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Black and white are the new orange at a county jail in Michigan

By Brendan O'Brien

(Reuters) - Black and white are the new orange in a Michigan county where the sheriff has made a wardrobe change for jail inmates after a TV series brought new popularity to the vibrant color associated with prisoners.

The Saginaw County Jail is replacing its orange prisoner jumpsuits with horizontal black and white striped jumpsuits because the popular prison life series "Orange Is the New Black" has led locals to make fashion choices inspired by the behind-bars set, a sheriff said.

"For me, it was an easy decision. It was a cost savings and it breaks away from that cultural coolness. It's not cool to be an inmate of the Saginaw County Jail," Sheriff William Federspiel told Reuters.

Federspiel said the stripes will also help the public differentiate between an inmate and a fashionista.

The decision to change the jumpsuits was spurred by a juror who recently wore all orange during a trial, said Federspiel, who has only seen snippets of the hit dark prison comedy aired on streaming service Netflix.

Some of the 500 jail inmates in the central Michigan county have complained about the new jumpsuits, Federspiel said.

"I tell them that if they don't like the clothes I give them, then don't show up at my door," he said.

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Jon Herskovitz and Eric Walsh)

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