Confession: I love Rachel Zoe. I loved her reality show. She has great taste and great style — something that I think you are just born with. I can do without most of her jargon (because it’s BANANAS), but she’s an icon as much as she is a live cartoon character.

That said, she’s living on a different planet. Her idea of a small shopping spree is what some countries yearly GDP is. While I love her designer picks, I refuse to be the little old lady who lived in her shoes because she could no longer afford her mortgage (Sorry Carrie Bradshaw – I love you, but there’s not enough room in my Louboutins for my two kids and my 55 lb labradoodle, nor my husband – and I’m not going anywhere without these folks.)

When I opened her latest picks email, first I drooled, then I laughed at dollar figure on each of these pieces – especially when one of her editors claimed a $400 pair of Gucci sandals were “affordable.” Maybe for Gucci – but again, $400 for a pair of sandals is not really what most people on earth consider affordable.

I, however, found some great alternatives to some of her picks I thought I’d share:

1. Jumpsuit:  Like the $900 Missoni jumpsuit (left)? Try the Calypso one for under $350 (right).

2.  Like the $400 Gucci Sandal (left)? Try 
Zara’s version, which incorporates the fringe trend ($99):



3. The Red Dress by Cedric Chalier (left; $1117 on sale) is gorgeous.  Get the same stunning look for less at Old Navy (right) ($37):


4.  The Eyelet Isabel Marant Ruffle Blouse (left; $575).  Get a the same feminine flair with the Ruffles and Lace blouse (right; $110):


Happy shopping….and saving. You can thank me later. :)

xo Betina​​​


Check out my full blog at blog.bffbybetina.com, or click below.  Here's a sampling in the meantime…..

Dressed right, every girl looks and feels like a "Skinny Girl"

December 6, 2013

"​It’s easy to dress skinny girls, isn’t it?”

This is the question a childhood friend, who caught me red-handed with some L’Wren Scott pieces from the Banana Republic collaboration (love the lip print!), asked me in response to pictures I had posted about recent stylings.  I looked at her puzzled, yet delighted. I was about to blow the roof off her perception of, well, everything. And I could not wait to deliver the punchline, especially because she’d never see it coming. It made me realize, however, that perhaps others think that only skinny girls can look … skinny.  Here’s my secret:  there is no secret.  Every girl is a skinny girl dressed right.  

My clients are normal women, many of whom have birthed multiple children, are working professionals, stay at home moms, social butterflies and the like.  I like to dress people – men and women alike.  The women I dress, each in their own way,  manifest all that is uniquely feminine:  hips, legs, decollette, curves, shape, bumps, and/or some combination thereof, especially if these women are the true full time working women: moms.  The irony is that women lament these gifts, instead of embracing them.  Women (not men) are biologically gifted with the ability to birth and perpetuate life – the responsibility of species survival is placed in our hands. Buck up, ladies, ’cause as those of us who have had kids know, raising them is an adventure and a pleasure – it’s a full blown rager that lasts 24/7 for 18 years or longer, not just 18 hours before you have to get up for class or work the next day.  And we get party favors:  These bumps, curves, and beautiful shapes are our permanent reminders of what only women get to experience in this lifetime.  Whether others are envious or threatened by it, it is what it is, and I say, we embrace it. All of it. And in every way we can.

This is my styling philosophy. Plain and simple. Whether a male or female client, like a tort plaintiff, I take you as you are.  I embrace it, and teach you to as well.  Bring it, because we’ll make it work, and work for you.  Whatever “it” is. So, in response to my friend’s question about dressing skinny girls, I could barely contain my smile – or the punchline. “She looked great, didn’t she?  By the way, she’s a size 8-10, and has the most insane curves that would make even Kim Kardashian envious.  All of my clients look and feel like skinny girls when I’m done with them because I work with her assets and make them work for her.” Her jaw dropped. My spirits soared sky high.  I could not have imagined a more wonderful compliment. Ever. Until she hired me on the spot.

planting fashion seeds….styling my man

December 8, 2013

One misnomer about styling is the goal:  it's never about making someone into someone he/she is not. It's the antithesis: it's about helping him/her look like who one is.  It's unique to every client (which makes my job so fun and interesting)!  Part of expressing that is finding the right stylist to help you tap into that and help manifest it in a way that is truly authentic. Making that happen - dressing and feeling like your true self--can happen in a single closet edit session or appointment. Other times, it can take time - years, in fact---especially when your client is your husband.  

The most important thing I've learned about men after being with my husband now for almost 17 years, is that men don't do anything unless (1) they want to; (2) they've come to the conclusion about doing it themselves; and/or (3) they are ready to do it. Want them to want a wardrobe update or upgrade? Plant seeds - water them, let them grow. Sometimes these flowers of change bloom quickly; other times they take years (or decades) to blossom.  The point is they do - and when they do, it's a moment worth waiting for.  

I know. I know first hand because for the last 16 years, I've watched my husband grow, evolve and a year ago, have a fashion blossoming moment.  Let me tell you about my husband.  He is the most caring, loving, nurturing, sensitive man I've ever met, and ever known.  He is warm, funny, loves unconditionally with his whole heart, gives so much of himself to his family, friends and his patients, and is really ALL heart.   He is not what pop culture would define as "metrosexual."  He enjoys his massage every once in a while (because he does stand 15-18 hours a day, but that's about it.  He's a guy's guy - he'd die for his sports teams (Giants, Warriors, especially); and when they are playing….nothing else is.  Every day I feel like the luckiest woman alive (even when I want to strangle him) because he is an amazing man, father, friend, husband, doctor -- and easy on the eyes.  In fact, before our first date, when shown a picture of him, I was nervous to meet him because I thought he was THAT good looking.  He's a fine wine, friends.  He is more handsome today than the day I met him, esp. with the salt added to his pepper dark hair, a sign of his tireless work to fulfill his life's ambitions.  He has more tenacity than anyone I have ever met -- and I am more in love with him now than the day I met him.

However, the one thing I know about him that time has confirmed again and again is that he is a creature of habit.  He does not see the need to change…well, until he does.  He has a good sense of style, generally speaking (his mom taught him well before I met him) - but like me, got lazy over the years because he could.  Being in medical school, in residency, and later in fellowship, there were few opportunities to "dress."  He basically traded uniform for uniform since I met him -- first, his flannel J Crew shirts and wool gauge knit sweaters while in college, for his grey tees and shorts in med school; and later, the shorts and tees for his scrubs in varying colors, depending on the hospital he worked at (royal blue, then mint green, now baby blue).  Once he was required to wear the traditional shirt and tie with slacks daily to see patients, I waited with baited breath. I waited for the day he would finally come to me and say, "Mama (he calls me Mama - i love it), I'm ready for a change, and I want to up my game." I waited 16 years for that moment. I'm not sure whether it was my work with other male clients, or even sharing my experiences working with female clients, who were ready to put it out there as they embraced a new style, and did after working together.  I do not know whether it was because I rejoined the world of fashion after I failed to put time into myself in my early motherhood years.  The why seemed unimportant.  My wait was over. The sixteen year old seeds I planted initially burst into full boom last fall, when those words delighted my patient (yet so tired of being patient!) soul and ears. And off the races I went.  

Finally, the pleated pants gave way to flat front sleek slacks that screamed sophistication.  The light blue dress shirts were placed on the back burner in favor of sophisticated plaids, pop ties, and mixing of prints and patterns.  Alas, his day in the sun arrived -- and people noticed.  So many people noticed that he came home and told me about how good he felt and how proud he was of waking up and pairing the pairings I paired for him.  "I got a ton of compliments on my shirt and tie pairing today."  He felt noticed, he felt proud, and he felt good.  I felt good that he felt good….and even though I know, deep down, I had long ago planted the seed, it finally blossomed -- and that was thank you enough for me.(Photos, top to bottom: on the morning of our wedding; on his first day of residency; on his first day as a practicing cardiologist; post closet edit and wardrobe update!)  

fashion styling and wardrobe consulting services 

 ​​​​best foot forward