Please join us in welcoming author Josephine Myles today, on the tour for Custom Fit, the further adventures of Feliz McAvoy and Andrew Wheeler, and book two in the Tailor Made series. Enjoy her guest post, and then be sure to check out the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for the chance to win two e-books from the author’s backlist.
Men In Lace
Men in lace… or frills, or embroidered pink satin. Just why is it that we don’t expect men to wear certain clothing? In many animal species it’s the male who is all colourful and showy—just think about those vain peacocks—and there have certainly been times in European history when men wore outfits that were almost as gaudy as the women’s, but these days men are expected to wear a pretty drab uniform. No skirts (unless it’s a kilt or a sarong on holiday), a fairly limited range of colours, and God forbid they wear anything embellished with sequins, frills or lace.
Now, I don’t dislike a man in a sharp suit or a pair of workman’s trousers and a hard hat—what’s not to like?!—but I love dressing up and I do feel sorry for all those blokes who feel like they can’t experiment more with their clothing. And it’s not just the social expectations that are stopping them; they just can’t find more interesting clothes in high street shops.
Luckily, Andrew, one of my characters in Custom Fit is a fashion student, so he is more than capable of helping his boyfriend Felix express his more feminine side… Feminine in terms of clothing, at any rate. But why should lace be deemed feminine? Yes, it’s a delicate fabric, but so is silk and men are “allowed” to wear silk shirts and boxers.
Perhaps it’s because lace is often embellished with floral designs, but again, it doesn’t have to be. The lace Felix is drawn to in Custom Fit is more geometric, and was inspired by a vintage camisole I used to own.
Luckily there are manufacturers out there making lace underwear for men, but they often look like they’re catering for the fetish market. Not that I’m criticising anyone’s fetish (hey, my “Men in Corsets” Pinterest board is my most followed one!), but it would be nice to see lace and other gendered fabrics being normalised for men. One company that seems to be leading the way is the brand Menagerie, and it was their lace briefs for men that inspired me while writing Custom Fit. Oh yes, and they also sell sock garters. I’m in male lingerie heaven!
Anyway, I’m a huge fan of lace fabric and I think it’s a crying shame that half the world is actively discouraged from wearing it. I’d like to see more men rocking the fabrics and colours traditionally reserved for women’s clothes—and I’m not talking about cross-dressing (not that there’s anything wrong with that). I’d just like to see regular male clothing styles sewn up in different fabrics. Can you imagine a sexy man in a pair of black lace trousers, lined with deep pink satin? Andrew and Felix certainly can!
If you’d like to see more visual inspiration for Custom Fit then check out my “Men in Lace” Pinterest board, then please come back here and tell me what you think!
Readers, would you like to see men experimenting more with clothing and fabric traditionally considered “feminine”, or are you happy with men dressing conventionally? Please share your thoughts!
About the Book
Felix and Andrew are back, in the long-awaited sequel to Tailor Made!
Being “wrong” has never felt so right!
Felix McAvoy is having an identity crisis. No longer the bad boy of art college, he’s now employed as a human billboard, roaming the centre of Bath dressed as a Roman soldier while attempting to fight off his nicotine cravings. It’s a comedown for the former conceptual artist, although there are compensations to the costume. The skirt, for one…
While Felix hasn’t made a secret of his desire to wear women’s clothing, he’s never dared try it until now. He’s always been worried once he goes down that road, he won’t want to come back, and the prospect of cross-dressing 24/7 terrifies him. Of course, he can’t tell that to Andrew, who’s now busy making Felix a slutty red dress.
Andrew Wheeler loves coming home to Felix and their cosy city centre flat. He just wishes Felix would let him know what’s bothering him. And maybe then, Andrew could confide what he really wants. Felix might not see him as anything other than a top, but Andrew’s yearning to switch things up.
Living together is one thing. Actually plucking up the courage to talk about their secret desires is going to be a whole other—and excruciatingly embarrassing—kettle of fish.
Felix pulled on the skirt and stared into the mirror. Okay, that wasn’t as bad as he’d been expecting. The burgundy faux leather that Andrew had tutted over last night felt cool against his legs, and the way it draped over his crotch was… interesting. Felix gave an experimental twirl, watching in the mirror as the heavy fabric flared out ever so slightly. Ooh, that was weird. But good weird. Probably. Yeah, definitely.
Suited him too. With his pale skin and dark hair, Felix always looked good in strong colours. And the skirt would totally go with his cherry red Doc Martens. Shame they weren’t part of his new uniform.
Felix cocked his hip and pouted.
“Mmm, looking good,” came Andrew’s voice from behind him.
Felix whirled around. Andrew’s sleep-rumpled blond head was poking up from under the thin cotton sheet. “Oh my God, I thought you were asleep.” He’d woken up extra early what with it being the first day at his new job as a human billboard, but he’d taken extra care to keep quiet while showering and getting dressed so Andrew could enjoy his lie-in. “Sorry. Was I making too much noise?”
“I just couldn’t sleep properly. It’s so hot in here.”
“Yeah, even with the window open. Bloody seagulls woke me up. Noisy bastards.” Felix walked over to the window and threw the curtain back. He stared out over the Bath rooftops. The view from their new attic flat was amazing, which kind of made up for the noise and the heat. And best of all, the central location meant he only had to wake up about half an hour before starting work. Thinking of which… He could hear Andrew getting up behind him. Why would anyone voluntarily get out of bed on their day off? “I should go and make a cuppa,” Felix grumbled.
Andrew’s hands landed on his waist, and then the whole hot length of him was pressed up against Felix’s back. Talk about morning glory! Felix could feel that monster trying to burrow its way up and under the pleather. He’d already managed to persuade his own hard-on to give up, but he could feel it rousing again. He wiggled his bum and Andrew thrust against him.
So good! “Uhh, not fair. I have to get ready.”
“I’ll help you.”
“I’d be quicker on my own.”
Andrew’s voice rumbled against Felix’s neck as he nibbled on the sensitive spot just under his ear.
Mmm, that always got him going. Sneaky bastard. “Yes, but it’ll be more fun this way.”
The protest on Felix’s lips died as Andrew ran his hands up under the skirt.
“I like this easy access,” Andrew said, grabbing hold of Felix’s dick. “Hmm, so does somebody else by the feel of it.”
Felix thrust into Andrew’s hand. “It feels weird, though.”
Andrew sounded genuinely interested, so Felix did his best to explain the half-formed thoughts and feelings swirling around inside him. “Weird in a way that makes me kind of worried. I don’t know, like I might like it too much? And you know, it’s kind of feminine. More than a kilt, anyway. People might laugh at me.”
“I think once you’ve got the rest of the costume on you’ll be fine. It won’t look feminine when you’re kitted out like a Roman soldier. And besides, it’s not that girly a skirt. It’s got pockets. Womenswear hardly ever has pockets. The girls at college complain about it all the time.”
Andrew should know all about that kind of thing seeing as how he was on a fashion design course, but that wasn’t quite what Felix had been getting at. Mind you, he still wasn’t entirely sure he understood what he was feeling, so he gave up trying to explain. Instead he wiggled his arse some more. “Think we’ve got time for a quickie?”
About the Author
English through and through, Josephine Myles is addicted to tea and busy cultivating a reputation for eccentricity. She writes gay erotica and romance, but finds the erotica keeps cuddling up to the romance, and the romance keeps corrupting the erotica. Jo blames her rebellious muse but he never listens to her anyway, no matter how much she threatens him with a big stick. She’s beginning to suspect he enjoys it.
Jo’s novel Stuff won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Bisexual Romance, and her novella Merry Gentlemen won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Gay Romantic Comedy. She loves to be busy, and is currently having fun trying to work out how she is going to fit in her love of writing, dressmaking and attending cabaret shows in fabulous clothing around the demands of a preteen with special needs and an incessantly curious toddler.