Elizabeth Cline’s Overdressed

Being surrounded by fashion or at least being confronted with it on a daily basis (blogs, news sites, commercials, magazines etc.) can sometimes be intimidating. You want the newest bag from the name brand company that costs more than you’ll make in three months, or to wear the newest trends straight off the runway…and thanks to stores like Target, H&M, Zara, and Forever 21 you can, well kind of. These companies are the reigning Kings and Queens of fast trendy fashion at a price you can afford.

There is no doubt that I’ve shopped at these stores and more than likely so have many of our readers, and virtually everyone else in the world it seems. So then why is Elizabeth Cline, author of Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion telling us to stop? Fashionista.com recently sat down with Cline to find out why she wrote this somewhat (okay maybe very) controversial book. After the first question, in which Cline replied, “I noticed in my own life that I was shopping constantly and shopping very cheaply,” I thought to myself “Hey that sounds like me!”

Here is recap of what I found most interesting in what Cline had to say about the current state of the fashion industry.

Her findings…

“The entire mass market fashion industry is really about putting out trends constantly throughout the year, and everyone in the industry is competing to try to sell clothes as cheaply and as quickly as possible. It started out as a niche thing, with stores like Forever21 and H&M, and then it pushed every company in mass market to operate in this way.”

The effect “fast fashion” has on consumers, like ourselves…

“In a very short period of time clothing has gone from something that we need to save up for and something that people valued and took care of, to something that is an impulse and disposal purchase. People are buying throw-away clothes. It’s a big shift in our thinking. Nowadays, people value trends over quality and craftsmanship. I would argue my generation and those that are younger than me, don’t even know what a well-made garment even looks like. When I started researching this book, I definitely didn’t.”

On this point, I personally agree with Cline. I find myself almost saying this exact same thing to my husband on a weekly basis as I head out to get another shirt because my newest purchases have already been ruined by the first wash. I’m buying so many “inexpensive” clothes I can’t afford good ones!

On the toxicity…

“Well I think what we’re already seeing is that there are going to be supply problems because there is only so much cotton that can be grown. There’s only so many sheep that can be shorn. If we continue in this way, more and more of our clothing will have to be produced from synthetic material. It’s all going to be polyester. Which I think is sad. Most people don’t want to be wearing plastic but they’re so obsessed with getting a deal that they’ll buy it anyways.”

At the very least this is an interesting concept and can’t wait to read the book. Check out Fashionista.com for the entire interview!

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