Monday, October 19, 2009

Bar Stool Philosophy or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love My New Wallet

[Pictured: A larger version of the RRL wallet purchased on Gilt today.]

Due to a recent project, I've been thinking a lot about clothes and what they represent.  At the risk of sounding dramatic or profound, the deep seeded meanings that lie within our "things" are personal, often self-referential and, more likely than not, the totality of our experiences.  This is something I feel we can all relate to no matter how specific these particualr experiences and subsequent meanings may be.

As I browsed the RRL sale on Gilt today I saw a beautiful canvas and leather wallet and added it to my cart.  Right before I pulled the trigger I started thinking about my current wallet.  I've had the same traditional, brown leather wallet from Lost Enterprises since I was around 18 and much less sartorially inclined than I am today.  It's seen countless events that in my young life I truly consider revolutionary.  From breakups to leaving home to the loss of those I cared about, this particular wallet has been in my back pocket since I can remember.  In fact, out of all my items it's probably been with me on a consistent basis more so than anything else I own.  To be honest, I can't remember what wallet I even used prior to this one.  Does my wallet define me?  Not completely.  Is it important because of what it means? Absolutely.  While it was extremely easy to simply say, "My wallet is old and I want a new, nicer one", the meaning behind this statement is much more complicated.  

Being gainfully employed since graduating college has enabled me to purchase a barrage of new things, which have entered into constant rotation at the expense of older pieces.  Not that these older pieces are any less worthy, but my new life seems to have facilitated a movement towards newer purchases.  Replacing my old wallet seems like the metaphorical period at the end of the sentence that was my "pre-adult adult" (since college really doesn't count) wardrobe.  No matter how classic anything I own is, I am a dynamic person who lives a dynamic life and whose clothes reflect this.  As we continue to define ourselves everyday we tend to reach for new things to aid in this process, often at the expense of our older things. 

When my new wallet arrives and I begin changing over my driver's license and credit cards I wont be disgarding my old wallet.  It holds the very same emotional significance, a significance I respect and wont take for granted, even as I build something completely distinct with my new purchase.  It's very likely you are reading this post and I'm coming off as some self-righteous dude with a wallet fetish spewing bullshit.  That may be the case and that's alright with me.  I just felt that cash and card holder of mine deserved a little credit.  And I always give credit where credit is due.

For a discussion/thoughts on wallets head to this post over at one of my favorite blogs, A Time To Get.



  1. Great post LAS.

    And really nice wallet, I saw that on the Gilt sale and it was one of the things I wanted the most (disappointing considering what RRL has to offer, though some of the bags were nice).

  2. Conor - Overall the gear available was a disappointment, but I couldn't pass up that awesome wallet. I guess RRL was even too high class for the masses at GILT...

  3. That is an excellent wallet. I can only imagine it will continue to gain character with age.

    I also like like your thoughts about the purchase and disregarding of certain items. It's generally less about the things themselves, but what they reflect about our knowledge, beliefs, and income, etc.

    For some reason the wallet is always a touchy one. Funny enough in law school i never used a wallet until I met my gf. I used binder clips most of the time or a rubberband. When I met her she converted me back to the wallet.

    Great post.