Sunday, August 25, 2013

Betty Halbreich, Personal Shopper


After seeing the film, "Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's" this summer, I had to read the book about the famous Bergdorf's Personal Shopper Betty Halbreich.  The film is all about the iconic department store and Betty plays herself as a supporting character...
Betty Halbreich wearing Chanel.

Ms. Halbreich has been choosing the right clothes for actresses, socialites, and young ladies for 36 years.  She is the head of the "Solutions" department at Bergdorf's and now has authored the book "Secrets of a Fashion Therapist."  This book reminded me of shopping in posh department stores as a young girl with my Mama.  Back then Sales Assistants actually knew their inventory and tried to help you find the outfit that was the best look and fit for the occasion...instead of just trying to make a sale.


Ms. Halbreich in the "Solutions" office at Bergdorf's in New York City.


Even though Ms. Halbreich believes it's okay to wear black to a wedding, I still like the advice she dispenses in this book.  

She starts with helping you to clean out your closet...suggesting what to keep and what to get rid of.  From there the book is about how to build your wardrobe...not a trendy wardrobe, but one that will last for many years--whether you are a college student just entering the business world or returning to the workplace after staying at home.

I love this piece of advice..."Don't look to the fashion magazines as a Bible on how to dress; look to them merely to glean ideas of what you might like to wear."

A lot of stores offer Personal Shoppers today.  To be honest, I have only taken advantage of this type of service on two occasions...both with Saks Fifth Avenue and the purchase of my St. John Knits suits.  I really think if you are shopping for a special occasion a Personal Shopper is a valuable ally.  I don't know about y'all, but I really appreciate it when I can get an objective opinion about the color, fit, and style of clothes.


Ms. Halbreich photographed in her Park Avenue apartment.
"Shopping and dressing is about much more than clothes.  It's about something you do to make yourself feel good."  
~Betty Halbreich

10 comments:

Meghan said...

I think I just found a new book to put on my "must read" list.

Thank you so much Miss Janice for the suggestion!

Southern Living: Preppy Style said...

I must read this. I was thinking about heading to Norstroms for personal shopping trip after the baby is born. My wardrobe is tired and could use some help, especially when I go back to work. Adding to my goodreads now.

Suburban Charm said...

I actually bought this book when it first came out shortly after I graduated from college. I found it a great tool for building a classic wardrobe and I have been saving her book for my two daughters to read when they are young women building their wardrobes. Great advice, but I too disagree about wearing black to a wedding!

annie said...

This is going on my reading list tout de suite.
Also not a fan of black at weddings though it seems to be 'in' for brides' maids.

Nessie said...

That sounds interesting... Thanks for the suggestion.
Can I ask you about something different? I always love your monogrammed items. I just have one first and one family name - is there any chance for a cute monogram?
Greetings from Scotland, Nessie

The Classic Preppy said...

I saw an interview they did with her on the Today Show and fell in love!

Miss Janice said...

Dear Nessie,
The etiquette for two-letter monogramming is as follows:
Use your first and last initial, in that order and and letters of the same size.

Monique Lehnhardt said...

I remember fondly the personal shopper at Gus Mayer in New Orleans. She kept a book with birthdays, Mardi Gras balls, anniversaries, favorite colors, etc. I remember the first time she opened the hidden door in the better dresses salon and ushered me into a whole other store I didn't know was there. When they closed the store it was the end of an era.

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing. I have placed it on my "must read". I, too, disagree about wearing black to a wedding. When I was mourning my mother's death I shunned these type of social occasions. I, of course, placed a personal call to the host/hostess with my regrets. Prior to my period of mourning I rarely wore black so this period was very obvious to those who know me.

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing. I have placed it on my "must read". I, too, disagree about wearing black to a wedding. When I was mourning my mother's death I shunned these type of social occasions. I, of course, placed a personal call to the host/hostess with my regrets. Prior to my period of mourning I rarely wore black so this period was very obvious to those who know me.