Start reading Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card
 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Color:
Image not available
 

Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion [Kindle Edition]

Elizabeth L. Cline
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (156 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $10.02
You Save: $5.98 (37%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $10.02  
Hardcover --  
Paperback $10.55  
Unknown Binding --  
The Road to Character by David Brooks
The Road to Character
Responding to what he calls the culture of the Big Me, which emphasizes external success, David Brooks challenges us to rebalance the scales between achieving wealth and status—and those that exist at the core of our being: kindness, bravery, honesty, faithfulness, etc. Learn more | See similar books

Book Description

Until recently, Elizabeth Cline was a typical American consumer. She’d grown accustomed to shopping at outlet malls, discount stores like T.J. Maxx, and cheap but trendy retailers like Forever 21, Target, and H&M. She was buying a new item of clothing almost every week (the national average is sixty-four per year) but all she had to show for it was a closet and countless storage bins packed full of low-quality fads she barely wore—including the same sailor-stripe tops and fleece hoodies as a million other shoppers. When she found herself lugging home seven pairs of identical canvas flats from Kmart (a steal at $7 per pair, marked down from $15!), she realized that something was deeply wrong.


Cheap fashion has fundamentally changed the way most Americans dress. Stores ranging from discounters like Target to traditional chains like JCPenney now offer the newest trends at unprecedentedly low prices. Retailers are pro­ducing clothes at enormous volumes in order to drive prices down and profits up, and they’ve turned clothing into a disposable good. After all, we have little reason to keep wearing and repairing the clothes we already own when styles change so fast and it’s cheaper to just buy more.


But what are we doing with all these cheap clothes? And more important, what are they doing to us, our society, our environment, and our economic well-being?


In Overdressed, Cline sets out to uncover the true nature of the cheap fashion juggernaut, tracing the rise of budget clothing chains, the death of middle-market and independent retail­ers, and the roots of our obsession with deals and steals. She travels to cheap-chic factories in China, follows the fashion industry as it chases even lower costs into Bangladesh, and looks at the impact (both here and abroad) of America’s drastic increase in imports. She even explores how cheap fashion harms the charity thrift shops and textile recyclers where our masses of cloth­ing castoffs end up.


Sewing, once a life skill for American women and a pathway from poverty to the middle class for workers, is now a dead-end sweatshop job. The pressures of cheap have forced retailers to drastically reduce detail and craftsmanship, making the clothes we wear more and more uniform, basic, and low quality. Creative inde­pendent designers struggle to produce good and sustainable clothes at affordable prices.


Cline shows how consumers can break the buy-and-toss cycle by supporting innovative and stylish sustainable designers and retailers, refash­ioning clothes throughout their lifetimes, and mending and even making clothes themselves.


Overdressed
will inspire you to vote with your dollars and find a path back to being well dressed and feeling good about what you wear.



Editorial Reviews

Review

“Cline is the Michael Pollan of fashion…Hysterical levels of sartorial consumption are terrible for the environment, for workers, and even, ironically, for the way we look.”
—Michelle Goldberg, Newsweek/The Daily Beast
 
“How did Americans end up with closets crammed with flimsy, ridiculously cheap garments? Elizabeth Cline travels the world to trace the rise of fast fashion and its cost in human misery, environmental damage, and common sense.”
—Katha Pollitt, columnist for The Nation
 
Overdressed is eye-opening and definitely turns retailing on its head. Cline’s insightful book reveals the serious problems facing our industry today. The tremendous values and advantages of domestic production are often ignored in favor of a price point that makes clothing disposable.”
—Erica Wolf, executive director, Save the Garment Center
 

About the Author

Elizabeth Cline has written for AMCtv.com, The Daily Beast, New York Magazine, Popular Science, The New Republic, The Village Voice, and seedmagazine.com. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. Visit overdressedthebook.com.

Product Details

  • File Size: 693 KB
  • Print Length: 267 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1591846544
  • Publisher: Portfolio; Reprint edition (June 14, 2012)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005GSZJ3Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,617 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
69 of 72 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Long on problem-short on solutions September 12, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I do recommend this book to anyone whose closet takes up a whole bedroom and is full of things you got as a steal but never wear. I recommend this book to anyone who takes frequent hauls of last season's clothes to Goodwill thinking they are doing something grandly generous. I recommend this to anyone who remembers going to the high end section of the department store and finding amazing details and fine finishing of garments-remember French seams?- and wonders why you can't seem to find them at any price now.

I bought this because I am well aware that something is wrong with clothing currently. I grew up as a home sewer and in the last 10 years I have done less and less as finished garments were getting cheaper than then fabric needed to make them. A simple sheath dress takes about 2 hours to make and about 2 yard of outer fabric, not to mention interfacing and notions. To think that these fast fashion stores could sell this dress and far more complex things for under $40 tells me a lot of people are getting screwed. I wanted to know how many, but also what I as a consumer can do about. Sadly, this book is a little thin on solutions. It doesn't give much help on how to source fairly made clothing. How to source fairly made, high quality, environmentally sound clothing is really what I was looking for. On the other hand it did remind me of the value of home sewing. Fast fashion is like fast food-it is good enough and is set up to crate cravings, but clothing, like good food, nourishes the spirit. You may need to work harder for it but it is so much more rewarding.
Was this review helpful to you?
119 of 128 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Think before you buy! June 14, 2012
By BLehner
Format:Hardcover
A century ago people usually had only a handful of garments in their wardrobe. Carefully mended, and handed down, these clothes were never disposed of before literally being worn out. Today the average US citizen buys 65 new pieces of clothing each year. Typically not meant to last, these items will rather be thrown away than repaired or altered, because this would ironically enough be more expensive than buying new ones.
On this premise Elizabeth Cline sets out to explore cheap fashion in her book Overdressed. Revealing the effects of cheap fashion on her own life, her research takes her to the reasons of this development and a possible future in slow (aka local and sustainable) fashion. Both conversationally written and thought-provoking this is a must-read for everyone who's interested in the economics behind the circle of shopping and clothes production.
I have read many books on the topic but this is the first that addresses one particular point which I feel is shockingly obvious yet often ignored. Fast fashion is not only cheap, it is, basically, waste. You might be all for recycling plastic, but have you ever thought about what's in your wardrobe and the implications for the environment? With fashion being cheap, and quality just "good enough", we create a staggering amount of pretty colored polyester garbage. Think about this before homing in on the next bargain you see!
In short: An eye-opening read that will hopefully make you reconsider your buying decisions!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the NetGalley book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
124 of 135 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars read along with "Supersize Me" June 19, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I had the same sense of revulsion reading this book as I did reading "Supersize Me" (which is more or less the food version of this book) and I see fast food and "fast fashion" as indicative of the same lack of basic skills. We don't typically cook -- and therefore don't recognize quality in food. Few people sew anymore, and therefore don't recognize quality in clothing. The high cost of housing means that cost becomes more important both for food and clothing -- and quality suffers. The manufacturing chain makes adjustments to accommodate the desire for more of everything. And then follow the TV shows: Biggest Loser for the food problem; and Hoarders for the clothing (and everything else) problem.
Oddly enough, the bad construction of cheap clothes puts consumers into the endless cycle of buying more of everything. If you can't fix your shoes or alter your clothes, then you need multiples of everything just to make sure something lasts through the season. Expectations of grooming and dress have become demanding, which means that there is more acceptance of cheap clothing. 60 years ago when every working woman wore a suit every day to work, her entire wardrobe was different. She didn't have 22 tops and 14 skirts -- she had five suits. And yet we see the connection between clothing and our behavior-- schools that expect specific behaviors usually have specific dress codes. (the author of Supersize Me also comments on how fast food -- and eating in your car -- disrupted the idea of set meal times. )
I am old enough to remember the grand department stores in big cities -- and the expectations both of dress and behavior that accompanied them.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
407 of 456 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The shockingly high cost of cheap editing June 29, 2012
By Nancy
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm very interested in the subject of fast fashion, and I'm pretty sure the author did her research. (There are 11 pages of endnotes.) But "Overdressed" is so poorly written and edited (or unedited) that I stopped reading after three chapters. Some of the more glaring errors: "rarified" for "rarefied," "principal" for "principle," "hoards" for "hordes," "reigns" for "reins," "lose" for "loose," and "$150 dollars." There are comma errors, syntax errors, subject-verb agreement errors, verb-tense errors, and capitalization errors. Concepts that require clarification are unexplained (Black Friday, "when France was occupied").

And that's just the first 94 pages.

Nitpicking? Not really. "Overdressed" isn't a hastily written blog post; it's a book from a respected publisher. The sloppiness of the editing doesn't merely make for a painful reading experience; it also impairs the author's credibility and makes me wonder about the accuracy of her facts. Which is a shame, because this is a subject crying out for thorough and expert reporting.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
Currently reading and enjoying this book! Book received in great condition!
Published 10 days ago by Steph
1.0 out of 5 stars Great way to lose credibility
This idiot just waxed poetic on NPR that someday we might have a "Whole Foods or Trader Joe's" for clothing. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money buying overdressed
This book is terrible. Cline"s lack of knowledge of fashion history and the industry is enormous. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lorelei Burk
5.0 out of 5 stars great easy read
Had to read this book for a sustainability class in college. Easy to grasp and super quick to read whenever
Published 2 months ago by nickicamp
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I was hoping to purchase it on Audible
Published 2 months ago by Ernestine Fleming-Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars You'll never look at a buy-one-get-one sale the same way again.
I deliberately went from mountains (acres!) of clothing to just a very small capsule wardrobe, and I've long studied the realities of the "fast" clothing industry. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Tara Myers
5.0 out of 5 stars An elegant sermon to the Choir
I found this book very hard to read at times, not because of the writing but because of the content. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Catherine Chandler
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love
Published 3 months ago by Jonite Avril
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read from beginning to end
For most of my life, I've followed my mother's advice and paid a bit more for high-quality, timeless clothes. Read more
Published 4 months ago by MK
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating - the research here has been written and presented ...
Fascinating - the research here has been written and presented in an engaging way. It's really crazy how the manufacturing industry has vastly changed...
Published 5 months ago by Kerry Kruk
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Forums

There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 


Look for Similar Items by Category