13 April 2012

Haspel Fall Winter: Bespoke at Cost




My relationship with Haspel goes back 32 years. Not that we were close, but it was the poplin and seersucker suiting of choice save a short stint at Brooks Brothers and employee discount addiction.

Haspel carved out a narrow but deep niche in cotton suiting for the South. It was cheap, washable and most important, it was comfortable. Southerners attending Princeton brought Haspel to the southern most second most southern Ivy college and it caught on. In a big way.



What didn't catch on was Haspel in Fall & Winter. The romantic association with Summer's cotton, half linings and character filled wrinkles may have helped traditional offerings but a "Stick to your knitting" attitude by customers may have doomed Fall & Winter from the start.



I walked into the 25th floor loft of the Bryant Park Hotel earlier this week and could not believe it was Haspel Fall - Winter. The silhouette is London. You see that first. And it's a London of the '30s. This is Flusser's turf but at a fraction of the price.

Single breasted peak lapels, double breasted chalk stripes, brown window pane, ticket pockets, double vents...They are the details that drive men to bespoke tailors because they're impossible to find off the rack.





Silhouette and details are carried over to tweed and herringbone jackets. What you see in the windows on Savile Row or in Holland & Holland. Haspel avoided the Hipster runoff so popular with Heritage brands. Every day PR firms send out videos of a watch cap wearing guy in a three piece suit chopping logs with a $500 Challis National Axe to a steel guitar soundtrack.



Haspel seems intent on pursuing grown ups. Guys who work in banks, insurance companies and those other holdouts of employment where coat and tie are still expected. Men who are married with kids and don't have $5,000 for a suit or $500 for an axe.


Contrasting fabrics of cotton, corduroy and suede are hidden under sport jacket collars. If you ask me, they should stay hidden but you do what you have to.



Fabrics are thick with character, texture and color. This is warm stuff. I'm not sure how much use it will see in Haspel's hometown of New Orleans.









Now comes the bad news. Made in Indonesia. I'm not sure outta what. Maybe wax paper and toad shit for all I know. But, good news for pricing. Suiting is $595 and $695 ($100 & $125 for vest) while sport coats are $395 and $495 Like I said, you work someplace where a suit is required and your 401K and college funds are hoovering most of your take home pay... This is great value.



If, on the other hand, you chop wood in a three piece cashmere suit with a $500 axe, and have no kids...Well, there are plenty of people here in NYC who will be more than happy to assist you. For Haspel retailers go here.

20 comments:

Chase said...

My apologies for being a pedant, but UPenn is farther south than Princeton by a good 30 miles. Perhaps not in cultural terms, but unquestionably in geographic terms.

tintin said...

Chase - You are correct to inform me of the mistake which I have made before. I don't know why I keep doing it.

Makaga said...

Thanks for the insight, Tintin! Enjoyed the pictures and the review.

Titus said...

Interesting: I had been told that Haspel had been bought up by some conglomerate that was using the name to make junk. I would be curious to hear these wear, because they sure look nice.

And I wish hipsters would stop misappropriating things: I like steel guitars.

Anonymous said...

Where does one purchase these?

Brohammas said...

You do too know why you do that... It's OK. We can take it.

tintin said...

Makaga- Thx. By the way, go to Barritts Facebook page and it'll tell you where in NYC you can find their GBeer. I've always purchased mine outta state.

Titus- I didn't try anything on because my sample size days are long gone--not that they were ever here. But the garments look good. This isn't full canvas with perfect pattern matching but it's a bargain for the price. Sorry about the steel guitars.

Anon- I understand Macys and Nordstrom but there are more. I'll update the post with a link to retailers since it seems beyond your ability to go the the Haspel web site and do the same.

Bro- Hey, Let me know if that high street haberdasher, Boyds, is carrying Haspel. Anon sounds like he's from Philly or Astoria. Hard to tell the difference.

Ben said...

Wow. I'm surprised there isn't more commenting here. This development seems to be right up the TRADitionalists' alley.

I think this news is a bombshell for those who live north of the Maizy-Daizy.

Neil said...

Does Boyd's carry grey wingtips?

tintin said...

Ben- its POETS Day.

Neil- Absolutely.

Oyster Guy said...

This is really great to see. I never understood why inexpensive clothing had to be cut and styled like inexpensive clothing.

BCM said...

"Haspel seems intent on pursuing grown ups." Great quote, but unfortunately it seems to be the exception rather than the rule these days in men's clothing. Immediately reminded me of your recent Billy Reid post.

Bespoke aside, there are still great brands making classic men's clothing, you just have to wade through the chaff to get to the good stuff. Perhaps the extra effort makes the end result that much more enjoyable. At least it does for me.

no hype said...

Any suggestions where to get a good pair of bucks?

Heidi R. said...

This is, by the way, lovely wool, but I don't think Haskel will get you laid. Jus' sayin'.

Anonymous said...

knockout stuff. and btw the stripe matching looks pretty good to me.

Alice Olive said...

I love the poster you lead with here.

1land2ts said...

John - good stuff - My first summer suit was a Haspel I bought at W&S - I wonder if they have them? I owe Mike over there a call - I don't know if he's still there.

Christina said...

These jackets are great! I like that double breasted suit, it has a very detailed textures.

Christina @ Cashmere Sport Jacket

Anonymous said...

just great and great pics. I will be seeking these out - any idea when they'l hit shelves?

William Dean said...

I own a vintage Haspel washed-silk white/cream colored sport coat (yes, made in Indonesia). It is fully-lined and impeccably tailored, no damage whatsoever and must be over forty years old if not more. It's perfect for casual-dressy here in southern California.
Look for vintage. It's got the quality and style.