Saturday, 18 October 2014

World Cravat Day

In which G.M. Norton gives thanks to Croatia.

Given that today marks World Cravat Day, it would be rude not to give it a jolly good mention on the periodical this week.

As a self-confessed cravat devotee, I must admit to not giving much thought to the provenance of the most debonair of neckwear. Indeed, it was only while conducting a little research into World Cravat Day that I discovered that we have Croatia to thank for cravats.
It seems that the cravat adorned the necks of 17th century Croatian soldiers, as part of their military uniform. During the reign of King Louis VIII in France, Parisians couldn't help but be charmed by the unusual scarves wrapped around the Croatian mercenaries enlisted in the regiment. Before long, news of the cravat travelled far and wide and soon it became de rigueur to be seen wearing one.

Croatia are so proud of this important part of their history that in 2008, Croatian Parliament declared the 18th day of October as the Day of the Cravat.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

First Friday at The Handlebar Club

In which G.M. Norton dashes to London for a meeting of moustaches.
As regular readers will recall, upon growing the required upper lip appendage with graspable extremities, I joined the prestigious Handlebar Club.
Club members surrounding El Presidente, Mr Rod Littlewood (Photography - Nick Harrison)
The Handlebar Club was formed in 1947 by Jimmy Edwards. It is a thoroughly decent Club to be a member of. The moustachioed men that the Club comprises of are a delightful bunch of gentlemen.
Delightfully dapper (Photography - Nick Harrison)
Traditionally, the Club meet on the first Friday of every month. The meeting isn't the kind of dull affair like in the workplace, with some poor sap (sometimes me) taking minutes and going through the agenda.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

The Man in the Grey Tweed Suit

In which G.M. Norton takes his new suit on a strange little outing.

A milestone for any gentleman, I recently acquired my first ever three-piece tweed suit. A grey number, with a red windowpane check, it is from Messrs Walker Slater.

They have clothing emporiums in both Edinburgh and Londinium but as I reside near neither, I made my purchase online.

I'll tell you a little story, if I may. I used to own a grey wool suit. Grey is a safe suit colour choice, it goes with absolutely all kinds of things. It is probably the most versatile suit you could own. 
Taking a walk on the strange side

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Going wild with Caorunn Gin

In which G.M. Norton joins a group of epicurean adventurers for a journey into the unknown.

One might suppose that I am partial to a gin or three. If you have jumped to that conclusion about me, I must congratulate you and confirm that you are indeed correct.
Rowan berries form the very soul of Caorunn Gin
The people at Caorunn Gin must have made the same accurate assumption as they were kind enough to invite me on a little foraging expedition, with the promise of cocktails and lunch afterwards. Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I accepted their offer with gusto.
So, why the invite to go foraging? Well, as part of Caorunn Gin’s Forage to Glass initiative, they have been working with watering holes to discover wild ingredients to help create unique and tasty cocktails. After a few successful foraging outings with local bartenders at Lawn Club and Elixir, they turned their attention to people interested in drinking them, offering them the chance to get at one with nature too.
An attempt at 'street photography'
So, one wet and chilly morning, I travelled to the meeting place, 22 Redbank in Manchester where I was welcomed with warm smiles and a hot beverage. It was reminiscent of a rather agreeable sitting room with Chesterfields and a resplendent rug.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

The British Beard & Moustache Championships 2014

In which G.M. Norton hands over the reins to his new No. 2 for a hairy update.

Following Mr. Ryan Pike’s summer guest spot on The Chap Olympiad, he has now filed his latest report. This time, it concerns The British Beard & Moustache Championships held last weekend.

The Pike Report

The city of Bath is well known for its magnificent architecture and culture, the Roman presence, the magnificent Abbey which marks over 100 years of history and the splendid catacomb of shops, cafes and bars that line the winding back streets. This weekend the city was more vibrant than ever as not only did it host a local rugby game filling the streets with supporters dressed in blue, white and black but also a Jane Austin convention which saw many don period costume and parade through the town, transforming the area to a time long forgotten.
However besides all this splendour, there was another very important occasion hosted by the city. Early risers strolling through the Pavillion Gardens about 0930 will have noticed a curious array of ladies and gents assembling for a parade, the men all having some form of facial hair and many of the ladies wearing fake, homemade beards and moustaches. Not an everyday sight you may well say, but the 13th September marked the occasion of the second British Beard and Moustache Championships which is held every two years (the previous event being held in Brighton in 2012). 

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Real-life dandy: Shaun Gordon

In which G.M. Norton interviews an extraordinary tie-maker and all-round natty dresser.


I first came across Shaun Gordon on Mr. B the Gentleman Rhymer’s Twittering page. He had attended the launch for a new tie collection by an immaculately-dressed gentleman described as “not your average tie-maker”.
Aware of Mr. B’s commendable taste in neckwear (have you seen the Gentleman Rhymer’s own range of Partridge-esque club ties?), I was instantly intrigued so proceeded to this tie-maker’s webular site. His name of course, was Mr. Shaun Gordon and as was evident in a matter of milliseconds, he makes exceedingly good ties.
Mesmerising ties aside, what struck me about Mr. Gordon was how incredibly dapper he is. What’s more, he makes it seem so effortless. Upon joining Instagram at the beginning of the year, I made the commendable decision to follow this most dashing of dandies. So, when I was considering which sartorially elegant gentleman to feature for the next ‘real-life dandy’ feature, I naturally thought of Shaun. Being the thoroughly decent chap that he is, he agreed to take part and here are the results.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

The terrible twos

In which G.M. Norton celebrates Norton of Morton’s second birthday.

This next week marks a pretty momentous event in the old calendar, for the 8th September means it is precisely two years since Norton of Morton came to life.
I do so enjoy reminiscing when I reach an important milestone. Take last year’s 1st birthday celebrations for instance, where I received a telegram from Her Majesty the Queen.
Or marking a year of my handlebar moustache with a time capsule ceremony.
I almost let this periodical’s second birthday pass by with no fanfare. I didn’t even get my chums, Puttin’ On The Blitz! to sing a jolly tune in celebration. 
But then, when I started to list all the things that had happened over twelve extraordinary months, I couldn’t resist. So, here are my highlights.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Marko John’s - guaranteed to blow your socks off

In which G.M. Norton gets heady about hosiery.

As a keen sock lover, I was overjoyed to be sent a rather splendid pair of socks for review by Marko John’s. If you’re not familiar with Marko John’s, they’ve been making socks in Blighty since 1895. A dashed long time, I’m sure you’ll agree!

Gift box

They make a fine selection of brightly coloured foot friends, for both ladies and gentlemen. Admittedly, the ladies range of knee-socks are limited to three colour options, but they are lovely nonetheless.

Knee-length ladies socks

Gentlemen, on the other hand (or should that be ‘foot’?) are treated to a whole array of options to suit different tastes. I counted 30 different striped pairs, which are my favourite, along with nine different ‘top and tailed’ pairs.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Review: BeauFort London moustache finishing wax and case

In which G.M. Norton makes the discovery of a lifetime – the finest moustache wax in all the land.


Recently, I was lucky enough to be given a new moustache wax to try from BeauFort London.

I first got wind of BeauFort London through the wonder that is the Twittering Device. Upon visiting their webular site, I was quite simply blown away by it. The imagery and language used is quite breath-taking and I hoped against hope that their flagship grooming product would live up to its promise.
Well, after testing it out in the varying weather conditions that is known as ‘the great British summer’, I am now in a position to share my opinion with you, dear readers.

Quite simply, and before I start to wax lyrical, I am astounded. There, I’ve said it.
Firstly, what sets BeauFort London’s finishing wax apart from the start is the exquisite case that the wax is enclosed in. Other makes of moustache wax either come in a disposable screw-top tin or tube, reminiscent of toothpaste. Tins and tubes just don’t cut the mustard with BeauFort London. Oh no!

Saturday, 16 August 2014

What I wore on Wednesday

In which G.M. Norton wears some clothes.

I've been asked by one or two people to share a little more of the gentlemanly attire that I wear.

So, without further preamble, and to keep my promise (we Nortons never break a promise), here is the outfit I cobbled together on Wednesday.
I am happy, honestly. I'm simply trying to appear 'nonchalant'. The result is perhaps 'constipated', instead.

Now, did I do anything on Wednesday? Well, yes I did actually. After a day at the office, I visited a factory in the city of Salford. The factory is one of the last surviving clothing manufacturers in the country and home to the Private White V.C. menswear brand. I had a delightful tour for a feature which will appear in the first-ever printed edition of In Retrospect magazine.