Two Twenty Something’s ditch their 9-5 to tackle your fashion needs.
By Ursula Lauriston
No guts, no glory. That’s the mantra more and more Twenty Something’s are living by these days. Facing a tough job market, single-dom, and the ever-daunting challenge of finding oneself, young people are taking surprisingly creative routes and striking gold.
Meet David Barnes. A former Press Secretary for a prominent congressional committee, the 28 year old started his own image consulting company after countless colleagues asked him to take them shopping.
Name: David Baldwin Barnes
Relationship Status: Single
Occupation: Founder of Gait Consulting
Twenty Something: Is there a method to the madness? How do you approach each client?
David Barnes: I assess my client’s goals, not they’re favorite name brand. I have to know how they view life and people and society. You can wear the most expensive clothing and still look terrible. It’s about using clothing to project a certain attitude. Clothing is an avenue to project your view on life.
TS: What do you think we get wrong when dressing up?
DB: For both men and women, it’s the fit. You can be wearing an Yves St Laurent suit and it will look like it’s from Wal-Mart if the fit isn’t just right. Get your clothes tailored!
TS: What are some quick ways a guy can upgrade his wardrobe?
DB: Make sure to take your shirts and your suits to get altered. When you buy a suit add about $100 for tailoring. It costs $15 to get your shirts altered–so do it! People ask me everyday how expensive my suits are. I never spend that much but I look like a million bucks.
TS: What about women? What do we forget?
DB: Women in this town try to downplay they’re physical appearance. They want to be taken seriously. And I understand that but I think its unfortunate. I think you can look good and still project intelligence and power. Attention is not a bad thing. If you’re good at what you do and people happen to notice you’re attractive that only helps you.
More of David’s favorites:
Meet Rochelle Behrens. The 28 year old created The Shirt after being fed up by shirts that did not properly fit her bust area. Today, The Shirt is made in countless different colors and styles and was added on this year’s list of Oprah’s Favorite Things!
Name: Rochelle Behrens
Relationship Status: Has a “man-panion”
Occupation: Founder and CEO of The Shirt
TS: How did the idea for The Shirt come about?
RB: I worked at a Public Affairs firm and dressed up everyday. In an attempt to dress professionally I found that I was showing my bra and skin to everyone and undermining my own potential by overexposing myself. I was really self-conscious about it so after years of safety-pinning my shirt I got the idea for The Shirt.
TS: How did you feel when The Shirt was named one of Oprah’s Favorite Things?
RB: It was truly a tremendous reward. But beyond that it’s an incredible platform to expose my idea to everyone. Women everywhere have been struggling with this and I wanted to help.
TS: While building this business, was there ever a rock bottom?
RB: Never. There has never been one moment that this has not been successful. You have to believe in your product and yourself vehemently so no one can destroy it. I’ve never believed in anything like I do my company.
TS: What would you tell someone with an idea?
RB: The best ideas generally improve things that are already there. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Just make the wheel better.
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Ursula Lauriston is the author of Twenty Something, a social diary blog where she sounds off weekly on dating, D.C nightlife and events, career etiquette, and more. During the day, Ursula stays in step with the pulse of DC with her work as a Deputy Press Secretary on Capitol Hill. Follow her on twitter @urdiggy.