What I Wear to Work: Sara Naghedi

The handbag designer sticks to the classics for easy dressing.

Sara Naghedi poses in an off-the-shoulder dress in her work-from-home office
(Image credit: Photographed by Molly Zacher)

In a bi-weekly series, we're interviewing female executives, founders, CEOs—basically, boss ladies—on their "power suit," a.k.a. the outfit they wear every day for easy dressing to conquer whatever the job throws at them.

For Sara Naghedi, everything changed in 2015 when she became a mother. She was no longer proud of her work at the fast-fashion brand where she had spent a decade as a bag designer.

In 2016, as a side project and a creative outlet, the new mother began to design a handful of seasonless handbags on her own terms—which, for Naghedi, meant ethically and sustainably produced in small batches. In 2020, she decided there was no better time to shift her career focus, and Naghedi, her eponymous handbag line, became a full-time job.

The collection, known for its versatile handwoven neoprene totes —great for traveling and work—started as a direct-to-consumer brand. Stores like Bloomingdales and Shopbop have since picked it up.

As a result, the entrepreneur has been busier than ever. We sat down with the designer to chat about home office wardrobes, investment pieces, and mood-boosting fashion.

Handbag designer Sara Saghedi and one of her bags from the latest collection

(Image credit: Photographed by Molly Zacher)

On Her Morning Routine:

I have three children, a 5-year-old daughter, and 3-year-old twin boys. They've been waking up early and not affording me the chance to get ready for the day. Ideally, I'd like to do that. Every day is a little different for me. The mornings are hectic, and my kids run my schedule. Sometimes I work out after dropping them off at school, and then I come home and change for the day. One significant change for us in COVID was that we left our showroom. My co-founder and I now work from home.

On Her Work-From-Home Uniform:

In the summer months, I wear dresses, dresses, dresses. It's a no-brainer in the morning, but I feel put together. When I want a minimalist aesthetic, I love Toteme and Jil Sander. 

I just bought a beautiful cotton Jil Sander dress that I plan to wear in the summer. I can dress it up or dress it down— you can't go wrong with that.

For feminine pieces, I reach for Agua Bendita. I am obsessed with them right now. Looking at their dresses makes me happy.

Sara Naghedi at home in a white dress

(Image credit: Photographed by Molly Zacher)

On Her Shopping Philosophy: 

When you're in this line of work, you are constantly browsing. It's essential to see what's out there— but I try not to shop too frequently. 

I always loved going into stores and shopping. I wouldn't say I like the whole return process, and I'd like to try things on and make sure they fit. But since COVID, I've transitioned to more online shopping.

Seasonally, I ask myself what I might need, like a replacement jacket, a blazer, or a sweater.

I was never big on trends. I like classics. I've moved towards purchasing long-lasting pieces in the past five or six years. I know that those higher-priced items will stay in my closet.

Shop Sara's Favorite Pieces

Sara Holzman
Style Director

Sara Holzman is the Style Director at Marie Claire, covering runway trends and tracking down the latest finds to buy and wear. When she’s not writing about fashion, she pens about the best places to jet-off to. Over her six years with Marie Claire, Sara has reported on the ever-evolving world of fashion— covering both established and emerging designers within the industry. Sara has held fashion positions at Lucky and SELF Magazine and was a regular contributor to Equinox’s Furthermore website, where she wrote across their style, wellness, and travel verticals. She holds a degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri, Columbia, and currently resides in Manhattan. Follow her along at @sarajonewyork.