When it comes to leather goods, if you invest in the best, you reap the rewards. You could potentially say the same for other men’s accessories, but with poorly made leather goods (or low quality / fake leather), it’s very noticeable.
It’s even easier to notice when something is made extremely well, though. That brings us to New Jersey-based Billykirk. This EG favorite focuses on great craftsmanship and meticulous detail when crafting their leather wallets, tote bags, weekender bags, and more.
Billykirk leather goods fit right in with your Lean Wardrobe. They also reflect Effortless Gent principles: Think timeless, high-quality products built with versatility and long-lasting construction.
Again, it all starts to add up (in the best way possible), and that’s a critical part of our Billykirk review and our experiences with the brand.
Here’s What to Know About Billykirk
Billykirk is first and foremost a family-owned business run by brothers Kirk and Chris Bray. They’re now based in Jersey City, but they’ve got roots on the West Coast and more than 20 years in business.
Billykirk started out making leather cuffs and belts that fit right in with a laidback West Coast lifestyle. They still make cuffs and other accessories, but the main focus is on rugged and finely crafted everyday carry goods for the modern man.
They also offer a women’s collection, a handy way to knock out two birds with one stone when gift shopping. For the purposes of this Billykirk review, we’ll keep it focused on the men’s collection only.
No matter what you’re interested in buying, a visit to the Billykirk workshop shows just how tough it is to get these goods right.
I attended a leather workshop with the brand a few years back. In the time it took me to sew my leather journal holder, Kirk or Chris could have breezed right through multiple versions of their own.
The end result is a proud part of my daily carry nowadays. Think of an item you need in your life, be it a wallet, a tote bag, or even a handsome leather tool bag, and Billykirk makes it.
To set you on the path to success and fine craftsmanship (and before we get into what we love about Billykirk), here are our top 12 picks from their shop that are worth considering.
Our 12 Favorite Picks from Billykirk
- Billykirk No. 117 Mechanic’s Belt
- Billykirk No. 397 Slim Card Case
- Billykirk No. 480 Small-Batch Carryall in Dark Oak
- Billykirk No. 309 Leather Valet Tray
- Billykirk No. 134 Sketch Holder
- Billykirk No. 312 Center Bar Leather Belt
- Billykirk No. 540 Standard Issue East-West Tote
- Billykirk No. 277 Standard Issue Laptop Sleeve
- Billykirk No. 520 Leather Wine Tote
- Billykirk No. 521 Leather Bag
- Billykirk No. 240 Trucker Key Fob
- Billykirk No. 477 Small-Batch Carryall Toiletry Bag
This handsome leather belt is a great example of how attention to detail can elevate an everyday essential. The design is based on a 1950s mechanic’s belt made by the grandfather of the brand’s mentor. Even if you’re not working on cars, the leather flap covering is a unique design touch that’ll stand out from other, more standard leather belts.
The great thing about Billykirk is the fact that the brand takes seemingly standard items and reinvents them. The humble wallet gets a premium upgrade with this sleek card case. It’s a whole new way to stow your must-haves in sleek, refined fashion.
The coronavirus pandemic has led each of us to come up with new ways to reinvent our routines, our wardrobes, and so on. That’s also the case with Billykirk. Thankfully, its small-batch line is a new adaptation by the business due to the pandemic, utilizing rare materials produced in limited-edition amounts.
Ditch the Notes app on your phone, even if only briefly. This is one handsome way to get into journaling, with the type of build that’ll develop a nice patina over time.
You can never have too much of a good thing, if that good thing is a stylish leather belt from Billykirk. That being said, if you’re going to buy one belt to wear with your rotation of brown leather shoes, make it this versatile number.
We love the ingenuity coming out of the Billykirk workshop. Take this unique tote bag in a vibrant spring and summer color. It’s a seriously cool and eye-catching way to haul anything you need in any season.
Your laptop sleeve doesn’t have to be boring or overly technical. In fact, this is a prime example of how Billykirk can meet any gear needs in your life. Consider picking this one up if you want a surprisingly sharp and rugged way to haul your laptop.
Didn’t know you needed another way to carry wine or spirits? Well, you do, even if only to get your hands on this awesome leather carrier. This is another unexpected and yet beautifully crafted Billykirk piece. Heck, consider giving one as a housewarming or holiday gift—your host can keep the tote AND the wine.
Your trusty tool bag just got a major upgrade. This isn’t like any tool bag you’ve had before, and that’s a great thing. Consider this a do-anything and go-anywhere bag you can fill up to your heart’s content, whether it's with tools for home projects or clothes on seasonal getaways.
We’re all about the little upgrades that can make a big difference in your daily routine. For instance, keeping your daily carry organized and close at hand without missing a beat. This is where a well-crafted leather key fob comes into play: No more misplacing your keys!
We told you Billykirk made gear for every aspect of your life, did we not? This durable toiletry bag, another innovation from the brand’s Small-Batch program, is the perfect addition to your travel bag.
What We Love About Billykirk
Are you onboard with Billykirk yet? How could you not be?
As we said, it’s easy to tell when a brand cuts corners. Billykirk is the furthest thing from that. These are USA-made goods that stand the test of time, which is increasingly rare to find these days.
We love the fact that these are investments that won’t give out on you. That means no busted belt buckles, broken zippers, flimsy fabrics, or questionable design methods. Best of all, Billykirk takes a down-to-earth, family-oriented approach with a focus on the people they work with.
That’s an intangible that’s nice to have when buying from any business. You’re also getting plenty of style points, and that’s equally nice to have. These products are distinctive and made with rich, eye-catching materials.
The hits keep on rolling. Crucial to any search for the best leather goods would be fair price points. Here, you’re paying for quality and craftsmanship, but not spending anywhere near as much as you would when buying from a luxury-level brand.
Perhaps most importantly, it’s a brand that keeps you coming back.
As we said, Billykirk makes goods for just about any situation and for multiple uses from tool bags to wine totes, valet trays to wallets, and much more. So if you’re ready to get on board the Billykirk hype train, I don’t blame ya. Believe what you’re seeing, because this brand can back it up.
Any favorites from the goods we pointed out above? If you have any questions or comments, hit EG up on Twitter. You can also find join other readers on Effortless Gent’s Facebook page, or DM EG on Instagram!