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
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.