The Wonder of Wolford

by Christen

All I’ve heard about Wolford since I started working at The Shoe Hive in April is that they are the best tights ever. They feel great on, they don’t run and they last forever. Or so our customers say. I have to admit that prior to my Shoe Hive arrival, I was not familiar with the brand beyond mere name recognition. So, I spent several hours yesterday familiarizing myself with our Wolford selection. I was in for a lesson in luxury.

I was first impressed with the variety. Variety in weight, pattern, color and fit. But then this morning I arrived to work wearing a new dress. The dress was much lighter (read: sheerer) than I thought, which I only discovered after having left my house. I decided to snatch up a pair of the black Wolford shorts so I didn’t feel quite so exposed. As I write this, I’ve been wearing them for 8 hours and I can honestly say that I get it. I get why our customers are so enamored. I haven’t once felt uncomfortable or restricted. I will definitely be investing in a few other pairs of various lengths before it gets really cold–probably a black patterned stocking and the opaque tights in a couple of colors.

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And of course, minutes after I had put on my new “shorts,” a new-to-the-Hive customer unknowingly commented on our Wolford selection as well. Just this morning she read a review of Wolford’s Mat Opaque 80 on Refinery29. The author claims that after aggregating sales data, editorial recommendations and product reviews, the Mat Opaque 80 was named the Best Black Tight. The very best, folks. So there you have it.

PS: I searched for the review, and it looks like it was published in February of this year. Here you go.

Gigi Trunk Show – Free In-Store Monogramming & 20% Off

We are hosting Gigi New York for a special weekend event to launch the holiday season. Our rep will be bringing with her a host of bags, clutches and other small leather goods that can be monogrammed for free at the store before you leave. A great idea for gifts! We will also have a few special trunk show bag styles and more of the very popular pony hair bags and clutches that flew out of the store earlier this month. And the best part of all of it? All Gigi bags during this time will be 20% off!

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(Click on the image for a larger version.)

All Hunter Boots Are 30% Off!

We were going to start this promotion on Friday as a pre-Halloween weekend treat, but given the downpour this morning we thought you might appreciate the discount a few days early. Starting today and going through Sunday, all of our Hunter boots will be 30% off. We have a variety of styles, heights, colors and widths. Stop in to find the perfect pair for you!

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Alicia Adams Alpaca

We are going to feature these same photos on www.AlexandriaStylebook.com tomorrow but we wanted to share this first with our own blog’s followers…especially since the photos submitted are of a good friend of mine, Madelyn.

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I recently discovered Alicia Adams Alpaca, a family business which specializes in the design and production of textiles and clothing utilizing the natural and sustainable characteristics of one of the rarest and most luxurious materials–alpaca wool. Alicia Adams Alpaca, Inc. raises and manages a herd of over 200 Suri alpacas at a beautiful farm in New York’s Hudson Valley. The animals are docile and friendly, easy to keep and according to Alicia Adams herself “fun to farm.” The farm also happens to be her home, where she lives with her young family.

The alpacas at the farm are shorn yearly and their fiber processed into yarns for home wares and accessories as well as clothing. That’s where we come in. I was immediately smitten with their wide selection of cozy blankets, but doubted that it would make much sense for The Shoe Hive to start selling blankets. Luckily, the company readily agreed to transform my favorite color combinations and dyes into wraps and capes, just for The Shoe Hive. We’ve already sold out of the four double-sided capes that we brought in, but we still have a handful of the wraps–as seen on Madelyn here.

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The alpaca wool these wraps are made of is fine, durable, hypoallergenic and lightweight. And the prints are beautiful and versatile. We no longer have the exact one Madelyn is wearing (they’re going quickly!) but remaining color combinations in store are brown, black and white; tan and navy; orange and navy. We are lucky to have such incredible textiles at The Shoe Hive and whether you get one for yourself or make one a special holiday gift, we know you’ll love them too.

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The S’well Bottle

It wasn’t so long ago that I arrived at Mind the Mat in Del Ray very early one weekday morning for my once-a-year hot yoga class. If I’m going to do anything that early in the morning, coffee is a must…before and after. I had come prepared, my coffee in an insulated cup. I left the cup in the car during class, with every hope and expectation of finding my coffee still warm…perhaps even hot… when I returned to my vehicle post-yoga. This was not the case. In just an hour’s time, my coffee had grown cold and undrinkable.

Frustrated, I began searching for a better alternative. Which is when I discovered S’well bottles at Kiskadee. The bottles are beautifully crafted and composed of non-leaching, non-toxic stainless steel that will actually keep your drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12. And yes, they really do work. I use mine all the time. I even keep soup in mine for lunch sometimes, and it stays hot until I’m ready to eat. A friend of mine takes her white wine in it to shows at Wolf Trap, which I think is kind of genius.

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Even better? The bottles are super stylish. While at the Gift Show in Atlanta recently, I fell in love with the hand-painted Textiles Collection and decided to carry them at The Shoe Hive. We currently have three styles, each available in two sizes.

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Tip: They make great hostess gifts, stocking stuffers for college students or birthday presents for the friends who already have everything!

the stylebook fall 2014 lookbook is live!

For the past several months, we, along with the rest of the Alexandria Stylebook team, have been working hard on a Fall 2014 Lookbook. And it just went live this morning! We could not be more excited. 20 pages of clothing, shoes, jewelry, bags, furniture and our favorite fall beauty products too! Our goal was to put something together that would give you a sense of what you can find in our stores but also something that would inform and inspire your style this fall and winter. Below is one of the looks that I wore, but to see the complete lookbook, head on over to www.AlexandriaStylebook.com.

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I am wearing a printed top from Kiskadee and black denim from Coco Blanca. Actually, both stores have a great denim selection! The jewelry is mostly Asha (of course) and Alexis Bittar (again, of course) from The Shoe Hive. The earrings are by new-to-the-Hive designer Heather Benjamin. Her work is incredible. The shoes I’m wearing are some of our favorites from Stuart Weitzman. But for those of you who are comfortable wearing stilettos, the printed fur and mesh booties by DVF pictured on the right are crazy good.

what’s that sole?

by Christen

So, I’m embarrassed to say that as I was researching a bit for this blog post, I started to get really confused. I couldn’t figure out why my very scientific Google search for “lug soles” wasn’t turning up any information of value. It wasn’t until Elizabeth pointed out that I had lug soles and gum soles mixed up that I realized my mistake. #blondemoment

Indeed, the topic of today’s post is gum soles–the natural-colored rubber typically available in stacked or wedge heels for women. After a second round of research, I discovered that the gum rubber sole was invented for indoor sports for two reasons: It does not leave marks on a hard court surface and it provides additional grip, preventing slippage. Furthermore, the rubber absorbs shock, making them more comfortable than other sole varieties.

It seems to me then rather obvious that the reasons it was/is popular as a sports shoe are the same reasons it is popular, particularly this fall and winter, among women’s shoes. Who doesn’t want a comfortable heel that will keep you from slipping on wet, snowy sidewalks? Count me in.

The gum sole now conootes more of a “countryside” aesthetic than it references a “badminton court.” But this season the gum sole is leaving the hillside and hitting the streets. Designers are using it to transform already sharp shoes and boots into all-terrain hybrids. You can pair them with oversized flannel shirts as easily as you can with a structured leather jacket.

Here are a few we currently have in store. You’ll notice there are other common denominators among them, including fur lining, suede outer and a wedge heel.

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We only have a few of these left. Call if you want us to hold your size!

We only have a few of these left. Call if you want us to hold your size!

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