Lower than that, you get what you paid for, and your Dad will probably leave you out of his will and spend more time with your brother or sister…
13) I need more wallet details: How can I tell if the wallet I’m giving is high-quality?
A: When selecting leather, ensure it is full-grain or top-grain rather than less expensive genuine leather. Top-grain and Full-grain leather is the outer skin of the animal, whereas anything citing genuine leather is just a fancy name for the 2nd and 3rd layers of the animal skin that must be processed heavily to make them look good, but they won’t last very long. More info than you wanted, right? Bonded leather is even worse. Our apologies to the vegans/vegetarians in the wallet-reading audience. If choosing an alternative material-make sure it looks like it will last and if it has a warranty.
Also, if choosing nylon, find out the weave density-anything lower than 200 deniers is cheap and will fall apart sooner or later-wallets take a lot of abuse. Make sure the edges of the wallet are double-edged or covered & protected because alternative materials will mostly fray after constant use. If you see a raw edge of the material, be very wary because it will tear up and fray over time unless you think your fashion-forward Dad might like that salvage look.
14) I give up; I can’t decide; I wish my Dad would tell me which wallet to purchase or just buy it himself and save me the wallet headache. What do I do?
A: It’s okay, we understand; perhaps your Dad will also. A Gift Certificate is a way to go. Retail Stores or most E-tailers offer gift certificates in various denominations. Of course, your Dad will know how much you were willing to pay for his new wallet, so it’s your family life call. Happy Shopping, and thanks for reading.
Kiril Stefan Alexandrov
The creator and founder of Big Skinny Wallets, the world’s thinnest, smallest, and lightest wallets.
Kiril Stefan Alexandrov
Designer & Founder of Big Skinny Wallets: The World’s Thinnest, Smallest & Lightest Wallets
Big Skinny Wallets