All said and done, today was good day.
After having a pear, a banana, and a very green juice for breakfast, I broke fast for real by having this for lunch. A BKT--bacon, kale, tomato sandwich. I almost forgot to grill the whole thing in the bacon grease. Almost. Yum.
That there is my boy Deacon. As he told some pedestrians: "today was my first time riding my bike in action!" Which means, of course, that he started, went, and stopped on his own steam. He just looked his fears square in the eye and slapped them upside the head. And this after he burst into tears earlier in the day when Ellie removed his training wheels. We celebrated with FroYo. Which is another great reason that this day was good.
As Deacon was taking his last spin, the sun set over Winthrop Lake. Glorious. Applause, I think, from those dwelling in glory for my son's accomplishment.
So celebrate with us and grab today's bow tie: a dark teal-ish club diamond with stripes, silk from a vintage necktie. A sharp tie. $29. All of it goes to bless children in Haiti.
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.
I'm pointing at the bow tie, but everyone assumed I was showing off my freshly shaven baby face. People! Let's not get distracted from the nicely coordinated ensemble here. Red chambray Levi's shorts, blue oxford button down. Red, white, and blue seersucker check bow tie in classic cut.
It's a sharp tie; there's no denying it. Yours unless you tarry.
It's an honest, and an important, question. But let's put the on hold for the moment. The real question is, do you own a hot air balloon bow tie? It's 492% more likely that you've hugged a Presbyterian.
This unique number was once a neck tie. You can kind of tell if you look close at the knot, which just so happened to show the seam where the emblematic fabric was brought together to form this bow tie. (Usually it is discretely hidden.)
This is really gone forever and ever and ever, amen, once it's gone. Buy now or regret later. (How's that for a pushy, decidedly non-Presbyterian altar call sort of approach to sales?)
It's my firm belief that pink is a very legitimate color for any men's garment, save briefs. Pink chambray in a punchy diamond-point cut. Can't go wrong. You get an extra credential on your Man Card. And buying it sends $29 to children in Haiti.
I'm sorry, but you've just got to love this. Yes, that's two shades of gingham patched together on one 'wing' of this classic butterfly cut bow tie. The scale variation in the navy gingham is also a subtly awesome touch.
You're probably going to want to grab this now while it's still summer. Then wear it every day until Labor Day.
Well, that's four new ones for you to goo and gah over. Enjoy.
Well, for Day 200, The Perfect Melancholies had a gig at The Old Town Market, but alas, the rain prevailed and we (probably wisely) opted for non-electrocution and threw on the towel. Too bad. But on the bright side, we got coverage by our local daily without actually having to perform.
Erica entertained us on the banjo while the rain did its rainy thing.
The great thing---a true providence, I would reckon---was that we got to dine at Erin's Restaurant on its opening night in its new Old Town Rock Hill location. It was a fantastic, and historic, experience.
The bow tie was a straight batwing shape (an obvious choice for the eve of the debut of The Dark Night Rises) reversible with a complex plaid on one side and a simple, wonderfully textured pale teal linen on the other side. I twisted the bow to show off the teal linen in the knot---one of the many possibilities when you're rocking a TCC reversible. Grab it here.
Eat local. Listen to local music. Wear bow ties. Especially ones that put your money toward a local, homegrown business which employs local artisans, and which also puts a small dent into the hope-thirst of a few dozen Haitian children.
And eat dessert.
That's my boy. When he last swung on this swing on the church playground at Draper's Valley Presbyterian Church, he was but 2 years old. It was a delight to give him a push and watch him fly above the Virginia cattle country landscape.
It was a travel day. Shorts: red chambray. Blue oxford.
And a red gingham // blue & white reversible cotton classic-cut bow tie. A pretty stellar creation by our Churchbelles, if you ask me.
I'm going to leave it at that, and let you peruse the slide show. Baby deer; swings, swings, and more swings; the manse we lived in for a summer; it's view down the valley to the church and graveyard; our children; etc.
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.
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.
This is the first bow tie Ellie made in the new studio. It's a silk navy bow tie with white stripes and a thin red pencil stripe surrounding each white stripe. A handsome, classic bow tie if I ever saw one--and cut in Classic Butterfly shape.
When wearing, try to look like less of a goober than this fella above--especially when making a key presentation in front of 40 people. The only redeeming quality here is new Wolverine 1000 Mile Boots in tan. A fantastic pair of boots, and the best I've ever owned, period. More about these to come soon. We're thrilled that they've contributed them in support of our 366 Bow Ties project for Haiti. Speaking of 'more to come'--we're excited about the details of our project that are coming together, and very hopeful that we might end up visiting Haiti ourselves toward years' end.
There she is--'she' being the bow tie, on the cutting table, in the new studio. We'll post more about the new studio soon. It's a really exciting transition for us.
One can restore one's self confidence after being snagged in a goobery photo by cleaning the kitchen. Hey--I just remembered there's one other mark in the 'plus' category here: Bill's Khakis pima cords. Thanks to Bill's also for their generous participation. (It looks, by the way, that they've got themselves a handsome new website. Check it out, and get a pair of the best khakis in the world, made in USA.)
Run and grab Day 67's bow tie before it's gone forever. And you can be a part of history: the owner of the first bow tie ever made in the new TCC studio. We should be framing it, but instead we're offering it to you and sending the money to Haiti.
AKA, Catch-up post. I'm just going to throw these out there without too much play-by-play. Enjoy!
Day 39. I reached for a new spring TCC bow tie--the Chadrick-- a gorgeous madras thusfar only available to our Bow Tie of the Month Society members. Sometimes you just have to pack the family into the minivan and head off to Moe's. You don't necessarily have to rock a bow tie on such occasions, but if you're going to be interfacing with the world's greatest soda machine, you might as well wear the world's greatest piece of neckwear.
Just this one's available in straight batwing for now ... until the spring line is released to the general public later this month.
Day 40. A guy has a couple sartorial weapons at his disposal: the carrot and the stick. The stick is loud, obnoxious, GTH. The carrot says "I don't need to be noticed, but don't you enjoy noticing me?"
This is all a bunch of nonsense, of course. I just happened to be having a low-calorie snack when my photographer was available. This is a truly original bow tie: the Alan. It's about as out-of-the-box as we get. Brown with reddish-orange, silver, and tan threads of of different sheen and weave mixed in. I think it looked good with my JandHP lapel flower, dark jeans, ridiculous green argyle socks, longwings, and my favorite Donegal tweed. This very bow tie is available here at a discount.
I used to head to the hospital several times every week. In my newer line of work, hospital visitations are pretty infrequent, and actually constitute a nice break in the routine. Special enough occasion to photograph myself in the mirror-laden elevator, at least.
Day 41. I keep stealing bow ties from the forthcoming spring collection. This is the Barrett: probably my favorite. It's a simple red linen, which almost looks like chambray. The texture is rich. The fabric is luxurious and costly. Rendered here in diamond-point, this one alone is available to you at a preview discount.
(A classic butterfly cut shown here for a closer look at the color and texture.)
One more wear for my Oak Street Bootmakers penny loafers before they're due for their first cleaning and treatment. These things still smell so dang leathery. A glorious shoe.
The whole family headed to Amelie's French Bakery in Charlotte to meet our friend Caroline Fontenot of Back Down South. All the boys wore bow ties, of course, including Wycliffe. Here he is just before he ripped a bust off the table, which went crashing to the floor and ended up on the counter in a pile, pictured below. Smooth move, son.
Deacon doesn't mind dressing up a tad, though Owen despises it. We had to bribe Owen with "doughnuts" (i.e., gourmet eclairs). Sometimes Deacon can seem like such a grown-up, like when he was patiently sitting in the car waiting to leave.
Day 42. Ellie raided the enormous pile of death-row neck ties for this yellow silk with purple foulard. She made a beautiful straight batwing shaped bow tie that seemed appropriate for another hospital visit, this time to see our friends' and my colleague's newborn.
Saturday night was the coldest it's been here all winter. It all started just at dusk while we were snapping these photos. Brrrrrrrrrrrr.
You can snag this one-of-a-kind bow tiehere, until it's gone.
Day 43. Sometimes I go a little nuts and get all the accessories coordinated. Red, white and blue on the straight batwing silk bow tie, the socks, the grosgrain watch band, and the pocket square.
When you pull something like this off, you get a little spunky and start karate kicking the camerawoman.
Grab this one-of-a-kind former necktie-turned-TCC bow tie now, or it's gone.
And there you have it. 5 days of bow tiedness. All in one post. Almost more than any of us can handle. Don't forget that all the proceeds of the 366 bow ties I wear go to our favorite project in Haiti, helping children in poverty have a chance to be released from its clutches into lives of personal flourishing. So buy often.