Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Gladi-hater No More

After (many) months of denial, I've had to admit the truth: gladiator sandals are here to stay. For now.

Yes, I may have grasped this simple concept about a year after everyone else. But with money tight, I was determined to stick with my classic (read: boring) Jack Rogers and simple Rainbows, instead of shelling out cash on fleeting trends.

Though when something is still "in" after a year, I think you are no longer allowed to refer to it as "fleeting".

With warm weather approaching (quickly? Not so quickly? It's hard to tell), I've got to hop on the bandwagon sooner rather than later. The question now is, where to start? (Hint: a store sounds like a good place.) Even then, gladiator sandals are everywhere. Every storefront seems on the verge of bursting from the sheer amount of these sandals that they contain. The choices are unbelievable. For starters: how high should my sandal be? Ankle? Mid-calf? Knee? (Neglia, Aldo. com, $125.00) Will my heel be covered or uncovered? Now for colors-metallic? Snakeskin? Nudes? Perhaps a neon or multi-color? (Rosenberger,, $75.00))

How many buckles do I want? Should there be laces? Will my toes be strapped in or out on their own? Zippers? FRINGE? I'm dizzy.

Then I must ask whether I could choose studs, grommets, beads, rhinestones, or ruffles. (Pour La Victoire Ella,, $215) What about "earth toned stones" or bedazzled adornments? Do I need embedded sole studs?

Luckily for you, gentle reader, I've thrown myself into the trenches and narrowed things down to three choices. However, if you need excessive embellishment (see above) or have twig-like gams that will look good in anything, you're on your own.

Option #1 is Groove's "Charmer" (, $55.00) Wear them with something above the knee, like these denim Bermudas from the Gap ($49.95):
Option#2, Matt Berson's Gladiator (, $170.00)Love the embedded sole studs! Use it to dress up something simple, like this cotton cobalt dress from Express ($39.50):
Option#3: J. Crew's "Rimini"(, $78.00) Pair this delicate little flower of a gladiator with your cuffed boyfriend chinos and a breezy summer top.

"Genius!" you say, "Pure genius!". I must agree. It's time to bite the bullet. When it comes to gladiators, my new motto is go big or go home-but sure as hell don't go up to my knee. I've putting preppy aside (just for a second) and going trendy. I'm a gladi-hater no more!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Chasing Harry Winston

After four months of toilet paper buying and cat feeding, my photography internship paid off in the form of a high end bridal shoot for Modern Luxury magazine. (On newsstands in June, check it before you wreck it.) Though I was basically delegated to being the assistant to the assistant, I found myself trying to be the stylist's assistant. Which wasn't my job. "Who made THAT!?!!?!?" I would ask every. single. time. a model came down in a new couture bridal gown. They were sparkly, champagne, cream, ivory, beaded, v-neck, strapless, sugary confections of wedding deliciousness. No wonder the divorce rate's up! How are you supposed to just choose ONE of these to wear for your WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE? Based on my (fabulous) taste, I'm going to have to get married 12 times just to really show the fashion world what's up.

And then let's talk about the jewelry. There were five (armed and dangerous) guards protecting even more amazing confections from Harry Winston and Van Cleef and Arpels. Yes, they were scary, and yes, I talked them into letting me touch them. Imagine million dollar, 35 carat necklaces, 5 carat emerald cut diamond rings set in platinum...hand me a spoon. The fact that one of the guards was a retired grandmother named Barbara made it even better. We quickly became BFFs after I uttered the words "I die," to which she replied "Oh, I work with Rachel Zoe all the time!"

Obviously, I needed deets. Which she told me. Unfortunately for you gentle reader, they are top secret because Barbara's packing heat.

And let's not leave out the "Ensley" moment of the day! As I was packing up to leave, I thanked the guards for trusting me not to scoop up their gorgeous jewelry in my sweaty paws while hightailing it for the hills by saying "Thanks for letting me look at your jewels! I mean...your goodies. Um...those are some rocks!" Ooops.

All in a day's work folks, all in a day's work.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

If You Can't Beat 'Em-Buy 'Em

Last week, one of the restaurant's regulars-an older gentleman named Clem with a heavy thirst for Jack and coke-took the courtesy of asking what my name was. Upon introducing myself as Ensley-since that's what I answer to-my coworker Ron (who I also like to call "Mr. Helpful") shouted: "Doesn't that sound like a quintessential WASP or what?" Clem chuckled and agreed. He then asked me what religion I was raised in, the answer (Episcopalian) eliciting another round of laughter. This confused me, so naturally...I Googled.
This led me to believe that:

1) the power of Google is awe-inspiring
2) I probably shouldn't be having to Google acronyms I am being called
3) basically, when you look up "WASP" my photo comes up-I blame that whole Episcopalian episode, and
4) Ron and Clem basically called me a JAP who loves Jesus.

Here's a few tidbits I aquired from Urban

1. W.A.S.P.="White Anglo Saxon Protestant". The most common place for W.A.S.P.s would be New England. Smart, witty, posh, classy, old money, top of the social chain, good looking, country club members, nonchalant, old school, boat owners, capable of outdoing anyone on anything, original prep (none of this new popped-collar, tacky pearls, and ribbons), boat shoes, Polo's, Lacoste, scandelous in private, small stature.
There are two types of people who go to country clubs:
People who let you know that they attend a country club, and those who you had no idea because they don't go about telling everyone. We call those people w.a.s.p.s. {See: Preppy}

Smart, witty, posh? Boat owner? I could get used to this. On to the next...

1. Preppy
A true preppy is someone who:
Wears, but is not limited to, Polo, Lilly, Brooks Brothers, Lacoste, LL Bean (ie duck boots), ribbon belts, prints (ie cords with embroidered whales, palm trees, etc), sweaters tied around the neck, collar always popped, looks neat and put together. Hair ribbons or ribbon headbands, pearls, and other classic jewelry pull the look together. Preppies are partial to monogrammed and engraved items (ie tote bags, oxford shirts, jewelry, money clips, etc). Colors are always brite (favorites include pink and lime green). Preppies may not always match EXACTLY but they are always coordinated. Hats are worn (ie polo player, Lacoste, Brooks Brothers), but they are unique- not designs you would see in the mainstream and the "mall".
Preppies often attend prep schools (ie Middlesex School, Governor Dummer Academy, and Belmont Hill) followed by New England private colleges.
They are confident and unafraid to express their own styles and be daring in their fashions. Preppies vacation on Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, Delray Beach, and on the coast of Maine. These vacation locales are places their families have been going to for years, and have histories there.
It is a common misconception that preppies are snobs. Many people view them as unapproachable, and as a result mislabel them. Preppies are not as rich as people may think they are, but they are often well off. They buy into classics rather than trends, and don't change their lifestyles with fads.
Preppies tend to have bizarre connections with other preppies they meet, always finding mutual friends/ family and people that run in the same circle.

Preppies don't:
* Wear tight, skin exposing clothing (ie fitted Abercrombie sexual tshirts with tight flared jeans)
* Limit themselves to mall shopping and chain stores. They gravitate towards long-established classic stores and boutiques unique to quaint New England towns.
* Wear heavy makeup and endless hair products. The phrase "less is more" is a preppy creed.
* Glue purses to their arms, especially when going to school. Lip gloss and if need be, a wallet, are thrown into tote bags along with books.

Now, I could refute any of this above information. But then I would be lying. My name is Sarah Ensley Gilchrist and I'm a big ol' WASP. My parents, their parents, and their parent's parents all have skin the color of 2% milk. Real world example: last Thursday, I about had a heart attack and died when I found Vineyard Vines pajama pants (see above photo) at Filene's Basement (I mean, uh, the super-exclusive Vineyard Vines boutique on Martha's Vineyard itself!) for a mere $19.99. Hel-LOOO! They are perfect for lounging around my sunny condo on the Upper East Side. Or my summer house on the beach in Nantucket! (Or my tiny ass, sardine can of an apartment with a view of my neighbor's gorgeous brick wall. But whatever.)

So I'm a WASP. I like bright colors and would like to live in the Lilly Pulitzer store on the UES. (That's Upper East Side for all you low-lifes.) I die for boys in blue blazers and drool a little when I step into J. Crew. Get over it.

And also keep an eye out for my upcoming book on style, titled "How to Not Look Jewish, Trendy, or Cool".

Monday, April 6, 2009

You're A-Pee'in

This morning I was up early, packing for my trip to Europe with my roommates (we're flying British airways with the beds and everything!). I was in a great mood because I just found out my manager had given me the time off work for our (extended) trip...a huge weight off of my shoulders! From now on, when my roommates and I:
1. Watch Roman Holiday, Under the Tuscan Sun, or
2. discuss "Eat, Pray, Love", or
3. look at a photo of the Eiffel Tower together,
I can actually do more than nod and fake laugh as they start stories by saying "When I spent that spring in Paris," or, "Italians are so...(fill in the blank: pushy, loud, greasy, etc.)" I am going to wear full, bouncy skirts and flats as I zoom around on my Vespa! I'm finally going to see the sights that so far I've only experienced in photographs!

...and then my alarm went off.

There is no trip to Europe. There is no packing to be done. And there is no airplane bed so I can wear a glamorous sleep mask and appear as if I'm a professional jet-setter while getting some transatlantic shut-eye. Nothin'. There are no bouncy A-line skirts or ballet flats-just April drizzle and a crowded Subway commute.

Why can't my mind just freaking get to the good stuff? I could have actually HAD A DREAM ABOUT EUROPE but nooo-I had to request off from work and pack toiletries in containers smaller than 3 ounces!

There is a bright side. Based on my customer service to anyone foreign while I'm waitressing, I wouldn't be able to understand those crazy Europeans anyway. (Seriously. They need to slow down and AN-NUN-CEE-ATE.) At least that's what I'm telling myself. Until then-I'll keep dreaming.

Note to Self

1. Avoid watching online episodes of the Tudors at midnight on a Sunday-it makes for a rough Monday. (Case in point: It just took me five minutes to compose that sentence.)

2. Indulging in a large, post-lunch brownie "because it's Monday" is a bad idea, mostly because tomorrow you will be eating cookies "because it's Tuesday" or a tub of ice cream "because it's 10am".

3. Refer to #2 when you wonder out loud why you can't lose 10 pounds even thought you claim to be working "sooooo hard!"

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Only Medical Advice You Will Ever Need

So unfortunately I can't claim credit for this genius, but if isn't the most true thing you've ever read, then my name isn't Ensley "I love margaritas" Gilchrist. I mean, just look at this picture to notice there is an extreme healing process going on here:

Do you have feelings of inadequacy?
Do you suffer from shyness? Do you sometimes wish you were
more assertive?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, ask your
doctor or pharmacist about Margaritas.

Margaritas are the safe, natural way to feel better and
more confident about yourself and your actions.

Margaritas can help ease you out of your shyness and let
you tell the world that you're ready and willing to do
just about anything.

You will notice the benefits of Margaritas almost
immediately and with a regimen of regular doses you can
overcome any obstacles that prevent you from living the life
you want to live.

Shyness and awkwardness will be a thing of the past and you
will discover many talents you never knew you had. Stop
hiding and start living, with Margaritas.

Margaritas may not be right for everyone. Women who are
pregnant or nursing should not use Margaritas.
However, women who wouldn't mind nursing or becoming
pregnant are encouraged to try it.

Margaritas are also available in
generic form, known as tequila. Just as effective and
costs only a fraction.

Side effects may include:

:-( Dizziness, nausea, vomiting, incarceration

:-( Erotic lustfulness

:-( Loss of motor control

:-( Loss of clothing

:-( Loss of money

:-( Loss of virginity

:-( Loss of bladder control

:-( Attraction to ugly men

:-( Table dancing

:-( Headache

:-( Dehydration

:-( Dry mouth

:-( And a desire to sing Karaoke


The consumption of Margaritas may make you think you are
whispering when you are not.

The consumption of Margaritas may cause you to tell your
friends over and over again that you love them.

The consumption of Margaritas may cause you to think you
can sing.

The consumption of Margaritas may make you think you can
logically converse with members of the opposite sex without

Total Body = Total Nottie

In my not-so-extreme efforts to become a Skinny Bitch, I ventured to New York Sports Club's Total Body Conditioning class this morning. Being that it was mid-morning on a Friday, the class was mostly populated by grandmother-ish types and stay at home moms who stuff their kids in the playroom with a bored, under-eye bagged Hispanic woman. Since I was one of the youngest people there, I thought that maybe, just maybe, this would be one fitness class in which I didn't make a complete fool of myself.

That lasted about five minutes.

To start, we were supposed to get two sets of weights-heavy and light. Seeing as how I've been increasing my weights recently, I got a variety that included 5, 8, and 10 lb weights. WRONG. Wrong wrong wrong. Halfway through the first set I switched from 8 to five pounds. Then I ran over and got some three pounders while the 80 year old grandma dressed like a ballerina (there were pink legwarmers involved) almost punched me in the face. By the end of the first arm exercise I was lifting...air. Pure, sweet, oxygen, that's all the resistance I need to feel the burn! I mean really. Maybe once I get a little more fit I could start lifting pencils? Or empty Aquafina bottles? Whatever it takes!

Problem number two. Since I tend to get off-beat very quickly, I'm usually looking around to make sure I'm in sync with everyone else. Imagine my shock and disgust when I realize that the woman standing directly in front of me had the most ass sweat I. Have. Ever. Seen. It was truly distracting. And disturbing. On the upside, it totally took my mind off of the fire that was my entire lower body during our squat session. On the downside...I was staring at ass sweat. A lot of it. But she WAS a skinny bitch. So I had to wonder, is this what happens when you are a skinny bitch? I mean, my ass wasn't sweating, but then again I was lifiting AIR. Not exactly working hard. Maybe having a river of ass sweat that could rival the Hudson in width and total liquid volume is what it takes to fit in single-digit pants? Maybe.

If so, I'll stay in my size 10's forever. That's just nasty.

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