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Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion Paperback – August 27, 2013
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—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
- Publisher : Portfolio; Reprint edition (August 27, 2013)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1591846544
- ISBN-13 : 978-1591846543
- Item Weight : 8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.4 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #108,212 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Last month I read Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline and it changed my life. It was eye opening. It was truly shocking. It made a huge impact. It was life changing. I just didn’t realize the ramifications of fast fashion. I’m a casual gal – cotton twill slacks in a couple colors, jeans, a few knit tops and sweaters, and I’m set. I used to love to shop at Kohl’s. It’s inexpensive and if it’s not on sale this week, it’ll be on sale next week. And, just like the book stated, items were reasonable enough that I could and would buy a few colors of each style I liked. And do it again next season. And next… So where do all the clothes go when everyone throws them out to get new styles next month / season? That’s what got me. That and never being happy with the fit and quality of workmanship. When you sew, you know how things should be put together. Furthermore, I don’t wish to be a willing participant in providing extremely poor working conditions for those working in garment factories. So I chose to make a difference in my world. I chose to be a more conscientious consumer. I chose to return to making my own clothes.
I am now back to my old-fashioned (much more honorable) habit of consistently inspecting seams and hems for proper construction and looking for the "made in..." label. If we refuse to buy items created in sweatshops, our actions could lead to better working conditions throughout the world.
I would also highly recommend this to anyone who works in the fashion/clothing manufacturing industry, especially if you're interested in eco fashion.
Top reviews from other countries
Most of the book is taken up with the sales history of specific American clothing stores. Aside from that there's a little on American ethical clothing makers, and American sewing bloggers (none of whom still blog about sewing). The only nod to life outside the USA is the briefest commentary on cheap Chinese clothing imports, but the author doesn't explore this - just acknowledges it.
There was really nothing in depth about the environmental impact of cheap fashion, social media sales driving cost cutting, real time spending changes or innovative ways to address the situation. The book is just "I buy lots of clothes. Everyone buys lots of clothes. Perhaps I'll make my own clothes. No, I'll keep buying clothes."
I really recommend this book.