Clothing plays a practical role in protecting us from the elements. In cold climates, it prevents hypothermia while in deserts it can provide protection from the sun and wind.
Clothing however also plays an important role in communication. When we get dressed, we are often making various statements about ourselves. Obviously, professionals who wear a uniform such as law enforcement or the military are conveying their special roles with their clothing. Outlaw motorcyclists wear special vests indicating their rank and membership. Corporate executives usually wear a special type of outfit indicating their status - the business suit. Mark Zuckerberg, new Internet billionaire, wears a hoodie, supposedly to communicate to the public that he is an artist, not a salesman.
When a Jew gets dressed in the morning, what statement does he want to make?
In Judaism, sex outside marriage is prohibited. A Jewish woman wants to communicate that she is not available sexually. Clothing indicating sexual availability would include clothing revealing too much skin, wearing tight clothing, long, loose hair, high heels and brightly colored clothing. Therefore a Jewish woman's priority is to avoid dressing in a way which waves a flag in front of men reading "Come and get it!" On the contrary, an Orthodox Jewish woman in public wants to send a message "Men: leave me alone."
For men, clothing has little to do with sex appeal. However for an Orthodox man, clothing is significant in other ways. Tzitzis are a Biblical commandment. Wearing a beard is Biblically mandated. Wearing a skullcap is an ancient Jewish tradition. Among most Hasidic Jews, an elaborate special dress code is customary. Essentially, the Jewish man, when dressing, wants to communicate that he is first of all an Orthodox Jew and additionally he may be communicating which Orthodox subgroup he is a member of. The Jewish man's clothing are a special uniform announcing "I'm a Jew".