Proper Bow Ties

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By Cindy Edwards

I love a good story about mothers, sons and success.  While visiting my son at Ole Miss, I shopped around the beautiful and historic square in Oxford.  I meandered through Hinton & Hinton, a fabulous men’s clothing store that was packed with gorgeous merchandise, and I spied a young man standing behind a table with bow ties.  As I approached, he offered to demonstrate how to tie this Southern man’s staple. 

It turns out that James Hill is quite the bow tie expert.  I found his story, and his skill, fascinating.  His mom, Judy Hill, created the High Cotton clothing brand in 2010 after crafting a handmade, cotton bow tie for her elder son, a medical student at the University of Virginia. His problem: He liked wearing a necktie on rounds, but the long ties were more susceptible to touching harmful bacteria. Plus, the constant dry cleaning was a pain.

But Judy had the perfect solution.  She designed a washable bow tie that just also happened to be fashionable. This simple pursuit turned out to be the beginning of a new career for this North Carolina family.

Today, I see more and more gentlemen wearing bow ties, even outside of the South. I asked James Hill about the uniqueness of his product and why he thinks it has become such a fashion statement.  “The people that we find wearing our bow ties are confident, humble gentlemen who enjoy holding themselves to a higher standard and don’t mind getting a little attention,” explains Hill.  He says that the bow tie is the perfect way for a gentleman to express his individuality. “Since wearing a bow tie is not the norm,” he continues, “people who wear bow ties normally enjoy setting themselves apart from the crowd.”

Hill believes that Southern men never need a reason or excuse to wear a bow tie.  “You will find many people who enjoy wearing one every day to school or work,” he points out. “We are firm believers that bow ties should be a regular part of a gentleman’s wardrobe, not simply reserved for formal events.”

Of course, wearing a bow tie requires a man to learn how to tie one properly. Hill made it look easy when he demonstrated the technique for me in the store, and his company posted a video tutorial on its website in an effort to help men master the skill at home.

Remember that first impressions are lasting impressions.  With our world becoming more and more casual, I encourage gentlemen to consider wearing a bow tie to the next oyster roast, cocktail party or church event.  As Judy Hill says, “A bow tie is the key to attracting the right kind of attention!”

As always, thanks for reading.
Properly yours,

For more information on High Cotton and its gorgeous selection of bow ties made from North Carolina cotton, and to see a video tutorial on tying a bow tie, visit:

Cindy Edwards embodies everything pretty, perky and proper about the South. She's a wife, mother, volunteer and freelance writer. Cindy volunteers enough hours to exhaust most by serving on the Board of Trustees for the Telfair Museums, the Savannah Book Festival Board of Directors and the University of Georgia Honors Advisory Board. She has also served on the Boards of the March of Dimes and Young Life Savannah. Cindy has been married to her college sweetheart, Dr. Joe Edwards III, for 25 years and is the proud mother of two sons: Joe IV, a senior at the University of Georgia, and Jack, a freshman at Ole Miss. No matter how busy, Cindy always makes time for a competitive game of bridge.
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I just love this, my thirteen year old son has recently come to me to express his interest in bow ties. I immediately advised him that he must learn how to tie a proper bow tie and that my grandfather wore them daily. I have fond memories of me looking up, he was 6'3", to watch him tie his bow tie. Thank you for the link so that my son may learn to tie his own and a washable bow tie will be his next gift.

By gagirl on March 09, 2013


Being newly graduated from college, I love seeing sharply dressed guys! To all the mothers out there, please forward this blog to your sons. The article, along with the video tutorial, is perfect for any man wanting to dress in true Southern gentleman attire! Great blog!!!

By Taylor on February 28, 2013


What a great blog! Coming from a mother of a son, who typically wears neckties because frankly, I'm not there to tie his bow ties, I am forwarding this information to him. This is a great article on not only why he should wear a bow tie, but also how to actually tie one with an excellent video tutorial! Kudos to a well written blog! Thank you!

By Marci on February 28, 2013


Great story. You always meet the most interesting people. And.... to think an article on bow ties! Love it!!!

By Linda Parton on February 27, 2013


Very interesting blog on bow ties and the Hill family! And how resourceful for Mom Hill to creat one for her son in medical school!

By Sandra on February 27, 2013


Bow ties make an outfit very unique. More men are wearing bow ties as a regular part of their outfit. A washable bow tie will be the next gift for the men in my family. Thanks for the great tip!!! I always enjoy reading your blog!!!

By Ann on February 23, 2013


Cindy, thanks for this. Very interest. I enjoy all your postings. Hope everyone is well.

By Ann Price on February 22, 2013


Great story. I love to hear how people take something so simple and make it into a unique product that makes their lives something special!

By Michelle on February 21, 2013

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hi! wink i was wondering if you could share the recipe for the chiken/grape salad-the one that is pictured on the croissant above? thanks! wink sandra
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Paula, I am glad to know that I am not the only person who makes Easter Baskets for their adult children and mail them across the United States. My Daughter lives in Long Beach, CA and I not only sent her a basket but her husband and my granddaughter Reese. We also buy special Russel Stover Bunnies for each child too. My husband has the list in his phone... Sara .. Cookies 'n Crème.... Sidney and Stephen.. Peanut Butter Etc. It one of my favorite things to do for my kids.. no matter how old they get. And passing it along to my Grandchildren. It's even more special to me knowing we share a family tradition. Blessings and Happy Easter!!
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