Shirt making is an art that is mastered by few. The prestigious Parisian establishment of CHARVET is one of these great historical retailers that continues to make the finest desirable shirts and other men’s garments for almost 200 years. More than eighteen individual steps are required to create a bespoke shirt, using exclusive fabrics and endless attention to detail. At Charvet, shirt making is a work of haute couture.
Situated at the prestigious “Place Vendome” Square in Paris since 1838, Charvet has an international reputation for the high quality of its products but especially for its unique tailored pieces.
Kings, Princes and heads of state all are customers of Charvet, some of whom for many, many years. Charvet, was the first in the world to open a specialised trade in hosiery, and continues to keep the tradition and savoir-faire that has become an institution in the fashion world. It’s a brand that covers tradition loyalty, quality in its domain.
Yes, I am really passionate about such institutions that have traversed centuries and are still run by the founding family – The Charvet family. I recently visited this ‘temple’ of fashion. The store has an amazing 5 floors, dedicated to men’s bespoke and ready-to-wear clothing: thousands of ties and foulards, silk scarves and cufflinks, shirts and nightwear…
My favourite part of the store is the 2nd floor were you are almost hypnotised by the hundreds of overlapping materials and fabric rolls that are separated by colour, and all neatly arranged, It’s just magic! And to my surprise and great pleasure, Anne Marie Colban, the Director of the store offers to make me a tailor-made shirt. I was just thrilled! A lifelong fan of this incredible brand, how could I to remain indifferent to such a wonderful offer, knowing that I will have a unique shirt, made especially for me?
Yes, I am flattered to now be part of a unique club of celebrities who have worn Charvet, from presidents like John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Francois Mitterrand, Jacques Chirac, but also Coco Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent and Catherine Deneuve. And also, the newer personalities like Sofia Coppola, Christian Louboutin, and many rock stars and famous people.
Looking for the special detail…
Under the experienced eye of Anne Marie, my measurements were taken step by step in the most exact possible way, that even included the perfect height of the buttons, the sleeve lengths, the type of collar the shape of the cuffs, any letters or monogram to embroider, etc… all of this is noted in a special diary, which remains in the store for any future purchases.
The next step was a little more difficult for me – choosing the material – And how do you decide between more than 6,000 options? Even the simple white material has over 500 different nuances and blue range is the possibility of over 400 shades?
Fortunately Anne Marie, who grew up watching her father take care of demanding customers, is the ideal person to advise me…
I opted for a white classic shirt in a fabric with a delicate and sophisticated thin stripe in the same colour. High, straight collar and cufflink holes. Almost a male model, but with small details that make a very sexy ladies version.
I was impressed with the attention to detail. For example, if a shirt has a stripped pattern, then Charvet ensure in its production that all parts must match up as if there were no separation between cuffs, sleeves, open front collar. All of these items follow the same line as if it were one piece of material.
• The stitching is made with ultra thin threads
• The buttons are sewn by hand and are made from Australian pearl shells, with attention that the shade and colour of buttons match the material.
• The collar lining is made of 6 layers of fine fabric, without the use of glue, a technique that provides flexibility without changing the structure that ensures perfect symmetry and a perfect and comfortable fit.
Within 1 week, the final adjustments are made before the piece is definitely cut in your chosen fabric. After that, my shirt is available in a few days… So as you can imagine, I am looking forward to my next visit to Paris to collect my special shirt! A long-held dream finally comes true. My hand made tailored Charvet shirt.
Finally, Maison Charvet is one of the rare places in the world to maintain the tradition of making bespoke tailored shirts, but it also offers a large range of ready-to-wear shirts and other items such as socks, pyjamas, nightwear etc…not to be missed!
- 28 Place Vendôme, 75001 Paris
- 01 42 60 30 70