The 6 best men’s shops in Paris you’ve Never Heard of
Paris is having a big moment in menswear. Alongside the French capital’s designers, couturiers and age-old luxury bastions (think Charvet shirts, Hermès scarves and Aubercy shoes, for example) a fresh generation of new and reinvigorated houses are stepping into the limelight. Next time you visit, keep these six in mind. From bespoke bomber jackets designed with contemporary flair, to an eyewear maker championing avant-garde glasses, these are the menswear brands to visit next time you’re in town.
Photo: Courtesy of Husbands
If want to invest in Parisian tailoring, but aren’t interested in waiting 12 weeks and going through three fittings to get it, Husbands should be your first stop. Founded by Nicolas Gabard in 2016, the tailoring house delivers handmade suiting and separates with minimalistic styling. The clean, form-fitting lines of Gabard’s clothes are the tailoring equivalent of the perfect gin martini—smooth and sharp. Pick up a classic navy fresco or mid-grey flannel suit, or even his signature double-breasted camelhair blazer, and it will flatter you like nothing else. Two-piece suits start at around $2300.
Lafayette Saltiel Drapiers
Photo: Courtesy of Lafayette Satiel
You can take the tailored experience even one step further with totally unique fabrics, and for this you’ll want to visit Lafayette Saltiel Drapiers, the fabric merchant that specializes in sourcing rare and vintage cloths for bespoke tailoring. It’s a family-run business, with all the charm you’d expect of a proud independent firm that’s been around since 1925. Current paterfamilias, Virgil Viret, (who took on Lafayette from his grandfather) has a keen eye for unusual designs and exotic materials, so if you’ve got an idea for a distinctive checked sport coat, or are struggling to choose the right shade of blue for your next suit, you’ll find it here. Fabrics start around $130 per metre.
Photo: Courtesy of Beige
An independent men’s outfitter with distinctive Parisian flair, Beige Habilleur is the French equivalent of stores like The Armoury in New York or Bryceland’s & Co. in Hong Kong. Beige opened its doors in 2016, the joint brainchild of friends Basile Khadiry and Jean-Baptiste Ménestrier, and (in Khadiry’s words) aims to “deliver the best in each product category that we can find–which often means going overseas.” Here, you will uncover cult Japanese brands that are seriously tricky to come by, including Camoshita separates (from around $420), Coherence outerwear (from around $2100) and Doek sneakers (around $270), as well the likes of Paraboot shoes, John Smedley rollnecks and Inis Meáin knitwear.
Photo: Courtesy of Holiday Boileau
There’s a curious story behind Holiday Boileau. In its first form, it was an American travel magazine that launched in the 1940s. That’s long since gone, but the brand was revived in Paris a few years back. Today, it’s a go-to among the city’s style cognoscenti for modern casualwear staples. Whether the perfect crewneck T-shirt, Breton-striped jersey sweater or selvedge denim jeans, Holiday’s menswear (from around $135) is the perfect pit-stop to plug gaps in your weekend wardrobe. There’s also a superb vintage store nestled beneath Holiday’s shop on the Rue Parent de Rosan, which is well worth a look too.
Maison Bonnet is one of the finest eyewear makers on the planet—and that’s not an exaggeration. A family-owned firm with a rich heritage, Maison Bonnet occupies a stunning two-floor showroom in the heart of the Palais Royal’s leafy gardens. While ready-to-fit frames are available, the house specialises in hand-crafting bespoke frames and sunglasses (around $3200) from an array of vintage materials; including exclusive acetates, natural buffalo horn and real vintage tortoiseshell. The bespoke process for a single pair of glasses includes a fitting to take 12 different measurements, an eye exam, two to nine months of painstaking manufacturing (depending on the material used) and between 12 to 30 hours of handwork in its atelier. While your Maison Bonnet glasses won’t be the quickest specs you’ve ever picked up, they will be the finest you’ll wear.
Photo: Courtesy of Chapal
Founded in 1832, Chapal is a wonderfully eccentric brand. Visit its appointment-only showroom off the Rue de Rivoli, and you’ll discover a maker that oozes old-school French glamour. The company was founded as a leather tannery, but quickly diversified into making robust leather driving and aviator jackets for wealthy jet-setters. In 1914, the house became an official supplier of flight jackets to the French Airforce, and today its bespoke leather bombers (from around $4200) are the stuff of legend. True to those the house was making in the early 20th century, its bespoke pieces are still made from skins that are unique to Chapal, finished with a crisp, varnished look. Better still, the company is run by the 6th generation of the family, Jean François Bardinon, who loves nothing better than talking curious visitors through his company’s history, and delights in fitting clients in Chapal’s finest jackets too. If you’re in the market for an investment-grade bomber like no other, this is the place to visit.