Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

One of my favourite possessions is my Tilley. Yes, I know that most people who wear them are at least a generation older than I am. Yes, I know they’re hardly fashionable. I could care less–I am quite fond of my khaki/olive T5.

Here’s the thing: it fits–no small thing for a man who was laughed out of a hat factory for having a head too big to be accommodated–and it keeps the ever-so-fair skin on my bald head from getting horribly, horribly burned by that flaming ball of gas.

I have also always been somewhat amused by the whole Tilley idea: the eternal guarantee, the “an elephant can eat it and you can get it back unharmed” shtick, the brag tags, etc.

I got my Tilley roughly a decade ago, and it’s stood me in good stead on three or four continents–depending on how you count Israel–over the intervening years. I haven’t got a burn on my noggin that entire time, although I’ve had some lovely ones on other exposed areas.

And today, on the first real day of my vacation, about half-way through the day, I noticed that there was some fraying of the fabric near the front of the hat. I touched it, gently, and my finger went right through the sweat-soaked fabric like it was a wet tissue, rather than indestructible hardy cotton weave.

Witness:

Woe is me!

Or a closer look:

That's a rip

My wife posits this as the final victory for my “highly acidic” sweat over fine haberdashery.

This is somewhat inconvenient, since I have eight more days on vacation in a sunny, sunny place, and am very far from Tilley’s homebase. I guess I’ll make due with the rip for the rest of the trip, and then we’ll see how that guarantee actually works out.

I wonder if I could get them to replace my now defunct T5 with one of the the newer, more ventilated, models

  2 comments for “Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

  1. May 23, 2009 at 8:25 am

    I don’t know about the wear-out guarantee, but last month I had to use the replacement guarantee and they let me get a different style and adjust the size. I received the new hat in just two days, which surprised and delighted me.

  2. May 26, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    Excellent news. I intend to do both myself, and hope I see a turnaround even vaguely like that.

    How did you “turn in” the old one? I’m going to have to mail mine in, but I assume the two day turnaround was from a physical drop-off?

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada
This work by Chris McLaren is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada.