Inmates Will No Longer Wear Orange Jumpsuits Because They’re Too ‘Cool’

Emma Colton Deputy Editor
Font Size:

Pop culture has prompted a prison in Michigan to swap jailbird orange jumpsuits for old-fashioned black and white striped uniforms because orange has become too fashionable.

Netflix prison series “Orange is the New Black” has created a mentality that wearing orange while incarcerated is stylish, according to The Saginaw News, sparking Saginaw County Sheriff William Federspiel to ditch the in vogue orange suits for horizontal black-and-white striped uniforms.

“It’s because as you see shows on television, like ‘Orange Is The New Black,’ some people think it’s cool to look like an inmate of the Saginaw County Jail with wearing all orange jumpsuits out at the mall or in public,” Federspiel told the Michigan news outlet.

The Sheriff explained that when the inmates work outside of the jail’s confines, he doesn’t want the public confusing them with people pretending to be characters on the popular show about a WASPY New Yorker who gets thrown in the hoosegow after getting caught up in her lesbian lover’s drug ring.

“We decided that the black-and-white stripes would be the best way to go because it signifies ‘jail inmate,'” Federspiel said.  “I don’t see people out there wanting to wear black-and-white stripes.”

The New York Post reported that the new jumpsuits will last between two and three years, and at $11.73 a pop, the black and white suits are the same price as its orange counterparts — minus all the trendsetting popularity.

Starting in the next few weeks, the orange suits will be phased out, leaving inmates with only the black and white uniforms in their closets. (RELATED: ‘Orange Is The New Black: A Complex Portrayal Of Prison Life)

“It’s not to be crass,” he says. “We’re not trying to embarrass or shame them. It tells me something, though, when the inmates think that it’s bad: It’s probably good. We don’t want them getting too comfortable, feeling like they’re productive members of society, when actually when they’re incarcerated, they’re not,” Federspiel told The Saginaw News.