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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye-opening book about the state we are in - you should read it
I caught sight of this book in an article in the New York Times but it hadn't been published over here (at the time) and there wasn't a kindle edition, so I put it on my Amazon wishlist and was given it last week.

This is a bit of an 'oh my' book. I am a bunch older than Elizabeth Cline and as she says only people born before the 80s will have had the...
Published 18 months ago by L Weale

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 3 stars for entertainment, 2 stars for content
This was entertaining for a while but then got very repetitive.

The things I did not like about this book:

- The preachy proselytising tone.

- There needs to be more facts and figures. For example I was fascinated by the few examples of how clothes prices went down from 1900 to 1960. I wanted to know more.

-There should have...
Published 5 months ago by RL


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 3 stars for entertainment, 2 stars for content, 7 Feb 2014
This review is from: Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion (Paperback)
This was entertaining for a while but then got very repetitive.

The things I did not like about this book:

- The preachy proselytising tone.

- There needs to be more facts and figures. For example I was fascinated by the few examples of how clothes prices went down from 1900 to 1960. I wanted to know more.

-There should have been more investigation of factories in Bangladesh and China instead of one little visit.

-The usual handwringing over how evil we are to pollute to planet with nothing about green chemistry.

Then there were the two things I hated the most, the repetition and the fact the author assumes that most Americans have the same shopping habits to her and her circle.

There is an extreme left, pro-Trade Union, pro-Green, Third World Country pitying side to her views. There is nothing wrong with these sentiments. I agree with some of them myself. However I wish someone would present both sides of the argument. For example are we in the West solely to blame for China's pollution and Bangladesh's factory fires? Surely those countries goverments are resposible too?

She preaches the formation of trade unions as a solution to Chinese low wages. Yet Chinese wages and their standard of living have expodentially risen while trade unions are illegal in their country.

I couldn't help feeling that if she was from a poorer background or had personally lived as a working class/lower middle class person in the 1950's-60's, she would see the good side of cheap fashion. She looks back nostalgically at pre 1990's expensive clothes. Yet I remember that era as an unpleasant time when things could be very hard.

She also did not explain why luxary high ends clothing have also gone down in quality. That was the main reason I bought this book.

Even with all these negatives, the book is rather entertaining. It is better than Lucy Siegal's book on the same subject. I give it 3 stars for entertainment, 2 stars for repetition and lack of content.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye-opening book about the state we are in - you should read it, 27 Jan 2013
By 
L Weale - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
I caught sight of this book in an article in the New York Times but it hadn't been published over here (at the time) and there wasn't a kindle edition, so I put it on my Amazon wishlist and was given it last week.

This is a bit of an 'oh my' book. I am a bunch older than Elizabeth Cline and as she says only people born before the 80s will have had the opportunity to notice the change in the clothes we buy and the way we buy clothes, because we will have seen clothes that were not sold mostly based on price. I have spent the last 20 years wondering how the price of clothes can go down and the quality remain the same and of course it can't.

The book is written by a woman who likes fashion and is on a budget and it is a good if scary read. Elizabeth Cline looks at the mass clothes sellers like Zara and Forever 21 and talks about how they can make and sell clothes so cheaply and how we are managing to dispose of all these clothes once we are bored with them or they have fallen apart.

The numbers are frightening and the demands that big business make on people and the environment are alarming and as Cline points out, we the consumer are contributing to the mess because we like what we are being offered

This book is written from the USA and talks about things American but as the book shows we live in a world of globalized industry. I am sure that a lot of what Elizabeth Cline says is true for Britain and for Europe.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really, all I can say is read this book, 27 Nov 2012
By 
D. Brown "Blogging at Tweedling, avid reader ... (West Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
If you’re going to read Overdressed, be prepared for it to leave a nasty taste in your mouth and a lump in your throat when you next open your wardrobe. This really is a pretty damning expose of the ‘fast fashion’ industry, which churns out clothes faster than we can wear them out, leading to massive waste and a wardrobe full of clothes that we wear only once or twice. Why? Because at $5 an item, we still think we’re getting our money’s worth even if we only wear it a couple of times and then it goes out of fashion.

I wouldn’t say I’ve ever been excessively fashion conscious and certainly for the last 2-3 years, I tend to only buy something when I need it. I do love shoes but even so I become incredibly attached and will wear them even when they have holes in. This Autumn, I finally threw out a pair after getting my feet soaked not once, not twice but three times! But have I bought an item in the past for $10 rationalising that it doesn’t really matter if I only wear it a handful of times? I probably have.

Fast fashion is all about embracing trends but Overdressed points out that trends change so quickly that some stores are introducing hundreds of new lines each week. Therefore, clothing is becoming disposable as people strive to keep up with the new trends emerging constantly. The cost? Our clothing is gradually becoming of poorer and poorer quality. As is stated in the book, it’s now enough for something not to be lousy. We no longer strive for an ideal, we just want to avoid something awful and if we can, that’s enough.

I was born in the eighties but years ago I was given a jacket from the seventies. It had already survived for years and it lasted for many more. Eventually the lining gave and I had kind of outgrown it anyway. I never managed to replace that jacket with anything near the quality. So, what’s the answer? To buy ‘quality’ brands? Not necessarily. Overdressed points out that in an investigation a $75 polo shirt was found to be little different to a $9 one. For the ‘fast fashion’ brands, pricing drops and quality drops but for the ‘premium’ brands, pricing is staying at a premium, even if the quality isn’t.

Really, all I can say is read this book. You’ll draw your own conclusions and may or may not agree with everything that’s said. But like Jonathan Safran Foer’s ‘Eating Animals’ was a shocking eye-opener to me as a meat-eater, ‘Overdressed’ is the equivalent version for clothes buyers. So pretty much anyone who doesn’t make their own clothes. It would be naive to suggest that that’s the way forward but perhaps it’s a less frightening prospect than a world where a one-wear blouse becomes as common as a paper plate.

**I received a copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I did not receive any additional compensation and all views are my own.**
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4.0 out of 5 stars if your wardrobe is about to explode, read this book., 15 Sep 2013
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it's not bad to know how our garment is evolved.
This book describe this evolution very well, and maybe I will briefly consider my next purchase whether it is justified or not to buy it.
It is important that everyone attaches more value to the quality of a garment, by opting for quality rather than quantity. So that our relationship with our clothes do not end up like our food, where they do not know where our milk comes from. Or how a cow looks like.
I recommend the book to anyone who does not bother to buy cheap clothes and whose wardrobe is about to explode.
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Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion
Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L Cline (Paperback - 8 Nov 2013)
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