Top critical review
3 people found this helpful
on May 16, 2013
I've been wearing this hat daily since the end of winter, through spring. Although it has been practical, I find it looks frumpy. The Tilley hats are never as straight and smooth as the pictures. The nylon hats rumple a little less than the cotton but who wants to wear a plastic lid? As such, this hat is just not as versatile as I could have hoped. It goes with casual travel clothing or outdoor recreation attire, but you always look a little like you just came out of the bush, unless of course you're still in the bush. Also, you can expect sweat to soak through the front of the headband and darken the base of the crown. Tilley advises to wash the hat frequently to prevent permanent staining, but whether the darkening is permanent or not is irrelevant because it will be darkened by sweat when you're wearing it, permanent or not. In the bush, this is not a concern, but it's unsuitable for 'business casual' or anything where you expect your clothing to appear clean.
This hat isn't an especially good rain hat, because it will get soaked. However, it is very durable and repeated soakings won't harm it.
I am switching to a Panama hat for summer since they are far more versatile. While not so good in rain, they're otherwise every bit as practical and they dress way up by comparison. Tilley now offers a shantung fedora (Japanese cellulose straw rather than Ecuadorian toquilla straw). Unfortunately, the crisper-looking paper fedora is priced higher than entry-level toquilla straw hats from weavers in Cuenca for example, and doesn't come with Tilley's guarantee. That's a pity.
The price of this canvas hat is rather high for a fabric hat, but Tilley offers a valuable guarantee and insurance included in the price. The guarantee doesn't cover sweat-staining, which I can see will be a problem. You still pay a premium for a Canadian-made product, but as hats go, the price is not that far from practical.
Overall it's a good hat, but limited to a frumpy, casual style. Although practical, it's not versatile enough to work with a variety of styles. With the right clothes it will look good, but with many nicer clothes it will be out of place, and it will never dress an outfit up.