Tag Archives: travel

Tuesday’s Travel Guide: A HEUCY Gal’s Swedish Adventure

Happy Tuesday, gals! We haven’t gone rogue, don’t worry…we’ve been working on a very cool collaboration with Gilt which you’ll be hearing more about very soon. In the meantime, back to the blog.

To celebrate the success of our Nordic Spring collection as well as the recent royal Swedish wedding (and because we all love us some Scandy culture), here is our “best of the best” Swedish travel guide. Now is the time to go, if you have the inclination and the freedom to do so! If not, watch a few episodes of “Wallander” on demand and start planning your getaway when the time is right.

First stop, Stockholm. The food here is pretty top-notch, especially if you love seafood. If not, no worries, there are plenty of local delicacies you’ll want to try. A few of our favorite restaurants:

–Smorgasbord at The Grand Hotel

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–The Ostermalm market

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There are very cool stalls selling all sorts of delicious treats, and there’s a wonderful place to eat called Lisa Elmqvist. Great for lunch. Sit at the bar if you can and people watch.

Erik Bakfickan is also a tried and true Swedish “must”

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–Wendholms Fisk – a fancier option, but definitely worth the splurge.

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Getting your culture on…

If you want to walk off your toast skagen, take a stroll through Gamla Stan, a very quaint, scenic part of Stockholm that dates back to the 13th century. Very cute cafes and shops line the narrow, cobblestone streets.

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The Swedish Modern Museum (Moderna Museet) should not be missed. You’ll see one of the finest collections of 20th and 21st century art as well as compelling views of the archipelago right outside.moderna-museet-stockholmmoderna2

The Swedish Architecture and Design Museum is one of the best places to learn about Swedish design from the 19th century up to present day. The mid-century modern design collection is really impressive, and it can be a bit overwhelming…but definitely worth taking a tour.

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Day trips, and beyond…

We highly recommend visiting the areas around Stockholm, since the incredibly stunning natural beauty of the areas around Stockholm was a big inspiration for HEUCY’s Nordic Spring collection.

Close by Stockholm, you’ll find the archipelago in Lake Malaren which leads to the Baltic Sea. Picturesque towns including Uppsala and Sigtuna are close enough to Stockholm to travel by boat for the day, or do a quick overnight trip.

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If you want to venture further away from Stockholm, you should put the province of Dalarna, northwest of Stockholm (about 2-3 h drive or train ride), on your agenda. Pretty towns like Mora and Leksand on Lake Siljan are absolutely worth seeing if you have the time. People ski race in this area during the winter.

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You can also reach the big island of Gotland by ferry from South of Stockholm (Nynashamn). Make sure to see Visby, the main town with a medieval wall all around it (bonus: it’s on the UNESCO world heritage list).

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Smaland is famous for its remarkable blown glass, made in the towns of Orrefors and Kosta. From there, the medieval town and castle of Kalmar isn’t far away, and you can take a bridge over to Oland for more sightseeing.

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You’ll find a Viking-era reconstructed settlement at Eketorp in the South, and the famous light house Lange Jan at the souther tip. You can see the light (and sometimes also the light house itself) from the island of Langoren in the midsummer months. You’ll also see a lot of Swedes outdoors during this time, soaking up that Vitamin D before the cold weather returns!

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What are you waiting for, gals? If you can, get out of the office, pack some HEUCY nautical stripes in your bag, and head over to Sweden ASAP to experience Nordic Spring and Summer in full effect! (I think that’s what Claudia is smiling about right now…her next trip 🙂

Heucy

xx,

The HEUCY Team

Travel Guide: An American in Paris

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If we asked you to name the most romantic getaway in the world, many of you would probably say it’s Paris.  Yes, it is quite romantic.  But, we’ve learned that it’s just as fun to jet over to the City of Lights with a group of old friends, and leave your man at home to take care of the kids and pets!  HEUCY Gal Veronica recently visited lovely Paris with some college friends, XX years after living there as a student.  What did she take with her?  A suitcase full of HEUCY and plenty of joie de vivre!  Here are Veronica’s recommendations for the perfect short jaunt across the pond, to one of the most beautiful and memorable cities in the world.

1. What to pack…

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According to Veronica, “the French know effortless style.  HEUCY fits right in there.”

HEUCY dresses and jumpsuits can easily get you through a 4 or 5 day trip.  Added (major) bonus: jersey doesn’t really wrinkle, so it looks good after a long flight.  And it’s perfect for an unpredictable climate, where lots of layering is involved.  In this photo, Veronica’s friend Saya is wearing the Weekender, and Veronica (right) is in the black Perfect Ten.

2. What to see…

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Paris is a city where you can pack every minute of every hour with museum visits and sightseeing, but don’t overlook the simple treasures that line the streets.  We don’t know if it’s Veronica’s camera, or the fact that in Paris everything just looks better than it does here!  Regardless, walking around and looking (and eating and drinking, of course) can be your activity for the day…and the day after that.

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3. Food…

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Septime was Veronica’s favorite restaurant.  Other fabulous places to eat include:

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Pirouette

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Buvette

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Caillebotte

4. Where to Stay…

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–“We stayed in an adorable boutique hotel on the Rive Gauche called Le Signature

5. When to go…

–Now! Or whenever you can fit it into your schedule.

Happy travels, HEUCY Gals.

xx,

The HEUCY Team

HEUCY Gals, We’ve Got You Covered…with the Cover Up Dress

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Here at HEUCY, every single dress and jumpsuit is thoughtfully designed, with our beloved HEUCY Gal’s needs in mind.  Some of the questions and considerations we mull over, throughout the design process, include:

Can she go, effortlessly, from drop-off to a morning meeting to work lunch to a mani/pedi (somewhat aspirational) to drinks with colleagues to dinner with friends…and then wherever the night takes her…in one dress?

Will she feel comfortable doing the multitude of things that make up her day?  Can she jump over puddles, walk briskly and/or run in this outfit?  In other words, will the fabric move with her rather than against her?

Can she wear this dress on a work trip, and not worry about being a mess of wrinkles at her 8am meeting and her 8pm client dinner?

Can she wear this jumpsuit on a long flight with the kids and still feel like a human when she arrives at her destination?

Can she get dirty in this dress, and not worry about it because it’s machine washable, sustainable fabric that can take the wear and tear of a HEUCY Gal’s life?

The answer to all of these questions is…YES!  The latest installment in the Spring collection, the Cover Up, is a testament to HEUCY’s commitment to YOU — and our goal to accommodate your dynamic, busy lifestyle.  Added value: it comes in a gorgeous bright blue mariner stripe that will remind you it’s Spring!  And then Summer.

Buy it now before it sells out, gals!

http://heucy.com/collections/dresses/products/the-cover-up

xx,

The HEUCY Team

Strong Woman Saturday: Inspired by Jackie O and Indigo

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Today’s “Strong Woman Saturday” inspiration is that quintessential icon of effortless chic, Jackie O. We’re feeling a little wanderlust right now, and we’re also inspired by the HEUCY Indigo collection…so we wanted to highlight Jackie’s time spent in Greece.

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If you wanted to recreate this type of leisure life, sans paparrazi, how could you do it as effortlessly as Jackie? We think you’d need just a few things.

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1. Jackie O Sunglasses, of course…Ray Ban makes a very affordable pair.

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2. The HEUCY Indigo collection. The High School Reunion, Weekender and Problem Solver could get you through a five day trip. Easy to pack and the wrinkle factor is almost nil.  Pockets for shells, maps and baklava.  Added value, your clothes would match the azure colors of the Greek coastline.

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3. A good, universally flattering sun hat that actually blocks out the sun. We do need to worry about those UV rays, even on vacay. Satya Twena makes one, right here in NYC’s garment district, and it’s available online.

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4. A page-turner. Right now we’re reading “The Leopard”, by Jo Nesbo…

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And on that note, stay tuned for our other favorite Nordic books. There are many!

Have a great weekend, and dream of Jackie!

xx,

Team HEUCY

Tuesday’s Top Five: Inspired by the South

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As one half of team HEUCY visits family on the coast of Georgia, we’re reminded of some of the many things that we love about the South. Peel ‘n eat shrimp, people with manners, and – to put it simply – the natural beauty in this area of the world. Even on a cloudy day (and we’ve had a few since our visit started), the marsh and town “square” are gorgeous and remain seemingly untouched by the modern world.

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Right now is vacation time for a few of you, and some have a break coming soon…so we wanted to highlight our favorite movies that were filmed and take place on the Southeastern coast. Hopefully you can kick up your heels, reward yourself for surviving the worst winter (ever?), and relax in some eco-friendly HEUCY jersey while you curl up and enjoy some of these flicks. A few are also books, if you’re so inclined.

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The Big Chill. So much to love about this movie. The setting, an antebellum house in Beaufort, South Carolina (where HEUCY Gal Claire Nitze hails from and where The Great Santini was also filmed), is absolutely gorgeous and the soundtrack is awesome: Rolling Stones, Marvin Gaye, the Temptations. The term “big chill dinner” is often used in my household to indicate the best type of cooking – when it’s paired with lots of wine, music and good company. Watching a bunch of baby boomer college friends reunite after their friend has passed away, and forcing themselves to confront their own thirtysomething issues, is pretty poignant. Fun fact: Kevin Costner was cast as the dead character Alex, but all scenes showing his face were cut…he’s made career strides since then, obviously.

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Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. This is one of the best books I’ve read, and it’s a pretty good movie, too. John Kelso, a “Yankee”, travels to Savannah, Georgia to write a feature about Jim Williams’ famous annual Christmas party. What Kelso discovers is much more – a cast of irresistible, hilarious yet incredibly real characters in Savannah and unexpectedly, a murder trial. Kelso’s dry descriptions of his new friends down South, amidst the beautiful architecture and setting of “old” Savannah, are spot-on in the book. The movie features one of Jude Law’s first performances on screen, and Jude demonstrates that he looks good AND he can act. We love seeing Kevin Spacey with a moustache too. Spacey’s southern accent in the film proves he was meant to play Frank Underwood one day.

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The Prince of Tides. I won’t lie. I never pictured Barbra Streisand as Dr. Lowenstein when I read Pat Conroy’s popular novel many years ago. But I have to say, she pulls it off (of course she does…I mean, Babs is a HEUCY Gal) and Nick Nolte is wonderful as Tom. This book is a great beach read – try to read it before you watch the movie.

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Forrest Gump. The scene in Forsyth Square in Savannah helped put that great town back on the map. Tom Hanks, Robin Wright and Gary Sinise play unforgettable roles in a movie that made me pine for the deep South even while I was living there. (Side note: Robin, if you’re reading this…PLEASE replace Claire Underwood’s wardrobe with some jersey).

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Glory. Filmed throughout Georgia and South Carolina and featuring a nearly unrecognizable Matthew Broderick. Denzel Washington is ah-mazing as a young, angry soldier, and Morgan Freeman – per usual – delivers a fabulous performance.

Okay, gals.  You made it through winter.  Throw on some HEUCY, relax and enjoy!  Whether you’re on vacation or not…

xx,

Team HEUCY

We’re Thankful for…Friends Who Live in Cool Places (Like London): London Travel Guide

British Flag Wallpapers

Our friend and HEUCY Gal Brett, the founder of whimsically chic, fabulous London-based handbag line Wilbur & Gussie, is one of those people who can dip her hand into a bag of junk and pull out diamonds.  What I’m trying to say is…if you’re going anywhere, Brett is the type of tastemaker whose tips and opinions are really worth noting.  She’s traveled the world and, fortunately for us, has given us her “best of” London Guide.  Brett lives in London, too…so if you want to be like a local, read this!  And a shameless plug: Wilbur & Gussie is favored by none other than one of our fave women, the D.O.C. (aka “Dutchess Kate”) and her sister Pippa.

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Below is Brett’s list of the “Best Of” in London.  Thanks, Brett!

Restaurants:

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1.The Mall Tavern is a great gastro pub just off Notting Hill Gate with a really interesting menu of British pub cuisine. It’s always busy so you have to book!
2. Les Trois Garcons. A converted pub in the East End which is filled with extraordinary findings and kitsch decor. It’s a feast for the eyes and guaranteed fun French dining.
3. Scott’s. Uber-elegant restaurant in Mayfair with fantastic service and delicious food with a focus on seafood. It’s a real ‘treat’ place
4. Carrafini’s. Delicious Italian just off of Sloane Square. In the Summer you can sit outside and watch the world go by in true Italian-style.
5. Royal China (Baker Street/Bayswater). Best Dim Sum in London, but prepare to wait!
6. Quality Chop House, Clerkenwell. Sounds like a chain steak house but set in a little Georgian townhouse in a funky part of London, it has a fantastic menu. Can’t recommend highly enough.

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7. Two bars that are good/traditional: Dukes Hotel is renowned for having served Ian Fleming his martini’s, and they do make them well! At Zetter Townhouse in Clerkenwell you can sip your cocktails in cosy, quirky style surrounded by all sorts of curiosities.

Sights:

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-I always recommend the sightseeing bus (The Original Tour) as the first thing to do because it really helps get your bearings in the city. It’s 2.5 hours if you don’t hop off and a great way to understand how the city links together. Tickets last for 24 hours so you can always go back the next day for free and hop off to see a sight.
-Somerset House in the Winter is super fun because the courtyard is converted into an ice-rink.
-Walking around Hampstead is a great way to spend an afternoon. The streets and homes are a feast for the eyes, not to mention the Heath, which you can’t believe is smack in the middle of London.
-The Victoria &Albert museum has a little bit of everything from every country around the world. If you are into Design, it’s a MUST.
-The Museum of London has a collection of wonderful British curiosities dating from centuries past and is fun for adults and kids alike.

Shopping:

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-Fortnum and Mason and Liberty’s are two of London’s shopping institutions and very special places to visit.
-Opposite Fortnums is the Burlington Arcade, which is filled with beautiful traditional British shops. It’s always fun to walk down here.
-London is mainly full of ‘high streets’ and my favourite is Marylebone High Street. Most of the great British high streets are vanishing, but this one is thankfully still with us. It has the usual high street stores, but with a few one-off boutiques thrown in the mix, and a fabulous book store (Daunt Books). If you like shopping, it’s not to be missed.
-Markets-London has some fantastic markets: Borough for food, London Fields, Columbia Road for flowers, Portobello for antiques and curiosities. It’s always worth seeing what is on.

Brett’s fave HEUCY outfit for travel: the #AlterEgo Jumpsuit.  You can become a local wherever you go, in maximum comfort!

Happy Travels.

xx,

The HEUCY Team

Top Ten Tomes (and Some Outfits) for Travel.

EN ROUTE…  

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AND THERE…

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I’m guessing many of you will be traveling for Thanksgiving next week.  And if you’re not, you’re hosting a lot of people!  The holidays are a crazy, messed up, mashed up whirlwind of love, excitement and maybe a little bit of drama…hopefully not the “I lost my luggage” or “I missed my flight” sort.

Anyway, we’ve found that plane, train or car travel can be great for two things: reading and sitting in silence.  If you’re traveling with kids, an iPad can help you grab a few minutes of solace.  So, as you prepare to pack for yourself and others who may be incapable of packing for themselves (you know who you are…or do you?), consider downloading or buying some of our favorite books for your trip!  We polled some of our most literate, and fun, HEUCY Gals to compile this Top Ten Reading List.  Enjoy!

1. “Yes Please” by Amy Poehler.

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A book by Amy Poehler.  Nuff said.

2. “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt

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It’s clear why this book won the Pulitzer Prize.  In case you were in a cave last year and didn’t hear (it’s okay, we sort of were too), “The Goldfinch” is a sweeping tale that spans from New York City to Las Vegas to Amsterdam…and includes a lot of info about art and antiques.  It took us a while to get past the first 200 pages (did I mention how long this book is?)…but once we did, it was really hard to put this one down.  Tartt is sort of a genius.  (PS, download to Kindle if you can, it’s heavy!!)

3. “The Four Hour Work Week” by Timothy Ferris

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HEUCY Gal Emily turned us on to this book.  Here’s a synopsis from the back cover: “Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, or just living more and working less, The 4-Hour Workweek is the blueprint.”

Okey-dokey. We’ll try it.

4. “Me Before You” by Jojo Meyes

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We haven’t read this one yet, but HEUCY Gal Lisa recommended it and we usually defer to her opinions.  She’s the type of person who is in a book club and actually reads the books.  We also like the cover, because it looks like the heroine is wearing the HEUCY #ProblemSolver dress.  Here’s a synopsis from jojomeyes.com (warning, this book might make you cry):

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than her tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair-bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and he is not interested in exploring a new one.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, Lou sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?

5. “Getting Things Done” by David Allen

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Because, honestly, what is more fun than planning your new, super-organized life…while away from work and home?  Aspirational, yes…but there are some good tips in here.  Specifically, Allen says that our ability to be productive is directly related to our ability to relax. We can achieve stress-free productivity when our minds are clear.  Right on, David!

6. “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” by Maria Semple

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This book was so funny, we finished it in two days.  It’s an incredibly dry, witty portrayal of a woman — Bernadette — who is trying to prepare herself for a cruise trip to Antarctica with her husband and daughter.  But there’s one big problem: Bernadette is agoraphobic and doesn’t like the general public at all…so she finds herself on the verge of a meltdown.  Bernadette decides to outsource all of the trip planning to someone in India.  The e-mails to and from Bernadette’s Indian counterpart are hilarious. After a charity event snafu, Bernadette disappears and chaos ensues.  Seattle’s tech culture and the darkly comic nuances of private school parenting provide incredibly funny color to this book.  A quick, easy read that will make you laugh out loud.

7. “State of Wonder” by Ann Patchett

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Also recommended by Lisa.  We haven’t read it yet (even though it came out a few years ago), but we plan to.  Honest.  Here’s a synopsis from amazon.com:

As Dr. Marina Singh embarks upon an uncertain odyssey into the insect-infested Amazon, she will be forced to surrender herself to the lush but forbidding world that awaits within the jungle. Charged with finding her former mentor Dr. Annick Swenson, a researcher who has disappeared while working on a valuable new drug, she will have to confront her own memories of tragedy and sacrifice as she journeys into the unforgiving heart of darkness. Stirring and luminous, State of Wonder is a world unto itself, where unlikely beauty stands beside unimaginable loss beneath the rain forest’s jeweled canopy.

8. “Becoming Fully Present” by Thich Nhat Hanh

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HEUCY Gal Emily meditates often, and she credits this book with getting her on the road to inner peace. We’d like to meditate too…and always want some inner peace…so we will put this in our shopping cart.

9. “The Imperfectionists” by Tom Rachman

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When I was gallivanting around Rome in my HEUCY outfits, I couldn’t stop thinking about how good this book is.  It’s a funny, moving (and fictional) account of the lives of reporters and editors who work at an English-language newspaper in Rome.  Highly acclaimed, for good reason.

10. “The New Yorker”

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Yes, this is a magazine and not a book.  But we think it should be included, because it’s incredibly light, and — if you’re like us — you’ll feel very accomplished and informed after finishing “The Talk of the Town” or half of one article.  We should have mentioned, you can also save our list for a real vacation if you need one after Thanksgiving.

And don’t forget to pack your HEUCY!  The #BonVoyage and #AlterEgo make wonderful traveling companions…as well as anything else on heucy.com.  Use code “THANKYOU20” for 20% off now til Thursday!

xx,

The HEUCY Team

#TBT: The Thomas Crown Affair & Classic, Versatile Dressing

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It’s Thursday…and in the spirit of throwbacks, we thought it would be fun to go back to 1999…when the 2.0 version of “The Thomas Crown Affair” came out — and all of us were swooning over Renee Russo’s wardrobe.  She was decked in Michael Kors for Celine throughout the whole movie.  And she looked just as chic as Faye Dunaway did in the original (we loved that one too…I mean Faye + Steve McQueen?  ‘Nuff said).

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As you’re probably aware, Russo played Catherine Banning, a self-made art consultant/high-end “detective” who is engaged in a cat-and-mouse game with Pierce Brosnan, who plays the hottie rich dude Thomas Crown.  He is wealthy (also self-made), flies his own jet, has a house in Mustique…and steals art for fun.  What’s not to love about this movie?  Catherine is impeccably dressed throughout the movie, in classic, timeless dresses and clothes.

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Fortunately, HEUCY is made for you whether you have Catherine’s figure (lucky you!) or you don’t (it’s okay, neither do we).  We think that if this movie were made again (can you imagine?), then a little bit of HEUCY would go a long way.  When Catherine was whisked away from New York City to Thomas’s place in Mustique (or was it St. Barth’s?), it would have helped if she had some HEUCY on her body or in her bag.  The Date Night or Bon Voyage would have been perfect!  It doesn’t wrinkle, and it’s very easy to put on and take off!  Let’s hope for 3.0.

Happy “Throw Back Thursday”!

xx,

The HEUCY Team

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.