Let’s admit it: slim, raw denim jeans don’t make for very good carrying space. The back pocket can easily hold a billfold wallet, but the two front pockets are usually useless. I sometimes joke with friends: if I don’t pick up my cell phone, there’s a good chance I’m wearing new jeans and can’t get my phone out in time.
The obvious solution is to keep most things in your jacket’s pockets, but it’s often easier to hang keys off of belt loops. Basic carabiner keychains are good for this. They’re simple and affordable, and can be easily bought at Amazon, Etsy, or REI.
If you’re looking to spend a little more money, there are a bunch of other options – from the slightly more expensive to the extravagant.
- 3sixteen ($24): For their 10th anniversary collection, 3sixteen made some braided blue keychains that nicely complement indigo or black denim.
- Summit Creek and David Lane ($24+): Leather keyhooks that you can attach to your belt.
- Tender ($35): A slightly more unique design with a S-shaped hook.
- Superior Labor ($55): A fancy brass keyhook with old-timey appeal (lots of heritage-y words like “pride,” “craftsmanship,” “time,” and “effort,” so you can impress your Americana friends).
- Iron Heart ($70): A sturdy brass keyhook with three brass rings.
- Dale ($90+): Beautiful sterling silver, S-shaped keyhooks with turquoise inlays. Each piece is handcut, rather than cast, in New Mexico by a silversmith with over forty years of experience. Also available without the inlay for a little less money.
- Maple ($90): A simple hook with decorative leather tails.
- The Flat Head ($115): One of the best Japanese denim brands around. This piece has some pretty handsome hardware.
- Good Art ($475): A leather snap key ring with a sterling silver rosette button. This one approaches fine jewelry in both make and price.
My favorites include:
- eBay: Just do a search on eBay for Japanese fishhook key rings and you’ll find a bunch of stuff from about $10 and up. I prefer “closed loop” designs – such as this, this, and this – over anything that’s too open. Open loop keyhooks slip off too easily when you’re sitting down (as the keys can get pushed upwards). That can leave you in a potentially bad situation if your keys are left in a cab or bus without you knowing.
- Don’t Mourn Organize: Scott is a leatherworker in Utah who can make anything you want for a small fee (I’m a big fan of his belts). He designed the above keychain for me. It’s made with a concho, some brass hooks, and a little bit of shell cordovan leather. Something like mine will run you $35, although you can also design something completely different. Scott’s prices vary depending on the difficulty of the job.