After living more-or-less all over the country (eleven places in six states) I've seen a whole array of Clothing As Language.
Here we are in the South (I still refuse to wear lime-green ankle pants) and, while I don't care to participate in the language of Old South wealth, Dr. S has a real job, and it might as well be nicknamed "The South Lives On Here."
Although some of his visiting-professor colleagues dress very casually (I'm looking at you, math department), Dr. S teaches in a tie, pressed slacks, and a button-down shirt. On Thursdays, when he doesn't have class, he doesn't wear a tie. His clothing, from a mix of his personal preferences (no pink shirts thank you), what's on clearance at L.E. in his size, and my desire to send a culturally appropriate message, is very conservative: solid shirts, checked shirts, and ties in three boring patterns (checks, stripes, solid).
As I was picking out his clothes for this last interview* I was thinking about what message I was trying to send. It worked out to something like: I will play an appropriate part in this elaborate masque of formality that is acted out here**; I understand the cultural message that I am projecting, which is one of well-educated, understated, conservative good taste; and possibly a side of "My spouse dresses me."
* Not because I am a 1950s housewife at heart, I assure you. He's partly colorblind. For every day it doesn't matter, but for an interview... yeah.
** All of the professors are Dr. Lastname to students, even when the students are talking to each other. Unfortunately for when I am talking to students, I can't remember most of the professors' last names, especially the long hyphenated ones. This is because I am really bad at names in general, and the longer they are...