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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

“Cline is the Michael Pollan of fashion…Hysterical levels of sartorial consumption are terrible for the environment, for workers, and even, ironically, for the way we look.”
—Michelle Goldberg, Newsweek/The Daily Beast

“How did Americans end up with closets crammed with flimsy, ridiculously cheap garments? Elizabeth Cline travels the world to trace the rise of fast fashion and its cost in human misery, environmental damage, and common sense.”

—Katha Pollitt, columnist for The Nation

Overdressed is eye-opening and definitely turns retailing on its head. Cline’s insightful book reveals the serious problems facing our industry today. The tremendous values and advantages of domestic production are often ignored in favor of a price point that makes clothing disposable.”

—Erica Wolf, executive director, Save the Garment Center


Présentation de l'éditeur

“Overdressed does for T-shirts and leggings what Fast Food Nation did for burgers and fries.”
—Katha Pollitt
Cheap fashion has fundamentally changed the way most Americans dress. Stores ranging from discounters like Target to traditional chains like JCPenny now offer the newest trends at unprecedentedly low prices. And we have little reason to keep wearing and repairing the clothes we already own when styles change so fast and it’s cheaper to just buy more.
Cline sets out to uncover the true nature of the cheap fashion juggernaut. What are we doing with all these cheap clothes? And more important, what are they doing to us, our society, our environment, and our economic well-being?

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82 internautes sur 85 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Long on problem-short on solutions 12 septembre 2012
Par Amanda Rudelt - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
I do recommend this book to anyone whose closet takes up a whole bedroom and is full of things you got as a steal but never wear. I recommend this book to anyone who takes frequent hauls of last season's clothes to Goodwill thinking they are doing something grandly generous. I recommend this to anyone who remembers going to the high end section of the department store and finding amazing details and fine finishing of garments-remember French seams?- and wonders why you can't seem to find them at any price now.

I bought this because I am well aware that something is wrong with clothing currently. I grew up as a home sewer and in the last 10 years I have done less and less as finished garments were getting cheaper than then fabric needed to make them. A simple sheath dress takes about 2 hours to make and about 2 yard of outer fabric, not to mention interfacing and notions. To think that these fast fashion stores could sell this dress and far more complex things for under $40 tells me a lot of people are getting screwed. I wanted to know how many, but also what I as a consumer can do about. Sadly, this book is a little thin on solutions. It doesn't give much help on how to source fairly made clothing. How to source fairly made, high quality, environmentally sound clothing is really what I was looking for. On the other hand it did remind me of the value of home sewing. Fast fashion is like fast food-it is good enough and is set up to crate cravings, but clothing, like good food, nourishes the spirit. You may need to work harder for it but it is so much more rewarding.
125 internautes sur 135 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Think before you buy! 14 juin 2012
Par BLehner - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
A century ago people usually had only a handful of garments in their wardrobe. Carefully mended, and handed down, these clothes were never disposed of before literally being worn out. Today the average US citizen buys 65 new pieces of clothing each year. Typically not meant to last, these items will rather be thrown away than repaired or altered, because this would ironically enough be more expensive than buying new ones.
On this premise Elizabeth Cline sets out to explore cheap fashion in her book Overdressed. Revealing the effects of cheap fashion on her own life, her research takes her to the reasons of this development and a possible future in slow (aka local and sustainable) fashion. Both conversationally written and thought-provoking this is a must-read for everyone who's interested in the economics behind the circle of shopping and clothes production.
I have read many books on the topic but this is the first that addresses one particular point which I feel is shockingly obvious yet often ignored. Fast fashion is not only cheap, it is, basically, waste. You might be all for recycling plastic, but have you ever thought about what's in your wardrobe and the implications for the environment? With fashion being cheap, and quality just "good enough", we create a staggering amount of pretty colored polyester garbage. Think about this before homing in on the next bargain you see!
In short: An eye-opening read that will hopefully make you reconsider your buying decisions!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the NetGalley book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
128 internautes sur 139 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
read along with "Supersize Me" 19 juin 2012
Par A. Whitacre - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I had the same sense of revulsion reading this book as I did reading "Supersize Me" (which is more or less the food version of this book) and I see fast food and "fast fashion" as indicative of the same lack of basic skills. We don't typically cook -- and therefore don't recognize quality in food. Few people sew anymore, and therefore don't recognize quality in clothing. The high cost of housing means that cost becomes more important both for food and clothing -- and quality suffers. The manufacturing chain makes adjustments to accommodate the desire for more of everything. And then follow the TV shows: Biggest Loser for the food problem; and Hoarders for the clothing (and everything else) problem.
Oddly enough, the bad construction of cheap clothes puts consumers into the endless cycle of buying more of everything. If you can't fix your shoes or alter your clothes, then you need multiples of everything just to make sure something lasts through the season. Expectations of grooming and dress have become demanding, which means that there is more acceptance of cheap clothing. 60 years ago when every working woman wore a suit every day to work, her entire wardrobe was different. She didn't have 22 tops and 14 skirts -- she had five suits. And yet we see the connection between clothing and our behavior-- schools that expect specific behaviors usually have specific dress codes. (the author of Supersize Me also comments on how fast food -- and eating in your car -- disrupted the idea of set meal times. )
I am old enough to remember the grand department stores in big cities -- and the expectations both of dress and behavior that accompanied them. The author does not make the connection between larger houses (and greater house payments as proportion of income) and the growth of the shopping mall. Those grand department stores didn't need parking lots -- people took transit and had their purchases delivered by delivery truck (not FedEx). They shopped during the day, not on the way home from work at 8 pm. Our whole society has changed and the way we relate to food and clothing has followed.
This may be one of the first things I've seen that puts a "sustainable, green" cast on clothing consumption though. its ironic that Whole Foods sells cheap -- although organic and fair-traded -- teeshirts in the toiletries aisle. And those items are always manufactured overseas.
417 internautes sur 467 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The shockingly high cost of cheap editing 29 juin 2012
Par Nancy - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I'm very interested in the subject of fast fashion, and I'm pretty sure the author did her research. (There are 11 pages of endnotes.) But "Overdressed" is so poorly written and edited (or unedited) that I stopped reading after three chapters. Some of the more glaring errors: "rarified" for "rarefied," "principal" for "principle," "hoards" for "hordes," "reigns" for "reins," "lose" for "loose," and "$150 dollars." There are comma errors, syntax errors, subject-verb agreement errors, verb-tense errors, and capitalization errors. Concepts that require clarification are unexplained (Black Friday, "when France was occupied").

And that's just the first 94 pages.

Nitpicking? Not really. "Overdressed" isn't a hastily written blog post; it's a book from a respected publisher. The sloppiness of the editing doesn't merely make for a painful reading experience; it also impairs the author's credibility and makes me wonder about the accuracy of her facts. Which is a shame, because this is a subject crying out for thorough and expert reporting.
53 internautes sur 62 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Overwrought & Underwhelming 9 septembre 2013
Par Elisa C. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I was almost too disgusted to finish reading this lousy excuse for an expose.

Despite its informative segments, "Overdressed" teems with nostalgia verging on xenophobia, postmillennial moralizing, and a jittery unease with increasing foreign wealth. Cline writes about the contrast between today's mass-produced, mass-marketed plastic garments, and the bygone days when people spent less and bought better, when her father could buy a well-made, unique, wonderful shirt from the US of A after a thrilling afternoon riding a shiny escalator. Although she does document some of the issues afflicting the world of garment production in an illuminating way, that's not enough to save this book. Problems with Cline's treatment of this subject include:

- Her history of clothing manufacture in America is entirely Eurocentric before she starts in on the evils of modern globalization. Where does Cline think all those gorgeous natural textiles came from? They WEREN'T all made in America, particularly prior to the 1900s-- and the ones that were, like, uh, cotton, were certainly not produced under conditions conducive to human rights.

- She brings in some (anecdotal) experiences of low-income people of color when she discusses the garment factory side of things (from roughly the mid-'60s on), but I can't help but think that those same people wouldn't have had such a fun time going to the country's biggest fanciest department stores in the '50s and '60s. So who does Cline's nostalgia serve, really?

- Cline notes that the middle class is disappearing, then wonders what happened to the clothes the middle class used to be able to purchase.

- Throughout the book, Cline is happy to judge fashion consumers at any price range-- I particularly enjoyed her characterization of Missoni for Target aficionados as "passive"-- but makes little attempt to understand what may be motivating their choices. (From what I can tell, she relies on the same source for every one of her claims about consumer psychology.) Much of her argument seems based on herself and YouTube/blogger personalities, with a kind of it-stands-to-reason and everybody-probably-does-this approach that is ... somewhat lacking in empirical persuasiveness.

- Cline also makes virtually no effort to talk about Americans who buy cheaper because that's what they can afford, or perceive that they can afford. Did she not read the part she wrote about the middle class disappearing? Her entire treatment of "the American consumer" is marred by her insistence on depicting exclusively young, middle-class-and-up women who do actually have the economic capacity to save up for nice clothes. While this demographic may be driving a number of industry changes, their purchasing habits cannot be generalized to represent those of all Americans.

- "Yet there's something about for-profit clothing recycling that bothers consumers." Tell that to Crossroads and Buffalo Exchange: [...]

- The speculation game she plays about whether the factories she visited in China and Dhaka were "just for show" makes me wish she had done SOMETHING more-- poked around asking about other factories or subcontractors, interviewed other journalists who had been to the region-- anything but saying, "This all looked pretty okay, but I had to wonder, WAS IT REALLY?" Maybe she could have avoided some of those issues by not exclusively visiting factories that offered her shuttle service.

- According to Cline, rising foreign labor costs are good, because they will increase workers' bargaining power and make America more globally competitive. But they also freak her out, because Chinese garment workers have purchasing power?? What if they BUY ALL THE SOCKS IN THE WORLD? (Not kidding. This is in there.)

- In many areas of the book, her ignorance of fashion history is embarrassing to read-- like her complete failure to grasp some of the societal reasons for the voluminous skirts of the 1950s (rejoicing in prosperity and an end to wartime privation, which in England involved actual limitations on fabric yardage per type of garment) or for the rise of polyester in the '60s/'70s (futurist movements in fashion held up manmade fibers as the new frontier).

- I completely forgot to mention the extreme intellectual poverty of her resources. To say that Cline references hardly any economists or scholarly sources would be a generous overestimation; I think the reality is it's more like zero. In a book that grapples with the worldwide financial and environmental implications of a major industry's practices, not making use of such sources does readers a huge disservice. Even if Cline disagreed with their premises based on the interviews she conducted, to not have those viewpoints in a book of this scope at ALL? (EDIT: There are a HANDFUL of scholarly sources, almost entirely from congressional hearings rather than articles or interviews, and they're buried among citations of news story after news story and Scholastic magazine, of all things: [...] I wouldn't even cite that in a blog post for my friends.)

And regarding her solutions ...

- Sewing gives you a sense of agency~! IF you have the leisure time to learn how to sew and the money to spend on materials. You can cut your costs under those of many retailers once you know your stuff, but as a sewing novice who has ruined many efforts, the early trial and error takes time, effort, and more money than many people can justify. Also, there are more reasons than wanton consumption for the decrease in sewing skills: Many homemaking practices fell out of vogue during the '70s with the rise of feminism.

- Sorry, thrifting isn't dead. It may be better in some parts of the country, but it is still COMPLETELY possible to go to a thrift store and consistently get gorgeous items in good fabrics for H&M prices. (I've thrifted in 8 states within the past 4 years, and I'm sure it's not hard to improve on that sample size ... but seriously, if Cline gets to use 3 anecdotes to prove national trends, I can use mine to poke holes in her theory.)

- I do like supporting local businesses and independent designers. And at least Cline has the honesty to admit that that's a luxury.

My problems here aren't that I think the garment industry's "race to the bottom" isn't a big deal, or that it's not driven by consumer demands. Some of this information is good, and the effects of profit incentive on the process of clothes-making and the quality of the clothes that result is a worthy one. My problem is that the person writing this book is Cline, who seems to oscillate between a seriously unhealthy relationship with H&M and a tedious pining for a time of innocence and quality goods when everything about clothing manufacture in America was good. And you know what? That past never existed, except in a very limited sense for comparatively privileged Americans. Unfortunately, because Cline is so hyperbolic and "truthy" in her approach, I find it difficult to believe much of what she or her interviewees have to say, even when the data may have been good and the perspectives valid.

I'm willing to bet that if you liked this book, it's because Cline has managed to convey some information you didn't know and couple it with a satisfyingly zeitgeist-y sense of American decadence. (You were right all along! Nothing's as good as it used to be and everyone makes selfish choices now!) However, just because Cline is able to strike an emotional chord in her readers does not make her book well-written, thoughtful, or ultimately worth reading.

I'm just sorry I actually paid $8 for the Kindle book, when I could have spent that money on a blouse, earrings, and a hi-lo skirt.
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