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Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion

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Overview

“Overdressed does for T-shirts and leggings what Fast Food Nation did for burgers and fries.”
—Katha Pollitt
 
Cheap fashion has fundamentally changed the way most Americans dress. Stores ranging from discounters like Target to traditional chains like JCPenny now offer the newest trends at unprecedentedly low prices. And we have little ...

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Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion

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Overview

“Overdressed does for T-shirts and leggings what Fast Food Nation did for burgers and fries.”
—Katha Pollitt
 
Cheap fashion has fundamentally changed the way most Americans dress. Stores ranging from discounters like Target to traditional chains like JCPenny now offer the newest trends at unprecedentedly low prices. And 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.
 
Cline sets out to uncover the true nature of the cheap fashion juggernaut. 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?

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
“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
 
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591846543
  • Publisher: Portfolio Trade
  • Publication date: 8/27/2013
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 105,309
  • Product dimensions: 5.57 (w) x 8.42 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

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

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

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(7)

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2012

    Truly valuable.

    An interesting and eye-opening read; I would definitely reconmend this to anyone who buys clothes. Cline explains exactly where our clothes come from and how they get to us, in addition to where they end up when we're done with them--and the true cost of it all. She also offers up a number of solutions to the problems of fast fashion.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    informative & compelling

    An easy read and informative. There are some typographical/grammatical errors that disrupt the flow; but otherwise interesting & informative. From one who's already environmentally conscious, it was still able to keep my attention and interest throughout. The book is for shoppers, sewers, fashion-conscious and environmentalists, and for those who are none of the above. Read this; and then re-use, and recycle.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 26, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This is required reading for anyone interested in fashion or eve

    This is required reading for anyone interested in fashion or even just marketing trends. Cline addresses some trends that many of us who are 'regular' shoppers have already noticed ... trends like universal usage of cheap polyester and poly/blend fabrics; poorly sewn garments (demise of the French seam, linings); the demise of the American garment/textile worker; and the ubiquitous sourcing of garments in countries like China, Bangladesh, Honduras &c.
    Cline examines and traces back the trends and the marketing powerhouses (geometrically powered by the internet). She shows us how her own closet was full of cheap, 'disposable' clothes and shoes that could not last many washings/uses, and how she discovered the shoe-repair shop, sewing machines, and the art of crafting/reusing your own clothes.
    Clothing trends are on the rush-rush track of fast food; low-end stores replenish supplies weekly as well as stock new merchandise and new colors just as often. The constant production of cheap polyester oil-based fabrics also has consequences. Do you think that $5 blouse you donated to Goodwill is something they could actually sell?
    This is a wonderful examination of an industry that constantly hypes itself and pushes beautiful images into magazines, tv and the web with aplomb. But do we really need a closetful of cheap clothes?
    Cline concludes by examining alternative ways of shopping, reusing/restyling what you have, using tailors and shoe-repair businesses, and saving your money to buy wonderful, classic pieces made slowly and carefully using organic fabrics. Once again, it's up to individuals to make sensible changes (as perhaps we've done with our eating habits) and try, one at a time, to turn a wasteful megatrend around.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2014

    Doesn't focus as much on the environmental ramifications of &quo

    Doesn't focus as much on the environmental ramifications of "fast fashion" as I would have liked and sometimes focuses too much on banal character like youtube shopping hauler, but overall good read. I would recommend this to someone that doesn't already know much about sustainability.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2013

    SparkleFlame

    Here

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2013

    Cheetwo

    He padds in circle around Sparkleflame. "Do you like to lead?" He asked.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2013

    Kathrineand mina

    Ok

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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