Tag Archives: fashion

Overdressed, the book

9 Jun

I recently read “Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion” by Elizabeth Cline.


I am happy to say that I do not fit the “average American” profile when it comes to buying clothes. I do not buy new clothing every week, nor do I buy new clothing every month. I could actually be accused of not buying enough clothing. I believe in signature outfits, like Jackie O. This just means I wear the same piece of clothing over and over for years, if I really like it.  I still wear dresses that I had in high school! Okay, just one item lasted from high school, a long leopard slip I wore as a skirt that is now short with new elastic, and worn as a slip only.

After finishing this book, I am inspired to mend and take in more of my clothing, and to start re-fashioning thrifted clothes. I am inspired to make more of my clothes too although I have been inspired to do this for a while, and have not found the time yet. Elizabeth Cline talks about the idea of buying quality pieces of clothing that can be mixed/matched for different looks, rather than buying a lot of new (cheap) clothes all the time. I am down with this mode of fashion, as I actually hate clothing shopping, mainly because what I want to buy often costs too much. I am not going to spend $30 dollars on a shirt. Then again, Cline talks about spending more for quality clothing. As I am not going to do this any day soon, I have opted for the re-fashioning of thrifted items. Cline mentioned Jillian Owens of Refashionista.net, who will be my new guide for ripping into awesome, natty thrift dresses. She doesn’t have tutorials on her techniques, but quite enough info to get me started. The great thing about sewing is that you are always learning something new! I let you know when I get something re-fashioned.

I grabbed this list from her website. Rent a dress?! Sweet.

“Ten Simple Tips For a More Ethical & Sustainable Wardrobe

1. How you shop is just as important as where you shop – Wherever you buy your clothes, buy things you really love and are going to wear. Americans buy 68 garments and 7 pairs of shoes annually. One of the easiest changes you can make is to buy fewer items of clothing and get the most out of what you own!

2. Avoid Disposable Purchases – In the U.S., 68 lbs of textiles per person go into the landfill every year. Help fashion’s waste problem by buying clothes that are made to last.

3. Shop Secondhand – Recycled, upcycled, refashioned, secondhand, vintage–it all means giving clothes a second lease on life and reducing demand for new products. Find gently-used, on-trend fashion online at eBay, Etsy, Threadflip, and Dresm, and at your local charity shop, consignment shop, or thrift store like Buffalo Exchange, Salvation Army, or Goodwill.

4. Share and Rent Clothes – Instead of buying new, organize a clothing swap, rent a dress online (RentTheRunway.com is one option), or shop a friend’s closet. This is a great option for weddings, holiday parties, and other special occasions.

5. Try D.I.Y. – Refashion thrift-store finds or what’s already in your closet with scissors, a sewing-machine, or fabric dye. Refer to YouTube for endless online DIY tutorials.

6. Shop your closet – Do you really need that new dress? A large percentage of the clothing own goes unworn. Get creative with what you already own by recombining pieces and accessorizing.

7. Maintain Your Clothes & Shoes – Textile waste is a growing problem. Extend the life of your clothes by sewing buttons back on, cleaning stains, mending tears, and resoling shoes. For clothes going to a charity shop, this is just as important. Otherwise, they might get trashed.

8. Donate Unwanted Clothes – Textiles are almost 100% recyclable, so never throw them away. More info here.

10. Support Ethical and Sustainable Brands – When buying new, vote with your dollars and support clothing designers and brands that are eco-friendly and support good jobs for the folks making their products–this can include American-made and fair labor brands. Check out the Shopping Directory below for affordable alternatives.”

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