Wondering what to wear to work this season? You need look no further
Argent is the clothing brand that caters to a new generation of assertive, professional women who want to set their own fashion agenda and know exactly what to wear to work each day.
Launched in 2016, this progressive fashion line offers women simple wardrobe options and functionality in the form of reversible suits, wrinkle-free work clothes, lightweight moisture-wicking fabric – and an abundance of pockets for cellphones and lipsticks.
Today, office outfits by Argent helps businesswomen know what to wear to work and dress smarter on the go. This brand has fast become their go to label for stylish work clothes including dresses, pants, tops and blazers where they can chose from an array of bold colors and prints and tell the working world how it is.
Co founders are the former tech exec Sali Christeson and fashion designer, Eleanor Turner who set out to release a cutting-edge collection of office outfits that cleverly fused an avant-garde feel with appropriate runway-ready workwear designs.
For so long, women’s work apparel has been a sea of grey and beige, with the same uninteresting shapes and styles
Here, Sali and Eleanor tell Nativa World how their work clothes and office outfits cater to professional women whilst their brand is revolutionizing the fashion industry and building a new community at the same time
What’s unique about your fashion brand?
Sali: Argent was born out of personal experience. I saw firsthand at my job in the tech world and then national studies confirmed a sad truth – women in the workplace are judged by what they wear, and the fact is, a woman’s appearance can affect her career trajectory. Rather than do nothing, we decided to leverage this awareness for working women by creating clothing that works ‘with’ women.
We decided on three goals for the brand:
- Solve a real problem with our product
- Create community and
- Initiate change
We understand that to initiate change you have to have a strong community. As such we’ve created one that goes beyond the clothes and provides crucial tools for achieving professional goals.
Eleanor: Our products are really unique. All of our pieces are thoughtfully created with the day-to-day needs of the working woman in min. Beyond that, the garments are stylish, comfortable, and easy to mix and match for any professional setting. For so long, women’s work apparel has been a sea of grey and beige, with the same uninteresting shapes and styles appearing season after season. We needed to change that. We use innovative design (including some patented techniques) to solve day to day problems that have eluded women’s workwear designers for decades – pockets that don’t compromise aesthetic, a fully reversible suit, and more. Our pieces feature interior pockets in blazers, elastic bands in blouses so you don’t have to roll your sleeves, a jumpsuit with a back tuck so you don’t have to remove the whole thing to use the restroom. Through our direct-to-consumer model, we’re able to offer garments with premium fabrics and high quality construction – unbeatable value for our price point.
When traveling, the last thing you want to do is worry about your clothing, so we’ve made it super easy to pack lightly
How do Argent work clothes and office outfits appeal to professional women and help them know what to wear to work?
Sali: Rather than being for women, Argent was created to work with women. Our goal isn’t to be the “next” of a familiar women’s workwear brand. Instead our goal is to take women’s workwear to the next level.
Eleanor: When we first started talking about Argent and what it was going to be, I knew I didn’t want it to be just another line of work clothing, I wanted to use design to solve problems. I talked extensively with working women, from lawyers to tech leaders to creatives, and brought my own personal experience to address similar pain points. I knew we could engineer functionality into great design to create a completely new category.
All of our work clothes have three categories that range in style from startup to corporate. The three style categories are:
- Think: denim. Casual, creative and dressing up your jeans
- Think: slacks and tops. No blazer, no problem
- Think: suit separates and dresses.
These designs are made for women on the go. For example, our reversible pieces are great for trips because you can minimize packing by bringing along one suit that offers two separate outfits. Plus, our clothing has pockets to fit your phone, ID, tampons, etc. We know that when traveling, the last thing you want to do is worry about your clothing, so we’ve made it super easy to pack lightly.
Recognizing how significant dress is on both people’s perception of you and thus your performance, but also your confidence, I set out to solve the problem
Additional features in our work clothes and office outfits include:
• Moisture wicking material
• Our jumpsuit with a zipper at the waist
• 4-way reversible options
• The ponte dress has a UVB of 30 and is moisture wicking and breathable
All of these things were strategically incorporated to enhance the working woman’s day and make it easier for her to get up and get to work.
How did you come to work together?
Sali: Having most recently worked in the tech world, I gained exposure to an environment where no real dress code has been established for women (compared to the male hoodie and jeans). Prior to that I’d worked in banking and supply chain roles and was always frustrated by the void of workwear options that I actually wanted to wear. Recognizing how significant dress is on both people’s perception of you and thus your performance, but also your confidence, I set out to solve the problem. After making the decision to quit my job, El and I were introduced through a mutual friend and I came to El with the idea of a women’s work apparel company.
Eleanor: I was skeptical of the idea at first, but we went shopping together and I saw firsthand what the category was like. From Neimans to Barney’s, we witnessed the same thing – every sale associate directed us to formal suiting without even asking us what we do. On top of that, we really struggled to find anything that was appropriate for a modern day working woman. That shopping trip changed my perspective and inspired me to From there, Argent was born.
It’s a time of uncertainty, a time when we need each other, we need reinforcements. I used that as inspiration for the collection
Which are the key items in the collection?
Eleanor: For the fall line, we launched fully reversible, all high-quality made-in-America suiting options. Some of our key items include the single layer reversible blazer, the basketweave tie blazer, and our reversible trousers. We’re also introducing microfiber pocketing, which is perfect for both storing items and cleaning your glasses or phone screen on the go.
When creating these pieces specifically for fall, we wanted to take our woman to an even more versatile place, especially with the success of the reversible suit in Fall 16. Functionality is the birthplace of American Style, so I started referencing images from women in the wild west. In a lot of ways, women are still living in the wild west today – it’s a time of uncertainty, a time when we need each other, we need reinforcements. I used that as inspiration for the collection – you can see it come through in bold topstitching, exploded ginghams, odd plaid colorways, bold colors like midwestern turquoise or jade. In terms of proportion, I’ve been really into shopping vintage this season, so you’ll see the proportions give a slight nod to old Levis and other workwear. And then we always put our playful, ironic spin on things.
Our Crossover Blazer and Staple Trouser continue to be our some of our most popular in terms of suiting. We’re seeing women return to the brand for the crossover blazer because of the comfort and versatility. This blazer effortlessly moves from casual to formal and is easy to style with anything. We provide structured pieces in vibrant colorways to further our goal of ensuring that dressing for work is exciting and functional.
Our goal is to build a community for those who take charge, make noise, and drop-kick the glass ceiling and in five years or ten years that will look different from what it does today
Which pieces have been the most popular work clothes and office outfits?
Eleanor: We’ve seen an outpouring of support for Argent. Our most popular pieces to date have been our blazers, and the jumpsuit, and most recently the reversible suit – women seem to really appreciate the appeal of having two outfits in one, not to mention the hassle of packing and planning are virtually nonexistent. We took note of our customers’ feedback and made sure to implement these features into our fall line.
We expect that as the line continues to grow, Argent will evolve with the professional woman. When we began, we identified some things she needed now and offered her those options. We will continue to strive to provide her what she needs in the future. Our goal is to build a community for those who take charge, make noise, and drop-kick the glass ceiling and in five years or ten years that will look different from what it does today.
Photography courtesy of Argent