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Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of…

Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion (2012)

by Elizabeth L. Cline

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3162257,979 (3.66)17
Evaluates the costs of low-priced clothing while tracing the author's own transformation to a conscientious shopper, a journey during which she visited a garment factory, learned to resole shoes, and shopped for local, sustainable clothing.



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» See also 17 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
One woman's story about her quest for sustainable fashion, after realizing that fast fashion is not sustainable. The statistics and companies she cites are somewhat dated now, but the facts haven't changed. ( )
  lilibrarian | Feb 12, 2020 |
Overdressed is a non-fiction book about the reality of the fashion industry. In this book Elizabeth L. Cline explains how the quality of clothing has gotten worse as the cost went up. She states that most people with enough money, would just buy clothes to buy something. She talks about how the production of rubber shoes and clothing items could be effecting the environment. Most people have more clothes than they would wear on a regular basis, or even remember.

Overall, I thought the book was pretty good. I did feel at some times that she was being a bit negative but it does show the reality of cheap clothing. This book definitely exposes some of the bigger clothing companies for bad quality. ( )
  SDeWitt.ELA2 | Oct 22, 2019 |
pg. 198 cheap fashion is a waste of money... "because the materials and sewing often aren't even worth owning."
The cheap clothing industry has taken jobs out of our nation and is filling our landfills.
Natural materials can be composted, but most clothing is made with mixed fabrics and most are manmade. We do not have the technology to separate the materials.
"clothing that is well made is not cheap..." pg. 208
pg. 221 "cheap clothes not only undermine those who sew, sell and design them, they're the pitiful result of decades of price pressure that has erased the craftmanship and splendor of what we were." ( )
  VhartPowers | Dec 27, 2018 |
"Many books about fashion begin with an argument for why we should take fashion seriously. I'm going to take a different approach and say that fashion largely deserves its bad reputation. It's now a powerful, trillion-dollar global industry that has too much influence over our pocketbooks, self-image, and storage spaces. It behaves with embarrassing little regard for the environment or human rights. It changes the rules of what we're supposed to wear constantly, and we seem to have lost our sense of self along with changing trends."

Overdressed is an eye-opening look at the psychological, societal, and environmental detriments of fast fashion consumerism. According to the book, the average American woman purchases 64 pieces of clothing per year and owns 30 outfits (compared to just 9 in 1930). Sixty-four pieces! That is a mind-boggling statistic, especially when you consider how the average American also throws away 80 pounds of clothing every year. Fast fashion has conditioned consumers to treat clothing as cheap disposables that last only for a season or two before people are onto the next trend. Elizabeth L. Cline advocates ethical, slow fashion instead--in her words, "make, alter, and mend."

"Clothes could have more meaning and longevity if we think less about owning the latest or cheapest thing and develop more of a relationship with the things we wear. Building a wardrobe over time, saving up and investing in well-made pieces, obsessing over the perfect hem, luxuriating in fabrics, and patching and altering our clothes are old-fashioned habits. But they’re also deeply satisfying." ( )
  hianbai | Nov 3, 2018 |
Probably my favorite book of the year (it's March). The research is broad, detailed and complex. Elizabeth Cline offers a number of explanations and ways of looking at the problem of fashion, from the price scrutiny of consumers, changing clothing culture, intellectual property, profit margins of business, and other elements of the global fashion industry. I was constantly engrossed in all of the different ways to think about this issue. She goes right to the sources of trade organizations, U.S., Chinese, Bangladeshi, and Dominican clothiers. She looks at different companies, statements of fashion designers and leaders, and the history of fashion and prices.

If you only want to know how to make your fashion more ethical, try the following suggestions in the book: (0) stop buying fast fashion: Zara/H&M/Old Navy/Forever21 (1) minimize the size of your wardrobe (2) choose high quality items (will experience a lot of wears, reparable, durable, looks good) (3) indicators (but not necessary or sufficient indicators) of fair trade include transparent sourcing, fair trade certifications, low production volumes, slow cycles, prices higher than fast fashion retailers (4) evaluate each garment individually instead of relying on a brands (offerings differ) (5) consider making your own clothes (6) see if you can find vintage clothes (7) repair clothes and shoes (8) only donate clothing that is in good condition and of good quality ( )
  CassandraT | Sep 23, 2018 |
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To my grandmothers, Routh and Margarett
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In the summer of 2009, I found myself standing in front of a rack of shoes at Kmart in Astor Place in Manhattan.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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