I’ve written before about why black suits are generally unsuitable during the day. They’re severe, they make you look like a clergyman or undertaker, they’re not particularly appropriate for business and they make most men look at least a little sickly.
At night, though, it’s a different story. That’s where a black suit like this one I spotted on eBay can really come into its own. Some of the details of this suit suggest evening wear - it has a single button-front and is single-breasted with peak lapels. Those say “formal” and “evening.” They’re features of the formal suit, or of the tuxedo.
This guy doesn’t have satin or grosgrain lapels, though, and its slanted, flapped pockets make clear it’s a suit. It’s made of mohair, which is lightweight and has a slight sheen. That sheen could be a liability during the day, but at night it’s welcome.
What you get, then, is an elegant suit for evening occasions that don’t call for black tie. An important dinner, a play, an opening. Events that require a dressed-up outfit, a little panache, but not a tuxedo and not business garb.
Of course, one can move further down the road to casual as the event requires, from a minimalist notch-lapel black suit all the way to, say, black boots, dark jeans and a black cashmere sweater. Or even a black leather jacket. Black, while unsuitable during the day, is the color of evening elegance - no matter how formal the occasion.