When I get to wear a bow tie I feel somewhere between dignified and smugly debonair, a refreshing change for an under-appreciated graduate student who tries his best to keep his style humble in this dull southern town that is quick to label any adornment as ostentatious. As you can guess, bows are rarely seen in these parts—not helped by the ritual of our rivals donning them for football games. “Fucking pretentious yuppies!” we snarl.
Certainly bow ties are not for everyone and they are not for every occasion (e.g. football), but more young men should try wearing them to break the monotony of neckties. At the very least more should learn how to tie one just in case they find themselves with an invite to a black tie event; you do not want to spend the entire night ruminating, “fuck, did I tie this damn thing right? It’s wrong, oh jesus, it’s all wrong. What am I doing? She knows it is wrong. Everyone here knows it is wrong. I am done for. I am a sham.” Shh shh shh, compose yourself, everything will be okay. Learning the knot is straightforward but it does take some practice. I will admit that it was not until my graduation last year that I asked my dad to teach me how to tie one but I am glad I finally did. I will die happy knowing that I did not sacrifice a classic father-son moment by using google image search.
The Cordial Churchman is hands down my favorite place to get bows and one of my favorite online vendors period. Handmade by a woman named Ellie LaVeer in North Carolina, the summer cotton choices exude both southern charm and Go-To-Hell aesthetic while the woolen fall and winter offerings are more subdued. You can specify your choice of bow style for each fabric but opt for sizes under 2 1/4” and under to keep with the more casual look in the summer. They are an absolute steal at $26, which is nearly a third of what Pierrepont Hicks and other comparable haberdashers ask. I personally own four of them and could not be happier.
And for god’s sake, replace that wrongfully conjured image of Pee-wee Herman with Chalky White.
Each package is sent with a personal note that will remind you that you made the right choice. Good job.