A year and a half ago, Sali Christeson and Eleanor Turner launched Argent, a workwear brand catering to spunky, modern women. They’ve made a name for themselves by creating garments that are full of functional little details–like keycard holders and pockets, which are surprisingly hard to come by in women’s professional clothing. Hillary Clinton often appears in Argent outfits, among other well-known women, like Brooklyn Decker and Huma Abedin.
Recently, Christeson and Turner have been thinking about how to take functionality up a notch. They landed on reversibility. While the idea of a garment that can be worn inside out is very popular in the world of children’s clothing (a reversible T-shirt is basically magic to a three-year-old), in workwear, reversibility can actually have practical value. For instance, it means you can carry fewer garments while traveling, since each piece can be worn two ways.
Back in 2016, Argent launched an entirely reversible suit–both pants and blazer can be worn inside out. That outfit was so successful that the brand has now launched an entire line of reversible clothes, from tops to dresses to suits.
From a design perspective, it takes many steps to make an outfit truly reversible. Take the tweed V-neck dress, for instance. The hems and the stitches need to be carefully positioned so they look good on both sides. There also need to be pockets on both sides, and they need to be sewn in such a way that the stitches don’t show through on the other side. “For me, it’s not just designing,” says Turner, who designs each garment. “It’s about engineering solutions to problems for an ignored market.”