“Saucy memoir from Bergdorf’s legendary personal shopper”

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I’ll Drink to That: A Life in Style, with a Twist by Betty Halbreich and Rebecca Paley is a must-read for any dedicated style-maven. Betty Halbreich has reigned over what many would call America’s poshest department store for decades. She has dressed the wives of moguls and movie stars.

 

At age 86 Betty Halbrieich, the woman who has listened to so many secrets as she zipped and unzipped “her ladies”, is ready to share a few of her own.

 

Betty’s story is quietly remarkable and all more so for the honest way she tells. This book is not a fairy tale or exercise in vanity. It is inspiring – the story of how a sheltered, rich girl grew up to “take care of other people”.

 

Betty began life as pampered only child in Chicago. Her father owned a department store and lived to indulge her beautiful mother and his only daughter. Betty makes no bones about being totally isolated from the depression. Nor does she mince words about being smart, beautiful, and fickle.

 

When she met handsome Sonny Halbreich, the attraction was instant. Love at first sight between the two resulted in Betty becoming a teenage bride. But the beautiful Betty and her handsome husband do not live happily ever after. Betty recounts the breakdown of her marriage, raising her two children and her own life-changing nervous collapse and subsequent therapy.

 

It is an interesting story but the book really gets going when Betty goes to work as Bergdorf Goodman’s first personal shopper. It was a perfect fit. Betty Halbrieich grew up around beautiful clothes and fabrics. She is also dedicated, hardworking, organized – and not afraid to tell her clients the truth. She had been in training for the job all of her life.

 

This is not a style book. But it is story full of style, wit, and wisdom.

I loved this book.

 

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