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
Navy Dot Linen (Frederick) with Salmon Madras
Pink Gingham with Light Blue pinstripe Linen
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.
My friend Conor from Young Man/Old Man invited me to guest post on hos fine bloh. Check out my discussion of Pulpit Supply, the new collection of top-shelf bow ties, scarves, ascots, neckties, pocket squares, and lapel flowers from the team behind The Cordial Churchman.
Day 150: Had to be a handsome one. And this is. It's our old Vito pattern crossed with a pinpoint linen that used to be the Barrett. Pretty stunning. Yours for $35.
Another reason to be handsome---or, to wear a handsome bow tie: video shoot.
Day 151: This is subtle: see what's happening? Bias-cut on one half of the bow tie; non-bias cut on the other. See the knot? Cool yeah? Yeah!
A good bow tie for a road trip. Above: Jacksonville.
Ellie hand-rolling pocket squares in the car.
Legos at Downtown Disney
Okay, off to a timeshare presentation. Should be glorious!
It's week two. Our bow of the day is the Morrison, named for my good pal. Houndstooth in blues on one side, olive on the other. One of this Fall/Winter's best sellers, and easily one of my favorites. Rendered here in narrow butterfly.
When you're just learning how to put a more traditional men's ensemble together, you can get pretty intimidated about what goes with what. Lots of people write to say they think they've got the guts to try a bow tie, but don't know what to wear with it. Here's the first thing to know: anything goes with a white or light blue oxford shirt, a navy blazer, khakis, gray trousers, or a gray suit. Get each of these things, and you essentially have a traditional wardrobe.
But at the most basic level, find a bow tie that looks appropriate for the season, put it with a white or blue Oxford and a blue blazer, and you're at once traditional and oozing personal style.
Today is an example of a variation on the basic bow tied uniform: a university stripe Oxford with a houndstooth patterned bow tie. Uni stripe Oxfords--especially blue--go with almost anything except ties that are striped in the same scale. Mixing up the pattern scale keeps things from getting too busy, but adds a level of interest that isn't achieved with a solid shirt.
We enjoyed a fantastic dinner today prepared by the first ever Cordial Churchman employee, Kay. It's hard to imagine having been able to sustain a business had we not had Kay's help and enthusiasm. Nowadays, she's running an international aid ministry, which makes her the most successful survivor of the Cordial Churchman sweat shop. Her agency will be the recipient of all the proceeds of our 366 Bow Ties sales. We look forward to telling you more about the partnership as it develops. It looks as though we'll be focusing our help on Haiti, perhaps with an opportunity to visit there later in the year.
Kay and Heiko and their 3 children spent a decade living and working in Berlin, and they have lots of neat Deutsche paraphernalia around the house. Kay is one of the most amazing non-professional interior decorators on the planet, I'd wager. Their home is beautiful without being even slightly pretentious or extravagant. Like in clothes, a good eye, a few basic principles, and a developed personal style seems to be the key.
So run over to the store, grab yourself a Morrison bow tie. Grab this one in narrow butterfly. Or grab one in another style. Grab one for your boss, your assistant, your preacher, your professor, your husband, your son, your girlfriend, your dog. Stick it with a blue or white shirt--or a uni strip, and make your an everyone else's world a little more interesting, and a little more classic, all at the same time.
PS, we had a Downton Abbey premiere party this evening. I "dressed up" to go as a period bicycle repair man. Ellie looked as fabulous as--nay, more fabulous than--Lady Mary.
I could never be an exclusive bow tie wearer. Some are. Not me. I simply like neck ties too much. These days, neck ties are almost as infrequently seen as bow ties. Besides, tie bars look pretty stupid on bow ties, and one needs to rock a tie bar from tie to time.
I picked up this Southwick suit at Goodwill for $10 just before Easter last year. I had Ellie hem the trousers with a massive cuff, just to be obnoxious. I love it because it's got no darts (a "sack jacket") and doesn't make you look like a linebacker with big shoulder pads. Way, WAY better to look ridiculous with big cuffs than with boxy shoulders.
The tie came from a thrift store for a buck or two. It's a pathetic faker club crest number, probably sold at Target, then at TJ Maxx, then given for free to folks in halfway houses for job interviews. After being rejected by all those markets, it finally found a good home with me.
The shoes are Florsheim longwings. Muted brown. Leather soles, of course. Bartered for 3 bow ties (thanks, Ellie. Easier to get forgiveness than permission, eh?) from a gent who couldn't quite fit into them.
And the tie bar comes from my late grandfather, Papa Sam--master of thrifting and master of looking very, very suave. Rico Suave on the el cheapo. Ellie made the hand-rolled cream-with-navy-pinstripe linen pocket square.
This suit is thick as heck. Better wear it a lot before South Carolina starts doing its thing. I might just wear it tomorrow. Hopefully it'll be warm and sunny so I can pair it with my old Vespa.
Nearly 8 years ago I married Andy. I told him in no uncertain terms that he was not wearing a bow tie* with his tuxedo in our wedding. They were silly. Clown-like. Costumey. That was in Ohio, in 2002. It was a thoroughly Rust Belt-ish sort of position to take.
Fast-forward to 2010, South Carolina. Today, I not only own and operate a bow tie business, but now my bow ties have appeared in--yep--Southern Weddings magazine.
The ladies at Southern Weddings have, quite aside from my bow ties, put together a gorgeous volume 3 of their magazine. There are a zillion brilliant ideas and a phenomenal spread of real wedding photographs in these pages. I think you'll love this magazine whether you've long been married, plan never to be, or are in the very process of planning a wedding. There's nothing stuffy here. Rather, creativity and beauty abound.
Here's Editor-in-Chief Lara Casey with a collection of bow ties from various makers featured in the magazine.
Even the most Southern of Southerners I meet think my run with The Cordial Churchman is pretty weird. I'd have to agree. This is a pretty fun story to tell now. I imagine it will make our grandkids chuckle, too.
PS--I'll see about scanning the pages that feature my wares. But don't hold your breath. You should just go get the magazine.
*I had never even heard of a pocket square then. I have some of them in SW v.3, too.
I've listed my pocket squares on my website now. There are only 4 of each fabric available and I'm not likely to have another product like this for a while so get them while you can. Here's the LINK.
Edited 7-10 - These are now available on the online store: http://thecordialchurchman.bigcartel.com/product/hand-rolled-pocket-squares-limited-edition
I've been spending quite a bit of time traveling in the car lately. What does one do with all that time, traveling from South Carolina to Ohio and back? For me, the answer is: I've been making some hand-rolled, hand-sewn pocket squares while riding shotgun.
Behold, the madras square in all it's simple glory.
Andy was being a big Presbyterian dork and followed the twitter feed for the General Assembly of a Presby denomination he doesn't even belong to. One of the sartorial observations from that GA was the following: "Apparently the pocket square is the new bow tie." While we here at The Cordial Churchman want to insist that this is a both/and rather than an either/or scenario, it is nevertheless true that a pocket square even without neckwear spices things up nicely. You're almost as certain--if not more certain--to be the only one in a room rocking a pocket square as you are to be the only one rocking a bow tie.
Mr. Churchman himself came with me to the cloth store and chose the fabrics. He picked out a couple of madras fabrics, a white tone-on-tone seersucker, a blue chambray and a blue/green gingham. I'll be able to make about 4 of each fabric, so they'll be a limited edition. These squares will be carefully hand-sewn with a nice plump roll. $26.
EDITED- These squares are now listed on my online store: