My wife bought me a Tilley hat last year while we were at REI. I read the sizing instructions that come on a small pamphlet inside of the hat many times before choosing the size. My wife said several times that it seemed big. I kept saying that based on the sizing instructions it was correct. After a few weeks I started to get comments and realize that I might be wearing the wrong size. It turns out my dad has been wearing a Tilley hat for over 25 years and was kind of an expert on how to fit these hats, but I’ll get back to this later. In my opinion the sizing instructions describe a very different fit then what the sizing chart specifies. Here are the sizing instructions:
The Tilley Hat fits more comfortably than other hats. It’s designed to be worn low on your head and slightly loose. It should be held on by gravity, not by painful pressure on your forehead! For the proper fit, you should be able to easily insert two fingers, flat, between the middle of your forehead and the front of the Hat. The Hat should be loose enough that you can rotate it to the left and right, and lift it up and down, without friction on your forehead. When it’s windy, use the cord! I think you’ll be pleased with the way it fits and feels – especially on hot, muggy days.
To me these instructions describe much different fit then what the chart specifies. Shown below:
Sizing instructions vs the sizing chart
The sizing instructions says it should, 1. Be held on by gravity, not painful pressure. 2. That you should be able to easily insert two fingers between the middle of your forehead and the front of the Hat. It also says, 3.The Hat should be loose enough that you can rotate it to the left and right, and lift it up and down, without friction on your forehead. Based on these instructions I picked at hat that sat low on my head, I could easily put two fingers between the hat and my forehead (without pulling the hat forward to create space), and one that I could rotate left and right. Basically a bucket type of fit.
When I started to suspect that I purchased the wrong size I called Tilley to ask about the fit. The woman told me to measure my head, then gave me my hat size. When I told her the size I purchased and she laughed, and said something to the effect it was several sizes too big. My head measured 22″, and I had purchased the 7 3/8″ It sat low as described, and matched all of the other characteristics of the sizing instructions. The hat actually became uncomfortable because it would either curl my ears over or they would go under the brim. Neither was comfortable.
Back to my dad. I went to Florida to visit my parents recently and one of the first things they said to me was my hat was too big. My dad let me wear his hat the entire time I was there, it was 7 1/8″, he said it was a much better fit and that my actual fit should be just a bit smaller. He was so right! I won’t mention that he may be the best Tilley hat salesman on the east coast. I noticed several people in his housing area with Tilley hats and he later told me it was because of him.
The way my proper hat size fits is not at all like the sizing instructions. It’s snug!, It’s not strangling my head, but I would call it snug. I have not tested this but, I think if I hung upside down it would not fall off. I can fit two fingers between the front of the hat and my forehead but, I have to pull the hat forward by the brim with a bit of force to create the space. I can rotate the hat left and right on my head but there is friction. Done fast enough I’m sure I could create a fire. The nice thing about wearing the proper size is that it no longer fell over my ears (which caused irritation). And, I could comfortably wear the hat with sunglasses and it did not interfere with the arms of sunglasses.
Below are the images of the hat on Tilley’s website:
In all of the above photos the hat sits above the top of ears which does not coincide with the sizing instructions. There is one photo below that show a fit more in line with the sizing instructions. In the above photos the hat sits down to about the middle of the forehead.
This photo above seems more like the bucket style fit that the sizing instructions describe. We cannot see her ears, but I suspect it’s over or touching them. The hat sits down to the bottom of her forehead.
I believe there is a great great disparity between what the sizing instructions describe and what the sizing chart specifies. Which happens to be the LTM6.
I know somewhere deep within the Tilley headquarters sits one of my dads old hats on display demonstrating the durably, quality and longevity of this hat and the company behind it.