Twenty years ago, Dick Hite took over the company his uncle, Ben Ditto, once owned, and became the proprietor of a high-quality menswear store that offers a wide variety of suits and sportswear with renowned brands.

Norton Ditto opened its first location in Houston in 1908, and Ben Ditto became an owner of the store in the 1940s. Today, the men’s clothing store still operates a Houston location, along with second location in The Woodlands that opened nearly seven years ago.

“Next year, we celebrate 110 years of being in business,” Hite said. “It’s really unique. Through the windows of the store, we’ve seen Houston grow. It’s been pretty good; not many companies in the Houston area have been around for that long.”

Hite said The Woodlands location of Norton Ditto, which relocated to Hughes Landing from Market Street last April, has been well-received by community residents since opening.

“We’ve seen a good response,” Hite said. “As the community here matures, that will also be meaningful to us. In terms of The Woodlands, we are a true men’s specialty store that carries high-quality merchandise. There really isn’t anyone in [The Woodlands] that does that.”

Hite said The Woodlands store is most popular for its sportswear options rather than its suits.

“Sportswear is most popular at this location,” Hite said. “We sell more sportswear things here than we do in Houston; over there, it is more formal. But we actually have whatever a gentleman needs.”

Hite said the men’s store features a full-fledged qualified tailor on premise.

“If you’re going to spend a certain amount of dollars on a suit, you need to have someone who is an expert to fit it and do the work,” he said.

Attention to detail

The store, which specializes in custom menswear, carries a wide variety of shoes, suits, sport coats, dress shirts, ties, socks, shorts and trousers.

Hite said Norton Ditto strives to be a place for both new and old professionals in the workplace who are looking for high-quality clothing to wear. As a result, the store offers a program called 2-2-2, through which a customer can purchase two suits or sport coats, two ties and two dress shirts for the total price of $1,222.

“We have the top-notch clothing lines, but we also are very sensitive to the fact that young people are just starting their careers and can’t afford the same thing,” Hite said. “We have a selection of goods for that young person. We try to take pride in that for the money, a person is getting the best quality for their money.”

Hite said he believes the quality of clothing and long-lasting relationships between Norton Ditto staff and customers is what has made the clothing store unique over the past century.

“We have people who have been working with us for 15, 20 or 30 years,” Hite said. “That’s important because they develop relationships with people. It’s not just coming in and shopping—they get to know the people really well. The better they get to know them, the better they get to serve them. We really emphasize that here and it’s very important to us.”

Hite said it is because of this relationship concept that Norton Ditto is not expected to add more locations in the future.

“I’m always going to be open to more locations, but we won’t be the type to have a store with multiple locations,” he said. “What makes us unique is having the kind of personnel who are very professional and develop relationships. We’d have a hard time making that bigger and finding that kind of service. That’s a key factor for us.”