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Posted on Apr 10, 2014 in Bow Ties, Bowties, Uncategorized |

Why Choose a Bow Tie?

The short, and not antagonistic, answer is ‘why not?’. These days anyone wearing a neck tie is asked ‘Why wear a tie?’. Again, not to be antagonistic or grumpy, someone once said that a man should never have to apologize for wearing a tie. Specifically, you choose a bow tie if you want to be in the category of men who know they don’t have to wear a tie, but want to anyway, and want to be doubly unconventional.


What statement does it make, and how does it alter an ensemble?

Most people who rarely or never choose a bow tie say, “I just don’t think I’m the type of guy who can pull it off.” The funny thing is, I’ve never heard anyone say, about a man with a bow tie on, “Some people can pull it off, but he can’t.” I think putting on a bow tie demonstrates a playful, defiant sort of confidence—if it’s worn both playfully and confidently.

A bow tie alters an ensemble by making it say “I’m here.” It seems to draw attention to the face–something about the amount of shirt that shows from the top button of the jacket to the bow tie knot. A neck tie says that an ensemble is complete (assuming you have a pocket square); a bow tie says an ensemble is has been put together by a person who is now in the room.


Who are bow ties for? What does it take to pull off the look?

It simply takes playfulness, confidence, and defiance of convention. There’s no “bow tie type”; there are only men who wear bow ties.


What should someone take into account when incorporating bow ties into their wardrobe? Does it change the style of shirt, cut of jacket, etc. to incorporate them properly?

Don’t overlook the blue blazer. Make sure it fits well, and that it’s on the tight side of the fit. The last thing you want is to look frumpy with a bow tie. The bow tie is unconventional enough. Use the conventional-ness of the blue blazer (and the khakis and gray worsted trousers and the solid white and blue oxford) to frame the bow tie. It will keep you from looking like a clown.

Finally, I think young people ought to give serious consideration to the notion that a bow tie and a pair of jeans aren’t enemies.


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Posted on Apr 3, 2014 in Bow Ties, Bowties |

The Cordial Churchman E-Mail List

You don’t want to miss out on your chance to be the first to know about Sales, Product Updates, and chances to win free products.  Don’t worry, we will only send you about 1 or 2 emails a month.  Just fill out your e-mail address below and you are good to go!


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Posted on Apr 2, 2014 in Bow Ties, Bowties, Uncategorized |

The Cordial Churchman Spring Line

At The Cordial Churchman, we love the changing of seasons.  It draws from us, a sense of nostalgia for the lovely memories of seasons past.  It turns out, we especially love Spring.  With it, come the familiar senses of blossoming wildflowers, the kiss of light upon our pale skin, and of course, a fresh line from  The Cordial Churchman!




Since our Spring collection reveal, we’ve launched a more rapid sewing pace in the studio; adding to our fun, we do enjoy working with the brilliant fabrics from Liberty of London.  There are rich linens, plaids, chambrays and florals waiting to be worn.  So come check out the brilliant pieces we have to add to (or start) your collection.


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Posted on Mar 25, 2014 in Bow Tie Tuesday, Bow Ties, Bowties, Guy Style Favorites, Pocket Squares, Uncategorized | 2 comments

Outfit of the Day!

This look is the perfect introduction to the Spring season!  Its cornerstone piece is the stunning bow tie, made by none other than The Cordial Churchman.

As a compliment in color, this brilliant coral and navy gingham dress shirt contrasts the chartreuse bow tie quite well.

 Now, we move the eye from the gingham base through a multilayered front, featuring a subtle cashmere vest beneath a tweed jacket with leather accents.

Finally, by way of parallel, a navy gingham pocket square draws us back to the coral gingham dress shirt for a cohesive design.


Bow tie: The Cordial Churchman

Dress shirt:  J Crew

Waistcoat:  thrift

Jacket:  thrift

Pocket square:  The Cordial Churchman

Watch:  TimeX

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Posted on Oct 14, 2013 in 366 Bow Ties, Andy blogs, Bow Tie Tuesday, Bow Ties, Personal Style |

Bow Tie Tuesday in Carolina


After 2012’s ‘366 Bow Ties for Haiti’ project, in which I wore, and we sold, a different bow tie every day for a year, it’s understandable that I frequently get the question, “where’s your bow tie?”

I’ve never been a bow tie exclusivist. For one thing, the Belles make great neck ties, and I wouldn’t want to forego the pleasures of having custom-made long ties within reach, lovingly made by friends.

How does a year-long bow-tie-every-day guy ease back into wearing bow ties 3/4 of the way through his year of sartorial recovery?


I now have at least one day per week when I plan to rock the bow. Doesn’t matter what I’m up to. Taking the boys to the park. Doing interviews for my podcast. Studying for a sermon. Having friends over for Italian. Bow. Tie. Tuesday.

And I have local friends that have also taken to rocking the bow on Tuesdays.

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My colleague Daniel Wells, for one.

Here’s Daniel rocking a nice Autumnal plaid during one of our weekly Tuesday podcast recording sessions. Somehow rocking the bow tie helps convince us that we’re not complete dorks, frauds, or both.

(Note: Many will say that the bow merely confirms at least the former. Ignore such people. Rock with gusto!)


And then we have my man Nathan. His family will be moving onto our street by the end of the month.

Nathan and several of his middle school and high school students have started Bow Tie Tuesday at their school. It’s good to know that students are not only being formed in character, but also in sartorial sensibilities, by my good friend.


Now, You.

What about you and your cronies? Do you do BOW TIE TUESDAY? What are your feelings on bow tie exclusivity vs. inclusivity? Those of you who teach: do you think the resurgence of interest in gentlemen’s style more broadly, and bow ties specifically, is sticking among the younger crowd?

Most importantly, are you up for starting a BOW TIE TUESDAY at your workplace, school, or in your community?

And, lest I fail to mention the obvious: Tomorrow is, in fact, Tuesday. That’s your cue. Rock that bow.

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Posted on Sep 19, 2013 in Andy blogs, Bow Ties, Bowties, Conversions, Neck Ties, sewing |

Springmaid and Scenes from ‘Bourbon and Bow Ties’


The only thing better than an evening in a bow tie?  An evening in a bow tie with a Bourbon in one hand.

The only thing better than an evening in a bow tie with a Bourbon? Why, an evening in a bow tie, with a Bourbon, enjoying blues, in a museum.

The only thing better than all of the above?

If you come wearing a necktie, and while you’re sipping your Bourbon and enjoying your blues, said necktie is being deconstructed and converted into a bow tie right before your eyes.

That’s what Ellie and Dominique did for our friends at the South Carolina State Museum in Columbia a fortnight back. And it was gobs of fun.


There were, in fact, four other Carolina bow tie makers set up for the event as well. The fellow next to us lives in our old neighborhood and named his bow tie company Titanic Alley after the long-gone section of our neighborhood that capitulated to a sprawling Cadillac dealership. It turns out that he got his inspiration from The Cordial Churchman after buying his first of many bow ties from us at a Columbia craft faire 2 years back.


I think that he and I were both a little intimidated by the velocity and grace with which Dominique and Ellie reconfigured neckties into bow ties, even while sipping Bourbon. They’re good, those Belles.


The event coincided and overlapped with an exhibit that first debuted in Winthrop University Galleries, Between the Springmaid Sheets. The Cordial Churchman was privileged to be asked to produce dozens of bow ties from archival Springmaid fabrics for both exhibitions.


It was only a little bit awkward watching my illustrator friend and Cordial Churchman branding designer Stephen Crotts gaze in awe at the framed Springmaids in their impeccably illustrated, high-flying skirts. Technique, he said. I believe him.

I’ll leave you with the top 2 most gratifying experiences of the evening for most attendees:

1. Experiencing the bow tie that was a necktie just a few minutes before.


2. Experiencing the largest bow tie made of turkey feathers ever worn by a woman. (Note: this was not a former necktie.)


A big thanks to Ken May, Executive Director of the South Carolina Arts Commission, and Paul Matheny, South Carolina State Museum Curator of Art, for being the kind of gentlemen that bring Bourbon and bow ties together and call it art. And especially to Paul who had the Belles do some performance art in his space among such fine people.

– Andy

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