Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tilley Endurables: A Love Story of Sorts

Look, I know - ok - I know... Tilley. It's hard to really put your finger on it at first - what is it about Tilley Endurables that gives reason for pause? If you haven't heard of Tilley yet, you're clearly not a traveller - or is Tilley only big here in Southern Ontario?

To truly understand Tilley, you need to first understand your hatred of them. Let us break down a number of the possible reasons, shall we? You hate Tilley because:
  1. You end up looking like every other traveller out there, with your relaxed fit cool pants, button up shirts, and wide brimmed hats. If you have a beard - even more trouble.
  2. A pair of Tilley pants costs more than a plane ticket from one side of Europe to the other. (I'm, unfortunately, not kidding about this.)
  3. A Tilley shirt is equally expensive, so when trying to be a thrifty traveller, you end up coming across as a rich person trying to get his tour bus thrills in.
  4. Their hats make you look like a damn fool - secret pocket and all.
  5. They're not M.E.C.
Now, once you've decided on one, or more than one, of those fabulous reasons you can let the hatred begin. You can complain about how they're corporate, and not for travellers, and how an outfit from Tilley, let alone three outfits you'll need for travel, costs more than two weeks in Tokyo. When you see people in their khaki coloured Tilley hats, feel free to silently thrust your feelings of disdain towards them. Who do they think they are in their hundred dollar hats, each and every one of them looking like a poor man's Bill Bryson?

And so on, and so forth. You continue to seethe, and snarl your teeth, perhaps even grinding them down a millimeter or two. You hate them, for reasons you can hardly explain - but then...

Tilley Warehouse Sale
You suddenly discover that there is a Tilley Endurables warehouse sale. And my goodness, don't those pants, 70% off, look so good on you? And cargo pants for only 29.95? My lord, those long sleeve, ultra light, wrinkle resistant shirts are less than thirty dollars? And are those silk long johns and undershirts for less than twenty?

These are not pompous middle aged couples trying to find themselves by waiting in air conditioned Internet ready rooms while their pants are hemmed, for free, while they enjoy a hot tea, and a plate of no-cost cookies. These are not the same people who looked in awe at, what painfully resembles a Chinese sweat shop, where all the Tilley hats are made - on site. These are your people: These are people who need to pinch every penny they can so they can travel; these are people who will brave the hot sweaty warehouse environments picking through left overs with all the charm and delight of - well of you!

And look at those hats? Box after box of hats, in all different shapes, sizes, and - colours? Wait, what do you mean? You mean you can get a Tilley hat in dark green, not that ridiculous khaki that makes you stand out in a crowd as someone with money to burn?

And then - next thing you know, you have a pair of the, previously plane ticket priced, pants with a pair of cargoes, two long sleeve shirts, some thermals, mesh dividers, and more - all for the price of that original pair of pants.

Suddenly Tilley isn't so bad anymore. Sure, you love M.E.C. who wouldn't, their whole "you're also an owner" thing really works, and their flagship Toronto store is amazing - but... Tilley? Their clothes are fantastic. You look rugged, they pack small, dry fast, and are of the highest quality - made on site, by the most talented Asian seamstresses in the city. And you can watch them right through the door of their flagship store. Did I mention they give you free tea and cookies if you buy your pants there? And they, at zero cost to yourself, hem them - while you wait.

My goodness, Tilley - it's... well it's wonderful... it's - what do you mean do I remember what I wrote first? Never mind all that - it's a warehouse sale! I'm sold!

1 comment:

All original text and photographs Copyright © 2009 one.year.trip / previously.bitten | Theme Design by previously.bitten | Entries and Comments.Powered by Blogger