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Here’s Why We’re Switching (Back) to Chain Wallets — and the Best Ones to Buy

These chain wallets are back in style — and as useful as ever

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Like so many pieces of Nineties fashion, chain wallets are back in style. But, unlike baggy pants or bucket hats, the best chain wallets aren’t just stylish — they’re highly useful too.

Chain wallets, which actually date back to the Forties, typically take the form of a trifold or bifold leather wallet with a sturdy chain anchored at the fold. The best chain wallets are built tough by necessity, allowing the chain to be pulled without damaging the wallet.

This simple addition of a chain is surprisingly convenient. You can hook the chain to your belt or belt loop for faster access to your wallet — no digging in pockets required. This move also adds security, as the wallet isn’t lost forever if it falls out of your pocket, and pickpocketing is all but prevented. Alternatively, some chain wallet users attach their keys to prevent forgetting one or the other.

Functionality aside, the best chain wallets are undeniably stylish. They’ve been a subtly rebellious statement for everyone from punks to bikers to rappers, and now that edge is easier to rock than ever. The best chain wallets can be worn with cargo pants and a tee, jeans and a Hawaiian shirt, or even slacks and a button-up. However you plan to wear it, read on; we’ve rounded up some of the best chain wallets to buy right now.

What Are the Best Chain Wallets?

If you’re ready to pick up a chain wallet, here are a few details that require some attention while shopping.

Chain Length: While classic wallet chains are more than long enough to string from your back pocket to your front belt loop, some chains are smaller. These shorter chains work best for storing your wallet in a front pocket, or for letting your wallet hang freely.

Material: A 100-percent genuine leather construction is usually the best bet when it comes to chain wallets. However, we’ve seen some great fabric wallets with a durable build as well. Check a wallet’s material before making your purchase.

Size: With card usage steadily rising (and some cards moving to smartphones), wallets are getting smaller. But, if you still need to carry cash or a stock of cards, you might want a roomier wallet.

1. Dickies Men’s Bifold Chain Wallet

chain wallet dickies

Courtesy Amazon

This chain wallet from Dickies is a great bare-bones option, save for a dash of trendiness thanks to the Dickies logo in one corner. Like all things Dickies, the wallet can be thrown around without getting damaged. This durability comes from a 100 percent coated leather exterior and a nylon lining. The chain is equally rugged and, at 12.5 inches, it’s long enough to sling from your front belt loop to your back pocket. Inside, the wallet features a traditional bifold setup with three card slots on the right, an ID window slot on the left, a cash compartment in the back and two slip pockets.

Dickies Men’s Bifold Chain Wallet

2. Saint Laurent Black Logo Chain Wallet

chain wallet designer men's

Courtesy Ssense

When it comes to chain wallets, we’re especially big fans of designer options. The ruggedness of a biker-style wallet is nicely complemented by the sophistication of a great brand, as evidenced by this chain wallet from Saint Laurent. Thanks to a subtle logo on one side, an all-black color and a silver-tone, logo-engraved chain, the wallet is a flex without being too flashy. In terms of build quality, you’re getting what you’d expect from the designer: a premium calfskin leather that’s durable yet soft to the touch. The wallet’s bifold layout is easy to handle, and a press-stud closure keeps it shut when not in use.

Saint Laurent Black Logo Chain Wallet

3. CTM Men’s Crazy Horse Trifold Chain Wallet

chain wallet vintage men's

Courtesy Amazon

RFID-blocking wallets, for the unfamiliar, protect against contactless radio frequency theft. This wallet from CTM features RFID protection, plus the convenience and style of a chain. It’s made of 100 percent leather and boasts a handsome vintage brown color. The wallet’s trifold design opens up to nine card slots, an ID window slot and a double bill compartment. Snap closures also ensure that the wallet stays closed. The chain, meanwhile, offers plenty of length and a slightly aged look to match the brown leather.

CTM Men’s Crazy Horse Trifold Chain…

4. Harley-Davidson Leather Wallet

harley davidson chain wallet

Courtesy Amazon

For the full biker look, pick up this chain wallet from Harley-Davidson. Made of leather, the wallet features press-stud closures and a bifold design that hinges on the long end. On one side, you’ll find an embossed Harley-Davidson logo. Measuring 19 inches, the chain is extra long for that draped look, and it has a large lobster clasp on one end. The interior is quite minimal with two bill-sized slip pockets, an ID window and four card slots. At 6.5 x 3.5 inches, the wallet is slightly large.

Harley-Davidson Men’s Biker Leather…

5. Off-White Logo Bifold Chain Wallet

men's designer chain wallet

Courtesy Farfetch

This chain wallet from Off-White is, like most of the brand’s pieces, tastefully unconventional. The first thing you’ll notice is the chain: it’s a matte black paperclip chain with a keyring on one end. It hangs by the center of the wallet’s fold, and it’s also easy to connect it to your keys. The wallet itself is a bifold layout with a snap-fastening flap closure. Storage includes two interior zippered compartments, three card slots and an exterior zippered coin pocket.

Off-White Logo Bifold Chain Wallet

From Rolling Stone US