It occurred to me on the bus from the mall last night - after the Mel Gets A Business Casual Wardrobe adventure - that perhaps clothes are to me what technology is to most people.
I want to be warm, at least marginally socially acceptable, and Not Spend Money. I don't want to update my wardrobe for each new fashion season; I don't even know when those seasons start or end or how that sausage gets made, and I certainly don't want ruffles on my shirts now - or ever - regardless of whether they're in fashion or not. I don't know how to sew, nor do I have the time to make extensive modifications, so I need stuff that works for me straight off the racks. (This last sentence may change; I can't stand having something I don't know how to hack, so acquiring these sorts of skills may be in my future.)
And how is one brand of trousers different from another? And why doesn't everyone use the same sizing system? Really, all I do is get up in the morning, find a clean pair of jeans, grab the t-shirt on the top of the stack, and I don't care about anything else because I want to spend my time on other things. Open source, for instance.
So when I meet someone that's into clothes, I try to listen and understand why they're fascinated with it, while knowing full well that I probably never really will be. And sometimes I learn fascinating things, like how denim has a funny weave that I forget the name of (update: twill!) and it's nice to encounter those little nuggets of interestingness... and that's all.
And if it's okay for me to feel that way about clothes - and I think it is, because I do - then it's got to be okay for other people to feel that way about the stuff I love. And I should make sure that the world I help to build is a world where both these things work out just fine.