Rochelle Behrens, a lobbyist at Quinn Gillespie & Associates, has developed a women’s businessshirt that doesn’t gape at the buttons, revealing more than the wearer intended. This is apparently a big problem especially for business women who find male colleagues distracted, and themselves taken less seriously.
“The one item in a woman’s wardrobe that is supposed to project professionalism ends up undermining your credibility,” Behrens says. “I wanted it to be youthful, to be fresh. I wanted it to look like myself. I wanted to wear things that were not form-fitting but that were tailored. And no matter how much I spent, button-down shirts never fit across the bust. I would safety-pin my shirts from inside.”
Ms. Behrens hired a pattern cutter who had worked for Diane Von Furstenberg and the Row, and the two set to work reworking the classic shirt, rearranging the buttons, and so on, until gape was eliminated. The shirts are now available in Blommingdales and are expected to sell 10,000 by the end of 2011.