There is a new book out called: Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion. The author, Elizabeth Cline, cleaned out her closet and found 60 plus of her tshirts, tops, over 20 skirts, 20 pair of shoes to name just a few things. Her unexpected closet excesses lead her to research her own self-declaration as a “reformed fast-fashion junkie.” She suggests a slow fashion alternative, similar to the slow food movement and her research takes her to Guangdong, a province in China that is a central location of textile factories. The smog was so thick there that she was unable to see a quarter of a mile away from her. Her final conclusion is that “people crave connections to their stuff” and wonders if we the consumer have become disconnected to ourselves seeking ourselves in an inexpensive though obtainable pile of trendy, cheap clothes. As I write the last sentence my heart sinks, what a depressing thought. Its a little too close to home.
Elizabeth Cline could be a spokeswoman for Style/Life. Although I have not read this book and paraphrased a wonderfully eloquent book review by Avis Cardella in this week’s NYT Book Review, I have read enough to know this woman speaks volumes for all the people out there whose joy has turned sour thinking that that they can get something out of something new. But if you press any juice button too many times it will break, malfunction and force you to press harder until your finger gets numb. That kind of new just starts to look like your life where you soak your uncertainty in the store of a dressing room, in the racks of sale pants and long waits between waiting for your shoe salesman to return with shoes to try on that you know it would be better to run out of the store with your own shoes in hand. You know you dont need those new shoes but you stay even though your mind has valeted and is driving down the road without needing anything or wanting anything, feeling full of your life and your joy and thinking about better things than how will I balance my budget when I am not spending realistically.