Tootsies president Norman Lewis (left) and Norton Ditto president Dick Hite stand in their pop-up, the first collaboration between the two stores.  

There’s an allure to window shopping: Gazing into storefronts at mannequins dressed beautifully to the nines, dreaming of the day when you could afford to look like that.

Well, that day is today. On Monday Tootsies and Norton Ditto opened a pop-up retail shop, the first collaboration between the respective women’s and men’s luxury retailers. The best part of it all? The vast majority of the merchandise is on sale, Norton Ditto president Dick Hite says. So you’re likely with come away with a steal.

You'll find marked-down dresses from Tootsies for all occasions—even if that occasion is date night in your backyard—and 75-percent off most of Norton Ditto’s suits and sport coats. The icing on this luxe cake: Buy something at the pop-up and get a $50 gift card for regular-priced clothing at the stores. 

Hite says he and Norman Lewis, president of Tootsies, are old friends and have been discussing a collaboration between their two stores for a while. The current pop-up has been in the works for almost a month—the direct result of the pandemic. Like shops all over Houston, the two stores have been hurting over the past few months. Things started to look up earlier this summer when the state began to reopen, but as cases rose throughout July and city and county leaders encouraged folks to stay home, foot traffic has decreased again, Hite says. “People just don’t want to get out and mingle.”

The pop-up is meant to be a fun and creative solution. “Tootsies and Norton Ditto are two old names in Houston,” Hite says. “It would probably be quite interesting to do something together.” 

The pop-up storefront.

The retail spot at 2411 West Alabama is split 50-50 between Tootsies and Norton Ditto merchandise. 

Both shops have storied legacies in the Bayou City. Tootsies was established in 1975 by local retail giant Mickey Rosmarin. In the past 45 years the shop has made a name for itself through its European imports, luxury retailing, and philanthropic efforts. Norton Ditto first opened its doors more than a century ago in 1908, then known as Barringer-Norton Company. In the 112 years since, the fine menswear retailer has made an unshakeable name for itself. 

The pop-up is located in Upper Kirby, tucked between Norton Ditto’s flagship store and Fleming's Restaurant. While there’s no set end date to the temporary shop, you can expect it to last through August. Hite says they’re playing it by ear; if lots of people come, they’ll keep it open longer.

In the meantime, Hite’s proud of what they’ve done during the pandemic. He says the collaboration is in line with Houston’s “can-do attitude” in the face of hardship. “During these difficult times, two legendary stores are working together to help each other.”

And who knows? This might lead to more collaborations in the future. Our wallets are jumping for joy. 

2411 West Alabama; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday–Saturday.

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