I think it's funny that I was (as far as I know) the first to assert this on any forum and it provoked a furor. I cited it only as an ancient rule, FWIW, not something that has to be followed today, or that I follow. Though I mostly used to. Not because of the rule but because I didn't like derbies. I agree with you, insofar as I myself would wear this, and that it's good to know as an historical precedent, but not obsessively follow. I don't get this. The Italians wear brown with everything. Mike clarified it - the Italian side of me is wont to choose brown in almost every situation. I have black shoes that I wear for the occasional times when I feel a whimsy of conservativeness.