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Posted on Apr 27, 2015 in Andy blogs, Neck Ties, Personal Style, Travel |

VIDEO: Andy Slashes his Neck Tie Collection in Half

 

Today, I present you with big news, and a serious challenge that comes along with it. Oh–and a video that I think you’ll enjoy.

In Case You Didn’t Know

I suppose we haven’t officially told you, our beloved Cordials, the news. In July, Andy, Ellie, and their three boys will be moving to Seoul, South Korea!

Andy will be a chaplain and teacher at Yongsan International School. The Church Belles will still be banging out bow ties here in Carolina, while Ellie oversees The Cordial Churchman from Korea.

We’re excited.

Serious Challenges

We are in the process of purging a dozen years of accumulated stuff. For me, that means whittling down my wardrobe to what the ladies might call a “capsule wardrobe.” This is where you separate the men from the boys.

Boys say “But I might wear this some day!”

Men say “Let’s be honest. I’m never, or almost never, going to wear this.”

For my trousers, shirts, jackets, and shoes, this process was fairly easy. Either stuff fits, or it doesn’t. Either it’s worn out or it’s still looking sharp. Either it’s worth paying to move to Korea, or it isn’t.

But with my neck tie collection, this was harder. For one thing, these things don’t wear out, or size out, or style out like other elements of my wardrobe. And so Ockham’s Razor is applied based on one simple principle: do I wear this?

Buy these!

I’ll be unloading the neck ties that didn’t make the cut. I’ll post links soon, and you can buy them!

PS

This was  my first time shooting and editing a video. I know it’s kind of rough–especially in terms of audio quality. But I think it’s pretty dang good for my first go at this. Yes?

Would you enjoy more videos like this? Stuff about our move? Stuff about bow ties, pocket squares, style, etc.? Let us know.

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Posted on Apr 22, 2015 in Bow Ties, Bowties, Conversions, Neck Ties |

How Do We Upcycle Your Old Neck Ties? Magic.

 

One of the things people love us for is how we can turn a neck tie into a bow tie. And to be honest, it is a little magical.

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Nearly every day, we receive packages with neck ties from all over the country. We rip them open and check out what is inside.

 

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We take out the seams and press them out.

 

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We add our own interfacing and sew them up.

 

 

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And just like that.
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Its Magic.

 

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Voila!

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We get to make something new again – and we love it.

If you’re interested in purchasing this, you can do it through this link.

Today and tomorrow only, we’ll give you $5 store credit for each tie you send us to upcycle.

*the really good photos (#2 through #5 in this post) were taken by our customer and friend and fellow artist, Joe Jackson.  Thank you, Joe for making it look so cool.

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Posted on Feb 10, 2015 in Andy blogs, Neck Ties, Personal Style |

Cordial Camo? An Experiment

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I don’t hunt. I’ve never even considered joining the military. I’ve never been paint-balling. I don’t even care to go outdoors, really. I have never discharged a firearm. While I’m thankful for the liberties I enjoy and am proud of my grandfathers’ WW2 service, I am more than a little ambivalent about militarism. After all, I have a master’s degree in European history, and am very aware that nineteenth-century nationalistic fervor and militarism made the twentieth century the bloodiest in history.

All of this might suggest that I would be the least likely person to purchase camouflage pants.

But when I made a recent trip to my local purveyor of Levi’s, I stumbled upon these. Next thing you know, I was saying “yes, yes, I know” to friends and parishioners who stood baffled at my unlikely choice of trousers.


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There are a couple of factors that went into my admittedly hasty purchase.

First, there was not a cargo pocket anywhere in sight. I assume that I do not need to explain why that would be a deal breaker.  The rear pockets do have flaps, which I quickly tucked in so as to de-macho-ize them in one fell swoop.

Second, these trousers essentially fit like something between a pair of relaxed chinos and cozy jeans. The fit pretty much banished the possibility that someone would mistake me for an army chaplain heading to deployment.

I immediately thought of these as the sort of thing Nick Wooster would pair with a coat and tie, just to be … pushy.

Turns out I was right:

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Nick Wooster in Dockers Camo Alpha Khaki at Dockers F+W 2012

But the question remains: Can camo be cordial?

“Cordial”, to me, anyway, is another word for gentlemanly. When it comes to what one puts on, it all has to do with the crucial question a gentleman asks: Am I, by wearing this, stepping into the tradition of style and adding my own interpretations and innovations here and there, while dressing appropriately for the occasion–putting others at ease and perhaps even contributing to their delight?

Here’s where I come down, therefore: if the occasion makes it appropriate to throw on a pair of camouflage trousers, then sure–it’s plenty cordial to do so.

I wouldn’t wear them in place of chinos to a traditional church. But I’ve enjoyed wearing them with a coat and tie and brogues at the fairly casual church I started. Not every week, but now and then. And, seeing as my line of work allows me to wear jeans, which I often do with a bow or neck tie, swapping the denim out for camo actually dresses my Tuesday up a tad.

Of course, this may not be your style. Or, you may have the kind of lifestyle in which the only appropriate context for these suckers is when you’re out hunting. In either case, move along–nothing to see here. To each his own.

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Today I threw on a classic blue oxford cloth button down, a thrift store waistcoat, the Janningsnecktie — a rust herringbone tweed with a point-end from The Cordial Churchman, which you can certainly own yourself. (Grab it here.) I know that my ancient Allen Edmonds penny loafers need polished something fierce. But for whatever reason, I feel like the beat-up state they’re in makes sense given, you know, I’m wearing camo. (I also like to wear my Wolverine 1000 Mile boots with them.)

So, the trousers themselves: Mine are Levi’s. Nick Wooster’s are Dockers.

In any event, I’m curious what you think. Ridiculous? Genius? You tell me.

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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’

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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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Posted on Jun 27, 2013 in Bow Ties, Neck Ties, Personal Style | 6 comments

New Madras Bow Ties and What Else Should We Make?

Today was new fabric day. I picked up a few bolts of fabric at the store, we received an order I’d placed online and we also filtered though swatches to choose new fall fabrics. We are inspired.

As soon as Carlee (our resident seamstress and illustrator in her spare time) was so excited, she started snuggling up with it.  Then immediately cut it up to make ties saying, “It’s time for me to be in my happy place”.

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So what now? Obviously we’ll make bow ties but tell us what else you would like to see from us now and in the future. More pocket squares? Lapel flowers? More Emblematic Bow Ties? Neck ties? Scarves? Ascots? We love your feedback. Please write a comment or fill out THIS FORM to submit your feedback to us.

And if you tell us what you like, there’s a good chance we may name it after you. The really good ideas might even get a freebie of some kind.  So don’t be bashful.

Cheers,

Ellie

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Posted on Mar 14, 2013 in Bowties, Conversions, Neck Ties, sewing |

Making Old Things New – Turning an old necktie into a bow tie.

One of the things people love us for is how we can turn a neck tie into a bow tie. And to be honest, it is a little magical.

photo-27
Nearly every day, we receive packages with neck ties from all over the country. We rip them open and check out what is inside.

conversion1
We take out the seams and press them out.

conversion2
We add our own interfacing and sew them up.

conversion3And just like that.
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Its Magic.

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Voila!

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We get to make something new again – and we love it.

If you’re interested in purchasing this, you can do it through this link.

*the really good photos – #2 through #5 in this post were taken by our customer and friend and fellow artist, Joe Jackson.  Thank you, Joe for making it look so cool.

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