Norton of Morton

Read a new instalment of Norton of Morton every Saturday at 4 o'clock

Saturday 24 November 2012

A very vintage Christmas

In which G.M. Norton picks out fabulous Christmas gifts for vintage guys and gals.
With Christmas soon upon us, it provides us with the guilt-free opportunity to partake in heavy eating and even heavier drinking, all under the guise of ‘getting into the festive spirit.’ Wonderful stuff.

Aside from the continuation of one’s bacchanalian lifestyle, Christmas does have a couple of marks against it in the cons column (and I don’t mean losing the ability to fasten one’s trousers or skirt up after a little too much scoffing). That’s right, you’ve guessed it – I am of course alluring to the veritable minefield that is purchasing a gift for the other half.

But fear not, dear reader, because help is at hand in the form of your favourite protagonist.

Being the helpful chap that I am, I have rather splendidly done all the hard work for you and picked out presents that will leave your loved one smiling like a Cheshire cat.

Without further ado, here are my top five gift ideas for the gent or lady in your life. 

For her:


  1. ‘Style me vintage’ book - Written by the divine Naomi Thompson of Vintage Mafia fame, this is one book that many a lady will be hoping is waiting for them to unwrap on Christmas Day. Aimed at both the new and regular vintage shopper, it offers tips to unearth unique, affordable pieces of clothing to build up that retro look. It also helps ladies to find an era that suits their shape, from the 1920s to the 1980s. A must-buy if ever there was one. Interested parties are directed to the local bookshop.
  2. Vintage-styled underwear - The lovely people at What Katie Did specialise in beautiful underthings that are enough to steam up even the most steam-proof of monocles. Please tread carefully though - be absolutely sure of her size and taste before committing to the purchase. What Katie Did have put together a rather helpful Christmas shopping guide to assist you in your purchase of said womanly goods.  
  3. Compact mirror - Nothing screams ‘vintage’ and ‘lady’ louder than a classically designed compact mirror, made so the fairer sex can go and powder their collectives noses. Vanroe Compacts do some jolly nice ones.  
  4. Vintage photoshoot - What girl doesn’t like to pose? If you’re in the Manchester area, I’ve heard some very favourable reports about Alt. Studio, winner of the Vintage Manchester photography award 2012. Fellow bloggers Old Fashioned Susie and Gin Fuelled Blue Stocking have been along – the results speak for themselves.  
  5. New diary - Let’s face it, practically every lady has an unhealthy obsession with stationery, lists and generally being organised (or appearing to be). So what better gift than a new 2013 diary, may I ask? Paperchase do some pretty ones.

For him:

  1. Memory Lane pinup calendar - Upon my word, what a stocking filler this is! A calendar full of gorgeous gals in various 40s and 50s ‘cheesecake’ style poses and it's for a worthy cause too. The brainchild of vintage model Laura Norrey in memory of her grandmother, every single penny goes to the Alzheimer’s Society. Bravo, Laura! 
  2. Luxury shaving soap - Work your man up into a lather (in a good, more hygienic way) and treat him to a luxurious shaving soap. I recommend Messrs Truefitt and Hill. To seal the deal, it also comes in a rather fetching wooden bowl. Guaranteed to transform shaving from dreary to dreamy! 
  3. Boston cocktail shaker set - Fixing a drink is a pre-requisite for every discerning gentleman but he needs the tools to do the job – that’s where the Boston cocktail shaker set comes in. Purchase this and he can recreate your favourite cocktails and live up to his manly duties at the same time. Making your own cocktails is not only kinder on the old bank balance but there’s also self-satisfaction to be gleaned from making your own. Win-win, I say. 
  4. Kent military hair brush - Apparently, Cary Grant used one of these types of brushes to get his hair so shiny – according to my sources, the bristles stimulate the scalp and allows the natural oils to do their work. Founded in 1777, Kent is a true British institution having produced all manner of brushes for our brave soldiers fighting during both World Wars. Although the MHS18 model may cost a King’s ransom, there are more affordable versions available. 
  5. Subscription to The Chap magazine - Improve your man’s chap credentials and give him what he truly wants – the peace of mind knowing that a witty publication will be landing on his doormat six times a year. The Chap magazine is a journal covering all facets of gentleman and includes the hilarious ‘Am I Chap?’ feature which is worth the subscription fee alone.

In case it has somehow passed you by, I am now also residing on Twitter. Follow me @nortonofmorton

G.M. Norton
Protagonist of ‘Norton of Morton’


  1. This list is very useful, I now know what I want for Christmas hahaha.

    Buying presents for people who don't have obsessions I can helpfully feed is difficult, but you've managed to find gifts that are inoffensive to the vintage lay-person, whilst also being thoughtful and original. Bravo!

    1. You're awfully kind, dear lady. I hope I can be of service to dandies and damsels across the land. One can be utterly at sea at this time of year.

  2. Ah wonderful presents, please can you do my christmas shopping?!

  3. I would be delighted to, madam. I am quite partial to a spot of shopping, I must confess. Let's keep it hush hush though, otherwise I fear I will be inundated with similar requests!

  4. Great selection. My daughter is Miss August and on the cover of the Memory Lane Calendar, and yes its for a very good cause.

    1. You must be extremely proud to have a cover star in the family! Miss August is now my absolute favourite. It's not often that all proceeds go to charity so I urge everybody to snaffle a copy before they all go!

  5. Christmas at Partington-Plans Towers is set to be rather Dickensian (and not in a good way) unfortunately, but there are some splendid products there to pore over - even though I have no lady to worry about.

    In the meantime, I've taken the liberty of passing on the Liebster Blog Award to you, good sir.

    1. Good day, old bean. I must say, I am honoured to have been bestowed this fine award. Especially by a member of the vintage blogging community. Thank you very much.

      I am pleased a few items caught your discernible eye. I've been jolly impressed with the response thus far.

      I do hope your Christmas plans pick up. There's plenty of time yet for an upsurge in fortunes.


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