No More Costanza Wallet: A Guide to Downsizing

Posted: Feb 03 2016

There may not be a tougher accessory to replace than your tried-and-true, ride-or-die wallet. Whether it's the thick leather department store billfold your mom stuck in your Christmas stocking a few winters ago, or the shredded, X-Men-themed vinyl junker acquired in 5th grade that you still use purely due to its 20+ year term of service, it seems like wallets are one of the toughest things to let go. Unfortunately, this resistance to wallet change can lead to that unfortunate condition known as "Costanza wallet" – an overstuffed, three-inch-thick brick that lives in your back pocket, obliterates your back when you sit down, and ruins your posture. Do you really need all that crap 24 hours a day? Of course you don't. But you carry it around anyway because you've been using that wallet for so long that it's become second nature. 

Luckily, we've got a couple of more pared-down options here at Freeman for those of you who want to simplify. It'll be hard, I know, to ditch all those coffee punch cards and video store ID's from the college town you no longer live in, but embracing the simplicity of a slimmer, more streamlined wallet is a great first step in that perpetual journey to declutter and simplify.

To give you an idea of what you can fit in these three slim-profile wallets, I've photographed each one with what I have in my wallet – eight plastic cards (credit cards, ID, etc.), a half-dozen paper cards (business cards, sandwich punch cards, etc.), and about $30 in cash. Hopefully, this gives you a good idea of how much these little dudes can handle.

Tanner Goods Cardholder

Considering its diminutive size, the Tanner Goods Cardholder can handle carrying quite a bit. I got all of my everyday carries in there with ease, and truth be told, there was plenty of room left for more coffee cards, expired IDs, and crumpled-up dollar bills. With its ultra-thick Chromexcel leather construction and snap closure, your essentials won't be going anywhere, and this thing is so tiny it could easily fit into the front pocket of your jeans. This would be a great wallet if you're looking to streamline, but still carry around quite a bit of stuff.

Plenty of room left in the Cardholder – plus it's got a cool brass snap!


Teranishi Five-Pocket Minimalist

Moving on to a more traditional bi-fold wallet, the Teranishi Five-Pocket Minimalist wallet still distinguishes itself with its pared-down design and streamlined look. I was able to easily fit everything into its five pockets (two in the front as seen below, a main interior pocket, plus two rear slits in the main interior pocket), and still have the organization and ease of access of a standard bi-fold. The perfect pickup if you want to downsize, but not change things up too much. 

PSA: Be an organ donor. 

Minimal thickness, maximum chill.



Teranishi Eno

In the interest of transparency, this is the wallet that I've used everyday for the past six months, so I'm slightly biased in saying that I love the Teranishi Eno. It's about a third the size of my previous leather bi-fold wallet, guiding me towards a less stuffed, more streamlined approach to what I carry with me every day. I can't say it has given me total peace of mind, but it certainly hasn't hurt. My favorite feature – aside from the beautiful hand-stamped Sakura flower print – is the two pocket design. I keep my absolute essentials that I use all the time in the front flap, and the rest in the main pocket. While this one is a tighter fit than the other two when it comes to getting everything in, the small size and beautifully simple design are everything I want in a wallet, and I can't imagine ever going back to a big bi-fold again.

Ingenious two-pocket design while maintaining its simplicity.



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