A few years ago, I had a grown man slap a donut out of my hand, then laugh and look around for someone to high five. Let’s call him “Brady.”
Brady sells used boat parts.
There was a time in my life when I had to spend more time than I wanted to with Brady.Brady’s favorite backyard BBQ pick up line, and misguided attempt to impress “chicks” was “What’d you spend your inheritance check on?”
Brady loves Tommy Bahama.
As best I can tell Tommy Bahama is a brand that seems to be targeting, yet missing, three demographics simultaneously:
Frat boys – Desperate for acceptance, say “bro” way more than necessary and rarely to anyone who is actually family.
Middle aged guys with wife’s pass to go out for the night – Desperately hopes he’s still got “it” though what “it” is, or was, he never really had and probably won’t find at the Cheesecake Factory on a Thursday night. Signals his transformation from “Dad” to “Bro” by wearing his baseball hat backward.
Old guy with real cash – Desperately hopes that his old-guy ponytail sufficiently conveys both his current status and money and that’s he’s single – at least that what he’ll tell you tonight. Begins each day with Lipitor and Metamucil and ends each night with Viagra and Johnny Walker.
“Brady loves Tommy Bahama.”
You see why I’m having trouble putting my finger on the brand’s ethos? It surely can’t be desperate men between 23 and 68 years old. But what do I know about marketing? So please forgive me for painting with such a broad brush, but Tommy Bahama comes across to me as high-end desperate.
The good news is that the Tommy Bahama Shallow’s Edge flip flops aren’t terrible.
Sure, the toe is WAY too big, but that is a problem I see across most flip flops in my size, 15. And while, the oversized heal is relatively well hidden, the reality is that these are the flip-flop equivalent of elevator shoes. I suspect this is intentional because it allows the aging and shrinking wearer to maintain their 5’ 6” stature. This is why the word desperate comes to mind.
The word “Relaxology” is boldly embossed on the sole. So bold that it outshines the “Tommy Bahama” trademark logo itself – like a third string roadie desperate to steal attention from the poodles and plate spinners who open for the first opening act; hoping to catch their eye and get his big break working for Missoula’s best Dramarama tribute band. There’s that word again…desperate.
“Who the hell comes up with names like this?”
Relaxology? Who the hell comes up with names like this? As if relaxing and flipflops are some elusive combination? Nobody picks up a pair of flipflops thinking, “I hope these are the ‘relaxing type’…oh WHEW! ‘Relaxology’ thank goodness.”
The leather strap is tight and fits well. The leather weave on the exterior of the strap is a nice touch, but the cost saving nylon toe post lacks the finish needed.
My pair of Tommy Bahama Shallow’s Edge flip flops are a study in brown. Brown toe post almost matching the slightly lighter shade of brown leather strap, that blends into the molded slightly darker shade of brown sole. This actually makes them ideal for those of us with larger feet not wanting to draw unneeded attention to our feet. However, this is in conflict of the brands seeming target demographic’s desire to “be seen” in order to purchase a night of infamy, poor choices, and desperation.
I’ve been wearing these for a few weeks, and it’s clear. They are fine flip flops and almost stylish, the traction is okay and the Relaxology sole is cushy and fine. If I were to the sort to go Cougar hunting in Fort Lauderdale with some bros, these just might do the trick. Which is likely a big reason that Brady was such a fan. But as this is not only not my style, and certainly not very Dude-like, I’m going to have to downrank these a few notches.