Rochelle Behrens Improves the Classic Button-Down Shirt

Rochelle Behrens is the creator of The Shirt, a women’s button-down shirt that fits properly and does not gape at the bust. A former lobbyist for a public affairs firm in Washington, DC, Behrens would always pin her button-down shirts from the inside to keep them from gaping at the chest. One morning before work, she was pinning her shirt and saw that it was hole-poked and wrinkled. Behrens had a flash of inspiration, and she designed a shirt with a hidden placket and buttons to prevent gaping and eliminate the need for safety pins.

In 2008, Behrens invested $50,000 of her own money to secure a patent for her No Gape design, have a prototype made, and produce a few hundred shirts. She then invited some of her friends to a trunk show at her apartment, and The Shirt ended up being featured on Politico, NPR, and The Today Show. In late 2010, Behrens was able to get her shirt into the hands of the staff at the Oprah Winfrey Show. They called her back within 24 hours, saying they wanted to include her product on the show. In January, The Shirt was featured as a fashion must-have for 2011.

The Shirt, which started out with one product and one employee (Behrens), has expanded dramatically since its inception. Behrens has added more fits and designs, all of which have the No Gape button technology seamlessly designed into the garment. The Shirt is sold online and at boutiques and department stores across America, including Fred Segal, Bloomingdale’s, Von Maur, National Jean Company, Beyond Cotton, Sherman Pickey, and Cooper Penny.

Behrens remains involved in every aspect of the design process to ensure that the shirts fit perfectly and are made from high-quality fabrics. She loves creating products that help women look chic and confident.

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