Say goodbye to big wallets: why it’s time to downsize your purse | Fashion


It’s time to cut your finances. I mean permanent reduction, not just post-Christmas squeeze. But it is not about tightening the belt; it’s about shrinking your wallet.

These days my wallet is more of a wallet. It truly is a glorified cardholder: just bigger than a credit card, with swipe and driver’s license slots and the few store cards and membership cards that haven’t migrated to my phone yet. . There is a snap compartment for the money, although I rarely use it. In lipstick grained calfskin, with gold YSL lettering, my wallet always has an air of importance. But it is a shadow of his former incarnations.

By the time I got my wallet, its full-size predecessor was falling apart. I’m not particularly thrifty, just too lazy to deal with the tedious mini-administration task of figuring out what to do with the wreckage and jetsam of receipts and loyalty cards that had piled up. What rocked me when deciding it was time to get a new handbag wasn’t the scuffs, but the fact that the wallet had grown too big. Big enough to fill an entire back pocket of jeans, it was a bulky relic, like lugging around a brick-sized phone. My wallet is small enough to slip into the front pocket of jeans. I can take it out in an evening bag, instead of having to decant a debit card and a £ 20 emergency like I did in the days of big wallets.

And it’s not just me. The baby wallet is a big novelty. For Christmas gifts, Zara hit the nail on the head with a £ 59.99 gift box of matching leather gloves and mini wallet. At Matchesfashion, cardholder sales are up 117% compared to last year as Christmas approaches. Best seller at Marks & Spencer at the moment is a diminutive faux croc card holder with a star snap button closure for £ 9.50. At Selfridges, the range of mini-wallets has grown by a third: she reports that Le Porte, a Jacquemus unisex mini wallet with a strap so you can wear it across the body, or as a thong around the neck, is a bestseller at £ 240.

At Mulberry, where wallets used to be the size of a checkbook (remember that?), Demand shifted to dinky as well. His folded multi card wallet, an 8 x 11.5cm palm size, is a hit, and slim card holders are popular with those who have given up on coins altogether.

I have already predicted the death of the wallet. Seven years ago, in fact. I’m not saying this to brag, because as I reread this article I realize that I was completely wrong. My far-fetched prediction at the time seems to have been that the big wallet would eventually disappear with Gen X, as millennials preferred smaller wallets and daringly experimented with the concept of paying for sandwiches and train tickets using their own. smartphones. At this point, it didn’t seem like it crossed my mind that money would be nearly obsolete so soon. For that I can blame the accelerated demise of cash, and with it the wallet, not only because of the practicalities – dirty notes and all that – but because it has shown us that even entrenched habits can change. – quickly.

The rise of the mini-wallet is driven by utility, but is also symbolic. A big wallet is no longer a status symbol – not now contactless stealth wealth has become popular. A big wallet used to make you look rich; now it looks like you need to save for a wallet.

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