Wallet vs. money clip

Wallet vs. money clip

Q. What is the general thinking about money clips both in business and out? Do they exude class and elegance, or are they pretentious? Is a bulky wallet inappropriate in formal dress; I don’t want my pants or jacket bulging.

A.Money clips certainly have been and are still appropriate. Whether to use a money clip rather than a wallet to carry your cash is very much a matter of personal preference. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

To begin, I recommend that if you do use a money clip, you use it for that alone, namely, to carry money. If you want to carry your cash and credit cards together, then I recommend using a wallet or, perhaps that new hybrid, a money clip wallet. Do not consider magnetic money clips as these hybrids. If you’re using one be sure to hold your credit cards somewhere else. The magnet can de-magnetize the cards’ magnetic strips and ruin them. (They do not all cause this problem but many do and may demagnetize a hotel room key as well. Keep your cards safe.)

You are correct that a lot of men carry a bulky wallet. When using an elegant money clip instead might very well be an attractive alternative. This refined accessory has a slim design, ease of use, and sense of style that make it a great choice for carrying your currency. Some handsome money clips are gold-plated or silver, and they can be engraved with initials; they are not ostentatious (assuming they are not highly jewel encrusted!). Men have different preferences about where they like to carry their money clip. Your options are:

  • The front pocket of your pants provides easy access, but you may want to use that spot for your phone, keys, change, and such.
  • The rear pocket of your pants is also convenient, but it makes the clip a little more visible. The bulge may not only be an invitation to pick-pockets, but it also plays havoc with the trim fit of well-tailored trousers.
  • The breast pocket of a suit coat or sport jacket provides more security, as long as you remember to keep your jacket on.

No matter where you decide to carry your clip, it seems wise not to carry it in the same pocket as your wallet.

Nobody really wants to carry a stuffed and unwieldy wallet, often jammed with cards that they don’t even use. Deciding to carry a money clip might just give you the incentive to be ruthless about what you carry in your wallet. For ID cards and credit cards, here’s another idea: you might just eliminate the wallet altogether and, instead, get a companion slim leather card holder, which will allow you to keep the cash and cards separate and also force you to carry a lot fewer pieces of paper.

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