Overdressed by Elizabeth Cline

Friday, April 11, 2014

As a journalist major I have to read a lot of books in a short amount of time for my classes. Sometimes these books are really interesting and at other times they are really boring. One book that I finished yesterday for my Fashion and Celebrity class was Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost To Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth Cline. Even though I have no idea about fashion and would have never read this book if I had chosen to, Cline does an excellent job at making us see cheap fashion as what it really is instead of finding good deals at Forever 21 and H&M.

I know I'm not a fashionable person at all. I usually just shop at Goodwill because it's cheap or American Apparel sales on Hautelook.com because they make their clothes in LA and its good quality. I have no set of style, I just wear what I think looks cool. I have a lot of clothes but no style to justify having those clothes.

So what justifies having so much clothes? Why do we feel we are making good deals when buying cheap fashion. Yet, when we look in our closets we tell our selves "I have nothing to wear".

Well it's because we are a consumerist nation. We buy a cheaply made shirt from Forever 21 for $5 thinking we've made an amazing deal. But that shirt is so poorly made with low quality materials that it will last about maybe five washes. Once it's no longer suitable to wear or in trend we throw it away instead of trying to fix it. We find it more easy to buy clothes than fixing what we already own because that's what we think is the normal thing to do. Well it's not. We have made clothing disposable. Clothing should be just like any other part of our lives. We invest lots of money for a good laptop or electronic because we want something good that will give us the best outcome. Yet, we don't invest in our clothing. We don't see the justification to spend more that $30 on a shirt that will last us for such a long time, which is very sad.

Cline puts so much reporting and investigation into this book. She personally goes to countries like China, Bangladesh, and the Dominican Republic to visits sweatshops. She has so many second voices in the story that gives the book so much more credibility. She presents so many ideas and knowledge about fashion in a manner that does not seem like propaganda. By making herself a character in her work, she makes it relatable because like all of us, she thought it was good that she could go to Target and buy cheap clothing. But at the end of this book she realizes how wrong that is. She stops buying from there and moves onto buying from local designers.

This book has made me reexamine my wardrobe and the way I see fashion today. Although I am a thrifter, I have noticed that the majority of clothes that come into Goodwill are from H&M and F21. Thrift stores have stopped becoming places in which one goes into to find something vintage and original. I've also noticed I have no style. There are so many things I would wear if certain things were changed in the clothing that I already own. Yet, I do nothing about it and continue to wear them even though I could get them fixed. I've always thought fashion wasn't important, but after reading this I've realized it is because it affects us every single day. It's made me look and think about something I've never bothered to think about. I've also decided that I am going to learn how to sew and stop buying cheap fashion. It's more worth it to invest in pieces that I really like that are made from good materials because they will last so much more in the long run.

I barley touched the surface of this book. Cline does a very good job at looking at specific things in cheap fashion and really goes in depth. I've only talked about things that I found interesting and what I've taken from reading this. If you are interested in fashion or just want to be more knowledgeable about our world and how clothing affects us every single day, then I highly recommend for you to read this book.

You Might Also Like


Like us on Facebook

Flickr Images