Shirt (French cuff)

Charvet Place Vendôme

Established 1838

The history of the French cuff shirt is unknown. Some claim it was born because Napoleon ordered extra-long sleeves for his soldiers to wipe their noses and to fold the excess back to hide the evidence. Others say that Napoleon ordered them to stop his soldiers wiping their noses on their cuffs. What we do know is that the French cuff first appeared in the novel ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ by Alexandre Dumas, where we can read a detailed description of Baron Danglar’s cuffs and cufflinks.

Dumas must have been inspired by Charvet Place Vendôme, the world’s first ever shirt shop, located at 28 Place Vendôme in Paris. Founded in 1838, Charvet produces and sells bespoke and ready-to-wear shirts to kings, princes and heads of state. Its exceptionally long history is associated with many famous customers, some of them infatuated with the brand. Also, as seen in Dumas’ novel, writers have often expressed their characters’ identity through references to Charvet.

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Photo credits
© Charvet Place Vendôme, Paris, France

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