Anson Calder Review: Is a Minimalist Wallet Worth It?

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by  William Barton | Last Updated: 

Wondering just how good minimalist leather accessories can be?

In this Anson Calder review, we’re taking a close look at the brand’s popular card wallet and iPhone case to see if this minimalist brand is worth the cost.

Still have a George Costanza wallet?
The Adult Man Image/Icon Image source: Anson Calder

Anson Calder

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Bottom line: If you love a patina, you’ll love Anson Calder. Their minimalist leather accessories (we tried the wallet and iPhone case) are beautifully smooth and slim, and the quality is superb. They cost a pretty penny, but you can expect each piece to last decades and get better with age.

Ratings:

The Adult Man Image/Icon  Design The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Quality of Materials The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Value for Money The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Craftsmanship The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Customer Service The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon

Pros:

  • The French calfskin leather is absolutely gorgeous
  • The wallet can actually carry 12 cards, which is unexpected given how slim it is
  • The iPhone case adds a decent amount of protection and it looks fantastic
  • Free shipping, free returns, and if you don’t love your new purchase, you have 100 days to return it---even if you’ve used it for 99 days

Cons:

  • Because the wallet is leather, once it stretches out, it takes a long time to regain tension, so don’t add extra cards if you don’t need them
  • The wallet is only available in one “brown” leather color--- deep brown or natural leather colors would add welcome variety

It’s all about the finer things in life:

An old fashioned at sundown. 

The sound of your dad’s old vinyl record player humming in the background. 

A cool breeze pouring through the house, and the feel of French calfskin in your hand. 

That sounds like an ideal way to end a work day. I may not be able to pull all of those things off at once, but I decided to try and get as close as possible. Step one? Get some nice French calfskin accessories.

And who did I go with? After some research, I picked out Anson Calder: a New York based design company that’s known best for their minimalist wallets and iPhone cases. They also make bags, but I decided to start with the basics before diving in headfirst. 

So how’d they do? Keep reading and get the full story. 

What Is Anson Calder?

Anson Calder black packaging

Anson Calder was founded in New York City back in 2015, and the brand started with minimalist leather wallets. 

From the very beginning, Anson Calder set out to use only the best of the best. Their leather comes from a French tannery that traces its roots back to the 1500s, and they don’t cut corners at any step of production. 

Rather than painting the edges of their leather like most brands do, their craftsmen hand burnish the edges for more durability and classic style. After all, if you’re looking for high end accessories, it’s all about the fine details. 

Anson Calder | Minimalist Leather Accessories

Anson Calder is a great brand for the gentleman who wants to lead a curated life. If you appreciate fine details and want only the best of the best surrounding you, you’ll like Anson Calder’s leather goods.

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Things to Consider Before Buying Accessories from Anson Calder

Anson Calder wallet edc set up

Anson Calder accessories aren’t cheap. You can find slim leather wallets and iPhone cases elsewhere for less.

But you’ll be hard pressed to find options that are made with the same quality leather, the same aesthetic, and the same function. 

Anson Calder delivers a feeling you can’t get elsewhere. In one sense: the French calfskin grain is delightful to hold. But more importantly, it’s the minimalist vibe. The brand’s products are pared down by thoughtful design and a look that speaks refinement. 

Anson Calder Review

Card Wallet

Anson Calder slim leather minimalist wallet

Anson Calder got off the ground in 2015 with their minimalist leather card wallets, and to date this is still their most popular item, so I figured I had to give it a try. 

I threw myself for a loop and picked up their blue calfskin option rather than the typical brown I’d normally opt for. I went with the RFID protection, too for that added bit of security. 

Initially, the wallet is super tight and after putting a single card in, I was struggling to see how I could fit six. I won’t lie—I was a bit nervous. 

They state clearly on their site that this is to be expected, but I hadn’t read all the details. I jammed my six most important cards in and within a day, it stretched out enough to where I can now easily fan the cards out as needed. 

Anson Calder slim leather wallet

If you’ve never owned a minimalist wallet, there’s a bit of a rough transition phase. Expect to find old receipts for things you don’t even own anymore. Maybe some tattered old photos. A spiderweb or tumbleweed. 

Slimming down to the bare essential cards is an exercise in letting go. The only card that’s not an essential credit or debit card is my Costco card, which I need for emergency hot dogs (you know what I’m talking about). 

I decided against a cash pocket because I haven’t had more than five dollars on me for about two years now. Each side of the wallet has a cut out that makes fanning your cards out easy. 

With three pockets, you can easily organize your cards into those you use most often, and for the cards you rarely use, stuff them in the center pocket. 

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The RFID blocking fabric is only in the center, so if you want to make use of that, make sure the important cards are there. 

I’ve only been using my wallet for a few weeks, so it still looks fresh and new, but I’m really excited to wear it in for another month or two when I can really see the patina start to build. 

If you’re looking at an Anson Calder wallet, I hope you like the look of aged leather, because that’s where the true value of this piece comes from, in my opinion. Because the leather has such a tight grain, and the edges are hand-burnished, this piece will last for a decade or more, and it’ll continue to look more and more worn without looking worn-out. 

Anson Calder Card Wallet

The leather has a tight grain, and the edges are hand-burnished. This piece will last for a decade or longer, and it’ll continue to look more worn without looking worn-out. 

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iPhone Case

model talking on iphone with leather Anson Calder protective minimalist case

Not content to try just a single piece from AC, I also opted for one of their iPhone cases (the model I’m using fits on the iPhone 11, but you can find updated versions for newer iPhones). 

The protective portion of the case is surprisingly stiff, and it fits my phone perfectly. It’s a pretty sexy piece if I do say so myself. 

My favorite aspect of the case is that the iPhone buttons are still exposed, while you still get the protective shell. I love how the iPhone is designed, and I think the Anson Calder case really showcases Apple’s effort, rather than covering it up. 

If it isn’t coming across, Anson Calder is all about the finer details, and it really shows on the inside of the case. They’ve placed a thin sheet of smooth suede leather on the inside of the case, and it feels like velvet. 

Anson Calder leather iphone case

In terms of handling, the iPhone case uses the same French calfskin leather as the card wallet, and it’s buttery smooth. 

I had the chance to drop my phone while taking pictures, and it fell face down. You know that hollow feeling of bending to get your phone, fully expecting to see a cracked screen when you flip it over. But not this time. I don’t plan on testing this case’s durability often, but it’s worked well keeping my phone safe at least once. 

Anson Calder iphone case against wooden shelf

This case should also be developing a patina over time, particularly around the edges. I’m excited for the transformation, because nothing looks better than a beautiful piece of high quality aged leather. 

Anson Calder iPhone Cases

My favorite aspect of the case is that the iPhone buttons are still exposed, while you still get the protective shell. I love how the iPhone is designed, and I think the Anson Calder case really showcases Apple’s effort, rather than covering it up. 

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What do Other Reviewers Say About Anson Calder?

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Anson Calder doesn’t have many crowdsourced reviews, but there are plenty of professional reviews around. 

The most common complaint is that the wallet is expensive, but people who know about leathercraft and have tried a multitude of wallets know how difficult it is to make a wallet as slim and lightweight as Anson Calder does. 

The same goes for other Anson Calder leather goods: if you have an appreciation for details, you’ll enjoy what you get.

My Thoughts Overall On Anson Calder

What I Like

  • The French calfskin leather is a pleasure to hold and the tight grain lends itself to durability.

  • The card wallet can carry up to 12 cards, which is shocking considering how slim it is. 

  • I love how the iPhone case looks, and I’m pleased with the amount of protection it offers.

  • Anson Calder backs their products with a 100-day guarantee, plus they have free shipping and returns. 

What I Don’t Like

  • Be careful how many cards you add to your wallet. Once the leather stretches out, it can take several weeks to regain tension. 

  • There’s only one “brown” leather option, and I’d really love to see deep brown or oxblood leathers.

Who is Anson Calder for?

Anson Calder is a great brand for the gentleman who wants to lead a curated life. If you appreciate fine details and want only the best of the best surrounding you, you’ll like Anson Calder’s leather goods.

The Verdict

There was a time in my life when I valued a bargain more than anything else. There were a few months where I literally carried my cards around wrapped in a rubber band. That was my wallet. 

You could say I’ve matured a little, and now I prefer to carry things that I feel age and develop alongside me. Maybe that sounds a bit whack-o, but I love to love the things I carry.

That search led me to Anson Calder, and I wasn’t disappointed. 

Their minimalist slim card wallet is simple but impressive. The French calfskin leather the brand uses is incredible, and I’m excited to watch it patina over the coming months. I have to be careful not to add more cards than I need, because the leather stretches to fit what I have in the wallet. 

As for the iPhone case, it sure beats the old rubber case I was using before. Maybe it’s not as durable as one of those cases you can drop off a skyscraper. But it looks a whole lot better. Plus it feels great in my hand. 

If you have an appreciation for design and leather, you’ll be pleased with Anson Calder.

Anson Calder | Minimalist Leather Accessories

Anson Calder is a great brand for the gentleman who wants to lead a curated life. If you appreciate fine details and want only the best of the best surrounding you, you’ll like Anson Calder’s leather goods.

Shop Anson Calder
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

FAQs

What is the best slim wallet?

My favorite slim leather wallet is the Anson Calder card wallet.

Why are minimalist wallets so expensive?

A good minimalist wallet is made with top quality materials, which can cost a lot. They’re also expertly crafted, so they’ll last a long time. While the initial value may be a hard sell, a good minimalist wallet is more of a long-term play.

Are leather cases good for iPhone?

Leather doesn’t have as much shock absorption as soft rubber, but they still offer plenty of protection. Just make sure there’s a slight lip beyond the screen to help prevent the glass from cracking. In terms of aesthetics, I much prefer leather over rubber or plastic.

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Anson Calder Card Wallet
Our top slim leather minimalist wallet
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Anson Calder iPhone Cases
An iPhone case that doesn't get in the way
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