Abigail K. Rutherford, director of vintage couture for Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, said the items to be sold in two months offer interested parties a rare glimpse into Helmsley's private life, the Chicago Tribune said Sunday.
"It's an amazing perspective to look into her closet," Rutherford said. "It helps you understand the person."
Rutherford said Helmsley's clothing and jewelry clearly reflected the New York socialite's flamboyant personality.
"She was not afraid of color and glitz and glamor," the auction official said. "She obviously was the epitome of a rich socialite, wanting to stand out in a sea of black."
Rutherford told the Tribune the fashion items also offered evidence Helmsley, renowned for her tyrannical behavior, was likely a creature of habit and very label conscious.