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Finally, a Line of Office-Ready Outfits You’ll Actually Feel (And Look) Good In

Few phrases can inspire such a deep, existential sigh from within as “office attire.” The familiar, humdrum parade of chinos and ladylike blouses is enough to inspire dread in the staunchest of psyches. Where are the sharp-looking styles for women whose workplaces may not be permissive enough to make 501s and Vetements hoodies a fit? That gaping, millennial-shaped hole in the $34.9 billion annual workwear market is what one new apparel brand, Argent, aims to address.
Debuting for Spring ’16, the line is the brainchild of Sali Christeson, CEO and an alum of the corporate and tech worlds, and Eleanor Turner, the CCO who cut her teeth on the design teams of Tory BurchJ.Crew, and Tommy Hilfiger. The duo are aiming to bring the cool factor to 9-to-5 attire—but take the guesswork out of getting dressed in the increasingly murky sartorial waters of settings like, say, Silicon Valley (though not limited to it: Turner describes their customer as “anyone from lawyers to finance—the working woman”). “I can only speak from experience,” Christeson offers, “but for me, I want it to be really easy and prescriptive. I don’t really know how to go and piece together the right outfit, per se. I think for Eleanor, it’s really easy; she’s comfortable with fashion. For me, I want to be working! And I want to look great and feel great.”
The pair’s answer? A launch lineup of three blazer styles, three trouser styles, a jumpsuit, two dresses, four tops, all easily mixed and matched—in particular thanks to the company’s style guides, which offer closet solutions based on the level of formality your workplace adheres to. Produced almost wholly in midtown Manhattan, their creations have already drawn the affections of trailblazing types like Pinterest engineer Tracy Chou, who tweeted about her recent immersion into the world of Argent, adding, “now the proud owner of my first jumpsuit.” Separates come kitted out with savvy touches, from iPhone pockets to ID badge loops. Every bit as noteworthy as the kicky palette of tomato reds and sweetly boyish checks is the price point: Said jumpsuit will set you back just $298, while blazers top out the range at $330. A full, sharply tailored suit that comes in around the $500 mark is about as unheard of in the work world as, say, an office fridge well stocked with micro-batch cold brew, so we’d wager that Argent is about to find a whole lot of new fans.
“[How you dress] impacts your career trajectory,” Christeson says. “Perception has a huge impact on where you land in terms of your career, and a lot of that’s defined by your outfits. It’s not fair, truly, but why can’t we take control and at least solve that”—so that their shopper can focus on the stuff that really matters. “It’s a moral obligation,” as Turner tells it, “to actually solve problems, rather than just give [the customer] more garments.” Sounds like good business to us.
(C) ristin Anderson for Vogue, May 25, 2016

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