Norton of Morton

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

Saturday 15 December 2012

Chap on the cheap: the charity shop challenge

In which G.M. Norton goes pattern crazy as he unveils a gentlemanly outfit for less than £50.

Mancunian Vintage and myself recently took part in a challenge to acquire his 'n' hers Christmas outfits for under £50 each. Read about my experience over at Vintage Manchester.

I had tremendous fun visiting the local charity shops and managed to cobble together a rather dapper outfit for the grand total of £37.94. This consisted of sports jacket, shirt, tie, trousers, shoes and pocket square. 

Doing my best Pee-Wee Herman impression

What I particularly liked about the attire I assembled were the number of patterns successfully mixed together, at least in my opinion. 

Adjusting the old bow tie
Let’s start off with the sports jacket – a lovely little black and white dogtooth check number with reddish tones. Combined with a Tattersall shirt, it shouldn’t work but it somehow does. Topped off with a red paisley patterned silk bow tie and it provides a visual treat.   

Dogtooth, Tattersall and Paisley - what a fine name for a detective agency
Of course, once you have blended together three different patterns, the secret is to know when to stop. So I decided to keep the bottom half of my outfit quite simple with a plain black pair of trousers and a pair of black Loake Formby shoes picked up for the bargain price of £4.99. The black base of the garb really draws attention to the jacket, shirt and tie combination.

The pièce de résistance though was the red satin pocket square. This was actually a ladies top which I brought home to my beloved, asking her very nicely if she would cut it up and sew a hem around it. 
Festive flourish
A pocket square adds a real sartorial splendour to an outfit and the solid red colour provides a festive flourish perfect for the Christmas party season. 
All dressed up and ready to go
I really enjoyed picking up my bargain ensemble. As an aspiring gentleman with little cash to splash, I can't wait to see what other great buys I can pick up. 

To admire the outfit that Mancunian Vintage expertly put together, toddle over to the ladies edition page at Vintage Manchester.  

G.M. Norton
Protagonist of 'Norton of Morton'



  1. Fantastic bargains, you look very dapper!

    1. A thousand blessings upon you, my dear lady. Suffice to say I will be perusing more charity emporiums in the hope of finding even more treasure.

  2. Splendid stuff, old chap!

    I'm a big fan of the old beneficiary boutiques too and like yourself have picked up a couple of grey wool jackets for use in very similar ensembles, plus an absolute steal of a checked number that I made tell of here. I've yet to find anything particularly "vintage" as some other bloggers have done (unless you count the Remington typewriter in the local Oxfam!) but I live in hope and haven't done too badly so far, if I do say so myself.

    Indeed I often have a wry smile to myself when I see people (especially the younger set) dressed in sports wear and shiny plastic fabrics, wearing plimsolls that probably cost more than my entire outfit! If only they realised, eh?

    1. 'Beneficiary boutiques' - what a splendid name for such establishments. I live in hope of unearthing a typewriter such as the Remington.

      I did spy an Imperial model a week or two ago but it sadly had a hefty price tag attached to it and I was watching the old pennies at the time. I convinced myself it didn't meet my exacting standards in the hope of quenching my desire.

      I often join you in the wry smiles. Although it must be said, I am noticing an increasing number of leisure-clad people in their more advanced years. At least with the younger set, one hopes they will realise their sartorial crimes and make amends in later life.

  3. I think you look amazing! Wish more gentlemen would make the doesn't need to cost ££££, as you have demonstrated.

    1. You are awfully kind, thank you. I am going to make it my mission for 2013 to get more men up and down the land to stand up and become gentlemen. I suspect most people are just a little lost in a casual wilderness where perhaps they don't have the confidence or insight to make an effort. As I have hopefully demonstrated, it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg to be well presented.


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