Laura's Reviews > Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion

Overdressed by Elizabeth L. Cline
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The gist of Overdressed is that cheap fashion has changed the way Americans dress and shop. No longer do we invest in good quality clothing, rather we buy things as cheaply as possible. Instead of creating a wardrobe of fewer pieces of high quality, well-fitting things we love, we buy hundreds of items that are trendy, ill-fitting and of such low quality that they may only survive a few washings. Sometimes we don't even bother to wear our cheap finds. It's not uncommon to find clothing in thrift stores with the original tags still attached.

I found out about this book after reading an excerpt from Slate. The article is called "The Afterlife of Cheap Clothes" and it's from chapter 5 of the book. It's a fascinating look at where duds go after they are donated.

I recommend reading this book for all the good information it contains. The quote on the cover sums it up nicely: "Overdressed does for T-shirts and leggings what Fast Food Nation did for burgers and fries." - Katha Pollitt, The Nation. I feel like there are several books similar to Fast Food Nation, but I haven't come across similar books to Overdressed (some on Amazon recommended reading Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster, by Dana Thomas). The reason I say that is because while Overdressed is great for the information it contains about fast fashion and the damage it does to workers and the environment, the book has its fair share of problems too.

Those problems include numerous spelling and grammar mistakes, to the point that one Amazon reviewer says she got so fed up she marked up her copy of the book and sent it to the publisher. Overdressed is also annoyingly repetitive. Large chunks could disappear from the book and they wouldn't be missed. Instead there should have been a chapter at the end filled with solutions. At the book's website there is a page devoted to "What you can do." Why wasn't that in the book?

Sadly the lack of quality editing holds Overdressed back and if I could think of a better book on the subject to recommend I would. I think the information contained in the book is valuable, and because of that I'd suggest reading Overdressed. Plus it's a fairly quick read (especially if you can ignore all those grammar mistakes, otherwise you'll make yourself crazy).
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
February 23, 2013 – Finished Reading
March 2, 2013 – Shelved

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