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27 Times Betty Halbreich Gave Us Fearless Fashion Advice.

A personal stylist has never really lived their trade until they’ve read the book, “I’ll Drink To That” by Betty Halbreich. That’s a bold statement but, if you’re a fan of Betty Halbreich, chances are you’re accustomed to avant-garde ideas. I loved “I’ll Drink To That” so much, I renewed the library book three times just to have it a little longer. Halbreich shared invaluable gems throughout the well-written autobiography. In this post, I’ve highlighted twenty-seven times she’s inspired me with her personal brand of wisdom and how she eloquently shares timeless– and fearless fashion advice for dressing distinctly and moving your personal style forward.

27 Times Betty Halbreich Gave Us Fearless Fashion Advice:

  1. “I can get the feel of a new clients body just by looking at a person, but to understand her personality, lifestyle, sense of color, fantasies for herself? For that I find I’m not successful unless I eyeball her in action.”

  2. “I slowly watch their reaction as I show them things they would never put on themselves. That’s what I’m here for to open them up to new worlds. Why else would they come to me?”

  3. “This I like”, a customer said. “And you probably have it in your closet. Every New York woman does. Let’s move on. Tough cookies, however are my specialty. It was clear Mrs. P. wasn’t going to give up her hang-ups without a fight. At times, however, when I deal with difficult women– those who let me know they’re spending money– for instance, I put my foot down. If not, I’ll get run over and killed.”

  4. “It was a small pull, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither should a wardrobe be.”

  5. “It’s not exactly me said the customer. “You don’t always want to look like you” (said Betty).

  6. “What I think is next time I’m the boss. Everything will be compiled and ready for you, whether you like it or not.”

  7. “It’s a must with me to make each woman I deal with, regardless of the shape and look she is, leave my clutches feeling different from when she entered, even if it’s only through a new shade of lipstick.”

  8. “Nothing gets better the more times you look at it in the mirror.”

  9. “Bergdorf Goodman once legendary lingerie department became inconsequential when people started living together before marriage. Why spend a lot of money when there’s no surprise.”

  10. “I’d still put my clothes and jewelry back with military precision even if I was Virginia Wolf drunk.”

  11. “You get on with life by facing it.”

  12. “If one buys a piece because of its label or a particular store and it’s not becoming, the item is worth nothing.”

  13. “When people came to me they were unsure of themselves like a fawn on new legs.”

  14. “I wanted women who entrusted themselves to me to break out of their own molds– pair the designer items with things in their own closets.”

  15. “I will never leave a client to help another.”

  16. “You should love yourself in something immediately, nothing gets better the more you look at it in the mirror.”

  17. “If you can’t dance, sit, or be comfortable in it, you’ll resent me for it.”

  18. “When I’m selecting, I never look at price.”

  19. “I’m direct and truthful: two words not normally associated in the world of retail. I don’t flatter or make nice nice.”

  20. “My office has always been known for establishing boundaries. I live in strict adherence to procedure and protocol and expect those in my orbit, no matter how briefly, to do the same.”

  21. “Great style, of course, has less to do with physical beauty than with high intellect. To reinvent yourself season to season takes great intellect. Understand what fits and know what feats the right alteration can accomplish.”

  22. “The clothes said nothing to me until you touched them. What kind of magic do you have in your hands?”

  23. “You need to have a keen sense of fit, color and the ability to discern another person’s deep desires, which I can only do in a one-on-one situation.”

  24. “The displacement of love, affection and attention into a pair of shoes or a dress has built an entire industry.”

  25. “When I close the fitting room door, the doctor is in.”

  26. “In my day, one boarded a plane in a suit, gloves, and hat. However last time I went to the airport, I mistook it for a fitness center.”

  27. “A beautiful gown should be like a painting, not a disco ball.”

There you have it. Some of the best tidbits of Betty Halbreich’s personal brand of wisdom from her legendary autobiography, “I’ll Drink To That”. I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed reading a book as much as I did this one. There wasn’t any way I could have chosen 9 or even 15 tidbits of wisdom from this fearless, sophisticated and incredibly wise woman. But I will give you 3 action items from the book, for you to start using immediately the next time you go shopping.

3 Shopping Tips To Try At Home.

Always go shopping alone.

Don’t bring your mom, or even a friend to weigh in on what you’re trying on. Their reaction often steals the moment and your organic, natural reaction to whatever you’re trying on. You’re better off getting to know yourself by yourself. Especially, if you’re in the hands of Betty Halbreich.

If you don’t love it immediately, you don’t love it at all. 

You don’t have to stare at the outfit in the mirror for a long time before recognizing how you feel about it. Did you ever open a gift you didn’t love and then ten minutes after staring at it go, OMG! I really love this! No, you did not. The piece isn’t you, and you know it. Don’t try to make something work that doesn’t light you up.

Don’t look at the price tag when you’re shopping.

This may sound counter-productive and you may say, but I don’t want to pick up a $1,500 garment that I can’t afford. Don’t worry about that now. The point of not looking at the price tag is to train your eye to naturally go to what you naturally like. If you’re checking the price tag on every item, you’re judging the garment prematurely and even if you did love it, and it was the perfect fit, and essential need for your wardrobe, you’re more likely not to buy it because of the price, and you’ll miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime. You can always make more money. You may not always find a piece that speaks to you or makes you feel so beautiful than the one you may have put down because you rationed it was too expensive at the moment.

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