Sibylle’s Style Diary: Ellen Hart From the Famed Ellen’s Stardust Diner on Always Living With Fun and Style

This week’s style diary guest is Ellen Hart, the owner of the world famous Ellen’s Stardust Diner in Times Square, which will be celebrating its 30th anniversary next year. The owner of this iconic diner, famous for waiters and waitresses who perform songs while working in the diner and who are frequently picked to perform in Broadway musicals, is embracing life with fun and an amazing energy. She is sharing her perspective on style in this week’s Style Diary. 

Sibylle Eschapasse: Describe your style?

Ellen Hart: My style depends on what I do for the day or the night. There are times I  dress up for events at night or wear jeans hanging out with the girls. When I go on dates, I wear a sexier look. I’m sometimes athletic, and wear many different hats when it comes to style. 

I think we should go back and develop style where clothing is a little less casual.
— Ellen Hart

Ms. Eschapasse: If a close friend were to describe your personality in three words, what would they be?

Ms. Hart: Lively, young, moderately-conservative

Ms. Eschapasse: How did your style evolve since you were a teenager?

Ms. Hart: When I was a teenager in the ’50s and ’60s, I wore slinky clothes with ballet slippers and sweater styles appropriate to the period of time. I would say I am now more sophisticated and in-tune with what is happening today. I wear dresses and skirts a lot and also love tights. I don’t necessarily march to the drummer of what everyone else wears. 


(Courtesy of Ellen Hart)
(Courtesy of Ellen Hart)

(Courtesy of Ellen Hart)
(Courtesy of Ellen Hart)

Ms. Eschapasse: What is the wildest thing you ever wore?

Ms. Hart: I went to a hat party in Central Park and I wore a full outfit with roses and a big red hat. It almost looked like a costume.

Ms. Eschapasse: How do you dress on workdays versus weekends?

Ms. Hart: Conservative when I go to work. I still wear 1950s styles at the diner and dress a little more casual than I would ordinarily be. I am pretty casual on the weekends as well, wearing jeans and tops. 

Ms. Eschapasse: What are three accessories you can’t live without, and what’s one item that makes you instantly more confident?

Ms. Hart: 1. Chanel beads, 2. Louis Vuitton bag, 3. High heels

Makeup makes me more confident instantly.

(Courtesy of Ellen Hart)
(Courtesy of Ellen Hart)

Ms. Eschapasse: Who have been your greatest fashion influences?

Ms. Hart: The models in magazines like Elle Magazine.

Ms. Eschapasse: Who is your style icon?

Ms. Hart: I don’t have one, I follow individuals and trends of the moment.

Ms. Eschapasse: What does having style mean to you? In other words, please define style.

Ms. Hart: Looking good, putting myself together, being admired, and presenting myself in a fashionable way.

Ellen Hart with Brian Setzert. (Courtesy of Ellen Hart)
Ellen Hart with Brian Setzert. (Courtesy of Ellen Hart)

Ms. Eschapasse: What is one purchase you’re most proud of? What would you pay a lot of money for, and what would you never pay much money for?

Ms. Hart: I am most proud of my rose gold diamond necklace as well as a Dolce & Gabbana lace white cotton dress that makes me feel confident when I wear it.

Designer bags I would pay a lot for. There is nothing I wouldn’t pay a lot of money for if I really liked it.

Ms. Eschapasse: When you go on the red carpet, how do you want your outfit to make you feel? Which designers can achieve that?

Ms. Hart: On the red carpet, I want to feel very beautiful and desirable. Dolce & Gabbana as well as Oscar de la Renta can help achieve that. 

(Courtesy of Ellen Hart)
(Courtesy of Ellen Hart)

Ms. Eschapasse: What do you think of how others dress and what’s your advice to people who would like to develop their personal style?

Ms. Hart: In general I think we have become much more casual. I would say keep yourself groomed. I think we should go back and develop style where clothing is a little less casual.

Ellen’s Favorites

Favorite color: Red
Favorite perfume: Bergdorf Goodman Roja
Favorite restaurants in NY: Morini, Atlantic Grill, Lusardi’s, Cafe Fiorello, and of course, mine, Ellen’s Stardust Diner
Favorite drink: Tito’s on the rocks with two olives on the side
Favorite movie: “The Help”
Favorite book: “Unbroken”
Favorite quote: “The best of times is now.”

Sibylle’s “Style Diary” is a column that explores style from the perspective of choices, and what that means for different people, with personal advice from some of the most stylish people in New York.

Sibylle Eschapasse is from Paris and now lives in Manhattan. She is a journalist and a contributing writer to various publications. Sibylle is also the author of a children’s book, “Argy Boy a New York Dog Tale.” She may be reached at