The HEUCY Gal’s Guide to Rome: Five Days, Four Outfits. True Story.

One of us recently jetted off to Rome (okay, flew…via Alitalia) sans kids, with hubby and four HEUCY picks in tow.  We thought it would be interesting to see how HEUCY really travels.  Is it possible to eat, drink, sight-see and gallivant, entirely in HEUCY?  Now we can say — emphatically and from experience — YES, it is possible.  And enjoyable.  You feel so much freer with just a carry-on!

We also thought, wouldn’t it be nice to post a travel guide for a real modern woman — someone who wants to see the sights, but also enjoys a little downtime while on vacation?  Real life is hectic.  Travel should be relaxing.  And somewhat affordable.  Just like our clothes.

So…Below is our itinerary, which includes a list of outfits plus lots of great Rome travel recommendations.  Enjoy!!

Friday: Arrive in Rome, around noon.  Wore the HEUCY #PerfectTen dress for roughly 24 hours, including on the overnight flight.  As comfortable as PJ’s, but sophisticated enough to garner lounge access.

Stayed at: Hotel de Russie.  An incredibly chic, smallish boutique hotel right off the Piazza del Popolo, just steps from the Borghese Gardens.  When we saw the courtyard, we were happy.

hotelderussiecourtyard

After a piadina, some espresso, some vino biancho, a nap, a shower and a change into the HEUCY #HighSchoolReunion (hey, you never know who you’ll run into in Roma), we walked around the Spanish Steps and met up with our friends for dinner at Dal Bolognese, also on the Piazza del Popolo.  The most. amazing. truffles. ever.  The weight gain begins here, but we tell ourselves that a) European wine does not have tannins.  Therefore no hangover.  And b) you can’t gain weight in Europe because the food is not processed.  No looking back now.

HSRHP

Saturday: sight-seeing, eating, drinking and shopping

After a good night’s sleep, we woke and ambled toward the “historic heart” of Rome — Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, Campo de Fiori.  We stopped by Sant’Eustachio for un caffe e agostina with nutella.  OMG.  Words cannot describe how delicious.  I wore the HEUCY #AlterEgo Jumpsuit all day — comfort with a little bit of edge — perfetto for walking around the ancient city.

Quattro Fiori Pantheon

I remembered being absolutely floored by the Pantheon twenty years before, when I had studied in Rome (we’ll get to that later).  Built in 120 A.D., still standing, a true architectural marvel.  Oh, and Raphael is buried there.  What, exactly, have I been doing with my time?  Hmmm.

After a stroll around the Campo de Fiori, we were hungry again.  We had a long, leisurely lunch at Pier Luigi…a fabulous seafood restaurant in a secluded alley off the Campo.  Afternoon light, some delicious sea bass, vino biancho and espresso.  Heaven.

Pierluigi29676_stdIMG_0581

After lunch, we strolled down to Il Giolitti for gelato.  It was a bit like an arms race to get my cone of straciatella, but definitely worth the fight.  Conveniently, there was an adorable children’s clothing store, Boutique ZeroSei, located just a few steps away.  I had my HEUCY for the trip, so didn’t really need to shop for myself.  My daughter got very lucky that day.

Back at the hotel, we were delighted to see paparazzi.  I started to help myself to a bar that seemed to have just “popped up out of nowhere” in the hotel lobby, but was swiftly turned away because I was not “with Universal.”  My imagination was abuzz, who could it be?  I decided to wear my HEUCY #DateNight dress that night, to wow this celeb.

We dined at a charming open-air restaurant called Antica Pesa that eve, in Trastevere, and discovered that our hotel celeb was there too!  I mean, what are the odds?  And can you guess who it was?  None other than Richard “Riccardo” Gere.  Luckily, I felt like “Pretty Woman” in my Date Night!

DateNightHP

Sunday — day trip to Castelgandolfo and Nemi, two very cute villages on Lake Albano.  Normally a thirty minute drive outside of Rome.  But we had forgotten how seriously Romans take their Sunday lunch, so it took a bit longer than expected to get to our first spot.

Nemi viewNemi view2

We lunched on the terrace at Antico Ristorante Pagnanelli, in Castelgandolfo.  Delicious grilled herbs.  And wine.  And espresso. You know, when in Rome…our just outside…

Skyline

Back in Rome, we caught the sunset at the Borghese Gardens.  And then dined outside at Emma, a wonderful new pizzeria off the beaten path on Monte della Farina.  I was sporting my HEUCY #HighSchoolReunion dress again.  Too comfy to just wear once.  And the elastic waistband was forgiving.  I indulged in pizza con funghi e prosciutto as well as a few Peroni.

Monday — a tour of the Vatican and a stroll down memory lane (literally and figuratively)

Monday morning we woke very early and I put on my HEUCY #PerfectTen (shoulders covered, knees sort of) to meet our guide at the Vatican for a semi-private tour of the Vatican museum, St. Peter’s and other surprises we were definitely not expecting.  Angelo Amorico, our wonderful guide from Access Italy, greeted us at a cafe and told us he had just taken Oprah truffle hunting in Umbria.  I thought to myself, hey, if this guy is good enough for Oprah…then I suppose he’s good enough for me.  It turns out, Angelo is fairly well-connected in Italy and in Hollywood.  And he looks a bit like Robert de Niro.  Surreal morning.

Inside the the Vatican museums, the Raphael rooms, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s, we were again reminded that we are just mere mortals.  Honestly, how did people build structures like this without modern technology?  And how did Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel and sculpt The Pieta with chronic back pain and corrupt clergy breathing down his neck?  Seriously awe-inspiring.

Raphael2RAphael1St PetersCreación_de_Adán_(Miguel_Ángel)

One of the surprises Angelo showed us was quite impressive.  We went “backstage” to meet some of The Vatican’s renowned mosaic artists, who create the works that Il Papa (The Pope) gives to world leaders.  The level of detail and craftsmanship in their works is truly amazing.  Does the picture below look like a painting?  It’s actually a mosaic.  We got to see some of the artists in action.

MosaicMosaic work

We kissed Angelo goodbye, promised to say hello to Oprah for him…and headed toward the Aventine Hill, where I had studied abroad almost twenty years ago.  It’s located near many awesome Roman ruins, such as the Roman Forum on the Palatine Hill, an ancient aqueduct, the Circus Maximus, the Arch of Constantine and the Colosseum, the Via Sacra and the Arch of Titus. And much, much more.

Arch of Constantine with colosseumPalatine_Hill_Rome_Panorama_from_Circus_Maximus

I felt like Jason Bourne as we walked through the lovely orange grove park where I used to “study” and we found the Convento di Suore Camaldolesi, the convent where the students in my program had studied and lived.  I was having flashbacks of discotheques in Testaccio and not really studying.  The Suore were kind enough to house and feed us, and to turn a blind eye to our night-time activities.  We were 20 and in Europe, sine parente.  Nuff said.

130709_Rome_Aventine Hill_shutterstock_132242153aventinohillromeClass photo

I really should not be sharing this class photo, for a variety of reasons (namely, my roots and a very obvious love of carbs)…but I have to.  What on earth was I thinking, wearing a chunky cable knit sweater when I could have been wearing easy-to-pack jersey dresses and feeling like Audrey Hepburn?  If only HEUCY had been available then.  Oh, well.  You live and you learn.

Feeling a bit exhausted — mentally, emotionally and physically — we headed to Da Pietro, a lovely Roman hosteria recommended by Angelo.  Really yummy pasta y fagioli and — yep, you guessed it — vino biancho.  We were on vacation, after all.

PerfectTenHP

After an afternoon nap and a stroll around the Piazza, we had a lovely dinner at the bar at Roscioli and a nightcap in the courtyard at the hotel.  I paired my HEUCY #PerfectTen dress with my mom’s vintage belt, and some diamond earrings.  Full disclosure: the carbonara did make my belt feel tighter…but that’s the beauty of accessorizing.  You can just take the belt off!

Woke up the next morning, put on my HEUCY #AlterEgo jumpsuit, and readied myself for the long journey home.

Arrivederci and Happy Thursday!

xx,

The HEUCY Team

P.S. Coming soon: a London travel guide from one of our fave #HEUCYgals, Brett Tyne, the super-chic yet incredibly down-to-earth designer/founder of Wilbur and Gussie handbags.

Travel and The Classics…

hartmann eventHartmann Couple

Last night, the HEUCY Team had the pleasure of presenting our Debut AW 14/15 Collection at a really fabulous Hartmann Luggage store opening event.  The champagne was flowing, and there were beautiful people everywhere.  Including models carrying luggage, like our #HartmannHottie here.  (Side note: we are both happily married, but couldn’t resist a selfie with this guy).

hartmannhottie

Maybe it was the free drinks, or the ambiance, or the fact that I was wearing my mom’s vintage Chanel pumps.  But we started to talk about “travel” in general and one thing that seems to be making a welcome comeback: actually dressing like a grown-up when you go to the airport.  We’re very happy to see fewer people in sweatpants at LaGuardia these days.

HartmannBonVoyageHartmannHSR

The event was at Casa Lever, and there was a very 1950s/early “Mad Men” feel to it.  The models wearing HEUCY looked so sophisticated and chic.  If this chick misses her flight, I don’t think the attendant is going to turn her away.  And maybe she’ll get an extra bag of Terra Blue chips, too!  Just for looking great.

It also occurred to us that classics like Hartmann luggage have updated their look, but they’re still around after 150 years.  I remember when my sister got her first Hartmann luggage set when she turned 17, and it was this amazing moment for her.  She felt like she had “arrived”…and she still uses her Hartmann bags, almost thirty years later.  (Sorry for aging ya, G).  This is so inspiring.  At HEUCY, we want to create something similarly “classic” — timeless, flattering silhouettes that pair well with your mom’s vintage fur coat, and your new Celine splurge, and a jean jacket you had back in the ’80s.

B_CM0107B_CM0237

“Travel” can also mean going from Manhattan to Fort Greene, and needing to dress the part — by trading our #PerfectTen for the #AlterEgo jumpsuit!  Whether you’re traveling a short or long distance, HEUCY wholeheartedly supports seeing and experiencing things that are outside of your comfort zone.  This is why we are so bullish about making versatile, wearable, packable and chic clothing for today’s woman-on-the-go.

Rome

I’ll be traveling to Rome with my husband in a couple of days, and taking my HEUCY along with me.  Five days, a few HEUCY outfits, a scarf and my good camera.  That’s about it.  Check The Blog and @heucydotcom for updates and our Rome Travel Guide, coming soon!

xx,

The HEUCY Team

Monday’s Musing…Homeland, Again

Okay, I promise we are NOT obsessed with Carrie Mathison.  We do not have a string map of her whereabouts on our wall here at HEUCY…but we can’t stop ourselves from discussing Carrie’s wardrobe choices.  If you are like us, and you watch the show every Sunday night, you know that Carrie has now moved to Islamabad.  She is a badass CIA Station Chief — and she wears pantsuits pretty much all of the time.  We understand why Carrie is doing this.  She has to carry her weight in a man’s world, and the suit (like that cross-body bag) is her armor.  But Carrie, it doesn’t have to be this way.

Here are a few outfits that Carrie should have packed in her bag, en route to her new gig in Pakistan:

B_CM0107

1. The HEUCY #PerfectTen dress.  Carrie could sleep in this dress, and wear it for an entire week.  A change of accessories (scarves, belts, sweaters) can transform this dress and make it look different every time it’s worn.  Carrie’s colleagues don’t seem particularly fashion-conscious (they do work in a counter-terrorism unit, after all) but they’d probably give her props for showing just a little bit of leg and looking official at the same time.

B_CM0237

2. The HEUCY #AlterEgo jumpsuit.  We know that Carrie has to step out of her office sometimes for a variety of dangerous missions.  This jumpsuit is versatile enough for high-speed chases in the Markaz, and sexy enough for seducing potential sources.

B_CM0541

3. The HEUCY #BonVoyage.  If Carrie is riding in buses, planes and various military vehicles, she needs to be wearing a comfortable travel outfit.  This dress is long enough to keep your legs warm, and an adjustable zipper for comfort…or who knows what else.  In Carrie’s world, there are lots of possibilities!  Peter Quinn, anyone?

adidas

She should also have a pair of good trainers, like these awesome sustainably made ones from Adidas x Stella McCartney.

And obviously, an iPhone charger.  The other details we’ll leave up to the experts.

xx,

The HEUCY Team

Inspired by the Chicago Marathon…Top Ten Workouts That Work

B_CM0198

HEUCY is feeling inspired by the Chicago Marathon!  We know tomorrow is technically a “holiday”…but you may feel like some exercise is in your future.  This could be doubly true if you have kids, and tomorrow is also a “day off” for them and you need to “go work out”…away from home.

Some fabulous #HeucyGals gave us their favorite go-to workouts, and why they work, which we’ve listed here in our Top Ten list.  PS, the HEUCY #AlterEgo Jumpsuit is a great post-workout outfit.  Enjoy!

1. SLT (Strengthen, Lengthen, Tone) — http://www.sltnyc.com

Many women we know do this Megaformer™/Lagree Fitness® workout, and swear by it.  It is Tough with a Capital T, but you get results.  “If cardio, strength training and pilates had a baby, it would be SLT…”  We also love the CEO Amanda Freeman, who is a friend, entrepreneur and #HeucyGal extraordinaire.

You may have seen an article about SLT and the Lagree Megaformer™ in the New York Times a few weeks ago:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/21/fashion/sebastien-lagrees-megaformer-machines-put-the-sweat-in-pilates.html

2. Spinning — soulcycle.com / flywheel.com

aileen

Aileen Haugh says, “When I’m on the bike, I feel unstoppable, inspired and strong!” — which is exactly how we want to feel, every minute of every day!

3. Yoga — laughinglotus.com / yogaworks.com

We are big fans of Laughing Lotus, because the teachers (especially Kenny) always keep it real.  The last time we went, Kenny talked about being annoyed by people…and he’s a Yogi, so it made us feel not-so-bad about feeling the same way. Just sometimes.  And then we felt even better about cleaning the slate, and Namaste-ing through any adversity.

4. Physique 57 — physique57.com

Physique 57, a barre-based workout with intervals of cardio, strength training, stretching and recovery, helped one of us lose baby weight after gaining roughly 50 pounds during pregnancy.  (It was before calorie counts were posted at Baskin & Robbins).  Anyway, this workout — in case you haven’t heard of it — is why Kelly Rippa looks like Kelly Rippa.  Unfortunately, her body is reserved for celebs…but you do get results.

5. Rowing — rowhousenyc.com / cityrow.com

To be perfectly honest, this is not something we have done or would ever do.  When we think of rowing, we think of Frank Underwood and the next season of “House of Cards” (as in, where are you??). But, anyhoo, a friend of ours recently went to a rowing class, and Channing Tatum was directly across from her.  Yes, #chaytates.

6. Running

jocelyn

Our chic friend Jocelyn Cheng (in black) relies on her run in Central Park “to clear my head in the morning and start the day.” You go, girl!  That must be where your gorgeous glow comes from too, Jocelyn!  Can’t beat the price, either.

7. Chaise Fitness — chaisefitness.com

We heart Chaise, for a few reasons.  It’s a body-sculpting mix of Ballet, Pilates and Aerobics, with much focus on the core.  The staff and instructors are incredibly nice and don’t yell at you when you’re late (or when you’re doing something wrong).  And the Chaise “Reinvention” method was created by a lovely mother/daughter team, Lauren and Rachel Piskin, in response to the havoc that professional dancing had wreaked on Rachel’s body.  www.chaisefitness.com

8. Holly Rilinger Fitness Revolution — hollyrilinger.com

We haven’t personally met Holly, but lots of our friends worship at the altar of Holly’s workout and her motivational style.  She also has cool playlists and other words of wisdom on her website (e.g. “Sleep is the foundation of health”) that we find informative. And, Holly is a 5’4″ former WNBA player, which means she knows about getting what you want.  Against the odds.

9. Sal Anthony’s Movement Salon — movementsalon.com

The Pilates and Gyrotonics are good here.  But we’re really writing about Sal’s because the massages are AMAZING.  And not expensive, by NYC standards.

10. Our friend Micol’s go-to workout:

“A visit to Russ + Daughters.  Because lox.”  We love you, Micol!

micol

Happy long weekend, everyone.

xx,

The HEUCY Team

#National Handbag Day & Top 10 Totes for Busy Women

B_CM9986

HEUCY just learned that yesterday was #NationalHandbagDay. We’re a little late to the party, but would love to share our thoughts on the Top 10 tote bags for busy women. (We love totes almost as much as we “totes” love backpacks…more on that later).

I remember when I moved to New York, right after college just a few years back (hee hee) and I lugged my big, shiny, purple Esprit messenger tote with me everywhere. One night, an older/wiser/more fashionable woman pulled me aside at a cocktail party and said, with a look of real concern: “Honey, we must get you a new bag.”

Now I am older and a little bit wiser, and I no longer own that messenger tote and all of the insecurities and bad choices that came with it. I actually feel pretty confident in our collective take on the best handbags.

To make HEUCY’s list, bags had to fit the following criteria:

1. Displaced items (e.g. sunnies, tampons, lip gloss, business cards, half-full water bottles) can swim around in the bag…but no one can tell they’re swimming in there. It looks TIC (totally in control) from the outside. Kind of like you.

2. Transitions seamlessly from day to night, in case a clutch transfer is not happening.

3. Must, of course, pair well with a HEUCY dress and/or jumpsuit

Here’s the Top Ten, enjoy!

The Gap’s Camo Tote (photo below) —  Slightly edgy, roomy and versatile.  Good conversation starter.  (“You got that at The Gap?!”). http://www.gap.com

Gap-Camo-Tote

Louis Vuitton’s Sac Plat Brown Tote — A timeless classic, that happens to be very durable.  Always chic. http://www.louisvuitton.com

louis-vuitton-sac-plat-pm-monogram-canvas-handbags--M40806_PM2_Front view

Mansur Gavriel’s Bucket Bag – The bag “of the moment”, but we think these will be around for a while.  Comes in tons of cool colors — our faves are Blu and Camello.  www.mansurgavriel.com

Mansur-Gavriel-Bucket-Bag-Cammello-Silver

Marni PVC Shopping Bag – This tote takes high/low to a whole new level.  And it’s very roomy.  Fortunately, it’s also less expensive than a Marni dress, so if you’re going to splurge…www.marni.com

marnibag

Clare V. Gosee Tote — we love Clare V. bags because they’re chic, versatile AND made in the USA…in LA, actually, where we source a lot of HEUCY’s sustainable fabric.  This style in particular is “made for the working woman.”  We can see why!  www.clarev.com

clarevgoseetote

Everlane Petra Magazine Bag — we heart all things Everlane, and this bag is no exception.  Subtle details and fine craftsmanship, at a very fine price.  www.everlane.com

Everlane petra leather market tote

3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli Medium Satchel — we just fell in love with the “Cobalt” color.  Would pair very well with HEUCY’s watercolor print, gray or black.  An investment piece. www.31philliplim.com

philliplimpashli

Want les essentials de la vie OHare Shopper Tote — Fashion meets function in the most beautiful way.  One of our new fave lines, perfect for travel.  www.wantessentiels.com

wantblanket

Mark and Graham Elisabetta Slouch handbag — I have this one.  Can’t beat free shipping, free monogramming (why not) and a great interior pocket to hide your stuff.

elisabetta

Cream Mirrored Tote by Cook & Gates — An artistic print that can help you reinvent yourself any day of the week.  The line is hand-printed in Brooklyn, which we think makes it extra-special. www.cookandgates.net

cookandgates2

#TGIF: Gratitude & Three Cool Gifts for a Dinner Party Host…

HEUCY gals

Last night, we had the pleasure of spending time with some of our all-time favorite ladies.  We’ve dubbed these women “HEUCY Gals”: they are dynamic, smart, talented, confident, funny…and really busy!  We’re incredibly grateful for the support these women (Anna and Kerry, pictured here, and many others) have given HEUCY, especially in the midst of the juggling act that is modern womanhood.  So if you’re reading this, Thank You!!

On that note — being grateful (and honestly, being gracious enough to have your picture taken last night) — we thought it would be fun to post a few friends’ answers to the question, “Name an all-time awesome gift for a dinner party host/hostess.”  These ideas are pretty awesome and original.  Take a look!

1. Local Honey; Specialty Liquor or Mixers from Arrowhead Farms (http://www.arrowheadfarms.com)

Jennie Blair

Thanks for this tip, Jennie!  You are a super-chic, model-esque, fabulously Southern HEUCY Gal and you will always lead us down the most polite, ladylike and creative path.

2. Cards Against Humanity (http://cardsagainsthumanity.com)

Bridget and Micol

Bridget (in green), by far one of the coolest chicks we know, and also one of HEUCY’s girl crushes (hope that doesn’t make you feel awkward, Bridget!) recommended Cards Against Humanity as a good litmus test to have on-hand if you’re wondering, will this be a short-term or long-term relationship? Will your dining companions talk to you again after playing this game?  Not sure.  But if Bridget recommends, it must be worth doing.  Sometimes we are sheep.

3. “Sextrology: The Astrology of Sex and the Sexes” by Stella Starsky and Quinn Cox

Alice Photo

Our friend Alice (in white) recommended this book because it’s “a book about your astrological sign and how it relates to love and attraction. Good for reading out loud.”  Alice is really smart and really fun — so we’ve already bought a copy for our next dinner party.

Lastly, we wanted to end today’s post with a lovely quote about gratitude, from Marcel Proust himself:

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”

Thank you, friends.  And TGIF!  Have a great weekend and enjoy the day off if you have it!

xx

The HEUCY Team

Top 100 Books of All Time…and the #HighSchoolReunion

B_CM9801-2B_CM1599B_CM9986

We just learned that the esteemed French writer Patrick Modiano has won the Nobel Prize in Literature.  We’re not going to lie and say we’re familiar with all of Modiano’s work…in fact, one of us just finished “The Goldfinch” after months of procrastination.  HEUCY loves Donna Tartt, but for some reason it took a few months to get past the first hundred pages.

But I digress.  Since we’re on the subject of literature, and it is #TBT time, we wanted to post an awesome list we found on a website called “thegreatestbooks.org”…because most of us don’t have the bandwidth to think about these things, and it would be nice to pick up reading again.  The editors of the Norwegian Book Clubs, with the Norwegian Nobel Institute, polled a panel of 100 authors around the world, to compile a list of what they consider to be the “best and most central works in world literature.” Here’s the link, put these on your reading list if you’re feeling studious and/or have a vacation coming up:

http://thegreatestbooks.org/lists/28

You may have read some of these books back in high school…just a few years ago.  Which brings us to another thought (yep, we couldn’t resist): the HEUCY #HighSchoolReunion dress is now available for pre-order, at http://www.heucy.com!  I can say, from personal experience, this is one of the most comfortable and figure-flattering dresses I’ve ever worn.

Happy #TBT!

xx,

Your friends at HEUCY