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I'll Drink to That: A Life in Style, With a Twist Hardcover – September 4, 2014

4.3 out of 5 stars 412 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, September 2014: Perhaps your first reaction to the opening pages of Betty Halbreich’s I’ll Drink to That: Life in Style, with A Twist, will be something like mine: I want this woman who practically invented personal shopping 40-plus years ago to come to my house, analyze my closet – and retool my wardrobe, and, thus, my life. And that would be great – but you can learn almost as much about style (and sanity) by reading on in this opinionated, glamorous, and yet somehow likable woman’s memoir of a life that might bear absolutely no resemblance to yours. The daughter of well-to-do German Jewish parents in 1930s Chicago, Halbreich grew up pampered, for sure, but she was also lonely and desperate for approval, from her fashion-plate mother (in whose closet the young Betty played, amid bottles of Joy perfume), her glamorous father, and ultimately a way-too- charming husband who put me in mind of Nicky Arnstein, the husband of Fanny Brice played so memorably in Funny Girl by Omar Sharif. Two decades of matrimony in New York, a couple of children and who knows how many betrayals on both sides later, Halbreich finally managed to leave her marriage, suffer the requisite nervous breakdown (complete with requisite stay in fancy mental ward) – and emerge to reinvent herself as the ultimate working woman, first as a kind of stylist for such legendary designers as Geoffrey Beene and finally at Bergdorf. To say this is an Everywoman story is pushing it; in fact, the pitch perfect idioms and cultural references channeled, presumably, by co-author Rebecca Paley, make it absolutely particular to Halbreich’s era and station. But that’s the point, and the fun: let Halbreich take you back to a time when women wore brooches, men donned hats and everybody had a guiltless cocktail before dinner. – Sara Nelson


Praise for I'll Drink to That:
“Lena Dunham, creator of HBO’s Girls, is now developing a series inspired by Ms. Halbreich’s life. The impatient, however, can satisfy their curiosity more immediately with I’ll Drink to That, the long-anticipated memoir in which Ms. Halbreich chronicles her life in the dressing room and beyond.” The Wall Street Journal

“Charming… An inspirational feminist tale.” People Magazine

“Tart, funny.” Entertainment Weekly

“Sartorial style becomes a philosophy of life in this spirited memoir…Halbreich comes across as sage and gracious as she narrates a life full of incident, taking us inside the fashion industry and one of its great institutions.” Publishers Weekly

“Every woman has a piece of clothing that she can’t live without, because in it, she feels most like herself. Betty’s memoir has that effect on a reader. Authentic style is a form of self-knowledge. And in that respect, I’ll Drink To That is like Betty's famous three-way mirror. She sizes up her own life fearlessly, and in the process, not only helps you to diagnose your own flaws, but to embrace your own beauty." —Judith Thurman, author of National Book Award-winning Isak Dinesen: The Life of a Storyteller and Los Angeles Times Book Award-winning Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of ColettePraise for Betty Halbreich:
"Betty was born to sail through people's lives telling them what to wear (and even what to do). The other day I overheard her chatting with a client, 'Oh, she's been my friend for thirty-five years, and she's only thirty.' Lines like that are good enough for George Cukor. The whole scanrio is. Maybe she's known that all these years. Fashion is not only about necessity but also a form of entertainment—and that is what Betty sells." —Isaac Mizrahi, fashion designer

"I would trust this woman with my life—closet!" —Joan Rivers, television personality

"...she's the go-to celebrity. She's also the most fun." —Patricia Field, costume designer for Sex & the City

"There's a pragmatic principle behind the way Betty dresses people. It's very inclusive. There's room for everyone in her process. [Betty] is able to be in the fashion world, but also take it down a peg at the same time." —Lena Dunham, writer and actress

"The fashion doctor is in....Even as designers and editors seem to be conspiring to lure women into their latest whims, Betty Halbreich is a scrupulously practical truth-teller. She considers it her job to protect women from clothes that are wrong for them. She takes pride in pushing the least expensive items she can find, when it’s appropriate...A brassy Chicago native with a manner that’s part Angela Lansbury and part Lucille Ball, Halbreich believes in taking chances with color and accessorizing lavishly." —Bob Morris, New York magazine

Product details

  • Item Weight : 1.15 pounds
  • Hardcover : 304 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 9781594205705
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1594205705
  • Product Dimensions : 6.5 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Publisher : Penguin Press; 1st Edition (September 4, 2014)
  • Language: : English
  • ASIN : 1594205701
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 412 ratings

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
412 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on November 14, 2014
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4.0 out of 5 stars A book for lovers of style and quality.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 4, 2015
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 2, 2020
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3.0 out of 5 stars Read better
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 22, 2017
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 20, 2016
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5.0 out of 5 stars What a fantastic read. I thoroughly enjoyed this highly entertaining book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 26, 2015
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