In the seminary they warn you that putting on a Roman collar will change the way people react to you. It is true. It opens up a whole new world. One way to discover what it means is to go about without your clerics on one day and discover that people don't even recognize you without being dressed in black
It's kind of funny. You walk up to someone you know smiling and saying "Hello!" and at first you get this wary look of, "Who is this stranger trying to treat me like a best friend," and then it dawns on them, "Oh! Father! I didn't recognize you without your clerics on!"
The wearing of clerics also makes it clear one of the reasons we have the title, "Father." People really and truly treat you like family and that is quite an honor. They will say things to you they would not dream of saying to other people.
All of which I take as a great compliment. It means they are comfortable enough to say such things. (I suppose it's a great turn around for all the times a priest has said from the pulpit, "You people are dressed like you are going to the beach rather than being in the presence of God.") Don't dish it out if you can't take it I say.
But sometimes I do raise my eyebrows when certain people comment on the clothes I wear.