Haspel | Behind the Brand


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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John Quincy Adams

Zachary Taylor

Franklin Pierce

Abraham Lincoln

Ulysses S. Grant

John F. Kennedy

Bill Clinton

After way too many nights spent passing out on the couch to the dulcet tones of cable news blaring, we wanted to touch on today’s historic context without veering anywhere close to current events.

With visions of natty forefathers in mind, we Googled ‘stylish presidents’—and promptly discovered that Marisa Zupan, a member of the rare and special breed known as menswear bloggers of the female persuasion, already obliterated this very subject with wit and tenacity over a year ago.

With an entry for every one of our 44 past Commanders in Chief—and succinctly hilarious yet insightful captions alluding to menswear minutiae like epic whiskers, rounded collars and floppy bow ties—Zupan’s post is unimpeachable. The best we can do here is preview a few of our favorite photos, and tell you to read the real thing.

While you’re at it, be sure to catch up on the rest
of Zupan’s impeccable menswear blog:

The Significant Other

Need something to wear to election parties tonight?
Shop: Red Ties | Blue Ties | Bipartisan Ties



[Photos via The Significant Other; Adams courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Taylor and Lincoln courtesy of Library of Congress, Kennedy by Paul Schutzer courtesy of, Clinton by Bob McNeely courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration. Pierce and Grant sources unknown, please comment below if you have information or would like the images removed. Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom.]

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Presidential Dads

Father’s Day was yesterday, but there’s just been too much great dad-related content gracing the web to not mention it.

Here are some dads-in-chief, courtesy of the official White House blog, who clearly took a hands-on approach to their most important duty of all.


From top:
John F. Kennedy with children Caroline and John Jr. (The Oval Office, Oct. 10, 1962.)
George H.W. Bush with daughter Doro. (Midland, TX, 1964.)
Gerald R. Ford with Betty Ford and children Steve and Susan. (Camp David, Nov. 1, 1974.)
Lyndon B. Johnson with grandson Patrick. (White House Barber Shop, Oct. 1, 1968.)
Franklin D. Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt with their 13 grandchildren. (January 20, 1945.)

[Images courtesy of the Presidential Libraries of the U.S. National Archives, via The White House Blog. Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom.]

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