As a journalist in Cambodia, I have been interviewing garment workers about their lives for more than three years, but I never thought to interview them about what they wear, although I have often been struck by their de facto uniform: blue jeans, trucker hats, and screamingly bright T-shirts and hoodies in vivid shades of magenta or neon yellow, often accented with leopard print and rhinestones. It’s a far cry from the drab attire conjured by the phrase “garment worker.” I had always, perhaps naively, taken these colors as a way of asserting individuality in the face of the numbing repetitiveness of factory labor. But this turned out to be only a minor concern in the complicated calculus of dressing oneself on a salary of around $80 a month.
– Julia Wallace, Journalist and contributor to the book Women in Clothes (Blue Rider Press, 2014).
Women in Clothes is a collection of essays and conversations by women from around the world about clothing – what we wear, how we wear it, why we wear it and what it all means.