On April 01, we’ll discuss our current book, Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline. Overdressed has the potential to completely change your understanding of clothing and shopping. To me, it’s required reading for every person in the first world who buys or wears clothing.
It turns out that a number of you have already read Overdressed. Anya may have said it best: “Oh! I love that book! I read it a few months ago and couldn’t stop talking about it.” I was a little disappointed that this book wasn’t new to everyone, but mostly I’m happy that so many people liked it. It’s an important book, and the nerd in me gets so excited when we like the same things!
How it works
1) Find a copy of Overdressed in bookstores or at your local library. It’s also available for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and as an Overdrive library ebook (in some regions).
2) Read the book. If you want to chat about it while you’re reading, use the hashtag #colettebookclub on Twitter.
3) Come back to the Colette blog on April 01 to talk about the book and learn which book is next.
If you’ve already finished the book and want to learn more, here are some other sources.
Audio: Planet Money’s T-Shirt Project
A small team of radio journalists follow a t-shirt around the world as it gets manufactured—from the farms where the cotton is grown to the used clothing markets in sub-Saharan Africa.
Elizabeth Cline continues to cover this issue. Her most recent article looks at a small number of online fashion retailers who are capitalizing on consumers’ desires to purchase clothing that lasts.
Short film: Handprint
This poetical video reminds us: “you carry the stories of the people that make your clothes”
The Forgotten Seamstress
Thank you to everyone who participated in our February 15 discussion of The Forgotten Seamstress by Liz Trenow.
Everyone had their own take on this fast-paced novel. A reader named Piggyflowers compared it to potato chips: tasty but not very nutritious.
Deborah countered, “I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It made me happy and provided a welcome escape. Fiction, a hero’s journey, historical details, readability, and SEWING! What’s not to love?”
Finally, Trisha said, “I hope you all read [Trenow’s other novel] The Last Telegram. I loved it even more than The Forgotten Seamstress; if I may say so, I felt it was a more polished novel, and well researched. I was enchanted by the silk, and found it hard to put down.”
Everyone seemed surprised by the quilt’s pattern! A reader named Lia Bell graciously shared some links to some photos and information on textiles woven for the British royal family:
1) Here’s a gorgeous image of the Queensway Coronation Silk
2) If you want to see the hand-woven silks that Warner and Son’s designed for the British Royalty, you can actually go visit their archive.
3) This site that has a nice overview of the Warner Archive with some gorgeous samples.
4) The Historic Royal Palace (Kensington Palace, specifically) has an entire collection of wedding dresses, including Princess Mary’s.
Got a book suggestion?
The Colette Book Club is an online book club that explores the meaning and making of clothing.
If you want to recommend a book, email firstname.lastname@example.org.