TOMMY at Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Toronto.
Tommy Hilfiger opened a handful of new stores last month under a new banner: TOMMY. But there's something very different going on here. You see, ordinarily, when I think "Tommy Hilfiger," I think of button-down shirts, khakis, and V-neck sweaters: that kind of just-slightly-dressed-up, office-appropriate, not-quite-casualwear that took over most workplaces in the late 1990s. (Some people might also think of oversized sweatshirts and baggy gangsta jeans, if they're recalling how the brand was hijacked from its preppy roots by street culture.) The corporate-casual side of Tommy Hilfiger is a rather sanitized version of prep, without much personality or unique appeal; it lacks the colourful palette of Brooks Brothers, the urban edge of J.Crew, the WASP sophistication of Ralph Lauren, the pedigreed authenticity of J. Press.

TOMMY, on the other hand, has personality. Attitude, even. It's got a few of the preppy staples—Oxford shirts, khakis, crewneck sweaters—but most of the clothes have twists to them: bright colours, bold stripes, contrast trims, inverted seams, zany patterns, and so forth. Check out the microsite to get a better feel for the clothes. It's a much more youthful approach to what Tommy Hilfiger is known for, and seems intended to compete with the likes of American Eagle, H&M, et al. It's slightly hipster-ish, unfortunately, but we traditionalists can work around that by combining things in the right way.

The interior of the TOMMY store at Yorkdale.
What I like best about the line, though, is the fit. Being a 34 chest/30 waist, it's virtually impossible to find shirts and sweaters that fit close to my body, while also having a small enough collar size and/or long enough sleeves. TOMMY, I'm pleased to report, delivers on both fronts. I'm also pleased at the price point: oxford shirts, khakis, and 100% wool sweaters all seem to be in the neighbourhood of $60, with promotional discounts further sweetening the deal. When I was there this past weekend, they were offering $20 off any one (maybe all?) sweater, plus 20% off your entire purchase—so that $60 sweater became a $35 sweater, after tax. I took the opportunity to add a classic grey crewneck with turn-back cuffs to my wardrobe.

TOMMY has two standalone stores in Canada (both in the Toronto area) as well as two in New York state, but the line is or will soon be available at all mainline Tommy Hilfiger stores in Canada. And don't forget to sneak a peek at the Spring 2011 collection over at GQ.


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