Quick Reads: “Overdressed” by Elizabeth Cline

Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion

By Elizabeth Cline

PORTFOLIO/PENGUIN

When Elizabeth Cline emerged from a Kmart in the summer of 2009 with seven pairs of the same perishable $7 shoes, she knew America had a problem. In 1985, we bought roughly 31 clothing items per year; now we snap up twice that many thanks to “fast fashion.” (See “What Not to Wear” from our July/August 2012 issue.) Cline explores the origins of this shift—think the Gap circa mid-1990s—as she tours cheap-chic factories in China and clothing “landfills” (charity stores) where the castoffs pile up. Best, Cline is never preachy; she uses her personal addiction to highlight our national one.

This review originally appeared in our July/August issue of Mother Jones. 

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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