This post is in collaboration with the Swiss Brand, JHopenstand.
Just in time for autumn, JHopenstand and I got talking. As I’m in this business to judge, try and review new products, this particular article is interesting. It shows the steps undertaken and my honest opinion about their product which really changed my view on a few things. I never really wear belts… or do I?
A little introduction to the brand…
Since 1925, JHopenstand produces fine leather goods for the decerning lady and gentleman. They now produce bespoke small leather goods that are even customisable online.
In the beginning, the brand was first started by Rémi Defrancesco’s grandfather. He specialized in bespoke handbags for ladies to fulfill their wishes and wildest dreams to match their looks. Each piece was entirely made by hand and took many hours to create. To ensure the highest of quality, only the best fabrics and materials were used that were available. To them, nothing was impossible. This is what drives this family owned business today still.
About 5 years ago, Rémi and his brother relaunched the company from their hometown Lausanne in Switzerland and focused on crafting signature pieces such as the reversible belt. However, in the background, they still craft unique items for their clients who want that extra step of individuality.
Today, the company owns several workshops in Switzerland and France, where they craft all their products in house. Carefully selected leather by skilled artisans are used from the best Swiss and French tanneries. Even today, the two brothers keep the philosophy of their grandfather alive. Hard work, integrity and an eye for details has made this brand an online business as well as a retail brand to look out for.
The first steps are pretty straight forward. You are able to choose between a wide variety of selected colors and fabrics. Since their signature is reversible, there are always combinations to choose from. This is all done through their very own customizer. A beautiful software that details the process and lets you be part of the selection every step of the way.
After you choose your color and fabric combination, it is time to select the belt buckle. Now, this is where tastes vary and not everyone will like the same buckle. JHopenstand understood this procedure beautifully and created unique, simple and functional buckle choices for every man/woman to choose from.
I went for their signature buckle. Although I would most likely prefer something more simple, I decided to stick to the brands heritage and signature look. The “J” and horizontal “H” was very interesting in sync and therefore got my approval. Not too “statement” looking but rather smart, elegant yet present. I knew, this would not be a belt I would wear to a suit (I don’t have belt loops anyway) but to a casual weekend look or off duty gear.
Now, after the belt is finished and designed by yourself. You get to make it truly yours, by adding initials. If you know me, this is something I very much enjoy. It is that final icing on the cake in my humble opinion. The final detail that makes a product yours and only yours. Here, you have personal preferences once again. Choosing between “W.S” and “WS” was so difficult that I had to sit down, sip on my Negroni, and think it all over… We finally decided on the classic “W.S” version. It was a good decision. For those thinking “Thats very much in your face”, well, it isn’t really. Also here, you have the choice between “in your face” or “subtle” behind the buckle for only you to see… or someone else.
The final process is finished and once you choose your size (sizing is accurate and according to the lengths provided) it is time to order it. It usually takes the company 5-10 working days to ship your individual belt to your doorstep. A very comfortable and easy way to set a statement with an elegant accessory.
My choice was a tough one. I actually wanted a brown version of the belt. The simple reason, I wear brown A LOT. However, it was my better half who issued me, that it would be nice seeing me in a different color every once in a while… Women 🙄. So, without making a fuzz, as she is always right, I went for a blue and cream version.
Honestly, I dig the look. I wouldn’t wear it everyday, however, it makes for a great center piece to a casual setting. Having field tested the belt, tried both sides on a number of outfits. I’ve come to the conclusion that it is bloody difficult to choose which side is more popular. It turns out, you can wear different colors other than brown 😉.
The soft double sided nubuck leather makes for a soft luxurious finish and wears well with different looks. I wore it most with jeans however. With linen, it seamed quite strong although, with the wide legged trouser, made for an interesting alternative. None the less, denim was in my opinion a great option. It worked well with formal and more casual clothing, allowing it to be very versatile.
Together with brighter fabrics, the cream sided leather was a great option. Whilst on darker fabrics, the blue made its appearance. All in all, the belt did what it promised. It kept its elegance and demonstrated a subtle but interesting change in my wardrobe.
Would I buy it again? Yes, but with a different buckle. To me the buckle fits those that like a bit more detailing. For me however, I need something less branded. An idea I very much like however and it did do very well! This is like I said, up to you and your personal taste.
Check out my ideas of wearing the iconic reversible belt by JHopenstand and let me know what you think and how you would pair it.
Let me know
This post was in collaboration with JHopenstand.