Published on October 14th, 2012 | by Greg0
Tilley Times Two: Gorgeous Jackets For The City And Beyond
To paraphrase a quote: "You can tell a man by the coat he chooses". Few garments are quite as visible as a jacket, and few others need to be quite so durable, holding up against the elements, neglectful treatment, and infrequent cleaning. And today's company is a brand you might not be familiar with, offering gear that's made in Canada, and originally justly famous for their hats. Not just any hat, either- theirs comes with an owner's manual and an insurance policy, and the one we tested years ago continues to hold up incredibly well. But they make much more than headwear, and so we were anxious to try out two of their men's jackets, one a stylish blazer and the other a waterproof hooded jacket.
We'll start with the City Collection Travel Blazer from Tilley Endurables. Available in two colors, navy or tan, ours was the former, and we should start up front by saying that we wish all jackets had lining as sharp-looking. This one is a two-button design, with what they call a notched collar (it looks traditional), but features a pretty straight and narrow cut that stretches just a bit. Sizing seemed close to true- we tried on a 38 (they offer up to a 52, and even tall versions)- and the neck, waist, and jacket length were good, though the arms could've been a bit tighter and. The included booklet, titled "For Your Eyes Only" and more on that in a bit, states that they used actual measurements of deities for the proportions. Meaning that apparently some of us here are sized like Greek gods, including the fairly long arms. There was plenty of room to move around,- this isn't a slim fit, constraining jacket, but one meant for real-world use out and about beyond the conference table. It's not quite dressy enough for the boardroom, but isn't too dressy to wear to just about any occasion, or even just casually to add a bit of class to your wardrobe.
One pretty amazing feature that sets this blazer apart: the number of pockets. Nine pockets- and we counted 'em!- give you plenty of space for items big and small. In a cute twist, eight of them we can tell you about, but we were strictly forbidden from mentioning the whereabouts of the last secret pocket. For better and worse, the three front pockets all have velcro closures to help protect their contents. That's great to protect against light fingers, but means you'll be making noise when you try to quietly silence your cellphone at the concert. Or, of course, you could just use any of the several other pockets, like the four main ones inside that also secure with buttons (and are well-designed so that the closure matches the lining). That's seven of them, and the eighth was hard to find- a pen pocket, very narrow and unusual in our experience, on the interior left, outside of the lining. And the ninth is cleverly hidden… well, you'll have to buy one of these to find out.
We liked the fabric quite a bit- wrinkle resistant, it didn't show much wear even after being thrown in a pile at a party. The fabric has also helpfully been treated with stain and spill-resistant finish for easy spot cleaning, though luckily we didn't end up needing to use it. It held up well to a quick fall shower, though certainly isn't a raincoat. And stitching is top-notch, with nary an issue over a month of wear. In this price range, though, we had high expectations- but luckily this Tilley garment met and exceeded them all. The best blazer we've seen, this one does credit to the Tilly motto- "Goes With Anywhere". Available online for $325, from Tilly directly, though some of their line is available from independent local retailers as well.