By  on August 6, 2007

Not much bigger than a card case, a hot new breed of wallet combines no-nonsense practical features—from flip windows for easy ID access to individual compartments for cash and credit cards—with slimmed-down, sleek and often colorful style.

Less is more this season when it comes to men’s wallets. Gone are the days of baggy jeans and back pockets bulging with bulky bifolds. The essential accessory for men has taken on a new silhouette — small and slim. More high-capacity card case than traditional trifold, the new shrunken wallet is the perfect extension of spring’s skinny jeans and trimmer suits while still providing ample space for key credit cards and cash. Available in vibrant new colors, textures and details, the lean wallet is both front pocket–friendly and fashion savvy.

Luxe leather goods manufacturer Morgan Grays is offering a sporty take on the trend in soft leather, featuring a racy, slimmed-down, double-sided card case wallet in red, white and black stripes that is high on both capacity and style. “It offers men just a little bit of personality—a little bit of shine,” says cofounder Morgan Molthrop.

Mulholland’s small Classic alligator wallets in shiny reds, yellows and blues are selling exceptionally well as conservative men find it easier to embrace bright color in tiny doses. Bloomingdale’s can’t keep its colorful miniature Cellini leather card cases in stock, while Jack Spade’s thin, embossed Anchor wallet provides a petite flash of preppie. For a hint of fashion, customized leather goods company LAI is lining all of its matte ostrich, lizard and calfskin card cases with pops of bright color for customers like Barneys New York, which has scaled back on bifold orders and increased requests for the new, smaller vertical standard.

Flip windows—a quick necessity for security lines—are the new must-have feature on the season’s undersized standard. Small in form but big on function, Ghurka’s latest slim style features a window for ID as well as expandable gussets that allow for more cards if needed. Tandy Brands’ slenderized model for ACE boasts a sunglide to easily push out a photo ID, while Il Bisonte’s small wallet has an elastic strap to secure contents.

Trimmer models in casual, soft-handed leathers took center stage at leather licensee Swank Inc., where zippers, distinctive logos and contrast stitching created an unfinished look, appealing to younger men targeted by many of the company’s labels.

No matter the finish or detail, slimmer construction is definitely here to stay—proving that bigger is not always better.

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