Unique wallets

Today's Unique Wallets: From Weird to Wonderful

Modern wallets range from weird to wonderfully innovative, with unique styles and advanced construction that offers thousands of choices at every price range to today's consumers.

From do-it-yourself duct tape wallets to the latest innovations in affordable uber-thin wallets from the trend-setting Big Skinny brand, wallets have come a long way from the bulky leather billfolds that grandpa carried in his back pocket to the corner market.

In fact, some of the latest wallets are physically nonexistent. For those who barter or buy with the digital currency called bitcoin, there's a digital wallet smart phone app for that. But most people still use traditional cash and credit cards, making a wallet as necessary today as it was hundreds of years ago.

While some wallets have become more lightweight and multi-functional than in past decades, others can be best described as downright funky.

Today you can find wallets shaped like taco shells and wallets made of recycled beer cans or car tires with intact tread. Retro wallets are shaped like old-fashioned cassette tapes or decorated with yesteryear's favorite comic book heroes and villains.

You can buy wallets festooned with animal artwork, 3-D flourishes or goofy sayings. Light-up wallets contain recessed LED features. You can buy wallets made of cork, carved wood or heavy-duty metal that looks like something you wouldn't want to drop on your foot.

Wallets are not immune from the DIY ranks of how-to guidebooks and YouTube instructional videos. It's easy to track down what looks like origami-inspired instructions online about how to make wallets from comic book pages or fabric scraps, although the finished results look a little flimsy for those who might prefer something a little sturdier for carrying real cash and can't-lose credit cards.

More practical are the wonderfully innovative wallets on today's market for consumers who find wallets with extra-wide nonslip pockets and durable, but lightweight construction a better buy than a wallet shaped like a slice of pepperoni pizza or one weighed down with chunky globs of glued-on 3-D bling.

Big Skinny uses nylon microfiber to create its world's skinniest wallets that are thin enough to allow customers to send tucked inside ordinary greeting cards as gifts. When compared to Big Skinny's unique wallets, old-fashioned billfolds look and feel like you're carrying a brick in your pocket or purse.

Since introducing water-resistant Big Skinny wallets to the world in 2005, this savvy U.S. wallet-tech company has expanded from bi-folds to tri-folds to smart phone-holding wallets in dozens of sizes.