Finding Freedom in Our Clothes Closets.
A Feature Review of
Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion.
Hardback: Portfolio, 2012.
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Reviewed by Amy Peterson.
I still remember the first time I got to go shopping- alone – after giving birth to my second child. He was seven months old. It had been a while.
I was driving to pick up our free-range Thanksgiving turkey from a family farm in Kokomo, and had some extra time, so I stopped at Old Navy. A skirt, a dress, a cardigan, and two t-shirts later, I left for the farm, crowing over my successes. “An $8 dress that makes me feel like Tami Taylor? How could I not buy it?”
Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion (Penguin 2012), by Elizabeth Cline, demonstrates why I ought to learn to curb – or at least refine – that bargain-hunting impulse. In much the same way that Michael Pollan investigated how Americans get their food in The Omnivore’s Dilemma (leading me to buy that free-range turkey, incidentally), Cline spent three years investigating the world of fashion and clothing production. What she finds in Overdressed is enough to convince me that there might be as good a reason to pay more for the right kinds of clothes as there is to pay more for the right kinds of food.