The Indigo Dyed Travel Wallet made by Corter Leather & Cloth was the passport holder I was looking for! For starters, I, as you probably know, love denim so any product with "indigo" in the description automatically grabs my attention.
The Travel Wallet is part of Corter's 2016 Special Edition Indigo Collection; which also includes indigo dyed Bifold, Mechanic's, Standard Card, & Standard Card Sleeve Wallets. The leather used for this collection is Latigo Leather that the company drum dyed themselves "to be reminiscent of freshly oxidized indigo." Corter also states that the leather is "then hot stuffed by hand with waxes and oils to be soft and ready to use. It will age darker over time, burnishing in spots of high wear and developing a deep blue patina."
Upon receiving my Travel Wallet (On the same day my passport came haha!), I was able to feel how soft the leather is. Not only does the leather feel great, it looks beautiful as well (just look at any of the pictures)! As for the overall quality, it is top notch. The majority of the wallet is perfectly saddle stitched twice (which means it was done entirely by hand, no machines) with matching indigo thread. The result is a stronger, more sturdy leathercraft product than if the wallet was made with a machine.
The split ring is another reason I chose the Travel Wallet as I was able to hook it to a key fob and attach it securely to my belt while keeping it in my front pocket on my trip to Italy. Unnecessary? Probably, but hey, I had peace of mind!
The Travel Wallet has aged quite nicely. The edges in particular are developing a nice, dark patina. The places where the dye soaked in the leather more are starting to stand out, making the wallet more personal and unique to me. The quality of the leather and overall construction will most likely lead to this wallet being the only passport holder I'll need in my lifetime! I hope to "travel" with the Corter Leather & Cloth Indigo Dyed Travel Wallet many more times!
The Dakota Leather Satchel Bag has been on many adventures with me and it has held up very well. The bag is made by Portland Leather Goods based out of, you guessed it, Portland, Oregon.
The design of the bag is simple: brass hardware with a magnetic snap closure, a lengthly shoulder/crossbody strap, an inside pocket... There really is not that much else to it! Size wise, the bag is 11" x 9" x 2" and the largest items it can hold for me (at the same time) is my Amazon Tablet (10.3" x 6.3") and my Swell Water Bottle (11.9" tall). The flap is long enough to make up for taller products, such as my water bottle, and will still close securely.
So good hardware? Check. Quality construction? Check. Practical, yet aesthetically pleasing design? Check. But how is the leather? Portland Leather uses oil-tanned, full grain leather that is conditioned to be water repellent. It is recommended by the company that you do not condition the bag for at least six months and that you let the bag get scratched and scuffed without worry. The result is a beautiful patina developed over time.
My one critique of the bag would be to possibly have a different closing mechanism as it is really simple for someone to open the satchel and grab your personal belongings. The magnet makes it very easy to quickly get into but personally, I'd rather have it be more secure. I sometimes wear my satchel across my body and in front, not on my side, so I can better keep an eye on it. This bag definitely isn't for carrying around top secret information and very valuable items (I probably shouldn't have put the engagement ring in there).
The satchel is currently available in another leather as well: Grizzly (darker leather). It is a perfect everyday bag for your everyday carries. While it is under their "Women" section, this bag is great for anyone looking for something unique, yet purposeful. It will come on many more adventures with me and hopefully last me a lifetime!
Plenty of Room for Personal Items
Hardware & Stitching Holding Strong While the Leather Develops a Nice Patina
Chicago isn't known for having the best selection of brick and mortar stores that cater to people who are into quality clothing and goods. If you live in the suburbs, most likely you have to make a day trip into the downtown area to find a boutique or specialty store. One such store in Chicago is Mildblend, a place that sells raw denim, well-made boots, and other quality items.
Mildblend has a great atmosphere and very friendly staff. At the time, I was really having trouble finding raw denim jeans that fit my frame. I wanted a slim fit, but not too skinny that my legs didn't get any oxygen either. It was overwhelming at first looking at their selection. Luckily, one of their employees assisted me on finding the perfect pair.
After trying on about five pairs, I decided on the ST-120x by 3sixteen model because of the fit, design, and overall look. Listed below are some of the jean's specifications:
The fabric is probably my favorite denim out there! 3sixteen describes it as "indigo warp and black weft threads." The jeans are definitely dark in color and could be seen as black, not indigo, in certain lighting. That's one of the reasons I love jeans!
With such a dark color and no fades, I was easily able to dress the jeans up. Church? Jeans. Work? Jeans. Wedding? No, just kidding on that one. Regardless of if I should have worn them to a wedding or not, the 3sixteen's look great as part of almost any outfit!
The one con of the Shadow Selvedge is that it attracts dog hair like non other. My lint roller as been the jean's best friend! Yes, the sticky sheets do remove some indigo, but definitely not enough to effect fading.
Since getting my ST-120x jeans, I have worn them constantly for the last seven months. They have been on many adventures: Rome, got engaged in them, worn them during presentations, taught classes in them... Yes, I have definitely gotten my money's worth with this pair!
Check out the close up of the ST-120x Jeans below:
ST-120x After Seven Months of Constant Wear & Two Washes
I have always wanted a 'trucker/biker style" wallet with a leather lanyard or metal chain hooked up to my belt. I have always loved the look and really think it adds a little something to an everyday outfit. Also, I feel like the wallet is more secure with the connected lanyard or chain (even if it's not).
Many crafters out there make absolutely stunning versions of these wallets and you can spend many hours sorting through the depths of the internet searching for the perfect one for you... And you bet I did just that! Until I came across JC Leatherworks Instagram page and saw this picture of the Big Dude Short Wallet and braided lanyard.
That picture shows an excellent patina for natural veg. tanned leather and I instantly knew that was the wallet I wanted. Originally made for @bigdudeindenim (hence the name), the wallet is the perfect size for most back pockets. Michael (@bigdudeindenim), worked with Joel on the design of the wallet and together they came up with the perfect look The braided lanyard is much more stylish than a metal chain in my opinion and the hook slips over most belts easily without being too loose.
The Big Dude Short Wallet and Lanyard goes perfectly with my favorite belt by Carmine Jack Leather and key fob by Blackthorn Leather
After contacting the crafter Joel, he set off to make me my own version of the wallet. Instead of brass hardware I went with nickel and Joel let me pick which concho I wanted as well as a few other personalized requests. Joel and I had plenty of communication while he was working on my wallet and he is a really cool guy!
The wallet has become a staple in my EDC and it has been fun to see the natural progression of the patina. It has enough room to hold most of my cards (I carry a small card wallet with me as well for insurance, AAA cards etc...), cash, and ID.
The Perfect Wallet Combo for Raw Denim Lovers
Check out why I love the Big Dude Short Wallet and Braided Lanyard below:
The Wallet and Lanyard:
The Big Dude Short Wallet and Braided Lanyard Brand New, Around the World, & Developing a Patina
The Saddle Stitching, Edge Work, and Leather Braiding is Flawless
Simplistic Card Holder Designs with Plenty of Room. Cash Slot Included. Check out that Beautiful Concho!
Unique Patina Developing due to Indigo from my Denim Jeans