Gussying Up Government

Posted March 5, 2012 at 11:57pm

A former Congressional staffer with a penchant for primping so wants to help lawmakers stand out that he has sewn up a slew of fashion-forward vendors for a style event on Capitol Hill.

James Williams II understands the rigors of wanting to look good while working in the Capitol. He spent time in the offices of former Sen. J. Bennett Johnston (D-La.) and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) before hopping the professional fence to lobby on various issues, including hazardous waste and natural resources. But given that his family owned a haberdashery in Louisiana, dressing sharp has always been paramount.

His latest venture, A Stylish Way of Life, aims to bridge his personal and professional goals by offering image consulting to the sartorially challenged.

Former Rep. Albert Wynn (D-Md.) confessed to so admiring Williams’ look — “He was always one of the best-dressed men on the Hill” — that he has since become a client.

“I’m not obsessed with fashion … but I do like to present myself in the best possible light,” Wynn said.

He’s not done anything as radical as a full makeover, but Wynn said he’s turned to Williams for everything from proper pocket square folding techniques to shirt-tie matching recommendations. “He’s on the money every time,” Wynn gushed.

Williams hopes additional Congress-types will come under his spell after the March 18 men’s clothing showcase/custom fitting event that he’s scheduled from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the neighboring Jenkins Row complex (1391 Pennsylvania Ave. SE).

“I’m going to tell … a couple of chiefs of staff that I know,” Wynn said.