The Essentials: The Card Case

For all the times when you don't need to carry 2 debit cards, 3 credit cards, a library card, or a free 6 inch Subway coupon we present a slimmer alternative: The card case.

Have you ever noticed how women will carry a different purse depending on where they're going? Sometimes they'll choose a giant leather sack with a designer's name on it, and other times they'll opt for a small “clutch” that only carries the bare essentials.

This actually makes a shit-ton of sense, but for some reason us guys haven't picked up on it yet with regards to our wallets. If you're going out for a drink, you don't need to carry your three grocery store club cards, gym membership, your Quiznos card, student ID from college or that credit card for that account you closed two years ago. No, you only need your ID, a credit card, and some cash.

If you're going on a day trip, or going grocery shopping, understandably you're going to need to carry more things in your wallet.

Believe it or not, sitting on a fat wallet all the time can lead to health problems. Piriformis syndrome also known as “fat wallet syndrome” can cause numbness and pain along the sciatic nerve, which makes sense, since if your wallet is two inches thick, one side of your butt is sitting two inches higher. That differential has to be made up somewhere, notably your spine.

But I'm not here to give you a health lesson. We're here to talk about smart style, and having a slim second wallet just makes sense. Have you ever tried stuffing your fat wallet into your pants while wearing a suit? The thin suit material causes the fat wallet to stick way out; not only is it unsightly, it's uncomfortable. You can't carry it in your jacket pocket because of its weight, it pulls down on your coat.

A thin wallet next to a thick wallet

That's where the Flat Wallet from Tagsmith comes in. While there are a lot of options for card case style wallets, Tagsmith's version has the others beat easily.

Tagsmith's Flat Wallet is made of 100% full grain vegetable tanned leather, proudly made in America. In fact, Tagsmiths goods are handcrafted right in Los Angeles.

Man using a mallet on a leather wallet

The Tagsmith workshop, creating a luggage tag.

The Flat Wallet is perfect for a night out, carrying with a suit, or even to just haul the bare essentials while working out. Because it's thin, it easily slides into a front pocket to keep your cash and cards safe if you're in a busy place. It has two compartments: a full size back compartment ideal for a small stack of folded bills, and a front compartment for a couple cards and your ID.

I opted for the natural leather. All of Tagsmith's products, which also include full-sized wallets, iPhone cases, and luggage tags, are available in a variety of colors. But what I like about the natural leather is the development of a patina over time. And if you're like me, you've been carrying the same wallet for six years. This card case is going to look incredible in six years. The patina will make the wallet get darker with a shine that can't be manufactured, only earned.

The best part is they're only $34. Tagsmith has priced these competitively, at what major brands price their card cases at – except those aren't made by hand in LA, they're made by a machine somewhere in Indonesia.

Check out more on Tagsmith's site.

Tagsmit wallet

Andrew Snavely

Andrew founded Primer in 2008 and brings 15+ years of men's style expertise. Known for his practical, relatable approach to style and self-development, he has been a recognized speaker at conferences and has styled work for top brands. Off-duty, he loves photography & editing, and enjoys road trips with his dog, Leela. Raised in rural Pennsylvania, educated in DC, and living in LA for nearly 20 years, Andrew's diverse experiences shape the relatable and real-world advice that has helped millions through Primer. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.