Norton of Morton

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

Saturday 27 June 2015

One careful owner

In which G.M. Norton feels like a millionaire.

As a regular purchaser of second-hand clothing, whether from a beneficiary boutique or Messrs E&Bay, I often imagine who the former owners were. On occasion, I’ve been known to make up whole new identities in my head, giving them names and different personality traits. 

Occasionally, you will find something in a pocket which provides a little clue to the identity of the former wearer. One jacket had a receipt for some sugar and a pint of milk, dated 1980. Naturally, I pictured them as having an addiction to sugary milk-based drinks. I called him Stanley.

Earlier this week, I took my youngest out for a trip to Alderley Edge in Cheshire. Home to rich footballers, I thought I would find it all terribly pretentious but actually, it was quite quaint. My plan was to explore the four charity shops that are all on the same main high street. It was during this outing that I picked up a blue chalkstripe double-breasted suit.

It was a bespoke number, made by a tailor in Lincoln by the name of Victor Paterson. Obviously very high quality, I was delighted to find that the fit was agreeable enough to hand over £30 to Marie Curie (yes, prices in leafy Cheshire are a little higher than I’m used to). 
Nonetheless, £30 for a suit of this quality is money well spent in my book. 

Back home, I made a discovery - business cards, printed email conversations and a simple Google search lead me to discover that the former owner was a millionaire businessman with a penchant for expensive motorcars. Indeed, from the email exchange, I discovered that his significant other didn’t enjoy either the ride or the noise of his Porsche Cayman so he was toying between a Bentley Continental or Aston Martin Vanquish (priced between £90,000 to £105,000). The Google search also revealed that he was selling a country estate, worth £7 million.
So, now I really do get to dress like a millionaire.

This is my first ever double-breasted suit. You may already know but double-breasted jackets have different button configurations. The most popular is 6x2, meaning it has six buttons, two of which fasten. During the 1990s, 6x1 jackets were all the rage but unfortunately, they haven’t aged at all well.
The double-breasted jacket that I picked up is 4x1, which is probably a little more flattering for the vertically challenged. 

Associated with 1980s fashion (this suit was actually made in 1999), they were also favoured by the Dukes of Windsor and Kent so were around in the 1930s and 40s.
You will notice that the top buttons are spaced further apart than the lower ones.
Pleasingly, the peaked lapels are fairly wide (and cut like knives) and as it is a bespoke suit made by a tailor, it features three button working cuffs. 
This jacket is unvented and is a tad boxy for my liking but it is wonderfully made and very striking. With a bit of luck, the suit will help me earn my fortune as well.

Outfit details:

Suit - Victor Paterson Tailors
Detachable collar - Darcy Clothing
Tunic shirt - Darcy Clothing
Pocket square - Squared Pocket UK
Boutonniere - Messrs E&Bay
Socks - Marko John's
Brogues - Frank Tailor
Briefcase - Messrs E&Bay
Watch - AVI-8 Hawker Harrier II

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



  1. That is indeed a lovely suit Mr N.

    Double-breasted suits are something of a favourite in Mr Ps wardrobe - he carries them off very well being 6'+ and slender. I think they lend an air of distinction whatever a gentleman's physique.

    Vintage/pre loved clothing should be able to tell you their story - well done on your sleuthing!

    In other news - the lovely folks at Jaeger identified and supplied gratis some buttons to replace a missing one on a lovely vintage piece which found itself whisked off to the suit sanctuary at Chez Phipps. I had emailed Jaeger in the hope of being pointed in the direction of an appropriate supplier - what fantastic customer service!


    Mrs Elaine Phipps

    1. Super service indeed! It always warms the heart when one hears such a tale. I'm still hunting for a suitable tie for Mr P! So far I've rifled through eight shops in search. I did find another double-breasted suit recently but the sizing was marked down incorrectly on the shop tag. I amended it to save another chap from having his hopes dashed.

    2. Dear Mr Norton

      Only today we had to remove a lambswool jumper ladies size 20 from the gentleman's section. I fear tag fatigue must set in amongst the volunteers. Sadly the only thing we saw today were a pair of gents Grenson brogues in brown leather. A size 9 being too small for MrP and too large for me at £9.99. Teeth were gnashed.


      Mrs Elaine Phipps

    3. Dear Mr N

      Before I forget, Tesco's Emporium has a rather acceptable tie in stock. Mr P purchased one as a rather acceptable Tana lawn substitute.,4,shop,catgmens,mens-shirts-and-ties


      Mrs Elaine Phipps

    4. Thank you for the tie recommendation, it is rather nice! The volunteers are a fine bunch, I imagine it is quite the task to sort through all the donations each day.

  2. Incredibly handsome suit! And great detective work x

    1. Thank you! Although my detective work pales when compared to Vintage Gal and the Case of the Calling Card. I do love these stories.

  3. Very nice! And £30 isn't a lot for a suit of that quality. I'm guessing you will go bargain-hunting in Cheshire more often.

    Bath's beneficiary boutiques are generally quite poor, but the ones in my home town are super.

    1. Thank you! Oh yes, I'm plotting another visit to nearby Cheadle. Basically, we need to go where the rich and the octogenarians reside. You can't beat a good rummage, in the hope of snaffling a bargain.


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