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Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 10/23/2012

GQ makes over Capitol Hill staffers: Tighter pants, snazzier socks abound

Shelvin Simmons in GQ. (Mei Tao/GQ)
You’re doing it wrong, men of Capitol Hill! According to GQ, your trousers aren’t tight enough — and you're not flashing enough sock.

The iconic men’s magazine brought its fashion-forward sensibility to D.C., where it made over six young Hill staffers for its November issue.

Shelvin Simmons, the IT director for the Senate Committee on Banking, was walking through the halls of government on an errand in early August when he was stopped by a GQ scout — no doubt struck by the 34-year-old’s handsome grin and billowing pant legs. Though nervous, he agreed to submit to the makeover. He didn’t get to keep the $595 slim-fitting DKNY suit or the John Varvatos shirt and shoes, but was definitely inspired by the look, he told us. “I did go out and buy more stylish socks, and started using the pocket square.”

Max Engling in GQ. (Mei Tao/GQ)
But did the guys end up unrealistically fashionable? Max Engling, 25, a former model and staff assistant for the Committee on House Administration (whom GQ scouts likely discovered when he topped The Hill newspaper’s “50 Most Beautiful” list, memorably posing in a black leather blazer) doubts his new look has a future in his government life, where “if you dress that forward, you can come across as trying too hard or not taking your job seriously enough.” He said he loved the $590 J. Crew suit but it “was aggressively fitted, and not conducive to spending a day in.”

GQ’s contributing stylist, Brian Coats, admits they went to some extremes for the sake of the shoot. But he insists the slim-cut message is an important one for Washington men.

“One thing we encourage a guy to do is get a suit that fits them well. Something that simple can be revolutionary for a guy,” he said. “A lot of these guys work out. They’re really fit! But you’d never know it from the blousy pirate shirts they wear.”

Read GQ’s Project Upgrade: Capitol Hill Edition from the November 2012 issue; online version includes two extra staffer makeovers that didn’t make it into print.

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By  |  05:00 AM ET, 10/23/2012

Categories:  Politics

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