366 Bow Ties: Days 142 & 146

Every now and then I goof up and wear the same bow tie twice. Sometimes that even happens in the same week. How could that happen, you ask? Because I'm wearing a bow tie EVERY SINGLE DAY. Look: one loses track.

The other way that it happens is that I subconsciously convince myself that I have not yet worn a particular, favorite bow tie, and so--on it goes for a second tour.

It's a little more subtle here, but this is a double-gray reversible chambray classic cut bow tie. When you've got a wild shirt (like this all-the-colors-of-the-rainbow seersucker Brooks Brothers score from the thrift store [the collar of which disintegrated upon one wash, very sadly]), the gray solid bow tie anchors things down.

This was Day 146, the 2nd go-round for this bow tie.

Day 142 was the first--also worn with seersucker (also part of the subconscious double-draw to this double-chambray bow tie).

Double-gray chambray reversible bow, short sleeved blue seersucker button-down and Bill's Khakis M3s: a winning combo to looking simply stylish and stylishly simple, while allowing for increased freedom of movement to chase kids around at the farmers' market.

The convenient thing about my having worn the same bow tie twice is this: as soon as I posted the Day 142 photos, my man Rev. Bobby Griffith (a fellow Presbyterian church planter) hit me on Twitter indicating his sincere desire to own the pictured piece of haberdashery. I aim to please, so I saved it for him and didn't post it to the store right away. (Note:  not posting these things to the store right away has NOTHING to do with my procrastination.) (Note: I just lied. How uncordial of me!)

The good news for you --- if you're still reading --- is that now you have a shot at your very own double-gray reversible chambray classic-cut bow tie. The Churchbelles indicated that the fabric is in inventory, along with their willingness to make another. Now you just have to slap down a mere $29 (all of which will go to our project in Haiti to help build furniture for a school), and it's yours.



366 Bow Ties: Day 144

We have this little ensemble. We call ourselves The Perfect Melancholies when we play at the Old Town Market and other things. We also happen to be the music ensemble for Hill City Church, which is the new church we're starting in Rock Hill.

Wednesday night was what my old prof used to call a 'tweener. We played lots of our market tunes (folktified versions of U2 and the Cranberries; a few Over the Rhine, Patty Griffin, and Randy Newman tunes, etc.), but since it was a church BBQ, and the reason we got the gig was because they liked our take on the old hymns one Wednesday night in the church fellowship hall, we played some of those, too.

The home was from the first half of the 19th Century, and was haunted by antebellumness of various sorts. We played on the front porch to a happily BBQ'd audience.

(Above 3 Photos by Bill Marion)

And I wore a snappy combo, perfect for the event---if I must say so myself. Brown chambray on one side; green candy-stripe cotton on the other side, cut in classic shape. Throw in the blue jeans, the suspenders, the new US ARMY eyeglasses, and the bucks, and I think that about did the trick.

Grab this bow tie and get yourself to an antebellum BBQ pronto. Or throw one yourself. Be sure to invite The Perfect Melancholies to play on the front porch.



366 Bow Ties: Day 143

For some reason I allowed Ellie to persuade me to do a 2-day juice fast again with her, and this represents break-fast day. More on that later.

It was also a curiously sunny, rainy day. What do you wear on days like that? Who knows. But I wore standard Bill's Khakis M3s and a thrifted pink oxford button-down, sleeves hiked. And a reversible patch madras // brown chambray diamond-point bow tie.

We broke fast with our community group, who served up Top Shelf PB & J. Gooooood stuff. No tummy ache, either, like last juice fast. Probably because it was a shorter fast and it was not quite so bad a way to break fast as a martini and a BBQ sandwich.

Deacon contributed 2 recipes. I think it would be awesome to publish a for-kids-by-kids Top Shelf PB & J Recipe Book. What do you think? Include their hand-written recipes with all the [SIC] one could desire. We'd make a killing!

The patchwork madras is an old favorite from the TCC archives, perhaps from Summer 2010? The brown chambray is new. It's basically ... brown ... and chambray. The Church Belles have been going to town on the reversible stuff, as you can tell. I think it's a good thing. I think you'll agree. I think you'll agree enough to slap down $29 for this one-of-a-kind bow tie, all $29 of which will go to our project to help bring hope to children in Haiti.



366 Bow Ties: Day 131

The Old Town Market has become one of our favorite events in our beloved city. Our neighbor-farmers set up tables full of their delicious produce and meats. Our neighbor-artisans set up tables full of their fine craftsmanship. And we get to hop up on a stage a few times each summer as The Perfect Melancholies (which, coincidentally, is the same line-up as the Hill City Church band) and provide entertainment.

About the time our neighbor-farmers were picking fresh produce for the market from the earth, our Belles picked a red silk necktie with pretty blue flowers (sorry for the lack of specificity; I'm no gardener) from the box full of would-be bow ties and made this classic bow tie for our market performance.

We'd be delighted to come and play at your neighborhood farmer's market---or better yet, in a quaint old theater on your Main St. Just let us know. In a couple weeks we are providing entertainment for a Chester County church's community BBQ. That sounds about right.

We'd also be delighted if you took this gorgeous bow tie off our hands, and put the cash into our project to bring beauty and delight to children in Haiti. Grab it here.



366 Bow Ties: Day 130

This shouldn't happen. Gingham. And then more gingham, in a different scale. On the same bow tie. On a gingham shirt, with yet a different scale. And a gingham pocket square too? All blue? With blue jeans? And a blue blazer?

Ah, but the blues are rescued by the green boots. Still, what's the deal?

I don't know. Something about having a beautiful wife makes me not care about having 4 pieces of gingham on at the same time.

Happy birthday, Ellie! You are gorgeous.

If you look closely, you'll see that the larger gingham ('buffalo check', my man Mr. Goodwill Hunting calls it) is on a smaller paddle than the smaller gingham on the back side. So it's got all this 'depth perspective' or whatever Dominique the abstract artist and Churchbelle who made it might want to call it. Add the smaller check on the shirt, and it's like you're wearing 3D goggles.

But still, Ellie's pretty, so I'm good, right? Go ahead. Make fun of me. It's her birthday (yesterday), and she's pretty. Boom.

We close this blog post with a public service announcement that's sure to keep your children in line when playing with light sabers. Just use logic with them. It cures everything.

Cordially, if a little bizarrely,


366 Bow Ties: Easter and Seersucker

We started things off with a sunrise service at Glencairn Gardens, which was eaaarrrrlllllyyy, but felt quite right. It's easy to take for granted the fact that we have such a stunning garden right in the middle of town. Add to it sunrise and Easter, and, well---you get the picture.

Easter, of course, means seersucker. No, that's not all it means. But sartorially, speaking, the joy of what Easter essentially means is expressed through the donning of seersucker.

Our seersucker-donning friends took the occasion to pose together joyfully. I began the day with pale blue trousers, white oxford, and a pink/blue reversible seersucker bow tie in club diamond shape. The bow tie stayed all day, but the aforementioned blue trousers, of course, fell victim to a stream of coffee flowing from my defective 'travel mug'. Darn those travel mugs! Oh well. That just means I got to rock the Nantucket Reds, made by Bill's Khakis, with a blue oxford, for the afternoon. I continue to be amazed at the quality and fit of Bill's M3s. They're not hipster-fit skinny nonsense. But they're also not swimming pools. They look classy in weathered red, and not costumey and ridiculous---I'm sure this has a lot to do with the fit. Kudos to you, my favorite maker of khakis!

You do know, of course, that you can get a ton of seersucker colors on our webstore, right? And you can combine them just about any way imaginable, and in any shape we offer.  This one's yours for the astonishing price of $20. Just this one, just today. Maybe even just in the next 10 minutes if the deal is as sweet as I think it is.

We ate a lot of food, wore a lot of seersucker, and did a lot of church. I even took 2 naps, as I recall. In other words, a glorious day, as it should be.

Don't forget that all the proceeds from our 366 Bow Ties project are going to help the children of Haiti through MTW. Every last dollar. We've already generated more than $3,000 and we're aiming for $10,000 in 2012. Our first project is to provide tables and chairs for children to eat and learn upon at a very special school, which we hope to visit ourselves before too long. Thanks for your help.



366 Bow Ties: Days 92, 93, 94 .......

Day 92: Linen. Bold, blue, no-nonsense linen in all its versatile, goes-with-anything-but-black, textured, breathable, linen.  The Craig, we say.

...goes especially well with a folksy postlude.

Grab this bow tie at a discount now.


And then there's Day 93: A patch madras day. Diamond point (classic is shown directly above; Day 93 is a diamond-point.) A double-date with the parents Uptown day. A blue blazer and khakis to keep things simple so that patch madras can do its thing day. A photo in front of the restaurant which is also in front of the historic First Presbyterian Church day.

And of course, an Oak Street Bootmakers penny loafer day. Oh---and a Bill's M3 khakis day.

In other words, a good day! Get this Emmett Madras.


Day 94 meant pale blue-green linen. As plain and straight-forward as the bold navy blue in Day 92, but subtle. Kind of like my Classic Concentration props to my adopted town. Like that?

Nice, huh? Luxurious linen. The Day 94 one is in straight batwing shape. We call it the Bates. Grab this one.


Day 95 called for navy gingham on a green linen button-down. I think you'll agree this is a strong combination. A good combo to wear while sitting on your intern's front porch doing sermon prep. We call it the Garrison. And it's handsome. Grab it.


I think that's sufficient for one post, no? A couple more catch-up posts (and listings), and we'll be all caught up!

366 Bow Ties: Day 87

It's a crying shame, but I'm afraid that the time for wearing boots in South Carolina is coming to a halt. Sadly, this comes just a month or so after receiving the best pair of boots I've ever owned, and one of the most well-made, American-made items I've ever owned in any category, period. Wolverine has been making boots for people who actually need them to do their jobs forever. They kind of know what they're doing.

It especially shows in their heritage line, the Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot. The things look, feel, smell, and most importantly, wear perfect.

Mine are this gorgeous "natural" shade shown above. I figured I'd be my usual just-a-little-off-centered self and deviate from the standard brown finish. Glad I did. Thanks to the kind folks at Wolverine for participating in the 366 Bow Ties shenanigan, and thus helping us help change children's lives in Haiti. Save up--do whatever you need to do--and get yourself a pair of 1000 Miles. They'll last you the rest of your life.

Madras again! Patch madras again! See what I mean about boot season coming to a close? Grab this snappy patch madras today! There might not be a tomorrow, you know. At least for this bow tie.

Along with patch madras and the end of boot season comes the beginning of Eating Outside Season. (I am an avid indoorsman, but here I make a glad exception. Or not an exception, really, for I reckon a meal out of doors to essentially be a temporary extension of the dining room.) With Eating Outside Season comes the need for places to eat. We're helping Mission to the World build places for school children to eat with revenues from January and February's incredible 366 Bow Ties project. They're probably even better tables than this cheapie, the sign of which proclaimed that assembly could be done in 5 minutes without tools. Yep. Maybe for a non-indoorsman.

But eventually my children saw me actually complete the assembly, and we had a lovely meal with our community group that evening.

Enjoy Eating Outside Season. Enjoy it with a Cordial Churchman bow tie. Enjoy it with a pair of Wolverine 1000 Mile boots on if the weather happens to dip below 58F. If above 58F, do it barefoot. Or if you're doing things more properly, with a pair of Oak Street Bootmakers penny loafers, without socks, of course.


366 Bow Ties: Day 86


Madras is kind of a theme, huh? It's mostly for this reason: it's not time for seersucker until Sunday (Easter). And it's warm and sunny. Hence, madras. Patch madras, in this case.


These are pretty much gone forever after this one goes. Grab it now. 


If you need to do music at the last minute for a good old Presbyterian revival service, this bow tie is the obvious pick.


Also perfect for picking your eldest son up with your youngest son in the bike trailer.



366 Bow Ties: Day 84


Guys to Gentlemen. Went on a retreat to the beach with 6 friends from the church to explore this topic. I insisted that the leader include me in a breakout session on grooming and neckwear, but he must have thought I was only kidding, because it didn't make it into the agenda. Oh well.


Look closely: it's a double rainbow. Really cool, huh?


Stephen affectionately offered this impression of me. Not bad, not bad...




The bow tie is a little tough to see. But it's an old madras Lands' End necktie. A little too wide for my style---so it went into the "make into a bow tie" pile. Gorgeous blues and reds and yellows. Yours for $29.