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Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion

by

Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion Cover

ISBN13: 9781591846543
ISBN10: 1591846544
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

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.” Newsweek/The Daily Beast

Review:

“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

Review:

"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

Synopsis:

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 its 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?

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.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Leslie Richman, March 27, 2014 (view all comments by Leslie Richman)
Elizabeth Cline weighs in on "fast fashion" with a fresh voice and frame of reference that is highly appealing to me as reader and consumer. She explores the history of the fashion trade in depth and presents it alongside the state of design, manufacturing, and sales today. Lots of eye opening names and numbers are discussed in terms of the changes both behind the scenes and in our spending and wearing trends. Overdressed is a truly valuable read whether you are looking to invest in high quality pieces or change your consumption based on ethics and human welfare. Cline presents the facts without getting preachy, and without presenting much of an agenda beyond clarifying many aspects of the clothing industry- definitely a worthwhile read.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9781591846543
Subtitle:
The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion
Author:
Cline, Elizabeth L.
Publisher:
Portfolio Trade
Subject:
General Social Science
Subject:
Popular Culture
Subject:
Business - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20130827
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
8.44 x 5.5 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Business » General
Business » Management
Featured Titles » History and Social Science
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Beauty and Fashion » Fashion » General and Costumes

Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$16.00 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Portfolio Trade - English 9781591846543 Reviews:
"Review" by , “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.”
"Review" by , “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.”
"Review" by , "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.”
"Synopsis" by , 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 its 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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