Over-Dressed – A book that tells it like it is
Do you ever feel bad about buying new clothes? I sometimes feel queasy about the amount of clothes we consume.
I just read an eye-opening book that helped me understand this unease with the fashion industry. The book is called Overdressed – The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline.
Voyage of discovery
It follows one woman’s voyage of discovery from a closet crammed with flimsy and ridiculously cheap garments, to investigating the ruinous phenomena of fast fashion.
Fast fashion treadmill
This fast fashion treadmill that we’ve got ourselves on is terrible for the environment, for workers and even for the way we look.
The way we look
We pay less for clothing than we have ever done in history. While prices for fast fashions have been on a downward spiral the quality and fabrics have been watered down as well.
The book reveals how quickly a garment can go from inception to shelves and how this has dramatically shortened the fashion season cycle. From three or four fashion seasons a year, trends are now being updated and sold on a weekly if not daily basis
Trends change so fast and quality of fashions are so poor that most clothing is now designed to be worn once or twice and discarded. This attitude drives me crazy.
The author, Elizabeth Cline visits factories around the world and reveals to us the environmental, economic and human costs of fast fashion. She also dispelled some major fashion myths.
The myth of recycling
I’ve always felt that one of the mitigating factors to our fashion consumption is at least clothing can and is being recycled. Not! This book takes us from Salvation Army thrift shops to fabric recyclers to Third World dumping to show how fast fashion is actually destroying clothing “recycling”.
A greener solution
It’s a fascinating and sobering book. But not totally depressing because it shows us what changes and options are available to stop this destructive cycle. It shows how get back to a greener, more sensible approach to our clothing rather than being fast fashion addicts.
Seven step program
With the help of this book, Joanne and I have put together tips and a seven step program for fast fashion addiction;
- Go on a fashion diet – Admit you have a problem and commit to not making frivolous spur of the moment clothing purchases.
- Establish a wardrobe game plan – Analyze your existing wardrobe to cull and decide what you really need for your lifestyle and career.
- Learn to recognize quality and crap – Start looking at the labels to see where and with what the fashion is actually made. Buy quality not quantity.
- Take a sewing course – Elizabeth Cline actually did this so that she could recognize quality manufacture and also repair and alter her own clothing to get more mileage and better fit from garments.
- Understand your body type – Consult an image consultant or take a course so that you know what your figure type is and what fashions make you look better and what fashions to avoid.
- Understand your skin tone and coloration – Again an image consultant may have to help you with this but it will enable you to find out what colors look best on you and avoid buying trendy colors that make you look washed out.
- Read this book – It may change your life. You’ll never look at clothing the same way again.
Since Joanne and I are corporate image consultants, we knew many of the things about quality, fit and cost per wear of clothes. But we were astounded by the fast fashion insider information that is revealed in Overdressed. For the love of yourself and the planet, check this book out. You’ll be glad you did.