366 Bow Ties: Day 31


Lots of spring anticipation going around here. Hence the shades and the (formerly Brooks Brothers) berry bow tie. And, I suppose, the pink sweater.

It's funny how, since we deal mostly in non-traditional (read, non-silk) fabrics, wearing a silk bow tie feels odd. I'm going to be doing a bunch of it this year, though---and just yesterday I went through a box of about 200 neckties. I sorted them into 3 categories:

Category 1. "What was I thinking? This is a great necktie--perfect width (not too wide, not super modern-skinny), vintage, etc. Why would I ever demolish this and sell it so some dude on the internet?"


Category 2. "No one should ever, ever wear this tie, ever. But since I don't believe in legislating sartorial morality, these will go to Deacon's Kindergarten clothing drive."


Category 3. "Okay, this is a nice necktie. But we're in the bow tie business, and the cash is going to Haiti. It's maybe a little too wide, a little funky in this way or that, not perfect. Much better possibilities as a bow tie. Besides, these guys on the internet aren't that bad.


By the way, isn't this kid of mine cute? Doesn't he make you want to buy this bow tie? It'll be posted on the store as soon as I can wrest the computer from the Church Belles, who are frantically packing and printing shipping labels, trying to get lots of orders in the post before it closes in 10 minutes.


366 Bow Ties: Day 28

Saturday was (again) unseasonably warm, so I threw on a never-before-seen bow tie from our upcoming Spring/Summer line. It's luxurious. An organic cotton & hemp blend. It's got the texture of linen, and the look of seersucker, but without the pucker. As part of our premium selection of bow ties made with rare fabrics, this will be priced at $38 when it becomes available in late February. But for one privileged bow tie aficionado, this (and only this very one) will be had for $35.

I am straight-up loving my Oak Street Bootmakers penny loafers. In fact, I decided it was time to put the penny in penny loafers, literally. One shiny one, one weathered one.

I'm quite happy with how these look when paired with denim. Loafers are an essentially casual shoe, so it makes perfect sense that they'd complement a dark pair of 501s quite nicely.

And the great thing about the weather is, of course, that it was a sockless day. I love socks. But I love not needing them, either. I usually don't wear socks at all from April through September.

It turned out that this was the perfect chilled out bow tie for the occasion: Beneath the Surface | A Forum on Beauty. I pretended to be artsy for the day, and in fact did have a semi-sophisticated discussion with a professor from Appalachian State University about the evolving social and religious significance of tattoos.

With all my many talents, I was reduced to just one: Pastor...

...which of course is a great honor. It's just that, as usual, my wife is way cooler than me.

I leave you with some images from the event. A grand time.



Amazing Things are Done in our Bow Ties

Take, for instance, this:

Mr Brown is doing a new yo-yo trick every day for 2012. Kudos to him.

366 Bow Ties: Day 4


Isn't a bow tie enough? Why add a kelley green cardigan? is it St. Patrick's Day? Or did you have a Guinness in the shower instead of coffee this morning?

To answer your question, a bow tie is definitely enough. I wouldn't normally be so peacocky. But the problem is, I have a green cardigan, which I like a lot, and I'm doing this thing where I have to wear a bow tie every day. I'm already foregoing neckties for 366 days. I'm not going to add kelley green cardigans to the abstention list.

Hence, outfit.

The bow tie is the Malcolm, rendered in Club Diamond (a punchy bow tie cut, of course. Consistency!). It's silk tweed. Which makes it, and you--if you buy it--automatically awesome.


The Malcolm is available regularly on our store for the affordable price of $29. But this one, and this one alone is available for the throwback Cordial Churchman price of just $23.


With all that punchiness up top, it's brown from the waist down. Except for the socks, of course, which goes without saying.

366 Bow Ties: Day 3


Today's bow tie is also one-of-a-kind.  It's a leftover from a batch we made a little over a year ago from scruffy blue chambray, most of which were diamond pointed and ended up going to Times Square and the Meatpacking District where Levi's promptly sold out of them.  I stumbled upon a butterfly version and decided it called for an old cable-knit navy sweater I also just rediscovered in the back of my closet.


I had the privilege of a BBQ lunch meeting with a cordial churchman and friend. This gent has a doctorate, and has just recently finished reading the entirety of an even more cordial churchman, mutual teacher, and friend's 7 volume history of preaching.  Needless to say, I was all ears when he offered some constructive criticism on Sunday's sermon.


Bill Spoon's Barbecue was delicious, and delightfully low-brow, as all such joints should be.


I moved on to a more high-brow Charlotte establishment, the one and only Fairclough & Co. Clothiers.  I managed to avoid the Alden shoes and got off pretty cheap, relatively speaking (see below).


I am always more and more impressed with Charlotte.  I know it's not supposed to have any character, history, and soul.   So maybe I'm shallow.  But Charlotte is great.


I was on a no-jeans-because-jeans-are-for-manual-laborers kick for a while, and actually went an entire year without ever wearing blue jeans.  It started by accident, and then became a stupid personal challenge.  What was I thinking?  I'm compensating now by wearing the Gold Standard almost every day.


The real test of any bow tie is:  when you un-do it at 6:00pm as you're greeting your wife at the door, does she think you're hot stuff?  Causation is pretty hard to prove around here, being as Ellie makes the things herself--she could just be admiring her own work.  But once you take the baby off her hands and disappear, you instantly become hot stuff---but especially with a bow tie.  Make sense?  I'm rambling.  The point is: buy this only-one-of-it's-kind-left blue chambray bow tie today, or it's gone forever (unless we happen upon more of this fabric).


Right: so, about how I escaped from Fairclough:  With this.  Genuine man.  Perhaps even Old Man (all the better).  There were some sissy scents available that Ellie might have liked better.  But at the end of the day, you've got to go with Bay Rhum.  Can you believe the packaging on this thing?  A wax seal?  That paper!?  That crown?  Glad I finally got me some.  I'm inhaling right now.  It smells legit.


Cheers until tomorrow.


PS--Sorry about the whole Andy-standing-with-Ray-Bans-in-front-of-buildings flavor of this post.

PSS---Sorry also for the hyphenate-the-crap-out-of-everything flavor of this post.

366 Bow Ties: Day 2


Used to be a beautiful scarf from The Hill-Side. Now, its a beautiful bow tie. Until The Hill-Side starts making bow ties, I'm sure they won't object to your buying their scarves and having The Cordial Churchman convert them.


Went out to my buddy's family farm in McConnels, SC today with another good friend. Had bacon and peanut butter paninis and talked about the beauty of polycultures.


There was something enjoyable about walking around avoiding animal dung in my Weejuns.  I narrowly avoided having January 2nd's bow tie ingested by the lovely beast in the foreground.  (They both also made a pass at my Kent Wang pocket square, which Ellie gave me for Christmas last year.)  Today's bow is  available in our store, but is utterly gone--poof--forever, once it's sold. But you won't be nearly so sad as I will be to see this once-worn linenesque cotton beauty go.


Plans to give away all the proceeds are coming together nicely. We are excited to tell you more once everything's in place.


Happy bow tying.

EDIT: How could I have forgotten to post the photo of the peanut butter & bacon panini?  Thanks, Erin from A Low Country Wedding for reminding me of the glory that was that sandwich!

The Cordial Churchman sponsors great things.


We here at The Cordial Churchman like things. Bringing these liked things to people who may also be numbered among their grateful appreciators is a recent delight of ours.  This week we'll tell you about two events that we sponsored mostly because we're proud to stick our name alongside these bits of well-crafted culture.

The first event was held at Friday Arts Project's Space 157 in Old Town Rock Hill. As most of you know, Ellie has written, recorded, and performed songs for a decade and a half now. Along the way, she's performed alongside some very talented, full-time touring musicians. Two of our favorites, whom we have had the pleasure of watching mature into bona fide troubadours, made new fans after performing with Ellie at this special intimate concert.


After Ellie opened the evening, backed up by our friend and banjo player Mr. Stephen Crotts, the lovely and talented Hannah Miller made eardrums very happy with her set from recently-released EPs Journey to the Moon and O Black River. You may or may not be aware that an exquisite music video from the former features a dozen or so of our own bow ties.

The main event was a man who figured that Dallas really was that bad and moved to Hartsville, SC.  Dylan Sneed explored the tension of home and the open road, the familiar and the adventurous in an hour of pure American straight-up, knock-down audible boo-yah.  If you haven't heard of this fella and have yet to hear Texodus, change that as fast as possible.

The audience gathered in the very spot where many of our fine bow ties are produced---fitting for the first concert sponsored by our humble haberdashery.  We hope that many more will follow.  We don't anticipate that many will top the first.

Muse Fest VIP Gala


Above, Mr Rinehart of Rinehart Realty picks out several bows to add to his massive collection. This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

It's been a pretty phenomenal VIP Gala for Muse Fest at Gallery Up in Rock Hill. We're proud to be citizens and entrepreneurs in this town.


Wedding Complicity

It's certainly one of the great privileges of The Cordial Churchman to be an artistic flourish, a quirky detail, in such monumental events as weddings. As you might imagine, it makes us beam with pride when we see the wedding pictures. Right in the middle of all that mushy lovey doviness and all that everything-must-be-just-so-ness: a Ryan patchwork madras / seersucker reversible bow tie or a customized yellow gingham necktie.

Just like being an accessory to a crime implicates you, being an accessory to vows of matrimony squeezes us into that weighty and joyful romantic conspiracy. We're happy to be complicit. And we're happy to give you a glimpse not just into our complicity, but into two of those romantic conspiracies themselves. Enjoy.

Did You Know Ellie Has a CD?


And it's a really good record, too.  I wrote half the tunes to This Place, but she and Andrew Osenga made the record together in Nashville in the summer of 2007.  We've got maybe 300 of them left, and they sound a lot better in your CD Changer (haha, remember those?) iTunes library than they do in our attic.

And get this: it's yours for $5.  That's 50% off retail.

You can listen to her CD, This Place, here.

You can buy it from her bow tie store here.

Oh, and I mentioned Andrew Osenga, her producer.  Yeah, he's amazing.  And he's heading to space.  Yep.  You've never heard of so beautifully bizarre a recording project as this.  And you need to head over to his Kickstarter page, watch his video, and BACK HIS PROJECT now before time runs out (in like 68 hours from the time I write this!).