We see leather everywhere, in all different types of clothing and accessories. The downside is, most of it is probably not of good quality. But right now I want to focus on accessories, and there are 2 main accessories that I think are worth investing a little more than you typically would: wallets and belts.
Before we get there, let’s briefly talk about leather and why you should opt for higher quality/grade leather. What that means to you is opting for full or top grain leather. Those two are the best quality leathers your money can buy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s expensive.
Shy away from genuine leather because it’s are typically made from scrap leather that has been bonded and refinished to appear to look like top or full grain leather. That also means it doesn’t have the strength and durability that full or top grain leather provides. If you are unsure on the grade of leather you’re buying, just ask.
Buy Handmade Leather Goods
With leather goods, going handmade is a best way to ensure you’re getting top quality. While it’s not impossible to get good quality from mass produced items, makers who handcraft these leather goods use top notch materials and obsessive over the attention to detail. Long time readers know how much I’ve stressed sweating the details.
“Most makers that are willing to invest hours or days into a single item generally won’t skimp on materials and place a great emphasis on craftsmanship. This leads to nice looking and durable products.” – Morgan from Full Grain Creations
Full Grain Creations is a shop that I found after lots of deep diving (via Reddit and Instagram) on leather crafting. I became enamored with the unique details in his work and reached out to admire that work. He sent me both a belt and a wallet to check out and tell the readers about, which happen to be the two accessories that are worth spending a little extra on.
Wallets are a daily carry item that can get pretty beat up over time. Lower quality leatherwallets don’t age well at all, both in aesthetics and structure. Investing in a good wallet will ensure that 1) your wallet doesn’t fall apart after just a few years, and 2) will aetshetically age gracefully (aka patina) and look better over time.
This Lexington wallet from Full Grain Creations checks those boxes nicely. And the wallet looks fantastic. Its supple leather is soft to the touch. And the detailed tri-color hand-stitching not only looks really good, but acts as extra reinforcement to hold up to the stresses that are placed on the wallet by placing/removing cards on a regular basis.
Read my full review of the Lexington wallet.
Belts are another daily item that endures a lot of stress holding our pants in place. For lesser quality leather belts, you’ll often see the two pieces of leather come apart or even start to crack. And while many times our belts are out of sight, it looks terrible when this starts to happen. It becomes an eyesore to your whole outfit. And I’m speaking from experience here (pictured below – one of my old cheap belts).
This Tan Bridle Belt (pictured below) from Full Grain Creations won’t have those issues. Like it’s counter-part above, it’s hand crafted with just as much care and attention to detail and high quality materials that will also age gracefully. It’s crafted to stand up to years of daily use.
This particular color also looks very good with denim pants.
Both the Lexington wallet ($125) and the tan bridle belt ($90) aren’t cheap. But when compared to luxury brands in which those items aren’t handcrafted, these prices are a steal. And just know that you won’t have to replace these items anytime soon. It’s better to invest in good quality once, than mediocre quality over and over.