In Praise Of Style And Grace


Norman Hilton was known for his high quality and impeccable taste in fabrics. He also knew how to commission a sharp wordsmith. Just look at the copy in the ad below. “Yesterday, today and tomorrow are all one.” Nice line.

As for the gentleman depicted with such ample aplomb, I can imagine him in a staring contest with Lord Ribblesdale in the famous portrait by Sargent. He’s got poise and he’s got grace, which leads us to a remark made this morning on another post by longtime comment-leaver “SE,” who wrote:

A book hit the shelves not so long ago. It’s entitled “The Art of Grace.” The author is Sarah Kaufman. It’s a great book. Elegantly written and very much about elegance. The subtitle summarizes the subject nicely: “On Moving Well Through Life.” Too many people don’t move well through life. The lack of grace is all too apparent: hunched over, sloppy, unkempt. Whatever the complaints anyone may have about bygone eras —and yes, to be sure, they weren’t so great for everybody — grace abounded.

Kaufman sheds light on the importance of good posture (no trivial matter), and how one quite literally moves. But there’s also mention of clothing — clothing that moves with the person. She quite correctly derides clothing that’s too tight: clothing that can render a stiff, shrunken look. It’s a stinging indictment of the modern, fashion runway-driven obsession with too-skinny pants and overly tapered jackets.

Here’s to well fitting clothes that stand the test of time. Go forth on this Friday The Thirteenth, as always, with style and grace. — CC

hilton 2

16 Comments on "In Praise Of Style And Grace"

  1. Patterned jacket and solid tie — very sophisticated!

    Image is from 1969.

  2. Jim Bourg | May 13, 2016 at 3:47 pm |

    Thanks, was getting ready to ask the of the ad

  3. Jim Bourg | May 13, 2016 at 3:48 pm |

    That’s “year of the ad”

  4. Is it me or does that tie seem a tad wide? If it is, I’d attribute it to the era. This was the start of the 70’s, which are now remembered for extra-wide lapels and bulky neckties.

  5. Dutch Uncle | May 14, 2016 at 1:18 am |

    Absurdly long collar points on the shirt.

  6. Bags' Groove | May 14, 2016 at 4:32 am |

    Wearing a solid tie with a patterned jacket always struck me as more requisite than sophisticated.

  7. @Dutch Uncle I thought the same!

  8. I absolutely love that patterned jacket. Wonder where I can get one like that.

  9. @RMD found a Paul Stuart sport jacket which appears to be quite comparable to the NH garnment – however with modern fit

  10. The fellow in the picture reminds me of Roy Scheider in the movie Marathon Man. Although the movie takes place during the mostly unfortunate 1970’s, Mr. Scheider’s wardrobe was masterful…except when he lie dead and you noticed the three plus inch platform high heel shoes he was wearing. It is not safe to wear such footwear.


  11. @Spencer ten Brink

    Thanks mate.

  12. One thing to keep in mind is that this is an illustration, not a photograph, and is thereby going to exaggerate or otherwise intentionally misrepresent aspects for the sake of highlight what was being sold and merely for an overall pleasing effect. For one very obvious example, no man or woman I’ve ever seen has a had that would be that small–the average person is around 7 or 8 heads tall, but this guy, from my view, if he stood, would likely be at least 10. The exaggerated tallness gives this illustrated man an air of nobility or grace.

  13. Bracelet Boy | May 16, 2016 at 11:08 am |

    “Norman Hilton was known for his high quality and impeccable taste in fabrics. He also knew how to comission a sharp wordsmith….”

    You might want to commission a sharp wordsmith yourself since “commission” has two m’s. 🙂 🙂

  14. It’s a copy editor I need to commission. Fortunately I have you guys.

    Fixed. Thanks.

  15. I purchased several NH “Odd” jackets in 1985 and they were excellent in all respects. I also recall that, about the time of the NH ad, was the beginning of Polo and that NH was an early business partner with RL.

  16. Revisiting this article, I’m just noticing now… the part in that guy’s hair. Could they perhaps have given him something a little more appealing than the start of a comb-over? L O L, as the kids all say.

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