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Steal His Style: James Norton

While many of us think of models and the elite as our style icons, throughout the years, television and film actors have made a sartorial name for themselves both on screen and off. Today, one of the most influential actors is James Norton, a London born actor who’s conquered a variety of different roles, including playing a convict and a clergyman.

Whether on screen or off, there’s no denying Norton’s naturally good looks. The tall, blond, handsome 30-year-old star makes every character he plays seem romantic and dreamy. It’s not uncommon for strangers to stare at this breakout star as he walks by on the street. However, James is more than his looks. He’s also very polite and talented. His smile warms a room and his ability to laugh at himself keeps the good times coming.

So, how can you capture and pull off his good looks? Norton’s style is relatively easy to copy, if you know the secrets behind it. Let’s take a closer look at this actor and his style.


James Norton: Early Life and Career

Born in London, Norton is the son of two teachers. He was raised in North Yorkshire and attended a boarding independent school called Ampleforth College. Here he excelled at tennis and theatre. At 15 he worked in Scarborough at the Stephen Joseph Theatre. Throughout his childhood, Norton knew he wanted to become an actor, and told his family so. There were no actors in his family, however, so, while supportive, they weren’t sure what to think about his goals. They stood by him, however, through every step of his journey.

After graduating in 2007 from the University of Cambridge, Norton was awarded a grant that allowed him to travel to Indian and perform for and teach young children at various schools. After this, he attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, or RADA, for three years. When an acting role was presented to him in 2010, he decided to leave the Academy and pursue it.


Norton’s career began with the film An Education, in 2009 and was quickly followed by a role in the Royal Court Theatre’s production of Posh a year later. During 2010, he played an 18-year dropout named Henry in That Face at the Crucible Theatre. He was involved in other theatre productions in 2011, including Journey’s End and The Lion in Winter. In 2012, his film career began with Cheerful Weather for the Wedding and was soon followed by other performances in films such as Rush and Belle. He even appeared in a Doctor Who episode.

The role that made him a household name was that of Tommy Lee Royce, a villain and killer on the television show Happy Valley. Critics raved that he had impressive depth for the role and even his family couldn’t believe that he and Royce were the same person. Once on screen, Norton has commented that his mother would often scream at the telly during an episode, momentarily forgetting that she was actually screaming at her son. While this role continues, Norton has starred in other television productions, including Grantchester, where he plays Police Inspector Keating. His newest undertaking is that of Prince Andrei Bolkonsky in War & Peace, a BBC miniseries.


Stealing His Style

Not everyone is blessed with Norton’s natural good looks or talent for acting, but we each have something going for us that makes us unique and one-of-a-kind. To unlock the secrets of Norton’s style, you have to be willing to embrace your uniqueness and capitalise on how it can help you look your best. Here are just a few other tips.


Know How to Knot

If there’s one picture that shows off James’ style, it’s the one of him attending Wimbledon. He’s wearing the British Prince of Wales check suit with a starched white dress shirt beneath it. Though the hands in his trouser pockets say “casual and fun,” his navy knit tie screams sophistication with its expert knot. Sometimes it’s the little things that pull an entire ensemble together, so don’t forget them when you’re putting together the ideal outfit.


Embrace Casual Flair

Who said casual has to be boring? Norton knows how to do English countryside looks without sacrificing quality or swagger. On a casual outing, you’ll likely catch him in men’s tweed jacket or blazer, a waxed jacket and a relaxed white tee. Add an eye-catching steel watch and a black scarf and you get a mix of city and country for an up-to-date casual look.

This look is one you can definitely steal for your own. Begin first with the closest garment to your skin, the tee. This can easily be swapped out for a button up for a dressier look or a button down for a casual, but warmer approach. Add a warm tweed jacket to this. Tweed has an automatic country vibe, perfect for a casual outing outside the city. For added warmth, an overcoat or additional jacket can help protect against cooler weather. Play with just a few accessories that add style to your ensemble, like scarves, unique eyeglasses and watches.


Go for Classic- But Stand Out

Classic styles of suits and men’s clothing may be predominant on the television shows Norton stars in, but they are also important in his real life as well. James has said in the past that he loves a good suit and enjoys wearing brogues and jumpers. He’s also a fan of vintage clothing. In fact, he once sold vintage men’s suits and other types of clothing from a market stall. Classic designs are not only a favourite of the star, but also the type of designs that will last for years to come.

That being said, Norton often uses colour to stand out from the crowd, even when wearing a classic suit. On the red carpet, his choice of midnight blue tuxedos and suits will definitely make you look twice.

Love the look this Happy Valley star has? You can have it too with just a few adjustments to your wardrobe choices.

By Brook Taverner 16 January 2017