Norton of Morton

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

Saturday 25 May 2013

£15 Eccles Day ensemble

In which G.M. Norton is challenged to assemble Eccles-bought gentlemanly attire for the paltry sum of £15.

I was recently asked to take part in a Style Challenge for the inaugural Eccles Day event, to encourage people to visit the Salford town made famous for its Eccles cake.
The challenge was simple – to put together an outfit bought from the town centre for a meagre £15 and then parade it during a fashion show segment on the day.

So it was with a ten and five pound note tucked in my pocket that I ventured into Eccles with a determined expression on my face.
With a relatively small amount to spend, I immediately sought out the local beneficiary boutiques – there are five in total – British Heart Foundation, British Red Cross, The Mustard Tree, Scope and Age UK. As a seasoned charity shopper, I know I am going to encounter a lot of polyester but I stood my ground and hunted for only the best outfit I could muster. After all, a gentleman has impeccable standards to maintain.
Within two minutes of hunting in the first charity shop I visited (British Red Cross); I had spied a plaid blazer. It was very 1970s with super large lapels – although the 70s isn’t generally my thing, I did grow up admiring the Roger Moore portrayal of James Bond. This plaid number must have struck a chord as it immediately made me think of Bond’s very own plaid jacket in the 1974 blockbuster, The Man With The Golden Gun. You know the film, starring the delectable Britt Ekland as Mary Goodnight and Christopher Lee as a very suave megalomaniac.

After trying the jacket out for size, I quickly handed over the £5.99 asking price, confident that I had just made a very smart purchase indeed. If there’s anybody capable of pulling off a 1970s garment, it is I....I kept telling myself.
Now I needed to dig out the widest tie I could find. Upon spotting a paisley-style noose in The Mustard Tree for £1.50, I was on my merry way to completing my Eccles Day ensemble. With the combined mix of paisley and plaid, I was only too aware that I needed to calm the outfit down so I concentrated my search for solid colours.
The £15 outfit

It didn’t take long – a £2 white dress shirt was soon grabbed off the rails of The Mustard Tree before I came across a pair of khaki trousers from Scope, sat proudly at the top of Church Street. Examining them, I noted the details including forward pleats which sealed the deal. Although forward pleats are old-fashioned, I am on a mission to prove that old-fashioned doesn’t mean out-dated so I couldn’t resist the urge to rock them on Eccles Day. Costing £4 of my budget, I had completed my outfit.
My eldest daughter perfecting the gentleman look
£15 was always going to be a tall order and I’m pleased as punch to report that I came under the budget threshold at £13.49 with a jacket, shirt, tie and trousers. All in all, I was delighted with the finished look and I will definitely be returning to Eccles again to see what other treasure I can plunder. Read about my Eccles Day experience on the Vintage Manchester website.

What do you think of my ensemble? Not too shabby, what? I even made it into the local newspaper, pictured with the lovely Becky who also took part in the Style Challenge.

Fame at last
G.M. Norton
Protagonist of 'Norton of Morton'
P.S. Are you in the North of England? Vintage Afternoon Teas are organising a special gentleman's tea party on Saturday 22 June. It would make a marvellous Father's Day treat and yours truly will be in attendance. Come along!



  1. I think you got a real bargain! And you also look very fashionable, much better than those men models of today. My favorite James Bond was Sean Connery, and of course, Pierce Brosnan.

    I am following you on bloglovin, looking forward to your postings. Greetings from Sicily.

    1. Dear lady, I am honoured to have a Mediterranean reader - how splendid!

      Thank you for your very kind comment - I'm delighted the outfit is to your liking.

      Best regards from Blighty!

  2. Great outfit! And a great story.

  3. That's a cracking outfit for £15, you look very dapper!
    I do love a good rummage in a charity shop!


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