Today, we will have a closer look at J. Hopenstand, a Swiss company which specializes in high quality custom made belts and leather products made in their ateliers in Switzerland and France. J. Hopenstand offers both a belt MTO service, where you decide the material, length, buckle etc and a full bespoke service where the possibilities are almost endless. I was recently contacted by J Hopenstand that offered me to try their MTO service and asked me to share my thoughts on their service and products.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post
The founder Jacques Hopenstand was born in 1905 in Warszawa Poland. At the age of 23 in 1925 he created the luxury leather goods company J. Hopenstand in Paris. He collaborated with several of the larger Couture houses in Paris during his active period, including Morabito. The workshop was closed in the 1960s and later reopened in 2015 by his grandsons, this time operating out of Pully, Switzerland.
Apart from the MTO and bespoke custom made belts, J. Hopenstand also offers MTO/bespoke card holders & envelopes; and very unique cufflinks shaped like an ‘H’ in silver and 2 different gold coatings. The MTO custom made belts start from CHF 250 and the bespoke belts start from CHF 520
MTO CUSTOM MADE BELTS
The MTO belts start from CHF 250 and you can choose from a limited selection of leathers and colours from the J. Hopenstand collection. The belts are handmade in France and delivery is within 1 to 2 weeks.
What is truly interesting is that all the MTO belts are reversible, meaning you can have two different colours on the belts e.g. black/brown. This makes it very easy to change belt colour depending on the colour of your shoes, especially convenient for me that often travels for work.
- Leathers: J. Hopenstand offers leathers in bull-calf, nubuck, bull-calf/nubuck and box-/bull-calf in several different colours and combinations. The leathers are from French, Spanish and Swiss breeding’s and are all 33mm wide.
- Buckles: J. Hopenstand offers 3 different buckles in 4 different finishes – black chrome, pink gold, palladium and gold.
- Size: The belts feature 5 holes and the length is calculated from the buckle till the central hole. You can choose from 80-110cm with 5cm intervals.
- Initials: Make your belt personal and add your initials. You can place the initials either to the left of the buckle or to the right of the holes and you can choose from 4 different colours, neutral, silver, copper and gold. You can of course make your belt without initials as well.
SUMMARY & REVIEW
Here is a summary of my own order – a bull calf/bull-calf brown/black leather with the iconic JH logo buckle and neutral initials to the left of the buckle. What I appreciate and really like is the very intiutive belt designer that gives you a very good idea of what the end product will look like. You can also see both sides of the reversible belt.
The first impression is always important, as is the way the product is packaged and delivered. The J.Hopenstand custom made belts come in a very nice small box and a neat brown dust bag together with a note that gives you the feeling of a premium product – all according to expectations.
My first impression of the leather was that it is very soft and the grain gives a very subtle and nice character to the belt. Choosing bull-calf on both sides makes the equally soft on both sides. I’ve worn the belt for a couple of weeks now and I’m very pleased with it – it looks great, feels nice and the colors and craftsmanship is fantastic.
What I noticed and would like to mention is that when I wear the belt with my quite heavy selvedge denim jeans, it tends to wrinkle slightly due to 3 combined reasons – 1) the softness of the belt combined with 2) the heavy weight of denim and 3) that jeans normally have only one belt loop in the middle of the back, putting quite some pressure at this point. I did not experience the same thing with suit pants and other softer chinos that are lighter and also have 2 belt loos on each side of the back center. Nothing that I think in anyway damages my overall as this kind of belt isn’t really what you normally wear to this kind of trousers. I mentioned this to the gentlemen at J. Hopenstand and they advised that you can help the belt “recover” faster by taking it of the jeans and rolling it or just simply flatting it out with your hand, which I tried and it worked perfectly well.
With that said. if I would have placed the order again I would maybe have tried the bull-/box-calf combination as box-calf normally is slightly stiffer. Again this is only due to the fact that I have started wearing denim more often together. If you only wear the belt with wool/cotton trousers this will have little or no impact.
The buckle with the JH logo has a very clean design and is very easy to take off and reverse the belt. this feature is something I never though I would appreciate as much as I do. The soft leather also makes the belt easily reversible without creasing and showing any marks in the leather.
The sizing was spot on according to the measurement instructions and the belt is fastened in the center hole as it should. Also the 33mm width feels like a very versatile and classic width that works in most occasions and with most trousers.
Most of my belts have been but away in my drawer due to more trousers with side-adjusters, but with this new belt I’m looking for more reasons to bring out my older trousers with belt loops. I really enjoy wearing it and look forward to adding some different colours and buckles to my collection in the near future.
- Really like that its reversible and it’s very easy to reverse
- Fantastic material both leather and buckle
- Not optimal for heavy denim trousers but works perfectly with wool/cotton trousers
Here are some pictures of the belt in action:
Check out this interesting video of J. Hopenstand’s manufacturing process.
I hope you enjoyed the read. For more reviews please visit my review page on the website.