The popularity of several trends dictating contemporary American menswear — raw 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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
A new book by W. David Marx, Ametora, chronicles the rise of American traditional clothing in Japan. Read this story