Patrick, I decided to respond to your post about pants. See, I'm also afflicted by a pants wardrobe with limited applicability beyond a particular region.
In high school, I never really gave much thought to my pants. They fit. They looked fine. They're pants. How complicated could it be? My beloved home of Cincinnati is a city best classified as part Midwestern, part Southern. From the Midwest, we inherited practicality and a lack of curiosity. From the South, we inherited all of the redneck but none of the charm (thanks a lot, Kentucky). That's how I can best explain my pants wardrobe in high school: practical and complacent, but not particularly charming.
North Carolina, where I attend college, is a land of bow ties, pastels, ribbon belts, seersucker, and boat shoes. I was coming from a land of flat-front khakis, Birkenstocks, and nicely pressed shirts. No longer would pants be such a straightforward matter.
As I outgrew my clothes from high school, my wardrobe gradually changed. Content in my Southern haven, I hardly even noticed. But every so often, I was offered subtle reminders. Whether on a trip home to Cincinnati or a semester abroad in London, I learned that there are many places in this world where a man wearing Nantucket red is not taken seriously. Trust me.
I have pairs of pants--pants that I've grown attached to--that I'm unable to wear every time I leave the South. From white linen to green seersucker, I left a chunk of my wardrobe behind this summer when I moved to DC. Patrick, if you think that men in light-colored pants are funny, then my closet would be a Mitch Hedberg stand-up act.
Someday, I might take a job in a city that chews up and spits out men who dare to wear pants with a little bit of color. When I'm old and wise and thirty, it might not seem like such a big deal. But right now, it's a notion that I'm having a hard time accepting.