I’ll Drink to That by Betty Halbreich
I began reading this book earlier this year when I went camping in Yosemite with my boyfriend and two of our friends. Normally you would never catch me without my iPad but since we were going to be in the woods with limited access to electricity I figured a regular print book would be a good idea in case I had a few free minutes to read.
When I read I usually take notes as I go in my google docs in order to write a well-thought review of the book. Since I wasn’t able to keep notes while I read a good portion of this book, my review will be unusually short.
I’ll Drink to That is an interesting story of the life of Betty Halbreich. I’ll be honest that I had no clue who she was before I saw a recommendation for this book online but I was drawn in by the title and then became interested in learning about this individual. Betty has led an interesting life and her sharp witted writing style is uniquely humorous. This book made me wish I had had a personal shopper like Betty and at the same time it would have frightened me!
I loved the message that her book puts forth that salespeople don’t just help people buy clothes but rather they often times act as a special kind of therapist for those that come to them and trust their instincts. Betty has quite a few stories of women that came in for clothes and left not just with things but with confidence. Anyone can spend a lot of money on fashion but not everyone has a sense of style. Thank goodness for so many women of the world that there are salespeople like Betty to help give direction and unfortunate that there aren’t more that would turn down a potential sale when they know a client isn’t there for the clothes but for a myriad of reasons that have nothing to do with clothes. An interesting book written by an interesting lady.
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
I purchased a paperback copy of this novel. All reviews 100% reflect my honest opinion.
About the Book
Author: Betty Halbreich
Published: September 2014
Book Blurb: Eighty-six-year-old Betty Halbreich is a true original. A tough broad who could have stepped straight out of Stephen Sondheim’s repertoire, she has spent nearly forty years as the legendary personal shopper at Bergdorf Goodman, where she works with socialites, stars, and ordinary women off the street. She has helped many find their true selves through clothes, frank advice, and her own brand of wisdom. She is trusted by the most discriminating persons—including Hollywood’s top stylists—to tell them what looks best. But Halbreich’s personal transformation from a cosseted young girl to a fearless truth teller is the greatest makeover of her career.
A Chicago native, Halbreich moved to Manhattan at twenty after marrying the dashing Sonny Halbreich, a true character right out of Damon Runyon who liked the nightlife of New York in the fifties. On the surface, they were a great match, but looks can be deceiving; an unfaithful Sonny was emotionally distant while Halbreich became increasingly anguished. After two decades, the fraying marriage finally came undone. Bereft without Sonny and her identity as his wife, she hit rock bottom.
After she began the frightening process of reclaiming herself and started therapy, Halbreich was offered a lifeline in the form of a job at the legendary luxury store Bergdorf Goodman. Soon, she was asked to run the store’s first personal shopping service. It was a perfect fit.
Meticulous, impeccable, hardworking, elegant, and—most of all—delightfully funny, Halbreich has never been afraid to tell it to her clients straight. She won’t sell something just to sell it. If an outfit or shoe or purse is too expensive, she’ll dissuade you from buying it. As Halbreich says, “There are two things nobody wants to face: their closet and their mirror.” She helps women do both, every day.
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