Saturday, 27 June 2015

One careful owner

In which G.M. Norton feels like a millionaire.

As a regular purchaser of second-hand clothing, whether from a beneficiary boutique or Messrs E&Bay, I often imagine who the former owners were. On occasion, I’ve been known to make up whole new identities in my head, giving them names and different personality traits. 

Occasionally, you will find something in a pocket which provides a little clue to the identity of the former wearer. One jacket had a receipt for some sugar and a pint of milk, dated 1980. Naturally, I pictured them as having an addiction to sugary milk-based drinks. I called him Stanley.

Earlier this week, I took my youngest out for a trip to Alderley Edge in Cheshire. Home to rich footballers, I thought I would find it all terribly pretentious but actually, it was quite quaint. My plan was to explore the four charity shops that are all on the same main high street. It was during this outing that I picked up a blue chalkstripe double-breasted suit.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

On film: The Thin Man

In which G.M. Norton considers becoming a drinking detective.

I recently had the pleasure of watching a 1934 comic murder mystery by the name of The Thin Man.

Based on a book of the same name by Dashiell Hammett, who also penned The Maltese Falcon, it is a well mixed cocktail of screwball comedy and murder.

The two main protagonists are Martini tossing married couple, Nick and Nora Charles, played with aplomb by William Powell and Myrna Loy.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

A beginner's guide to vintage-style dressing for men

In which G.M. Norton helps men to dress vintage.

In a rush to pursue my quest to lead a gentlemanly existence, it has only just occurred to me that there are men out there that need a little help and guidance with the classic men’s style of dress.

So this week, I’m going to go back to basics a little. Do forgive if you feel you already know these things, or perhaps chirp up with your own opinions in the comments.
Exquisite items from Old Town, Cravat Club and Rampley & Co
Men may have decided for themselves that they are ready to ditch the t-shirt and jeans combination and start dressing like a grown-up. Or their significant other may be busily encouraging them to smarten up their appearance. 

This beginners guide is my way of offering assistance.

Like any good guide, let’s start start at the beginning.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

The gentleman's new clothes

In which G.M. Norton wears one of his favourite summer outfits.

We're now in June, it would seem. Crikey, where has this year gone?

Dressing well during the scorching heat can be a tricky task. This is one outfit I recently cobbled together, which I thought I would share with you. Now, here's the thing so prepare yourself - not a single item was obtained second-hand, which is quite a rarity for me. I can sense your disappointment.

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Retrospective life

In which G.M. Norton shares issue 03 of In Retrospect magazine with the help of John, Paul, George and Ringo.

As I reported back in February, I've now added Editor-at-Large onto my growing list of titles. That's along with Commander of Gentlemanly Operations, Protagonist, Father and of course, Soulmate. 

I'm still extremely proud to be part of the editorial team at In Retrospect magazine. If you haven't had the pleasure of perusing a copy, I would most certainly encourage you to get your mitts on Issue 03 which is out this coming Monday, 1st June.

Pre-order your Issue 03 by visiting In Retrospect's rather marvellous webular site.
Coincidentally, 1st June is also the date that The Beatles released their 1967 long player, Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

So as a little bit of fun, this week's periodical posting will be set to the song titles. Let's see if this works shall we?

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Beneficiary boutique bargain

In which G.M. Norton has his (Christian) faith restored.

One Monday morning a couple of weeks ago, I received a missive from gentleman’s outfitters, Peter Christian. They were alerting me to a new waistcoat to pair with their £125 cotton summer suit.
I’ve recently experienced something of a lean spell with beneficiary boutiques. I’ve bought the occasional shirt and a few books but like a Heroin addict that has already sold the family silver, I’ve not enjoyed a satisfactory score recently. 

A few days later and I had an overcoming urge to visit the nearby Oxfam. As it was the day before that glorious time of the month that is pay day, I only had £13 to the Norton name, so I was a little worried that I might finally spot a whole heap of things out of my financial limit. 

Saturday, 16 May 2015

First fashion foray at The Vintage Emporium

In which G.M. Norton frequents a vintage shopping extravaganza and knocks back bubbly.

A couple of weeks ago, my beloved and I were invited to attend a vintage fashion show at The Vintage Emporium which recently opened in Stockport.
For those who remember such things, I attended a fashion show last summer, organised by Mint Vintage and a number of other vintage traders across the north west of England. Since then, the traders have formed together as The Vintage Emporium and set up shop in an enormous Edwardian building by the name of Pear Mill.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

VE Day – sombre celebration

In which G.M. Norton takes a moment to remember the brave.

Yesterday marked quite a landmark, the 70th anniversary of VE Day, the day the Second World War ended in Europe.

The joy and relief felt across Blighty must have been quite incredible when Sir Winston Churchill announced news of the Allied victory.
My grandfather’s two brothers (making them my Great-Uncles) both fought during the Second World War. Sadly, only one would return home. Joseph died on the battlefield in 1940, while Norman returned home with a George Cross medal and a heavy heart. A member of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, Norman along with two other men, bravely saved a soldier’s life.
Here is an excerpt from the London Gazette, dated 14 January 1944:

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Review: Squared Pocket

In which G.M. Norton fills his pockets with UK-made goodness.

Over the last few years, the pocket square has made a triumphant return to the breast pockets of men across the land. 

I love a pocket square, simply because they add a fancy flourish to an outfit. Of course, they are merely decorative. Originally, pocket squares (or handkerchiefs as they are also referred) were always carried to mop one's brow or to offer to a lady in need.
Recently, I made the acquaintance of a brand new pocket square enterprise, by the name of Squared Pocket. They are based right here in Blighty, in Leeds to be precise, and pleasingly, their pocket squares are all made in the UK. What's more, chumrades, they are very affordable too at a penny under the ten English pounds mark.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Tweed Run 2015

In which G.M. Norton find himself in tweed heaven.

This week I bring to you a pictorial post for your peepers. Last Saturday, I travelled from Manchester to the Big Smoke for an In Retrospect editors meeting. Fortuitously, the date for the trip coincided with the ever-popular Tweed Run.
For those not aware, the Tweed Run is an annual cycling event around London. Participants wear their finest tweed and take a leisurely ride through the city, stopping midway for a picnic and some light refreshments. It was quite a sight to be greeted by hundreds of tweed-clad cyclists at the Trafalgar Square meeting point. Tourists were visibly bewildered as they sought confirmation that they'd not slipped through a hole in time and gone back to the 1930s.

Naturally I couldn't help snapping away so here are the results.