Posts Tagged ‘Julia Wallace’

CambodiaWhen I’m sewing seams, I always think that these jeans must be very expensive, they cost at least $40 to $50 per pair, and I’m wondering how those people afford those expensive jeans while my salary is so small. I sometimes wonder how I could ever afford them. They look beautiful, and I think how beautiful I would be if I wore them.

– Garment Worker from Cambodia interviewed by Julia Wallace. (From the book, Women in Clothes.)

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women-in-clothes-cover-usAs 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.

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