In Orange Is The New Black, what is the difference between the beige prison uniform and the orange prison uniform? I've noticed some prisoners have beige and some have orange and the beige are only allowed into certain places. What do these two uniforms mean?
From a Fashionista interview with costume designer Jenn Rogien:
Q: So on the show why are some of the inmates wearing orange, while some wear khaki?
A: This is where we started to create world of our own. We used orange to signify new inmates who have just been admitted to the prison and were going through orientation. In our world, the prison is underfunded and overstretched in terms of staffing and facilities and so the orientation could take anywhere from a couple of days to a month. The khaki is for the general population. There’s a line in the pilot where Dayonara, one of our newbies, asks, 'When do we get outfits like them?' And the inmate who’s been there for a while says, 'Don’t be so quick to want to lose the orange, because you’d just blend in in the beige.' That is part of the reason why it’s such a specific color choice.
From the wikipedia article on khaki:
Khaki (UK: /ˈkɑːki/, Canada and US: /ˈkæki/) is a color, a light shade of brown with a yellowish tinge.