Business Card Cases: Definitive Guide for Professional Style

Business Card Cases: Definitive Guide for Professional Style

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Welcome back to the Gentleman's Gazette. Today's  video will serve as the definitive guide to   business card cases, so you can find the proper  case to complement both your needs and your style. ♪ Gentleman's Gazette Theme Song ♪ In many ways, today's video is just as much about  business cards as it is about business card   cases. After all, to those you meet, your card is  your company's introduction to the world and it   reveals more than just contact info. In essence,  the condition of your card also says something   about you. To put it even more simply, compare  this to this. As you can see, well cared for  

business cards in a quality case will make a much  better first impression. We'll go so far as to say   that if you have business cards, then you should  be carrying a business card case. But, which case   is best for you? We're going to find out in today's  definitive guide to business card cases. But, first --  [scene from American Psycho] Bateman: "Let's see Paul Allen's card." No, Patrick. But, first, let's look at the history of the business card case. One more brief note here: today's video is  another installment in our "Definitive Guide" series,

and you can find the full playlist for  the series here. Business cards evolved   from calling cards, which were commonly used  in the 18th, 19th, and early-20th centuries. Among some members of society, especially the  wealthy and aristocrats, guests would be greeted   at the door by servants, not by the owners of the  property. Visitors, therefore, needed to identify   themselves through this intermediary, so they  would present a calling card. This card would   commonly feature the visitor's name and title and,  sometimes, their profession or address. It would be   brought to the owners of the property, who would  then decide whether or not they wanted to see   the visitor in question. Calling cards eventually  developed into business cards, which, of course,  

would advertise one's profession rather than one's  person. They could then be handed out whenever   one felt it was necessary or appropriate to share  important business information. Because, in both of   these cases, impressions were so critical then, both  visitors with calling cards and businessmen with   business cards figured out just how useful a good  card case could be. They protected one's cards from   damage and also allowed the user to show off  their own taste and style with the case's design.

For the wealthy, luxurious and highly-decorated  cases became popular like this example from 1851 depicting the Crystal Palace at the famous  Hyde Park Great Exhibition, this case from   1860 showing the Dublin General Post Office, or  this incredible Victorian case made from papier   mâché and inlaid mother-of-pearl with a painted  floral scene. Indeed, we salute the Victorians   for taking their card cases so seriously. As the  20th century progressed, calling cards fell out   of favor, but business cards remained essential as  a way to share business and contact information. Therefore, business card cases remained popular  among discerning businessmen. After all, if you're   going to all the trouble of engraving cards that  have subtle off-white coloring, tasteful thickness, and even a watermark, you'll want to keep them well  preserved. It should be no surprise, by the way, that   we've made ample reference to that scene, and don't  worry, it will be back later. As with many aspects  

of style in the late-20th century, however, pursuit  of the cheap and easy led to an overall decline   in the production of quality card cases. Where, once,  cases had predominantly been made from leather or   precious metals, now, cases were more commonly and  cheaply made from plastics. More men also started   abandoning card cases in the late-20th century, instead trying to fit their cards into already   over-stuffed wallets or carrying them loosely  in their pockets. And, even today, despite the  

prominence of digital business, business cards  and card cases remain the most professional and   stylish way to exchange information. After all,  have you ever seen a gaggle of people standing   around in an awkward circle, trying to exchange  phone numbers at a conference or convention? It's, decidedly, not a good look. But, of course,  there's nothing stylish about a business card   that's crumpled or stained because of a lack of  care and protection. So, let's turn our attention to   business card case types with an emphasis on cases  that guard your card while also looking great. And to make this examination as useful as possible,  we'll start here with types of cases that you   should avoid. First here would be slash cases, which  don't fully protect your business cards. And, after  

all, if your cards can still get damaged while  they're in the case, what's the point? Next would be   trendy or extremely modern designs, which not  only don't fit into the classic style aesthetic,   but also, because they are so modern, may feature  designs that haven't been very rigorously tested   and so, could potentially lead to more card damage  over time. Mechanical or spring-loaded cases that   extend or even launch your cards are not only  gimmicky, but also come off as juvenile. And, finally   here, novelty or custom cases may be acceptable  if you're in a particularly creative field, but they can come off as cheesy in most other  settings. If you've noticed a trend here among   these types to avoid, it's just that: trendiness. As we've already mentioned, cards and card cases   have been around for centuries. So, to stick  to some tried and true examples of quality,  

let's take a look at types you'll want to consider.  First up here is the slip case, which is the   slimmest option that's going to be available. The  slip case offers an extremely minimal profile, but   at the cost of storage space and some convenience. If you typically find yourself only carrying a   dozen or so cards, this may be a good choice for  you, depending on the thickness of said cards. Otherwise, you'll probably be refilling a case  like this fairly constantly and you may run out on   busy occasions. Depending on the design, they may  also leave portions of the card exposed and, thus,  

aren't really much of an improvement over the  slash cases we mentioned before. They also tend   to be constrictive, which can make accessing your  cards difficult at times. For a bit more added room   then, consider what's usually called "the simple  case." Fittingly, these cases are simple and easy to   use, but they offer little organization. At a busy  conference or meeting then, there is the potential   to mix up your cards with the cards you receive  from others. The bifold case keeps cards separated   in different compartments, which can solve this  problem. But, storage space can vary. We'd note  

here that exposing even a fraction of your cards  can lead to staining over time as grime from your   pockets gets into the bifold. Some bifold cases  will offer a protective flap to mitigate this, but   it usually isn't a complete seal. With bifolds then,  as with some other designs we've already mentioned, the price you pay for the slim and elegant profile  is reduced protection for your carts. Speaking of   bifolds, wallets and billfolds are sometimes  repurposed as dedicated business card cases. But, because they weren't designed for this purpose,  they tend to be bulky or otherwise unwieldy.   If, however, you are in the market for a quality  wallet used for its intended purpose, you can   find our guide to wallets here. But, when it comes  to business cards, you do want something that's  

purpose-built. That's why we strongly recommend  what's commonly known as "the rigid case." The rigid   case provides total protection for your cards, also  with ample storage. The best examples will also   have pockets to securely separate and hold your  cards and those you might receive. And contrary   to what you might assume, well-made cases won't  add too much bulk. So, unless you need something   very particular in your card case - like for it to  be collapsible or extremely thin - we think that   a rigid pocketed case is the best choice for  most men. But, not all business card cases are   created equal, so let's now turn to what makes a  quality card case. For durability, functionality,

and styling, the materials that go into your  card case are extremely important. As is usually   the case, we suggest avoiding plastics or other  synthetics as they tend to be flimsy and not   durable, poorly constructed or finished, bad for the  environment and to give a poor impression overall. For better choices and quality materials then, you  can look to more traditional options; those being   leather and metal. Metal was once a mainstay of  men's business card cases, typically being made   from silver or gold or plated base metals. Metal  was a popular choice because of its durability, its appearance, which could be heavily ornamented  or decorated, and because it was a status symbol. This is probably why everyone's favorite business  card scene features nothing but metal cases.

[scene from American Psycho] See. We told you it would be back. Note, though,  that all metal cases can be on the heavy side, and they can also leave an unsightly bulge that  will ruin the clean lines of your outfit. Many also   have sharp corners, which could damage the fabrics  in your outfit, and even rounded corners can   sometimes be enough to leave an indentation over  time. They may or may not have pockets and, if they   do, those pockets must be tight in order to keep  the cards securely in place and avoid having   them rattling around inside the case. Unless, of  course, you find yourself in the mood for a maraca   solo, that is. New high-quality metal cases also  tend to be expensive because of the rising cost of   precious metals. Second-hand and vintage cases  can be a great option then and, indeed, many men  

repurpose old cigarette cases as business card  cases today. But, of course, cigarette cases were   designed to hold cigarettes, not business cards, so  they won't have all the functionality you're going   to need. It's not surprising then that all metal  cases have largely fallen out of favor as leather   is conversely viewed to be more convenient, more  comfortable, and more economical. In our opinion, animal leather is the best material for most  business card cases. But, with that said, we know   that some people are averse to using animal  leather products. On that note, you can find  

more information in our vegan leather guide  here and, if you've watched our channel before,   then it's likely you already know that not  all animal leather is created equal either. What leather qualities do you want in a card  case then? Well, the best examples are going to   vary based on individual functionality. For the  outer shell, you're going to want a sturdy, hard-wearing leather that still appears elegant  and refined. Leather from cervids, like deer or  

elk, is hardy, but it can have a rough and almost  rustic appearance. Often times then, it will appear   a bit too casual for a business card case.  Exotic leathers like crocodile, alligator, lizard, or ostrich are durable and distinctive,  but they can also be distracting. Not to mention, these types of leathers can also frequently be  pretty expensive. In most cases then, bovine leather  

is a good middle ground between durability and  dignity, but don't just settle for plain old   genuine leather. Calf leather offers a soft,  supple texture combined with excellent longevity   and a refined appearance. And, for a unique grain,  you could also consider bison leather. Here at   Fort Belvedere, we source only the finest quality  bovine leathers directly from Germany and other   reputable tanneries. Meanwhile, for the interior of  the case, the main concern is going to be softly   cushioning and protecting the cards. Because a  soft, yet protective lining is paramount then, suede is a great option here. Some manufacturers  are going to skimp on the insides of their card   cases, using cowhide or imitation leather that  has been treated to look like suede. Meanwhile,

at Fort Belvedere, we've specifically selected  goat velour for the interiors of our cases as   its weight and density create the perfect padding. It also provides unique visual interest and, of   course, is soft to the touch. Also, this padding  isn't just good for your cards, as you should be   able to notice the difference of how softly and  lightly the card case will sit in your pocket. And for added security, pocket straps made from  leather will help to keep your cards securely and   safely in place while breaking up the uniform look  of the lining. At Fort Belvedere, we use the same   top-quality aniline leathers for the pockets as  we do for the exterior shell. By the way, for more  

information on leather production and the effects  of different treatment processes on leather, you can find our video on the difference between  chrome-tanned and vegetable-tanned leathers here. Next, we'll touch on construction as, in addition to  the leather itself, how it's framed and affixed is   equally important. A genuine metal frame, of course,  is going to last longer overall, and it will handle   incidents like dropping better than most plastic  frames. The best frame assemblies are going to  

be handmade and, indeed, that's the case with our  offerings at Fort Belvedere. They're put together   by skilled German craftsmen to ensure tight fits,  sturdy materials, and impeccable oversight. And, when   properly assembled, components like the lining  and interior fastenings aren't going to come   loose or undone and won't look prematurely worn or  frayed over time. You needn't resign yourself to a   bulky case to achieve security for your cards  as quality construction will also still mean   a slimmer profile. Well-made cases, then, are  designed for maximal volume with minimal mass.

This was a major factor for Raphael when he  designed our Fort Belvedere card cases, which are   engineered to slip effortlessly into a jacket or  trouser pocket and not leave any unsightly lines   or bulges. After all, you don't want someone asking,  "Are you going to offer me your business card   or are you just happy to see me?" Finally here,  your cards aren't going to do you much good if   they're stuck in your case or otherwise difficult  to access. Quality workmanship will usually ensure   a quality clasp. But, for the best possible results,  go for a clasp design that requires only one hand   to open. Again, our Fort Belvedere cases will allow  you to seamlessly open your case with one hand   and collect your card with the other. You're  going to be best served by a case with a more  

formal exterior in terms of styling - one that  will fit a variety of dress codes and occasions - because, after all, you never know quite when you're  going to want to exchange business cards. Therefore, we'd recommend that you go with classic leather  colors like oxblood, dark brown, whiskey brown, and black. All of these are timeless choices and  you can add unique personality with details like a   contrasting interior lining or stitching in colors  like green, blue, or red as examples. This way, you'll   draw attention to your card as you're drawing  it out and also set yourself apart as a stylish   sartorialist. On that note, if you'd like some  ideas on how to pick the perfect colors for your   wardrobe and ensembles, you can find our video on  using the color wheel here. When it comes to cost,

as with most things, you're generally going to get  what you pay for. New, all-metal cases can easily   cost hundreds of dollars, depending on whether gold  or silver are used and how much of them are used. Again, though, vintage or used models can often  be found for under a hundred dollars. Meanwhile,

for quality leather, you can typically expect to  spend between $125 and $200 for a new case, depending on its size and the quality of the  leather in question. So, we hope that our guide will   help you to find a business card case that suits  both your needs and your style. After all, business   cards act as a public face of your company and  you'll want to keep them looking good. Therefore,

based upon all the criteria we've mentioned  here today, we believe that our Fort Belvedere   offerings are the best case scenario. In today's  video, I'm wearing a formal, business-appropriate   outfit that's based around the colors of my  own personal Fort Belvedere business card case. The case in my personal collection is our model  in dark brown bison leather with a sand interior.

As such, I'm wearing a two-piece suit in dark brown  that features a subtle pinstripe of alternating   tan and light blue. My shirt, which I personally  designed through proper cloth, is in a color they   call "terracotta," a sort of tannish brown shade and  in a glencheck pattern. My shoes - also designed by   me using the Undandy website - are dark brown suede  cap-toed Oxfords. The remainder of my accessories  

today come from Fort Belvedere, and we'll start  with my shoelaces, which are in a caramel color, and  my socks, which are two-toned shadow-stripe models,  also in caramel and dark burgundy. My cufflinks   are our gold-plated, sterling silver eagle claw  designs featuring tiger's eye as the stone to   reinforce the color feel, and my wool challis tie  features a repeating pattern in blue, green, and   red. Its base is sunflower yellow. My pocket square  is in a silk-wool blend in a color we're calling   "antique gold ochre," and it features medallions  in beige, red, and blue with a cream contrast edge.

Finally, the boutonniere I'm wearing is a yellow  buttercup to also reinforce the overall color   feel of the outfit. For all of the Fort Belvedere  accessories I'm wearing in today's video and, of   course, for our range of business card cases, you  can take a look at the Fort Belvedere shop here. ♪ Gentleman's Gazette Theme Song ♪

2022-02-08 19:28

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