Anyone who has seen Jimmy Fallon in the SNL sketch “The Leather Man” knows that leather inspires a certain, shall we say passion, among some people. But you don’t have to be an obsessive or fetishist to appreciate the durability of well-made leather goods and how they take on a great patina over time as the material breaks in. The leather jacket is on the Mount Rushmore of American men’s style, although you probably don’t want anything to do with one of those in the heat of summer. And leather pants are not a good idea at any time of year. But leather accessories add an element of flair to any outfit no matter the season.
Whether it’s a belt, wallet, or keychain, these seven leather accessories belong in every guy’s closet. And they will maintain their place in there for years to come.
BILLYKIRK CENTER BAR BELT
At 1.5-inches wide, this is the perfect belt to wear with jeans. It’s not too big and not too skinny and the leather will break in the same way your denim does. The buckle is either brass or nickel-plated, and has a dull finish that is perfectly casual.
TANNER GOODS KEY LANYARD
Constructed from the same vegetable-tanned leather that Portland-based Tanner Goods uses in its belts, this keychain is burnished, dyed, and waxed all by hand. It secures to your belt with a single brass stud and getting your keys out from the clasp is easy. The lanyard can also be monogrammed to make it uniquely yours.
PARABELLUM VALET TRAY
The simple fact is that if you don’t have a place to stash all your “everyday carry” items you’re bound to either lose them or forget them. This luxurious valet from Parabellum is crafted from bison leather that has a beautiful grain to the hide. It’s the perfect place to put your phone, wallet, watch, and keys so that you always know where they are.
HODINKEE TEXTURED WATCH STRAP
Esteemed watch blog Hodinkee is not only a great source for info about new and vintage timepieces from Rolex, Omega, and Breitling. It also produces some great watch accessories. This crosshatch pattern on this watch strap is handcrafted by a single artisan in Tuscany and brings a layer of refinement to whatever watch adorns your wrist.
WOOD & FAULK CARPENTER BAG
Modeled after the bags that carpenters use to hold their tools, you can be assured of this bag’s durability. It’s 16 inches tall and seven inches deep, making it the perfect size to hold a laptop and your gym clothes without feeling too bulky. And the saddle leather used on the bottom, straps, and buckles comes from the same tannery that supplies Red Wing with the leather for its boots.
SHINOLA FIVE-POCKET CARD HOLDER
There is really no reason to lug around a bulky wallet that makes you look like you haven’t had a V8 every time you sit down. The card holder is a much more practical—and stylish—option. This sleek version from Detroit’s Shinola features Horween leather and has two pockets for cards on either side and a leather-lined pocket in the middle to hold your cash. The days of your wallet leaving a permanent outline in your pants pockets are over.
STANLEY & SONS PENCIL CASE
This is not the pencil case your mom made you get during back-to-school shopping. Stanley & Sons made one using hand-dyed black calfskin leather and a brass zipper. Even if you don’t carry around writing utensils, it’s the perfect size for storing all the cables and chargers for your various devices.