Prison Diary: Fashion Statements, Part 2

Okay, so you're able to keep and control your clothing, paying someone who has a laundry hustle. 

Once you have your clothing, how can you make a fashion statement?

Again, whatever you do it has to be a subtle alteration, and it most definitely can't affect the color. So what can you do?

Mainly two things.

First, you can have your clothing starched, pressed and bleached. To accomplish this, you'll still be working with someone doing a laundry hustle. Again, this is something you might not notice if you're not looking for it, but the men who have to use the community clothing have limp, dingy white pants and shirts. Other inmates, the ones who can afford it, have crisp, stiff, brilliant white clothing. Whenever you encounter an inmate whose clothing is limp and dingy, that inmate is poor and lower in the prison hierarchy. Starched, bleached white clothing is a status symbol.

The second way you can make a fashion statement is having your shirt and pants double-stitched. Clothing in the community clothing circulation is single-stitched. But if you send your clothing to someone working a garment factory hustle, where the clothing is made, inmates with access to the sewing machines can double stitch your shirt and pants. Again, it's a subtle thing, but walking around with double-stitched clothing is another fashion and status symbol. When I meet new inmates I'll often look for double-stitching to get a quick estimate about where they stand in the prison hierarchy.

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