Looks for Your Lifestyle: The Wrap Dress

When Elizabeth told me we were going to start carrying a new clothing line called Judith & Charles at The Hive this spring, my interest was immediately piqued. Who was this Judith & Charles, what was their style, and with all of the new, competing brands at market, what caused this particular line to catch Elizabeth’s eye? When I learned the first two pieces of the highly anticipated Judith & Charles collection had arrived at The Hive, I excitedly popped into the store only to discover we had received a simple black wrap dress and a long-sleeved navy dress. Boring! Neither dress did a thing for me on the hanger.

I pinged Elizabeth to ask…er, question…her buying decision, and she confessed there was no crazy, sexy story behind it, but she urged me to try them on. Sometimes new lines arrive at our stores with juicy stories like she had been chasing a brand for years and was finally successful in securing it or she will reintroduce a brand like L’Agence which had not gone over well the first time but now we can barely keep L’Agence Take II amply stocked. So why Judith & Charles?

After trying both dresses on, I soon discovered Judith & Charles is a brand boasting immaculately cut pieces made from discerning fabrics procured from high quality mills in Japan and Italy. The styles are classic, versatile, and quite simply stated, wearable. Once again, Elizabeth had gotten it right in bringing this new line to Old Town.

Alicia and I both gravitated toward the versatility of the black wrap dress for very different reasons. Alicia found it to be the perfect dress for her and her clients seeking professional attire. With a classic pump and handbag, this dress will take you from a business presentation to the board room.

For me, I immediately found it to be the perfect dress for date night or to wear to the theatre, a launch party, or opening night at an art gallery.

So, I guess the moral of this story is, never judge a dress on its hanger.

There is one juicy part to this story though, The origin of Judith & Charles is a classic tale of girl meets boy, and another of life’s enduring themes: sometimes great things happen when you least expect them. He was a charming Frenchman with an undeniable joie de vivre and entrepreneurial spirit. She was a talented young woman with an instinctive eye for fashion that combined both artistry and function. Their chance meeting on a Caribbean Island set the story of Judith & Charles in motion.”  

Now, where to plan that perfect summer getaway that will inspire my husband and me to create that distinctive Sheila & Clete label…



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Sheila, a transplant from the Mississippi Delta, accidentally became a resident of Old Town 22 years ago when her marketing internship turned into a real job. Since most everyone assumed Sheila was actually working on Capitol Hill, she decided not to disappoint them and found a job there spending the next ten years scheduling for two U.S. Senators followed by a short stint at one of D.C.’s top lobbying firms. Seeking a change of pace, Sheila traded in her suits for athleisure wear to better focus on rearing her two bigs, Joe and Crosby. Sheila and her husband, Clete, also welcomed a new baby girl, Lady Eugenia, to their family earlier this year. In order to escape the chaos and have the perfect excuse to get dressed up again, she recently joined Elizabeth and Co. at The Hive. When not working at The Hive, Sheila can usually be found running late, pushing a baby stroller, driving carpool or volunteering at the school.

Heard the buzz? The Shoe Hive & The Hive are a pair of luxury boutiques in Old Town Alexandria. Featuring both big name designers like Rag & Bone and Stuart Weitzman and smaller brands like AGL and L'Agence, our unique selection and impeccable service are what set us apart.


The Shoe Hive                         The Hive
127 S. Fairfax Street               301 Cameron Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
              Alexandria, VA 22314

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