Paris is loaded with fascinating public spaces that have historical interest. Few cities have more, and fewer still embrace their traditions the way Parisians do.
One of those historic establishments is the shirt maker Charvet.
The world’s first ever shirt shop, Charvet was founded in 1838. Since the 19th century, it has supplied bespoke shirts and haberdashery to kings, princes and heads of state. It has acquired an international reputation for the high quality of its products, the level of its service and the wide range of its designs and colors. Thanks to the renown of its ties, charvet has become a generic name for a certain type of silk fabric used for ties.
BTW, the founder’s father had been curator of the wardrobe of Napoleon. That gave Christofle Charvet a great head start. But there was something else going on
Christofle Charvet created the first shirtmaker store in Paris, for which the new term chemisier (shirtmaker) was coined. Previously, shirts were generally made by linen keepers with fabric provided by the customer,but in this store of a new kind, clients were measured, fabric selected and shirts made on site.[The development of this specialty trade was favored by a change in men’s fashion, with more importance given to the waistcoat and the shirt collar, which called for more propositions for the shirt front and a technical change. Previously, shirts were cut by linen keepers entirely of rectangles and squares. There were no shaping seams and no need for shirt patterns. The new interest for a closer fitting shirt led to curving the armhole and neckline or adding a shoulder yoke, by application to the shirt of tailoring techniques. The new kind of shirt was called chemise à pièce (yoked shirt). Alan Flusser credits Christofle Charvet with the original design of a collar that could be turned down or folded, much in the manner of contemporary collars, and the concept of the detachable collar.
In those days, the most elegant men belonged to the “Jockey Club”. Charvet advertised himself as shirt maker to the club. Who could resist that?
And if stories like the above interest you, check out this list of other Parisian destination locations! Most important, enjoy!