Monday, February 6, 2012

Allie Pleiter: this girl IS crazy 'bout a Sharp-Dressed Man

Today, I took my husband shopping for clothes.  Like most engineers, he’s more concerned with function than form, and while no one would call him “nerdy,” no one would call him “stylish,” either.   

He’s his own man, but we all know there’s a universal truth at work here:  when a married man dresses well everyone credits him, but when he dresses poorly they blame the wife.  Fair?  Hardly, but there you have it.  Certain standards must be kept if we’re both to keep our heads held high.  He’s got a basic sense--but honestly, how wrong can a sentient man go in a closet full of Dockers in neutrals and button-down oxfords?  It’s essentially “choose one from column A (being Dockers) and one from column B (being shirts).”

Funny thing is, all manner of things can go wrong when my 15 year old son applies the same formula--column A being “nerd shirts” (which are any t-shirt advertising a computer game, science concept, sci-fi movie or tv show) and column B being jeans.  

In twenty-three years of marriage, I can count the number of times I’ve sent my husband back his closet one one hand.  I send my son back at least once a week.

Sigh.  I love the males in my life, but there’s a reason I drool over James Bond.  An impeccably dressed man is my favorite fantasy.  Cowboys are okay, muscles have their place, but a man in a perfectly cut Italian suit with a gazillion-dollar watch would send my pulse racing.  Is that shallow?  Absolutely, but we are talking fantasy here.  

I spend a lot of time thinking about what the men in my books are wearing.  FALLING FOR THE FIREMAN’s Chad Owens had to have the stiff feel of a uniform without every being seen in one.  In my upcoming book HOMEFRONT HERO, WWI Army Captain John Gallows is all about the uniform.  All this attention to male dress has me wondering--do you notice the wardrobes of heroes in books?  How would you dress your ultimate man?


  1. Hi Allie you realise James bond may be a great dresser but its done for him!
    not sure what my dressed man would be. neat and tidy. Im ok with polo shirts and neat shorts or jeans, but neat not rumbled.

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  3. Comfortable.
    He has to make me feel he's comfortable in his clothes. In novels I like that the girl notices some detail in his clothes and by thinking, worndering, about it makes me do the same.
    Some writer mention a pullover over his shoulders and I feel an instant warmth coming from him, others mention his Indiana Jones hat and I know he's funny to hang with, other mention his dapper suit and I can hear a ohhhhh so lovely cloud in my mind.

    Loved your description of clothes battle with the men of your life... my husband usually wears a suit to work and my son is the artsy type but both are very elegant men so I never worry too much about it, as long as they're comfortable ;)

  4. Sorry for the typos above.

    Once I went shopping with my son and he chose some jeans that were dirty, with paint stains and holes. Really!

    When returning home my husband was appaled that we'd really paid for THAT ahahahahah. Said he's going to start selling the jeans he uses to do the krafts and makeovers around the house and garden and leave the day job ahahahah

  5. LOL, Allie! I can just see your son's and husband's closets. :)

    I actually love a man in uniform. And in a nice suit. And cowboys. And...

    Well, I guess I just love heros in books no matter what they're wearing. LOL

  6. Teresa, my daughter's most recent jeans were not just called distressed. No, they were called destroyed (Hollister Skinny Destroyed)! LOL

    Tell your husband he may just be onto something! :)

  7. Once, after we were married a few years, my husband (a nerd) came out of the bedroom dressed in a plaid shirt and hounds-tooth pants. I made him turn around and change either the shirt or pants. I wasn't going to allow him out of the house looking like that. Fortunately, my son didn't inherit his father's lack of taste.

  8. It is funny how much personal taste plays into it, isn't it? I'm wondering if you took my suave ideal hero and plunked him down in a ranch, would I discover it's the style INSIDE the man that works for me? Hmmm, I feel a book coming on....

  9. This reminds me of that commercial where the woman is buying pizza and depending on what type of pizza a different dressed man appears :) I forget which one she chooses :)

  10. Hi Allie. I believe they should make Geranimals for the male population as well. :) I like a well dressed man. Maybe not so much a suit, but docker's and a polo. Thanks for shifting my mind from work for a bit.

  11. I'm a sucker for a man in uniform, too.

  12. Im wondering if the reason alot of us are a sucker for a man in uniform is why I wanted to find me a Mountie!

  13. Kim--My mom came up with the Garamimals for men idea years ago!! LOL My dad works in a factory and wears jeans and t-shirts to work. His selections for Sunday church were hilarious! Finally, he just had her pick out his Sunday clothes!

  14. My hubby is quite clothes conscious, but he is color blind. So he memorizes what goes with what in his closet, but he does call on me occasionally to tell him whether a shirt goes with a certain pair of pants. When he worked in corporate America, he wore suits, but now that he has a home office, he often goes to work in shorts and a polo shirt.

    In novels, I tend not to pay that much attention to what people are wearing unless it is important to the story.

  15. I'm not sure I would dress him at all. *grin*
    Okay...just joking. I'm actually a horrible dresser. I've never, ever tried to dress my hubs but maybe that's because he has his casual, cool surfer look down? Who knows. But I do agree, a well-dressed man is yum, yum, yum. :-)

  16. Merrillee we have a church member who is colour blind. His wife sets things in colours for him. hes been known to wear socks of two different colours. It seems his mother has the same issue.

  17. Merrillee,

    Still the Indiana Jones hat is from one of your novels ;). You might not pay attention but the information is there - very much.

    I've been babying the idea of creating a blog where I find articles, pictures - the idea - I have of the characters created in novels. It could be fun.

    I have a cousin whose husband holds a high position in an University and sometimes he has to deliver speeches or attend high-level meetings and Seminars. So she makes sure she leaves all the clothes he'll need in the top of their bed for him to wear... one day, she was to meet him already at the Uni and as usual left the clothes ready to dress and go. When arriving to the Uni her husband was already making the speech and she sighed that he'd stick with her choices... until she saw him coming down and have a seat. She had forgotten the socks so the poor guy was wearing one black and other gray.

    Uniform transmits the idea that the guy will protect you through all and conquer. Go for your Mountie, Jenny :)

  18. Love a uniform but also love jeans with a button-up shirt.

    I'm also passing along the nomination for a Lieber Award to the Craft Ladies.


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