Over the past year the rate at which I purchase new menswear has slowed significantly – in part because I’m trying to save money, but also because I have most of what I need. Because of this, I find myself getting lots of wear out of my favorite pieces. For that reason, I figured it would be a good time to resurrect my “One Year Later” series and highlight some of my favorite items that have aged well and are still available for others to purchase.
Three years ago, I put up a review of a wallet from Chester Mox, run by Bellanie Salcedo. If you’re curious about the specifics of this wallet or the company, I encourage you to take a look at that article. Since then, I’ve carried the wallet with me every day (and I also had the opportunity to work with Bellanie through Massdrop, which confirmed that she’s wonderful to collaborate with).
As for the product itself, there’s not too much to say that I didn’t say before – I love the design of this wallet (compact while still still having ample space), and the quality of the construction and materials is excellent. I still firmly believe that Bellanie is making the highest value small leather goods on the market.
What I can add is how the wallet has aged – and wow, it really has. The mottled look of the saffron Ilcea calfskin has faded over time, but has been replaced with a wonderful patina that only comes from heavy use. This leather has taken quite the beating and has held up to it well, only getting more attractive over time. The stitching is tight and has not come undone anywhere. Just like three years ago, I can’t help but smile when I pull it out (until I realize how much that Manhattan cost). To me, investing in a wallet you love is absolutely worth it, since you’ll have it for ages and will use it every day. If something happened to this walled I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase it again (although I would miss this sweet patina).
Oh, and for those that are curious – the key holder in the header image is from Ashland Leather, another one of my favorite leather goods companies. Ashland’s products are machine-made and not quite as refined as Chester Mox, but it suits their more rugged aesthetic. Moreover, Phil Kalas (who runs Ashland) also works at Horween and has access to some of the most incredible leathers around, many of which are never even available for other companies to buy. This one is made of natural shell cordovan, and has aged wonderfully as well.