It’s almost interview season. Across colleges and graduate schools, students are en route back to campus, which means we’re all starting to think about the job search. While we prepare for interviews, we women must also face the daunting task of finding the perfect suit. While men have many options for perfectly tailored suits and shirts, women’s bodies are different, leaving us unmeasured, untailored, and unsatisfied with off-the-shelf suiting options. A button is sometimes too tight in one place, the shirt gapes in another, and the next size up is huge.
Women entrepreneurs are trying to change this.
After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, Rochelle Behren’s passion for political science and history brought her to our nation’s capital. Although armed with an Ivy League education, Rochelle felt that her credibility in this male-dominated field was often undermined – not by the quality of her ideas, but by the quality of her shirts. Rochelle could never find a button-down that fit her properly. Despite pins and double-sided tape, she felt insecure in the conservative professional environment of DC. In her time outside of work, she became obsessed with remedying this daily frustration. After days in the office, she experimented with creative ways to fix the bunches and create the perfect fit.
In 2008, she patented her Dual Button Technology� allowing her to wear slim-fitting button-down shirts, with hidden buttons that allowed her to adjust her shirt – and on her terms. Armed with a patent, Rochelle continued her full-time job but spent hours on the side building her company, now aptly named “The Shirt.”
The Shirt started with a cotton button-down that could be worn day to night. This signature shirt was named one of Oprah’s “Must Have Fashion Items” on the Oprah Winfrey Show, then featured in The New York Times and on E-News. When the Today Show called to request a daytime interview, Rochelle knew that she could no longer split her time: other women had experienced the same problem, were loving this solution, and The Shirt needed her full attention.
The Shirt has now expanded to a company of 14 employees and offers a growing collection of silk and print shirts. And Rochelle plans to continue innovating to further build a wardrobe for professional women.
So, Levo Leaguers, as you struggle to find the right fit when you’re looking for that confidence-building interview outfit, check out The Shirt!