All Tied Up: Lonesome Traveler Does Menswear Right
The soft hum of the sewing machine keeps Jenny Hill company in her home studio, where she turns bolts of fabric into accessories dapper men are eager to wear. Hill’s handcrafted ties, pocket squares and bow ties evince a passion for classic menswear inspired by the likes of Gene Kelly and the Barney’s New York men’s department.
Sewing was originally just a hobby for Hill, whose professional background is in lighting design, but over the last 12 months, she’s built up Lonesome Traveler in the hopes of making it a full-time career. The drafting skills she learned from her interior design coursework come in handy when creating templates for the ties and bowties that draw their shapes from adaptations of vintage styles.
She’s on the road to success, thanks to her careful attention to the finer details—when you’re dealing with accessories so small in scale, details matter all the more. Made from a variety of natural cottons and linens, as well as vintage fabrics, and sewn with a combination of machine and hand-stitching, Hill’s ties exemplify classic craftsmanship. “The challenging part is making sure everything is lined up and square,” says Hill. “Patience comes into play because if you do one thing wrong, you have to start over.”
Although Hill keeps the traditional rules of menswear in mind, she pushes the boundaries with decorative fabrics sourced from estate sales, international travels and antique shops. As she pulls creative inspiration from Western wear and “rough-and-tumble styles,” Hill hopes the ties and bow ties of Lonesome Traveler add a stylish splash to the refined gentleman’s wardrobe.
The array of florals, stripes and western patterns in the Lonesome Traveler line can be found locally at Ruby Francis, Urban Matter, or online at ltoutpost.com.
This story appeared in the November 2015 issue.