As Different As Night And Day

July 5, 2012

As Different As Night and Day

There are various rules for how men should dress according to the time of day. Many of them are simply carry-overs from English conventions on proper evening dress, but I think a few also have their own merits. 

For example, a white shirt works better at night because white frames the face better under artificial lighting. Likewise, smooth calf, particularly in black, can look considerably more stunning than a matte suede. Calf will gleam from the reflecting streetlights, whereas suede will look rather unremarkable when there’s not enough light to show off its nap. This is why I think every man should have a pair of black calf shoes, even if he doesn’t go to many formal functions.  

I also don’t think certain lighter-colored garments should ever be worn at night, but this is a rather fuzzy area. If you have the occasion, a classic white or cream dinner jacket will obviously look quite fantastic, as can a cream linen or solid tan wool suit on a casual summer’s evening. However, I think the acceptability starts to weaken once you get into those brighter garments that principally express the cheerfulness of daytime – for example, loud chinos or light-colored shoes. Those are best worn when it’s sunny out, in my opinion. 

So, when I can, I try to get dressed according to the time of day that I’m going out. If it’s in the morning or afternoon, I may wear a blue shirt, mid-toned jacket, and brown suede shoes. If I’m wearing a tie, it might also be of a brighter color, but doesn’t have to be. If it’s at night, I’ll wear a white shirt, darker jacket, and black calf shoes. The tie will likewise be dark. In this way, I think I better reflect the time of the day’s mood and work well with my environment. After all, the expressions of these two kinds of ensembles are as different as night and day. 

(Photos: Taken from Suitored, Leffot, and John Lobb)

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