What Is Better, a Money Clip or a Wallet?

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Carrying an overstuffed wallet detracts from a neat appearance. (Image: Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Even in the leanest of economic times, top menswear magazine editors note that many men look like big losers because their wallets appear so bulky. An overstuffed wallet -- whether tucked into a pocket or pulled out to pay a tab -- creates an impression of disorganization or carelessness about the finer points of style. Scale down the contents of your wallet, or carry a money clip for your cash, identification and credit cards.

Style Points

A wad of cash, cards and receipts stuffed into a breast or pants pocket can throw off the symmetry of an otherwise impeccable look. Many men's jeans bear the demarcation of wallets stuffed into their back pockets. And the breast pockets of suit coats and blazers tend to sag or tear from the weight of the wallets and billfolds men carry.

Money Clip Merits

Money clips that contain the bare minimum of cards and cash men need on a day-to-day basis are better suited to the slim and trim styles that lead fashion trends. Carrying large bills, as opposed to singles, in a money clip cuts down on bulk. Money clips compel men to trim the items they carry down to the essentials. Take care, though, to ensure that metal or magnetic components of money clips do not damage ID cards or swipe strips on credit cards.

Wallet Worth

"Esquire" magazine editors boiled down an essential few wallet contents for those who choose to carry them but don't want to look lopsided. For the sake of streamlining, "Esquire" recommends paring wallet contents down to: a driver's license; a maximum of three debit/credit cards; a folded copy of pertinent medical emergency and insurance information; and one business card.

Best of Both Worlds

Carry a combination of the best assets wallets and money clips have to offer for your convenience and best appearance. Men's accessory brands that span in price from low to high in the wallet-money clip market include: Fossil, Guess, Brookstone, Tumi and Gucci.

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