Thursday, March 08, 2007

My Suit's at the Cleaners

I just finished reading J.R. Ward's Lover Revealed. It was good. Very good. I'm not going to review it right now, though. Except, it got me to thinking about men in suits.

See, Ward tends to dress some of her characters in a lot of high-end clothing brands which she name drops ad nauseum. As much as I love the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, this is the one nitpick that pulls me out of the story, full stop, and I'm kind of wishing she'd knock it off. We get the point. Butch and Phury are snappy dressers. Got. It.

But the thing is, I'm not so sure how I feel about a man in a suit. Maybe it's the backlash of the metrosexual fad, in which men spent entirely too much time contemplating the merits of various hair products and not enough time taking out the garbage. Or maybe it's the fact that business casual started to take serious root just as I was entering the work force and anyone showing up in the office in a suit was suspected of job interviewing. But for some reason, I just don't find men in well tailored suits to be the epitome of The Sexy.

Sure, I can dig a great tuxedo on a totally hot guy any day.


But for the most part, I like my men clad casually. Give me a pair of faded Levi's and a white tee shirt and I'm good to go.

(Besides, I'm pretty sure that Daniel Craig would look amazing in a clown suit, thus my theory that it is 100% the man inside the suit and not the suit itself that pulls off the look.)

Maybe it's just my rube-ishness at work. See, I wouldn't know an RL Black Label from a JC Penney special unless someone was standing next to me and pointed out the differences. Therefore, I don't get that tingle that must come in knowing that one man's suit cost $5,000 while another's only $249.99, thus missing the whole power-as-desirable-trait aspect. Yes, I can appreciate when a suit is well-tailored and fits a man nicely. But I think most men look uncomfortable in suits, and people in discomfort are very rarely sexy. I suppose I need to head downtown more often and hang out at the Chicago Board of Trade where the men wear suits like underwear.

My husband wears a suit whenever he has to go to visit a client. He looks nice enough, but I think he looks just as good or better in his jeans and hockey jersey. He certainly feels better in the latter.

I won't go into the disaster that the wrong tie can wreak on the well-suited man. Are ties ever sexy?

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Mental Accents

I once created a character from Australia, and I had an utter blast writing him. In my head, I could hear his voice as clear as day. I could imagine him saying all sorts of things, and coloring his speech with Australian slang was so easy to do. To this day, he's one of my favorite characters.

Now, I'm working on a character - a boy - who grew up in England. And for the life of me, I cannot hear his voice with an accent. I can't imagine how he sounds, or in what ways he's unique among the other characters he's sharing the stage with. I really - really - want him to have an accent. I want British slang to roll off his tongue. This is key to who he is and to his story, because this is a story about feeling apart from things, and his very language serves to distance him from his peers. Too, when I write from his point of view, I want to use this as a way to give him a distinct voice.

So why is this that I can't hear him when my man from down under came so easily? I suppose I could invest a few days in Dr. Who, hoping that I pick up the eb and flow of their speech. Or just hang out on the BBC America channel and hope some of it wears off. Maybe check out some books-on-tape narrated by British actors, play them in my sleep and it will just kind of leech into my subconscious and come out in my character's voice.

This is driving me mad.