We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
I'll Drink to That Audiobook

I'll Drink to That: A Life in Style, with a Twist

Regular Price:$24.50
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

A classic tale of personal transformation amid a stunning backdrop of old world glamour and current high style, Betty Halbreich moves from a trapped woman to a ferociously independent icon.

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 40 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 20 after marrying the dashing Sonny Halbreich, a true character right out of Damon Runyon who liked the nightlife of New York in the '50s. 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 attempted suicide.

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.

©2014 Betty Halbreich and Rebecca Paley (P)2014 Penguin Audio

What the Critics Say

"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 35 years, and she's only 30.' 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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (227 )
5 star
 (125)
4 star
 (66)
3 star
 (24)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (5)
Overall
4.2 (203 )
5 star
 (105)
4 star
 (60)
3 star
 (27)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (6)
Story
4.5 (202 )
5 star
 (139)
4 star
 (41)
3 star
 (14)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (5)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Margaret 12-30-14
    Margaret 12-30-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    147
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    80
    78
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    8
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Changing Role of American Women through Fashion"

    If you love clothes and have a keening interest in the vintage construction and luxe fabrics of times gone by, you will love this book. If clothes are not interesting to you, this book will bore you in places. Betty Halbreich's past is not heroic or triumphant - it is the story of a wealthy girl growing up during a time when little was expected of women except to look decorative, create a well-run, comfortable home, and spend their husband's earnings to do it. Intelligent, creative or ambitious women paid a high price for that comfortable nest - little was expected of them, and their sense of self was defined for them. Betty Halbreich's passion for fashion and style probably kept her from going bonkers in the process. Other reviewers might judge her harshly by today's parenting or partnering standards, but that's simply not fair - the social fabric was completely different then and womens' ability to imagine an alternative path was constricted by forces outside their control. The second half of her life, she built a path for herself at Bergdorf Goodman's - and while the reader might roll their eyes about some of her clients' pampered lives, her approach to building a stronger self through style is human and fascinating. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and Betty - and mmmmmm the clothes, too.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Courtney 03-18-15
    Courtney 03-18-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lovely"

    A lovely listen. It's very interesting to hear the point of view of someone who is so different than myself however, in some ways we are exactly the same.

    Four stars for the story- at some points I felt it was repetitive but don't let that stop you from listening if the subject interests you.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sand 10-15-14
    Sand 10-15-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    297
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    44
    39
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    48
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Inspirational, but not in the way I expected"

    To me, this book was one-third fashion memoir, one-third shopping advice, and one-third personal-evolution confessional.

    Although I came for the fashion and shopping dish, it was actually Halbreich's personal story that resonated with me the most.
    She grew up pampered and privileged, married a fairytale Prince Charming, but (surprise!) didn't live happily ever after. Following the familiar mid-century trajectory, by the early 70's her marriage was over and she was figuring things out with the help of a therapist.
    It was the job at Bergdorf's that resurrected her sense of self back then, and there's no question it's still what keeps her so sharp and relevant at 87 years old.

    If you're a fashion addict, fashion historian, aspiring designer--or all of the above--you really can't pass up this detailed, name-dropping, autobiographical romp through 20th century fashion design.
    There are also some interesting insights into how merchandise in stores like Bergdorf's is manipulated and hidden from regular customers by commissioned salespeople who "hide and hold" prime sale items for their best customers or themselves. (If you really want the best selection in your size, shop a week or two after a big sale or promotion, when everything "on hold" gets returned to the racks.)

    And if you're trying to decide between the print and Audible version of this book, let me tell you: Jane Curtin SO perfectly channels Betty (whom you can watch on several video clips on the web) that the Audible' version's a no-brainer.
    I'm guessing Curtin narrated this because she knows Betty personally (she was quoted as a client in Halbreich's first book), but she is also such a pleasure to listen to--I'm seriously in love with her accent and diction-- that I hope she narrates many more books in the future.





    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    wednesdaywalsh 04-13-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "No idea how the title relates"

    It's not at all about drinking. It's about clothing and life and the passing of time. I enjoyed the narration most of all - it accentuated the simple but elegant phrasing and descriptions.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jocelyn Kentwood, MI, United States 01-07-16
    Jocelyn Kentwood, MI, United States 01-07-16 Member Since 2016

    jjtallyho

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "cheers!"

    lovely story. every one has trials and tribulations. What a great and inspiring woman. well read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lauren Medina 10-20-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Worth every moment"
    Would you consider the audio edition of I'll Drink to That to be better than the print version?

    Yes! I felt a strong connection with the narrative version. Very well done!


    Any additional comments?

    A wonderful story of an amazing and inspiring woman, paired with a wonderful narrative. A must!!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth Forest Hills, NY, United States 09-30-14
    Ruth Forest Hills, NY, United States 09-30-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Intersting Portait of a Woman"
    What made the experience of listening to I'll Drink to That the most enjoyable?

    It was read in what seemed to be the voice of the writer with all smirks and smiles that you could imagine.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Grace ST 10-25-16
    Grace ST 10-25-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "All good, with 6 hrs of audible sarcasm"

    The story is good. Well written. I recommend you to read the real book quietly by yourself instead of listening. The narrator is so good, really good, so dramatic, however this is not a fiction book, but you would think so. The whole book is read with slices of hateful tone. It is annoying after a while. Still, it is a soulful book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret Chung 06-30-16 Member Since 2015

    MaggieMay

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautiful"

    Not being interested in clothing history, I'm not sure what made me pick up this book. As the finishing words still echo in my head however, how glad I am that I did. This book, this life, is an adventure of one woman's journey. It's like a private journal of her relationships, her work, her triumphs, her failures, her nuggets of wisdom gleaned from hard effort and hard work. I learned so much about fashion, yes, but I also learned about elegance, and grace, and failure, and weaknesses, and relationships , and fortitude, and learning how to reinvent yourself as life changes around you. My love and thanks to Betty for sharing so much of herself with the world.

    The bits on fashion tended to drag on a bit for me, but the gems of beauty when the author described her personal life, the customs and norms of the 1950 New York society, were fascinating. And, yes, I maybe am now considering not wearing my workout clothes everywhere.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bridget A White 06-16-16 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    53
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very different"
    Where does I'll Drink to That rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In the top 90 percentile.


    What did you like best about this story?

    An autobiography about a real woman that found her niche and in doing so, allowed herself to grow. It is a reality story that makes each of us feel extraordinary.


    Have you listened to any of Jane Curtin’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This is the first book read by Jane Curtain that I have heard. The performance ranks up there with the best narrators and I will look for other works that she performs.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    This is reality!


    Any additional comments?

    A couple of places dragged towards the latter part of the book, but not by much!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.