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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

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Burgos, the centenary shirt shop and favorite of Felipe VI and Miguel Bosé

It was founded in 1906 in Madrid’s Calle de Cedaceros. Each shirt costs about 200 euros and from the beginning it was the favorite of aristocrats and businessmen. King Felipe does not wear a crown. Just FB.

Burgos, the shirt shop located in Cedaceros 2, has been open since 1906. And little has changed since then except for the clientele and its manager, Carmen Álvarez, granddaughter of Santiago Olave, a cutter who some years after opening bought the business from her boss, Julián P. Burgos.

Carmen came to the Burgos shirt shop 10 years ago. She used to work for a financial software company. “Very different from what I do now, but it helped me to see the shortcomings and what could be improved,” she says, concentrating on her notebook in which she writes down her measurements.

Entering Burgos is going back in time. A time when the rich were not Russian oligarchs or youtubers, nor were there petrodollars or bitcoins. Then things were done well and the clothes were not only worth a season, but could be retouched if over the years, they showed some wear. In Burgos, especially now with the crisis, they wear shirts from more than 40 years ago to fix cuffs and collars. And like new.

It is what happens when things are done well. That last and are timeless, because fashion passes but a good and tailored shirt … is forever. All the clients who have ordered shirts in Burgos for years know this, a shirt shop that compares in clientele and quality to the best shirts in Savile Row. That is why, Carmen says, 20% of Burgos’s clientele is foreign, a blessing in these times of crisis.

A couple of times a year, Carmen travels to London where clients appreciate the execution of a bespoke, hand-sewn shirt. Something that is becoming a rarity even in the English mecca, since even Turnbull & Asser have switched to industrial manufacturing. She also has clients in New York and California. “There they appreciate what we do because they have more fashion culture, they recognize fabrics, they know sewing … Here, since the crisis of 2008, people prefer to show off how cheap something has cost them than a quality garment that it’s going to last a lifetime. “

In Burgos, a custom shirt costs 200 euros. The tissues also influence. An industrial cotton is not the same as one with 300 yarns (threads per inch). “Here we have some cotton that is picked by hand on an island in Barbados.”

Five people work in Burgos and an endless number of seamstresses who lovingly assemble the shirts and embroider the initials. The customer can wear whatever he wants. There are crowns of duke, marquis. A man put on a crown because according to him he was the king of melons. Also, discreet in the sample book, an F.B. (without crown) which are the initials of King Felipe who, like many other clients, inherited a shirtmaker from his father. Everything, of course, is made in Spain. It fulfills the buzzwords: crafts, local commerce and sustainability. Because shirts not only do not go out of style but they can be recycled for little money.

In Burgos they prefer not to talk about their clients. There are some confessed like Alfonso Ussía or Arturo Pérez-Reverte. Also Miguel Bosé and Pascua Ortega. And other historical figures like Cary Grant, Orson Wells, Picasso or Ava Gardner, among others. Currently, Burgos also dresses the protagonists of Woody Allen’s films (even the filmmaker himself). And to Sharon Stone because tailored shirts are not just for men.

THE SUCCESS OF THE ROBES


They also make cashmere tebas, saharianas, guayaberas, over-shirts, pajamas, robes … “Curiously, we have sold a lot this year. As people had to stay at home. When the March lockdown ended, we began to open by appointment. But obviously you can see that foreigners and clients from other provinces cannot come “. They have regular buyers whose grandparents already made clothes in Burgos. “It’s funny because we launched a custom-made line that only costs 90 euros. Some young customers started buying these and then they have made a custom-made shirt. There is nothing like wearing a shirt that is made to measure and only for you”.

Five people work in Burgos and an endless number of seamstresses who lovingly assemble the shirts and embroider the initials. The customer can wear whatever he wants. There are crowns of duke, marquis. A man put on a crown because according to him he was the king of melons. Also, discreet in the sample book, an F.B. (without crown) which are the initials of King Felipe who, like many other clients, inherited a shirtmaker from his father. Everything, of course, is made in Spain. It fulfills the buzzwords: crafts, local commerce and sustainability. Because shirts not only do not go out of style but they can be recycled for little money.

In Burgos they prefer not to talk about their clients. There are some confessed like Alfonso Ussía or Arturo Pérez-Reverte. Also Miguel Bosé and Pascua Ortega. And other historical figures like Cary Grant, Orson Wells, Picasso or Ava Gardner, among others. Currently, Burgos also dresses the protagonists of Woody Allen’s films (even the filmmaker himself). And to Sharon Stone because tailored shirts are not just for men.

THE SUCCESS OF THE ROBES


They also make cashmere tebas, saharianas, guayaberas, over-shirts, pajamas, robes … “Curiously, we have sold a lot this year. As people had to stay at home. When the March lockdown ended, we began to open by appointment. But obviously you can see that foreigners and clients from other provinces cannot come “. They have regular buyers whose grandparents already made clothes in Burgos. “It’s funny because we launched a custom-made line that only costs 90 euros. Some young customers started buying these and then they have made a custom-made shirt. There is nothing like wearing a shirt that is made to measure and only for you”.

In the best of times, which were not those of the biutiful and the haircuts of the balls, a client ordered 300 shirts a year.

In Burgos you can apply what Oscar Wilde said about the Greeks. How paradoxical that the most modern they have invented.

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