cotton suits

Haspel | Behind the Brand

haspel

Haspel invented the seersucker suit in New Orleans, and not like Puff Daddy “invented the remix.” This is for real.

The classic brand goes a lot deeper than one fabric, and with two new designers steering its style, we figured it’s a good time to go behind the brand with interviews and photos from Haspel’s showroom in New York.

But for one sec, let’s appreciate their heritage.

Haspel was born in New Orleans in 1909. They’ve outfitted every United States President post-Coolidge, Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird and Jon Hamm in Mad Men. Without Haspel, who knows if we’d have the idea of American suits that keep you literally cool. Or suits that you could wash and dry at home. (They pioneered wash-and-wear, too.)

These days, Sam Shipley and Jeff Halmos are the design force driving Haspel (you may know them from their own brands Shipley & Halmos and S&H Athletics). They were hired last year by Laurie Aronson Haspel, whose great-grandfather Joseph Haspel started the company and whose grandfather Joseph Haspel, Jr., remains something of a company spirit animal.

Jeff Halmos (on the right, above) spoke to us about taking a serious but light approach to handling so much history, about what’s fresh for Haspel for spring–and about what a rad dude Joseph Haspel, Jr., really was.

Shop: Haspel | spring suits | all suits | men’s style

Portrait courtesy Jeff Halmos; all other images by Brad Ogbonna

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We’re already five episodes into our GQ Spring Trend Report series. (View past articles here: Loafers | Jean Jackets | Sun-Washed Colors | Camo.) This week’s installment takes a tailored turn, with Jim Moore and Michael Hainey of GQ discussing an office essential when temps climb—the lightweight Cotton Suit:

Taking a cue from Mr. Moore’s thoughts on dressy cottons that bring cotton suits out of weekend-wedding territory and into the office, we pulled four suited-up looks that can span from boardroom to casual Friday this summer. Check out our tips below, and browse additional options here: MORE COTTON SUITS


1. Shady Character. In warm weather, lightweight fabrics are a must; sunny colors, however, are optional. The suit has a small glen-plaid pattern, which we offset with a large gingham check, and grounded with a solid tie in summer-appropriate knit cotton.
[John Varvatos Star USA Blazer and Trousers | Hugo Boss Tie | Calibrate Dress Shirt]


2. Quirky Khaki. You’re probably familiar with the trick of wearing your jean jacket with chinos, to avoid going double-denim. The same concept applies with your khaki suit, which benefits from the contrast of a workwear-inspired (but still dressy) shirt.
[Paul Smith London Suit | Gitman Tie | Eton Dress Shirt]


3. Room with a View. This crisp combo is boardroom-ready—and, whether it’s true or not, implies to your client that you’ll be on a boat this weekend. We like underpinning the preppy, regatta-motif tie with businesslike stripes. (Think of purple as the new navy.)
[Hugo Boss Suit | Hugo Boss Tie | Nordstrom Dress Shirt]


4. Creative Services. For the guy who wears a suit because he wants to, but doesn’t have to: Consider keeping the tie, but experimenting with shirt options. If your office doesn’t favor acid-wash? This rig would look razor-sharp with a micro-check gingham, too.
[Shipley & Halmos Blazer & Pants | Gitman Tie | Topman Shirt]

 

Look for new GQ Spring Trend Report videos in the weeks to come—
and shop all eight of our GQ-approved trends, from cotton suits to camo, here:
GQ SPRING TREND REPORT

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Inspired by our new Summer Suiting Guide, we decided to apply our five favorite looks to real-life situations. You know, the important ones—when T-shirts and shorts simply won’t cut it. Here’s how to look your best this summer, when the stakes are as high as the temperature.

 


1. SUMMER IN THE CITY. We were about to suggest this kit for the warm-weather “morale-booster” benevolent bosses often pencil in around now—but seriously, this is what most of us should wear to work all summer long. Lightweight blazer + clean-cut jeans + a pop of color = business casual done right.

Beverage of Choice: Local microbrews, if your workplace knows how to plan a party. Otherwise: Sparkling cider it is.

Pro Tip: See that buttonhole on your jacket lapel? It does in fact serve a purpose. Drop in a lapel pin for extra style points.

[Shop: This Look | More Shirt & Tie Combos]
 

Hero
2. BRUNCH DATE. Breakfast in baggy sweats is for amateurs. Play your cards right—with a shirt that buttons, shoes that aren’t sneakers, and a “third piece” (i.e., a vest, blazer or cardigan) to tie it all together—and that special someone you’re meeting for breakfast might stick around for dinner, too.

Beverage of Choice: Bloody Mary—or black coffee, depending on how the previous night unfolded.

Pro Tip: Skip the tie if you so choose…Unless your brunch date is your mom on Mother’s Day, in which case it’s a nice touch.

[Shop: This Look | More Vests]
 


3. YACHT CLUB. The blazer-with-shorts look is everywhere as of late—but we can’t think of a scenario it’s more befitting than a classy affair on the water. Don’t own a boat (or have a friend or father-in-law who does)? The same rig would be spot-on for a dinner date at a high-end seafood spot.

Beverage of Choice: Something with rum? Or a refreshing Jamaican lager, if the sun has you parched.

Pro Tip: If you’re actually on a boat (as opposed to just near one), trade the dress shoes for boat shoes.

[Shop: This Look | More Sportcoats & Blazers]
 


4. KENTUCKY DERBY. “The fastest two minutes in sports” is this Saturday. Whether you’re Louisville-bound, or just looking for an excuse to sip whisky on your friend’s party-ready patio—be sure to channel your inner Southern gent with dandified finishing touches and flashes of go-to-hell color.

Beverage of Choice: Mint Julep. It’s official.

Pro Tip: We’re digging the subdued take on summer color above—but feel free to go all-in with a loud-and-proud madras or windowpane plaid.

[Shop: This Look | More Finishing Touches]
 


5. OUTDOOR WEDDING. The last thing summer-wedding attire should be is stuffy, so ditch dark colors in favor of lightweight seersucker (shown) or cotton khaki. The punchy red tie above could prove a bit much; opt for a bow tie in subtler hues if you prefer not to upstage the man of the hour.

Beverage of Choice: Champagne, if you’re wooing bridesmaids. The champagne of beers, if you’re chilling with the groomsmen.

Pro Tip: Beach wedding? Skip the shoes but keep the suit. Just because the groom’s uncle is wearing a Hawaiian shirt, doesn’t make it right.

[Shop: This Look | More Suits]

 


…And for more warm-weather tailored essentials, from
no-sweat suits down to the last dapper detail, shop our complete
SUMMER SUITING GUIDE

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