Sketches: The Tilley

So says this hat (which I purchased last Saturday at a garage sale) on a large tag on the inside crown. It goes on to say that, “It is the best outdoor hat in the world.”

“It floats, ties on, repels rain and mildew, won’t shrink, and will be replaced free if it wears out. (Yes, put it in your will).”

“Ten-ounce, USA-treated cotton duck, solid British brass hardware, sewn with Canadian persnicketiness.”

Ya gotta love a hat with a sense of humor–er, humour (since I’m typing this north of the border)!

As I said above, this was one of several garage sale purchases from my outing last Saturday morning. I paid more than I wanted to for it but I know it’s a good hat and what it retails for. (We had just bought my husband a Tilley for sailing.)  I’ve been on the look-out while garage sale-ing for extra hats of all kinds to stow on the boat. The seller was asking $20 and I couldn’t get him to budge at all on the price. If it hadn’t fit me, I would have walked away, but having a smaller-than-usual head, finding a hat like this that fits is rather rare. So I gave in. I gave him his $20 and walked off with my now #1 hat for sailing–or general outdoorsy stuff.

But back to the Tilley hat itself.

I had never heard of one until I moved to Canada. The Pointe Claire Village used to have a shop that carried Tilley-wear items.  And a number of years ago I had found a Tilley purse at a garage sale ($2, y’all!) that I still use during the summer months here. I also have a garage sale-purchase hat that looks almost exactly like my ‘new’ Tilley, but the brim is larger/wider. It also has a tag inside that lauds it’s origins, calling itself

“The Original SCAUP Hat…Designed in 1945 (by our designer) for the Ceylon Postal Service, quickly snatched up by cricket players around the world and more recently popularized in Canada.”

This is also made by a Canadian company (Merganser Outdoor Clothing). I don’t know what all the hat tipping to the other hat company/companies is about. There seems there was no patent on the design. Interesting…sorta.

Below are some links pertaining to Tilley-dom:

-Tilley on Facebook

-Leader-Post interview with Alex Tilley

-Recent Toronto Star interview with founder Alex Tilley

Merganser Clothing Inc.

-Merganser hat info

11 Responses to Sketches: The Tilley
  1. Jazz
    June 19, 2009 | 1:24 pm

    $20 for a Tilley!!! What a score.

  2. paula
    June 19, 2009 | 1:30 pm

    Yeah..? Yeah! I know it’s a bit much for a garage sale item but, like you said…
    Thanks Jazzer!

  3. DouG
    June 19, 2009 | 1:40 pm

    cool hat… and a very nice drawing of it. I like hats, but for some reason I feel odd wearing anything other than a ball cap. I feel a bit conspicuous out with a fedora on. oh well…

  4. paula
    June 19, 2009 | 3:55 pm

    Doug: You know, me too. I always wear ball caps, and this Tilley almost seems silly (!) to wear. Oh, looks like I missed out on a poem! Oh oh. But my ball cap fall off my head when I’m sailing. They don’t take the head bending this way and that. Maybe ball players should wear Tilley hats. Hey…I just wrote a book! Thank you very much. : )

  5. erin
    June 23, 2009 | 11:36 pm

    ball caps are great but the tilley hat will keep your ears safe from the sun, all the old salts around here wear them.

  6. paula
    June 25, 2009 | 6:07 pm

    erin: Good to hear! I’m really enjoying mine!

  7. Jack Ruttan
    June 30, 2009 | 4:27 pm

    My lady writer friend looks like Paddington Bear in one of these.

  8. Blythe
    July 9, 2009 | 11:57 am

    Peter has a Tilley hat on a Christmas wish-list. They’re worth a lot and are super-durable, apparently. Good find!

  9. paula
    July 12, 2009 | 12:50 am

    Jack: Heh!

    Blythe: You’re right. It truly was a good deal. My garage sale mentality wants everything for $1 though so it’s hard to hand over $20 for a hat! I’m so glad I did, however. Hopefully Peter will get his hat from Santa this year!

  10. Jack Ruttan
    July 12, 2009 | 9:10 am

    I bought a green canvas “bucket hat” from a dollar store for $1. Honestly can’t tell the difference. Items like these and Moleskine notebooks (and Fila shoes, and Mac Pro Powerbooks) have a mystique I don’t understand. Some advantages and comforts yes, but worth the premium you pay for the brand name?

  11. Jack Ruttan
    July 12, 2009 | 9:15 am

    I admit I did spring for a “Lumix” Camera, because my pro friends had them. And there is a bit of a cachet, and also a feeling of belonging to a group in owning these items.