Bowties, Violins, and Casey

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Albert Einstein said, "A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?" We hope he said that while wearing a bowtie. Today we wanted to introduce you to one of our models, Casey. He is such a sweetie!

Recently Casey needed to have his head shots updated. He is an amazing violinist who lives here in Rock Hill! He not only plays concerts, but also teaches lessons. We recommended Virginia McAllister {} and the photographs turned out really nicely. Of course he was wearing his Cordial Churchman bowties!

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Now we need to get him a table, a chair, and a bowl of fruit. Thanks, Casey for sharing your pictures.



Pocket Squres: Compliment - Not match

Incase you are wondering how to rock the pocket square with your bow tie, the word is coordinate, not match.

Here's some combos we love from our upcoming summer collection (Available May 1)

Yellow Madras (Coming Soon) with Navy Gingham

cc 28

Navy Dot Linen (Frederick) with Salmon Madras

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Pink Gingham with Light Blue pinstripe Linen

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White Pique, Navy Blazer, Blue and yellow striped bow tie and a yellow seersucker pocket square.  When wearing one of our lapel flowers, we think its best to go as subtle as possible with your pocket square.  The White pique is one of the best pocket squares because it adds interest and texture but can go with everything.

Milk and Sugar

Since this week has quickly become seersucker week after selling more seersucker bow ties than we thought possible, I thought I'd share a little about this special fabric.  Maybe I'm a geek, but I think it is pretty cool.  Here's what Wikipedia has to say:


Seersucker is a thin, puckered, all-cotton fabric, commonly striped or chequered, used to make clothing for spring and summer wear. The word came into English from Hindustani (Urdu and Hindi), which originates from the Persian words "shir o shekar", meaning "milk and sugar", probably from the resemblance of its smooth and rough stripes to the smooth texture of milk and the bumpy texture of sugar.

During the British colonial period, seersucker was a popular material in Britain's warm weather colonies like British India. When Seersucker was first introduced in the United States, it was used for a broad array of clothing items. For suits, the material was considered a mainstay of the summer wardrobe of gentlemen, especially in the South, who favored the light fabric in the high heat and humidity of the summer, especially prior to the arrival of air conditioning.

The fabric was originally worn by the poor in the U.S. until undergraduate students in the 1920s, in an air of reverse snobbery, began to wear the fabric.  Damon Runyon wrote that his new habit for wearing seersucker was "causing much confusion among my friends. They cannot decide whether I am broke or just setting a new vogue."


366 Bow Ties: Luxury and Versatility

Day 245.

At first it appears to be your average colorful diamond-point plaid bow tie from The Cordial Churchman. But don't be fooled.

Side one.

Side two.

The thing about having a couple seamstresses who are art school graduates is that, when faced with the need to come up with 366 unique bow ties over the course of AD 2012, they don't fret.

On side one, you can display the punchy, bold primaries of the plaid and the quirky yellow linen. On side two, you can tone it down and Autumn it up with the subdued reds and hunter greens of a a classic plaid paired with a green  chambray with yellow undertones.

Twist and turn to create several other possible configurations. A remarkably versatile and personality-rich bow tie if there ever was one. Get it here.

You may have noticed that I'm pretty obsessed with my Wolverine 1000 Mile boots. Pretty much wearing them every other day lately. Boy do I love these boots.


Day 254.

Liberty of London fabric. It's a big deal. And you can't deny that it's beautiful. It's also luxurious and very much top shelf. This is your chance to grab it before it goes public. You won't find anything comparable for so low as we're offering it: $49. Plus, all the cash goes to Haiti.

Grab it here.


Day 256.

Speaking of luxurious bow ties, how about this throwback from The Cordial Churchman archives: The Johnny Cashmere. Simple gray with all the cashmere fluffy awesomeness you'd expect from that supreme fabric. Classic Cut, and sure to be a classic of your Fall/Winter 2012 wardrobe----if you jump on it now.

When I saw this in the studio, I couldn't wait for cooler weather to rock it. Thankfully we had one of the most pleasant pre-Autumn days yet, and the university stripe button down and Bill's Khakis fit the bill with this killing-me-softly bow tie.

And---surprise, surprise!---I threw on the Wolverine 1000 Mile boots again.



Guy Style Favorites (1): An Affordable Wardrobe

If you haven't noticed, the Internet is big.  The e-ink spilled on traditional menswear itself would have been too much for the librarians at Alexandria to handle.  This is the first post in a series highlighting some web-volumes that we would weep over, should the e-library of menswear be burnt to the ground.

An Affordable Wardrobe.  Giuseppe is basically a reincarnation of my grandfather.  Unless Papa Sam was cutting the grass (in which case he would sport some great polyester old school running/basketball shorts [remember when they were the same length?], a Lichi-Vitale family reunion mesh ball cap, and over-the-calf socks), he would invariably be dressed like a true gentleman.  Most admirable of all, he bought almost everything he ever wore at the Village Thrift Store, which he affectionately dubbed "Cheap Jack's" or "C.J.'s Boutique". Giuseppe ebodies the same self-respect and thriftiness Papa Sam perfected.

He'll teach you how to mix patterns without looking like a goober, how to take calculated risks, how to thrift shop without amassing a bunch of ill-fitting garbage, and what sorts of items (besides underwear) should, after all, probably be bought at Target.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="240" caption="Giuseppe demonstrating how to take the basics (blue oxford and blazer) and add texture, pattern and color."][/caption]

Giuseppe is an independent dresser.  He's definitely dressing in the New England/Ivy League - inspired tradition.  But, being an Italian, his commentary is laced with just the right amount of righteous disregard for the elitism and the accompanying rules that so often seem to go along with WASPy style and culture.  He'll teach you the rules.  Then he'll teach you how to bend and break them with confidence.  You won't always agree with him.  But unless you take yourself way, way too seriously, you'll always laugh and learn something in the process.

It's safe to say that if Giuseppe and An Affordable Wardrobe didn't exist, neither would The Cordial Churchman.  Giuseppe made me rediscover my inner Papa Sam, which is to say, he made me realize that some of the best threads available are to be found at ridiculously low prices.  I would have never dreamed of bugging Ellie to make me a seersucker bow tie if Giuseppe hadn't empowered me to break the rules, and convinced me to stop paying way too much for so-so-quality clothes (including bow ties).

The Cordial Churchman is privileged to have been featured from time to time on An Affordable Wardrobe, which feels a little like having Cal Ripken, Jr. tell the press that you're a promising shortstop known for playing through minor injuries.  We've even been privileged to have Giuseppe hawking some TCC wares at his own Top Shelf Flea (which looks as if it's going live online soon.)

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="320" caption="A suitcase full of wares from The Cordial Churchman at Giuseppe's Top Shelf Flea. Note the record player. "][/caption]

Do yourself a favor.  I tell all my friends this.  Go read through the archives.  It'll take you 2 or 3 evenings.  You'll be a better person for it.