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Overdressed
Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion | Elizabeth L. Cline
10 posts | 12 read | 12 to read
Until recently, Elizabeth Cline was a typical American consumer. Shed 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 woreincluding 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 theyve 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 its 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 Americas 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.
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review
ImperfectCJ
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Mehso-so

Inspired by this book, I took a trip to the thrift store today for the first time in several years, and it seems that fast fashion has gotten an even stronger hold than it had in 2017. I could hardly find anything 100% cotton, let alone the silk and wool treasures I used to find. *Sigh* This is a decent book but not really anything I didn't already know. And the narration isn't great, but it gets the job done.

GingerAntics I miss 100% Cotten shirts and proper shoes that let your feet breath. I think most of all, I miss clothing that is durable. I‘m not sure how anyone is managing hand-me-downs anymore. Everything just sort of falls apart after such a short time these days. 3mo
ImperfectCJ @GingerAntics I had pretty good luck with Hanna Andersson clothing for my kids. The fit and quality made the clothes last for years and I was still able to pass them on to friends. The quality in recent years seems to have gone down a little, at least in their woven items, but their knits still seem pretty good. But durable clothes for myself are really hard to find anymore. 3mo
GingerAntics @ImperfectCJ it‘s really sad, honestly. I think it highlights how we are such a throw away Society. Marie Kondo certainly isn‘t helping matters. 3mo
See All 7 Comments
ImperfectCJ @GingerAntics I have a friend who's a dedicated thrifter and a huge fan of Eileen Fisher and system/capsule wardrobes made of natural fibers. I really admire her philosophy, but so far I'm too enamored of pretty colors and not skilled enough with needle and thread to modify not-quite-my-size items to adopt the ethos myself. Maybe someday. 3mo
GingerAntics @ImperfectCJ not everyone has the time to buy clothes that way, either, honestly. Your friend is lucky she can do that. A lot of people can‘t. 3mo
ImperfectCJ @GingerAntics Agreed. I think it helps if your passion/what you love to do in your free time is forage for awesome finds and tailor clothes. Otherwise, it can feel like just more work, and you still have to make time for what feels like leisure to you. 3mo
GingerAntics @ImperfectCJ that is so true. If that‘s your thing, I think it‘s probably right up your alley. Perhaps there should be jobs where people who like doing that sort of thing can find clothes for other people and tailor them to fit properly. I know the fat community would LOVE having a resource like that! 3mo
44 likes7 comments
blurb
ImperfectCJ
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In chapter 3, the narrator and audiobook QC person inadvertently strengthen the author's point about people not knowing about sewing anymore by referring to women buying "blots of fabric" to make their own dresses in the 1920s. The text version has the correct "bolts," but I find the mistake in the audio telling.

Clare-Dragonfly 😂😅 3mo
Prairiegirl_reading 🤣🤣 3mo
Tamra 🫢 3mo
46 likes3 comments
review
Samary
Pickpick

I liked this book. I am definitely entangled in the fast fashion craze. It was nice to be reminded that I can love my clothes and not just buy stuff to simply cover my body.

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Samary
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“It is quality measured in the number of washes.”

review
SailorMoon
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Pickpick

It's a good POV on cheap fashion and how it impacts the world's economy and environment.
Take it from a person who's grown up in the fashion industry, and who's currently working in the field.
Do we really need everything we buy? Is it ethical or has someone been underpaid in order to make the garments so cheap? Do we know if something is worth buying? What enviromental impact does it have? This book raises your awareness on fashion in general.

Emilymdxn I‘ve been looking for a book just like this! 4y
SailorMoon @Emilymdxn I really liked it because I have seen first hand what the spreading of cheap fashion has done to industries all over my Country, but I must say it's not an easy and light read... I'd suggest it nonetheless because it makes your more aware of how this industry works, without condeming neither cheap fashion brands nor the customers! It just makes you think over what you buy... Please, do let me know if you read it!!! 🥰 4y
Emilymdxn I‘ve been reading a lot about politics and the environment recently and some of Naomi Klein‘s books made me want to learn more about fast fashion‘s impact on the environment. I‘ll totally tag you if I read it! Do you mind me asking what country you‘re living in? 4y
SailorMoon @Emilymdxn Italia, a Country that's not being doing well. This book is not all about environment though... it ALSO talks about it. It's more like "given two industries that sell you a t-shirt for 1$ and 10$, why do we think that the 1$ industry is honest and the 10$ one is ripping us off? Because we don't consider all the factors that make that cheap price possible... such as bad working conditions and pollution". Please do tag me if you read it! 4y
61 likes7 stack adds4 comments
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SW-T
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#manicmonday #lettero @JoScho

1. Overdressed, Oneness, and Once Upon a Flock
2. George Orwell
3. Office Space
4. Oranges and olives

JoScho 🧡🧡🧡 4y
13 likes1 comment
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UwannaPublishme
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Are these Readathon hours speeding by today or is it just me? 😊It's Hour 36, how are my #24in48 Readathoning friends doing? Hugs to all!
I love the #Swagrid photo challenge for this hour. I only have a meager collection of bookish t-shirts, buttons and jewelry. Looking forward to seeing everybody else's so I can buy MORE!
#swagalicious 😁

monkeygirlsmama Yes, #SWAGRID was awesome. LoL Like you, I don't have a ton of bookish swag, which is a real shame. I need to work on correcting that. 👍Love your shirts! 5y
UwannaPublishme We'll just have to search online more so we can add to our collections. 😊👍🏻I got the shirts at local bookstores and I've only seen a few other things at BookRiot. 5y
29 likes2 comments
review
Kat-rose
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Pickpick

Didn't want to put it down. Finished in 2 days. Highly recommend!

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seibelsays
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Picked my new #bookofthemonth box, registered for another #HogwartsRunningClub run, and have finally settled in with today's book.

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katcanwrite
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Just started this book--been meaning to read it for a while. I feel like this is a topic I don't hear about enough?

Megabooks TOMS are appropriate at all times! I live by this rule! 7y
katcanwrite @Ebooksandcooks I don't know who I would be without my TOMS with the neon green elephants 😹🐘 7y
5 likes2 comments