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The Long Wallet Is Back


Style : Accessories By Photo by Henry Phillips
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The popularity of several trends dictating contemporary American menswearraw denim, Ivy-league sweaters, rugged military boots — is owed, in large part, to Japan, a country that excels at reinterpreting traditional garments and accessories from the West and returning them more refined.

One of these is the long wallet. Inspired by the underworld of 20th-century motorcycle clubs, and often adorned with leashes and chains, long wallets are resurfacing among a more urban audience that is neither punk nor biker, for two main reasons: though not as discreet as its slim counterpart, it keeps bills straight, accommodating different currencies or receipts at the same time, and also holds many cards — both perks for frequent travelers keeping track of several things on the fly. As for those who just can’t get over long wallets’ bulkiness, remember that breaking in a pair of raw denim to that perfect patina isn’t very comfy either, at least initially. But good style is hard earned.

Voyej Challenger Americana

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Based in Indonesia, Voyej leather goods are made by local craftsmen from Yogyakarta, a longtime center of Javanese fabric and jewelry. The Challenger Americana wallet, constructed from vegetable-tanned cowhide leather, features 10 card slots, side-to-side hidden slots and two money slots, one with an expandable compartment.

Tanner Goods Workman Wallet

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Founded in 2006, Portland’s Tanner Goods has emerged as a leader of the Made-in-America subculture of hard goods lifestyle brands. The Workman Wallet, designed in tandem with the Long Tether ($55), is constructed from 3.5-ounce Natural Tooling leather with brass hardware. Inside are four card slots, two interior pockets and one zipper pouch.

Or Try a Mid-Length Wallet Instead

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Can’t commit to full-length long wallet? Shoot for the Midlength Westbound from Hollows Leather, handmade by Nicholas Hollows of Minneapolis, Minnesota. (He also makes a variety of other leather goods, including bracelets, belts and keychains.) These wallets sell out quickly, so check @hollowsleather for inventory updates. $375

Billykirk Large Trucker Wallet No. 263

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Available in four different colored leathers, Billykirk’s Trucker Wallet has two main interior pouches for cash and receipts, along with one hidden pocket and a durable zipper pouch. It’s also the most commuter-friendly long wallet on this list, with an exterior back pocket for quick access to a subway card.

Studio d’Artisan Long Wallet No. 7066

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All of Studio d’Artisan’s denim and leather goods are made in Japan — and are rarely found outside of their home country. The No. 7066 long wallet, constructed from cowhide leather, features four card slots, a zippered coin pouch and a sleeve for bank notes. Accents include a large pewter logo button, picturing a pig with a feathered war bonnet, and a mounting eyelet for lanyards or chains.

Ghurka Passport Wallet No. 187

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True to its name, Ghurka’s Passport Wallet No. 187 is designed to fit a US Passport, along with 10 credit cards; there are also two full-length pockets for different currencies and receipts, as well as a smaller pocket for stray notes.

Next Up: How Japan Stole American Style and Made It Better

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A new book by W. David Marx, Ametora, chronicles the rise of American traditional clothing in Japan. Read this story