Amazon has been quietly expanding its menswear private labels, which are available exclusively to Prime Members. Three of its workhorse lines, Amazon Essentials, Goodthreads and Buttoned Down, feature everyday staples for men including cotton t-shirts, slim fit chinos and button-down shirts that compete alongside established menswear brands and startups on its site. Here’s a quick-and-dirty guide on how to differentiate the brands:
Amazon Essentials features basic, affordable clothing staples
Amazon Essentials is the online retailer’s entry line, featuring everyday staples that find some compromises. Nab a slim-fit 100% cotton polo shirt for $12, pajama pants for $13 or a 2-pack of short-sleeve crewneck t-shirts for just $12. Classic fit, wrinkle-resistant, flat front chino pants cost only $20, though the pants are a 40% polyester / 60% cotton blend, while a 48% poly/52% cotton full-zip hoodie runs $19.
Amazon Essentials looks like a fast-fashion version of labels such as Dockers, Old Navy and JC Penney house brands like St. John’s Bay.
Goodthreads is Amazon’s answer to Banana Republic
Amazon invites fans of J Crew and Banana Republic to try its Goodthreads line, a decided step up from “Amazon Essentials” that the company advertises as a “go-to for wardrobe staples with the style you want.”
Goodthreads sports a really attractive combination of style and fit — and with decidedly more variety than the Buttoned Down line — across dress and casual button down shirts, chinos, shorts, t-shirts and socks ($15 for a 5 pack!). One of our favorites? Goodthreads 5 pocket chino pants feature a hint of spandex alongside 99% cotton twill — certainly an upgrade from the polyester blend of Amazon Essentials — and a “jean-inspired silhouette.”
Amazon styles its Buttoned Down line as its luxury offering featuring superior materials like Supima cotton button down shirts. It advertises a “feels-like-custom fit without the wait.” Offerings like sub-$100 cashmere v-neck, crew neck, half-zip and full-zip sweaters, $49 button down Supima cotton shirts, $22 neck and bow ties, and $59 chinos suggest attractive price-points for a luxury line that has to be positioning itself to compete with Brooks Brothers.
Buttoned Down also offers an unconditional lifetime satisfaction guarantee that provides a full refund to customers if not completely satisfied “at any time.” That’s rare for any company, let alone Amazon, who has been protective about its return policies.
A Shorthand Guide to Other Amazon Menswear brands
Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Amazon’s ever-expanding stable of fast-fashion menswear brands.
Others include Comfort Denim Outfitters and Denim Garage Classics (jeans), Good Brief (underwear), Isle Bay Linens (“island-inspired” linen shirts, pants and shorts), Peak Velocity (performance athletic wear), Quality Durables (“casual lifestyle”), Rebel Canyon (“more than just a streetwear label, it’s a way of life”), Something for Everyone (“streetwear classics for men and women”) and Trailside (hiking, ski and outdoor clothing and accessories). Whew.
Have you tried Amazon’s private label menswear brands? What has your experience been?
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