Shoe Spotlight: Laura by Jacques Levine

We have mentioned the return of the Belgian loafer a couple of times, but we chose the Laura by Jacques Levine for today’s Shoe Spotlight because it has been getting a lot of blogger love lately. Below are a few instagrammed photos by bloggers who have fallen in love with the Laura just as much as we have. It may not be the first shoe you pick up upon entering the store, but trust me, it should be the shoe you leave with. The rich navy hue and black piping make it infinitely versatile. It is both wearable (with .5-inch stacked heel) and sophisticated. We don’t always recommend diving head-first into trends, but this is one trend we hope you don’t pass up. Casie of Whipped Style recommends wearing them with casual denim (boyfriend jeans, for example) and a classic white button-up. Another great look would be a black cashmere sweater and skinny jeans à la Elizabeth Todd.

Shopkeepers’ Secrets: Upkeep in Old Town by Elizabeth

I have lived in Old Town for almost 14 years now and operated The Shoe Hive for 9 years. Throughout the years, folks have asked me advice on everything from where to go to get your hair done to where to go to get your broken heels fixed. The questions have become so common, I figured it was time for me to make a list; I like to call it “shopkeepers’ secrets.”

Once you try these places, I think you will share my belief that there really is no reason to leave Alexandria–or really Old Town for that matter–for all your shopping needs.

Let’s start with what I like to refer to as “upkeep;” the older I get, the more I need.

Lyndsay’s Looks

If you receive our emails, you have already been e-introduced to our new-ish manager, Lyndsay. She is such an asset to The Shoe Hive and to our customers, and her style is completely enviable. She sticks to great classics, flirty prints and clean lines. Once a month, we will bring you Lyndsay’s Looks as a follow-up to the email in which she presents her top three favorite shoes of the month.

Lyndsay has mastered the day-to-night look and the Michael Kors York pump is the most versatile shoe we currently have in store. Worn with a cardigan during the day, when the store closes she would replace the cardigan with a clutch and head to Grape & Bean for happy hour.


Shopping list: Marni blouse, Karen Millen pencil skirt, Moyna clutch and the Michael Kors York pump.


Our October sale on all Hunter products (10% off and still ongoing!) was entirely Lyndsay’s idea. She loves this two-toned style for a great casual weekend look. Our Asha earrings dress it all up just a tad, and complement the subtle hardware on the boot.


Shopping list: Acne jeans, T by Alexander Wang silk georgette blouse, Asha by ADM Carlotta earrings and Hunter Regent Carlyle boots available at The Shoe Hive.


Lyndsay’s style is both practical and chic. This weatherproof Aquatalia bootie is both, making it date-night appropriate. You will look great and won’t worry about getting your heel caught in between the bricks or ruining the suede in the rain. A modern print on a flattering dress and a little Alexis Bittar bling are the finishing touches.


Shopping list: Jonathan Saunders wool and silk dressAlexis Bittar Modulor encrusted teardrop earrings, Aquatalia Ruby bootie.

Fall Day Trips with Marc

Fall day trips with Marc Joseph, that is.

Starting on Friday, we are having a three-day-long Marc Joseph trunk show. The first reason to get excited is the 20% discount on all trunk show items. The second reason is the remarkable wearability of Marc Joseph’s designs. Yep, wearability. (It’s a word. I looked it up.) To demonstrate said wearability, I have combined three of my favorite Marc Joseph styles and three of my favorite fall day trips.

This look would be ideal for a long drive through the Shenandoah valley. The first year I lived in Old Town, my fiance and I desperately needed out of the city, but our busy schedules only allotted us a few hours on a Sunday afternoon. We packed a picnic, a blanket, and turned off our cell phones. It was so successful we have made it an annual tradition. Advice: go while the leaves are still on the trees and it isn’t very cold. A trench is really the only outerwear you’ll need. You won’t be doing that much exploring so there’s no need for boots. These driver’s shoes by Marc Joseph will do just fine. Comfortable, and not too cumbersome. Additionally, you’ll want a roomy crossbody bag like this Botkier that we currently have in store. That’s about it. This day trip is about getting away and just enjoying time spent with those you love. Don’t overthink the outfit.

The second day trip sends you in the other direction–to St. Michaels, MD. We went for the first time a little over a year ago, and talk about idyllic! Arrive in time for a leisurely lunch at The Crab Claw, followed by a stroll around the pier. Then head over to St. Michaels Winery for a tasting, or walk along the main strip of quaint boutiques and gift shops. Marc Joseph does really great walking shoes. I especially love this flat in coral. In fact, a customer recently purchased this pair for a trip to Paris because she knew she’d be doing a lot of walking. Whatever you do–don’t wear white! Old Bay seasoning is really hard to get out… And yes, I speak from experience.

For those of you who want to bring along the kiddos, The Corn Maze in the Plains in Virginia is the place for you! Only about 45 minutes outside of Alexandria, there is plenty to do. Let them help you pick fresh greens and other vegetables. Then pull your wagons around the pumpkin patch in search of the pumpkin that will make the perfect jack-o-lantern on your front porch. After a hearty picnic, let them run off into the corn maze. And you might even want to join them–it’s fun! For a day on the farm, these Marc Joseph booties are perfect. Worn with leggings and an oversized sweater, you will be able to keep up with the kids all day.


Shopping List:

Mulberry Mid Polly Push Lock Trench Black Cotton Mix

Acne Max Vintage Blue Jean

VPL Shift Cardigan

Thakoon Addition Seamed Slim Trouser

Allsaints Ridley Leggings

Barneys New York Romeo Cowl Infinity Scarf

3.1 Phillip Lim Wool Sweater (Sold Out)

Colorful Complexities: Navy

Hello, again, from The Shoe Hive. Today, we bring you another post on colors. Consider it a Lesson on Navy: Part Two. Colors often confuse shoppers. I blame this confusion primarily on a host of “vintage” rules that dictate what is and is not acceptable. One of these is that you must match shades of navy. Well, not necessarily.

It helps me to think about it this way: there are colors and there are neutrals. Neutrals can be broken up into three categories, and all of them can be mixed and interchanged amongst themselves and/or with any colors as needed.

  • First, you have your true neutrals: black, white, gray and brown.
  • Then, you have your metallics: gold, silver, bronze, pewter, brass, etc.
  • Finally, the most overlooked category of neutrals is pseudo-neutrals. A pseudo-neutral is a legitimate color (blue, red, yellow and green, for example) in a shade that functions as a neutral.

Navy is a pseudo-neutral. Therefore, not only can it be worn with any of the neutrals (including black) and metallics, but it can also be worn as a neutral itself, with many other colors. Tuesday’s post included several color pairings involving navy: orange and navy, yellow and navy, oxblood and navy. It can also be paired with bright greens and bold reds, perhaps a rich magenta or even other shades of blue. So, when you purchase that navy dress, avoid the navy shoes.

This first look is for those women who have no idea what to wear with their navy suits to work, aside from a navy pump. For this, I’m bringing back the oxblood and navy combo, because it is the pairing for fall. These Elizabeth & James pumps are truly a masterpiece–slightly androgynous yet flattering with a low heel for comfort. I don’t even think it’s too matchy-matchy to wear this look with the Pour la Victoire Morandi satchel we currently have in the store. It’s a great color pairing, so play it up!

You bought a beautiful navy dress for your daughter’s rehearsal dinner. You don’t want to look overly “Mother of the Bride,” but you definitely want to dress your age. Bring in the bling. This great Badgley Mischka heel in pewter will quickly become your go-to evening shoe for both comfort and style. Then, add some additional yet subtle color with a few Alexis Bittar adornments. Et, voilà!

I hesitated to include this set because I know many people resist mixing prints. So, bear with me on this one. Review the three categories of neutrals. Now, take a look at this image. There is no real color here. When you stick to neutrals like warm browns, touches of metallic like the gold hardware on the belt and Botkier bag, and a pseudo-neutral like navy, you can have as much fun with prints as you’d like. And these Pour la Victoire pumps are so fun.


Shopping List:

New Look Navy Tuxedo Blazer

Chloe Lightweight Sateen Shirt

Giorgio Armani Pleated Trouser Pants

Maison Martin Margiela Crepe & Pleated Silk Dress

Dorothy Perkins Navy Polka Dot Dress

How to Wear: Navy Shoes

Many of you have mentioned that you miss Elizabeth’s blog. The good news is that she has returned to the blogosphere. The bad news is that owning a store is a lot of work, and she wants to maintain her focus on bringing all of you the best shoes, the best shopping experience and the best staff. Of course, from time to time she will grace us with her online presence, but we are mixing things up a bit. Look to this space for tips on how to wear our shoes, where trends are headed, and news about The Shoe Hive.

Now, down to business. I must thank you–our customers–for giving us the topic of our latest blog post. You would not believe the number of women who walk through our door in search of navy shoes. Apparently, they are hard to find. Not at The Shoe Hive. In developing this post originally, I assumed we would feature every navy shoe in the store–until I found out we carry nearly a dozen! So, here are three of our favorites with three ways to wear them.

These Belgian loafers by Jon Josef are very à la mode. According to Elizabeth, the Belgian loafer is going to be everywhere in a few months if the shows are any indication of upcoming trends. (Which obviously, they are.) I would wear these casually, with skinny jeans in a very dark wash. Complement the tortoise piping with a bold orange wrap sweater against the ultimate basic–a dark gray tee. A few accessories complete the look: an OrYany hobo bag and Elizabeth & James sunglasses, both of which are available at The Shoe Hive.

We also carry the Tory Burch Reva in navy. Whether you love it or hate it, you can’t deny that the Reva has reached iconic shoe status. Navy is great for fall as it pairs well with warmer colors such as those featured in this second look. Flats are most flattering if worn with a pant hemmed an inch or less above the ankle. Think about it–your ankles are likely the slimmest part of your legs. Aren’t they deserving of attention?

If you are looking for something a little dressier, this great kitten heel by Vince Camuto is an excellent option. It has touches of “oxblood”–the color of the season. Notice that I’ve included both a cardigan and a jacket. Try wearing your cardigan as a blouse, buttoned up under a blazer. The slight peplum on the cardigan pictured here hides any tummy insecurities you might have, and balances out the wide angle of the skirt. When you balance the proportions of your clothes, you don’t need any more than a kitten heel to pull it all together.

P.S. Sorry to those of you who received an html version of this post last night as I was editing it!