So, clothes. What are they, really? They’re things you wear, certainly. They’re things that cover some are of your body, protecting it from the elements, protecting it from impropriety, protecting it from scrutiny. But that is an incomplete—and, consequently, unsatisfying—definition. Are shoes clothing? What about sunglasses? What about suits of armor? What about wigs and watches and Google Glass?
What is the difference, in other words, between “clothing” and “tool”? Where is the line between garments and gear?
These are questions that, my surname notwithstanding, I am inadequately equipped to answer. They’re complicated. They’re nuanced. They’re tricky—so much so that a legal case revolving around them, Sandifer v. United States Steel Corporation, made its way, this year, to the docket of the U.S. Supreme Court.
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