Fit To Be Tied | Cordial Churchman


"To its devotees the bow tie suggests iconoclasm of an Old World sort, a fusty adherence to a contrarian point of view. The bow tie hints at intellectualism, real or feigned, and sometimes suggests technical acumen, perhaps because it is so hard to tie. Bow ties are worn by magicians, country doctors, lawyers and professors and by people hoping to look like the above. But perhaps most of all, wearing a bow tie is a way of broadcasting an aggressive lack of concern for what other people think."

Warren St. John, The New York Times

Wearing a bow tie requires either confidence or a complete disregard for the opinions of others. While often thought of as a sign of intellectual superiority (no complaints here), you will still receive a few curious looks. To some, you might as well be the Monopoly Man, sporting a cane and top hat, and saying things like "pish-posh" and "dandy".

My own experience with bow ties (outside of Bill Nye) came during my undergraduate studies at the University of Alabama. When I wasn't studying the intricacies of corporate finance, I worked part-time at a local haberdashery.  It was there that I learned the ins and outs of traditional men's fashion, including how to tie bow ties.


Founded in 2009 by Eleanor "Ellie" Stager, The Cordial Churchman claims its roots in the genteel Southern town of Rock Hill, SC.

The Cordial Churchman began like many small businesses do: by happy accident. Ellie's husband, Andy, asked her to re-purpose a pair of their children's seersucker shorts into a bow tie. While she had no idea how to make a bow tie from scratch, she did the best she could. The finished product turned out better than expected, so she posted a photo of the bow tie on Twitter. It wasn't long before her friends and family all wanted her services, and thus a business was born.

Each piece is hand made and shipped from their Rock Hill headquarters, with a handwritten note included in every order. There are a plethora of ways to customize your order, with various types of fabric, styles, and other options to choose from.


With their new Fall 2016 collection just launched, The Cordial Churchman graciously sent over a few pieces for me to test drive.

So, I hit the streets of Ybor City, bow ties in hand, with one goal: to bring the bow tie to the everyman.


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Leading off this feature is the Laurens bow tie, a unique and versatile piece made up of three different colors of cotton fabrics. Between the dark blue, faded yellow, and rustic crimson, you're bound to find the combination that works for your outfit. While I usually prefer the simple things, the mix of colors here is tastefully done and begs for attention in all the right ways.

Selvage Edge - Indigo Dot Chambray

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On deck is the Selvage Edge Indigo Dot Chambray tie in the classic butterfly style. This bow tie my personal favorite now in my entire collection, as it is predominantly conservative save for the bold stripe on one side of the blade. I love the denim look and texture of this stitching down to the selvage edges, with the subtle polka dots (yes, they actually come across as subtle!) accenting the main focus of the stripe.


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And now, the power hitter.

The Horatio is an adventurous piece, featuring an Aztec patterned knit fabric on one side and solid navy cotton pique on the other. I appreciate boldness in style, and this bow tie makes quite a bold statement. The Horatio is a guaranteed conversation starter for those otherwise dull holiday parties.


The bow tie is not something to be afraid of, anyone can pull it off.

The trick is making it the focal point of your ensemble, not another accent in an otherwise busy outfit. Try pairing your choice of tie with denim jeans and muted shades of blue or grey.

Remember, wearing a bow tie should never look like you are trying to wear one.


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This post was sponsored by The Cordial Churchman

All photos by Pitcher Perfect Studios




201 East Main Street, Suite 202

Rock Hill, SC 29730


(803) 216-5676



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