Originally Posted by poorsod
I'm surprised there were issues that they couldn't fully resolve. One of the reasons for me to try Charvet was to see if I can learn something. I was trying to learn if there were certain details that I liked and could get CEGO to copy. It is much easier for me to make something local than from a far. Another detail I like is the way they do the skirt. Their hand sown and shanked buttons are very tight.
Was it the shape or the stiffness of their collar that you didn't like?
Well, those button shanks are the only hand sewing on the entire shirt. One can debate whether that makes a difference, but if you are interested in hand-sewing, then charvet is undoubtedly the wrong choice. On the collars, Charvet collars are patch fused (not to the fabric of the collar, but to another piece of the lining of the collar). Some people like the stiffness that this creates. I prefer not to have it. Again, that is just a personal choice. As to whether there are issues that they can't fully resolve, the distance is, for me, an issue. I'm in Paris at least three times a year and I still found it hard to get to something I was truly happy with. However, if I lived down the street, I believe that would change. The final issue that they won't resolve, and have no interest in resolving, is durability. These are not shirts that are made for a long life of hard living (and by hard living, I mean twice-a-month wear). If your charvet shirt falls apart after two or three wears, then you get a new shirt, no questions asked. If it falls apart after 5 or 6 wears, well, you have a charvet shirt.
That being said, there are great things about charvet. I'm nobody special, and while I'm fortunate enough to be able to indulge this ludicrous habit, the people at Charvet couldn't have known that when I first walked in. Nonetheless, they treat me like the most important customer they've ever had, and I've order fewer than 20 shirts. The fabric selection is amazing in terms of color and pattern (although they only cover the pieces of the spectrum that run from extremely delicate to incredibly delicate) and the shopping experience is truly memorable. If I needed a tuxedo shirt, or something incredibly form fitting for a particular occasion, I would use charvet. As you note, the length of the shirts (it will seem like a nightgown if you are used to anything else) is appropriate and makes almost everything else seem inadequate.
A lot of my issues most likely seem like hair splitting. If you are playing in that space and can afford those shirts, durability may not be a concern. I'd pay for the process just to be able to explore the shop at place vendome. But in my view, the end product isn't better than what you can get in many places around the globe. By the way, don't sleep on their ability to make suits. Take the elevator up and there is a world that generally isn't discussed but is quite wonderful.