Black is the original black not because everyone looks good in it, but because there are few situations in the modern world where it is considered inappropriate, it is neutral without being weak, and it has connotations of coolness, sophistication, etc. Certain browns can fill these functions, but none will supplant black. Slightly OT, but I think a lot of black's ubiquity came from women's fashion and has somehow grown to encompass menswear. A woman can look great wearing only black; a man cannot. For a lot of women, their best look is a black dress, black shoes, and black hosiery, because it sets off their skin and figure so simply. A man dressed completely in black is boring at best and laughable at worst. Also slightly OT, but another part of the story is that the word 'brown' must encompass a wider range of actual colors than any other word in English. Does it mean umber or chocolate or tan? I have the feeling some people mistakenly write off all 'browns' because they don't feel comfortable in one or two shades. In short, bistre is the new black.