Saturday, 22 December 2012

'Twas two outfits before Christmas

In which G.M. Norton celebrates classic British menswear as he gets all wrapped up for Christmas.

In the days leading up to the pinnacle of one's festive frivolities, I find myself reaching for two kinds of outfits, each containing pieces of clothing made in Britain.

The first is the more casual of the two and consists of my trusty Barbour wax jacket, a Christmas knit, Levis 501 jeans and a pair of brown K Shoes.

Feeling festive

The second smarter ensemble again brings into play the same footwear but this time is joined by a Harris Tweed jacket, my recently acquired Tattersall shirt, a burgundy knitted tie and grey trousers with the all important double lining to provide extra warmth.
A friend in tweed is a friend indeed
Two different looks but both perfect for the pre-Christmas chores that one must carry out in readiness for 'the big day'.

If you would permit me, let's look at the key pieces in more detail.

The Barbour is the perfect winter coat, offering all-important protection against the elements. Made in the South Shields in North East England, it is built to last. 
Heavy duty brass zip and tartan lining
My Border model is the longest wax jacket that Barbour produces. Do not be fooled by the beautiful tartan lining and corduroy collar, it is a workhorse of a coat, ready and able to protect me from whatever the weather wishes to throw in my direction.
South Shields meets Scandinavia

My Yuletide Nordic knit is another perennial favourite. Snaffled from Messrs E&Bay for nine English pounds last year, it is super warm. 
A fine festive knit
The Harris Tweed jacket is my old Scottish friend. Again, I picked this up from a previously named auction vendor. With the pre-requisite suede elbow patches for the 'eccentric professor' look, it never fails to receive compliments. To continue the Scottish theme, the tartan pocket square adds a splendidly louche appeal.

Scottish style
I am a texture man and my collection of knitted ties is perfect for that extra touch of visual appeal. My burgundy one is ideal teamed with my tweed - a match made in sartorial heaven.

Finally, my brown K Shoes. A recent charity shop splurge, I must confess to having no knowledge of K Shoes when I spotted them. I was simply in need of a brown pair of shoes and they seemed in good condition. 


Much better than Kendal mint cake
Being the curious chap that I am, I researched them to try and find out about the maker and I was jolly pleased I did.

K Shoes were a well-respected shoemakers in Kendal, Cumbria. Operating since 1842, they were swallowed up by Clarks in 1981.

K Shoes are now the premier range of footwear offered by Clarks. I haven't the foggiest if my pair is pre or post Clarks takeover. Given the lack of any mention of Clarks, I suspect (and hope) they are one of the last shoes to be produced in Kendal.

So there you have it – a wax jacket made in the South Shields, a Harris Tweed made in the Outer Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland and a pair of brown Oxfords made in Kendal. All I want for Christmas is more clothes to be made in Britain – wouldn’t that be marvellous?

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

4 comments:

  1. Oh the tweed and jumper are just heavenly!

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    1. Thank you! I love a bit of tweed, it's perfect for these colder months. The jumper is so lovely and thick. I like to think it was made with love.

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  2. Very nice, I bought my OH a Harris Tweed jacket for Christmas, sadly he is a 42L and it was not long enough in the sleeve, it'll have to go back...

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    1. What fabulous taste! May I suggest putting your husband through a hot wash, in the hope of shrinking his arms? Of course, this is merely a suggestion and you should be careful to follow his washing instructions.

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