Review Amazon’s key private label clothing brands for men including Amazon Essentials, Goodthreads, Amazon Aware and Buttoned Down and discover Prime brands like Brass Tacks Leathercraft, Trailside, and Peak Velocity.
A Brief History of Amazon Fashion Prime Brands
Since 2016, Amazon has offered a series of private label clothing brands for men, which are available exclusively to Prime Members (and are especially great values during Amazon Prime Day). Amazon has been tinkering with the brands for years.
Back in February 2016, Amazon Fashion debuted a series of seven clothing and footwear brands for men, women and children as it moved more directly into the retail apparel business. (The company is even a novel place to discover affordable men’s wedding bands online.)
In 2017, Amazon Fashion launched additional private label apparel brands, including Goodthreads, Amazon Essentials, Buttoned Down, and, for women, Lark & Ro. Since then, Amazon has continued to launch new brands, and has discontinued others.
While many of Amazon’s private label fashion brands have come online quietly, sometimes the launches were a little splashier: For example, in 2018, the company put out a press release to announce the debut of Amazon label Meraki, a European fashion brand focusing on “simple, modern essential” pieces, including thin, v-neck sweaters for men.
A number of Amazon’s private label brands have also departed quietly. Clothing from Meraki, for example, is no longer available on Amazon’s website.
Over the years, Amazon has tested several features that allow you to try their Prime Fashion Brands at home.
Their Stitch Fix-like service Personal Shopper by Prime Wardrobe and Amazon Prime Wardrobe allow you to try at home without paying for them. (Sadly, Amazon terrific Personal Shopper program ended.)
An Overview of Amazon Fashion Prime Brands for Men from Amazon Essentials to Button Downed to Goodthreads
Today Amazon maintains a stable of everyday basics for men including cotton t-shirts, slim fit chinos, button-down shirts, leather weekender bags, colorful socks, accessories and footwear.
The retailer is clearly positioning its Prime Brands for men to compete alongside established menswear brands and innovative menswear startup brands on its site.
Here’s a comparison of their major brands including Amazon Aware, Goodthreads, Amazon Essentials and Buttoned Down, as well as a rundown of their other brands:
Amazon Aware Sells Sustainably-Produced Clothing
Amazon launched its “Amazon Aware” brand in March 2022 to offer sustainably-made products that feature various climate certifications like the Organic Content Standard, Global Recycle Standard, and HIGG Index Materials Seal.
Amazon Aware’s apparel features fabrics made from materials like recycled polyester and organic cotton. Some products are certified climate neutral by third-party organization ClimatePartner, which attests that the carbon footprint of a product was calculated and emissions were offset.
The company’s sustainable clothing lineup focuses on athleisure and activewear and basics like organic cotton t-shirts, recycled polyester hoodies and fleece, and a handful of smart and business casual options like chinos, denim, flannels and oxford button down shirts.
Goodthreads is Amazon’s answer to Banana Republic
Goodthreads is Amazon’s primary mid-level Prime Fashion Brand for men. Amazon invites fans of J Crew, Banana Republic and Izod menswear to try its Goodthreads line, which is a step up from “Amazon Essentials.” The company advertises Goodthreads as a “go-to for wardrobe staples with the style you want.”
I’ve had a chance to review a number of shirts, pants, shorts and socks from Goodthreads. Overall, I’m impressed by the quality of the materials and the fit of the brand.
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.
I especially like Goodthreads’ comfort stretch chino shorts, which I’m wearing as I type this, as well as their ridiculously affordable, colorful, stripy socks.
Goodthreads’ button down shirts are particularly attractive, from plaid cotton poplins to their two-pocket Chambray button-collar shirt to Goodthreads’ grey, two-pocket cotton button-down work-shirt.
I also really like the look of Goodthreads 5 pocket chino pants, which feature a hint of spandex alongside 99% cotton twill — certainly an upgrade from the polyester blend of Amazon Essentials — and a “jean-inspired silhouette.” I also like the look of the shawl collar cotton cardigan sweater (pictured above), which comes in an interesting range of colors (and has pockets). It’s perfect for working-from-home.
Amazon Goodthread’s boxers were a decent option for affordable, tagless cotton-blend boxer shorts. The boxers, which are made in China, are constructed from a 97% cotton and 3% elastine blend. (Sadly, it appears that Amazon has all-but-phased out Goodthreads’ boxers, except for a handful of boxer-brief options. Try Amazon brand Badger Smith for boxers instead.)
As I wrote in my review of Goodthreads’ tagless boxers:
Goodthreads boxers aren’t going to win any fashion awards — and I won’t stop picking up boxers from the Gap when they’re on sale — but I’ll definitely look to Amazon for affordable, basic underwear in the future.Review: Amazon Goodthreads Boxers are an Inexpensive (and Tagless) Underwear Option
Amazon Essentials features basic, affordable clothing staples for men
Amazon Essentials is the online retailer’s entry line, featuring everyday staples that find some compromises.
Men can nab a slim-fit 100% cotton polo shirt, extremely affordable pajama pants or a 2-pack of short-sleeve crewneck t-shirts at an attractive price point. Classic fit, wrinkle-resistant, flat front chino pants are another option, though the pants are a 40% polyester / 60% cotton blend.
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.
Buttoned Down is Amazon’s alternative to Brooks Brothers, offering an affordable luxury line of “elevated menswear”
Amazon styles its Buttoned Down Prime Fashion brand as its affordable luxury line featuring superior materials like Supima cotton button down shirts. It advertises a “feels-like-custom fit without the wait.”
Offerings like super-affordable cashmere v-neck, crew neck, half-zip and full-zip sweaters, even more affordable button down Supima cotton shirts, neckties and bow ties, and attractive chinos suggest attractive price-points for a luxury line that has to be positioning itself to compete with Brooks Brothers, Nordstrom and Bonobos.
I am particularly fond of the look of Button Down’s 100% cashmere full-zip cardigan sweater.
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.
Brass Tacks Leathercraft offers gorgeous leather bags and accessories
Brass Tacks Leathercraft offers super-attractive leather bags and accessories, including a waxed canvas travel bag, leather briefcase, waxed canvas briefcase and, our favorite, a large capacity Leather Utility Classic Doctor Duffel Weekend Work Bag. Many of the line’s products are made with vintage “Crazy Horse” or saddle leather, which has a waxy, vintage appearance.
Amazon Prime Brands for jeans: Comfort Denim Outfitters, Nothing but Denim, and more
Amazon maintains a dizzying selection of denim via a series of private lane brands.
Here is a quick guide to differentiating between the various jeans offered on Amazon.com via its Prime Brands:
Check out Goodthreads’ affordable Straight-fit Jeans, constructed from a blend of 93% Cotton, 6% Polyester and 1% Elastane. I like the fact that Amazon adheres to a zero-branding philosophy on Goodthreads’ jeans, which have no external branding or markings. (Check out my review of Oliver Cabell, which makes affordable-luxury sneakers and shoes for men and women, and is a great example of fashion brand that embraces zero-branding.)
Comfort Denim Outfitters
Comfort Denim Outfitters is a really affordable price point for premium fabrics sourced from some of the world’s best mills in India. The brand offers a slew of washes and detailing including selvedge edges on raw denim.
Amazon Essentials supplies other options including these men’s straight fit stretch jeans made of 98% cotton and 2% elastane, and Goodthreads has upgraded essentials like this pair of straight fit cotton/elastane blend dark blue rinse jeans as well as more densely-woven selvedge jeans.
206 Collective was Amazon’s most versatile footwear brand for men and women
Amazon’s 206 Collective brand launched to deliver comfortable, smart casual and dress shoe options for men and women. Options for men included navy suede oxfords, rubber soled nubuck boat shoes (aka moccasins) and leather low-top sneakers. 206 Collective’s shoes feature German rubber soles, unique detailing and clean welt stitching. However, stock on Amazon for the brand is almost entirely depleted at last check.
Franklin Tailored was Amazon’s first effort at suits and sports coats
Franklin Tailored, was one of the first private label fashion brands Amazon launched in 2016. At the time, it was a well-received entry into affordable tailored clothing for men, complete with nailhead sports coats, wool trousers and tuxedos — some of which were made in Canada.
Since then, the selection of Franklin Tailored merchandise on Amazon has dwindled to the point that only a small handful of options remain. Amazon now offers suiting options, like this Italian-wool suit through its Buttoned Down and Craft and Soul brands.
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. Amazon has quietly rolled out a series of new brands over the past several years including:
- 5Oaks offers various waterproof and wind-blocking rain pants, jackets, snow bibs and more for men and women.
- Accsa concentrates on beanies, mufflers and neck-circles, gloves and more for men, women and children.
- Amazon Collection presents jewelry for men (like crosses and rings) and women (earrings, pendants, etc.).
- Badger Smith specializes in super-funky button down shirts in bold plaids, stripes and colors, as well as 100% cotton boxers.
- Birch Leathers has a selection of really nice leather wallets and credit card holders with RFID-blocking technology as well as leather pouch cases that can be used as a toiletry bag.
- Cashmeren is focused on cashmere basics. The brand’s densely-knitted, long-strand wool resists pilling. Sizes run small, according to the manufacturer.
- Clifton Heritage began life focused on button down shirts and chinos but, as of this writing, is now into RFID wallets.
- Craft and Soul is “committed to exceptional fit, quality, style and versatility” with “clothing that is the ultimate expression of your style and good for the soul” according to copy on Amazon’s website. The brand specializes in suits and evening jackets for men.
- Feith and Felly offers a selection of backpacks, gym duffel bags and leather shoulder bags for men, women and teens, and a number of items for women including waist bags, satchel purses, handbags, gym duffel bags and clutch purses for women.
- Good Brief (underwear and cotton stretch basics),
- Isle Bay Linens (island-inspired linen and cotton shirts, pants and shorts),
- The Knitwear Lab (sweaters),
- Peak Velocity (performance athletic wear),
- Trailside (hiking, ski and outdoor clothing and accessories) and
Amazon appears to be testing a number of different concepts and supporting the ones that gain traction, though some of the lines could use some additional baking.
For example, Chain Stitch specialized in striped crew neck sweaters, though the branding at the time read like it was written by someone whose first language is something other than English. This is their “story” from Amazon’s website: “We use cotton as the main material to produce clothing – adding some fashion elements to make you wear cozily and worrilessly. It’s made for everyday wear, in the name of fashion.”
List of Discontinued Amazon Prime Fashion Brands for Men
Amazon has also quietly retired several of their fashion brands for men. The last time I checked, the following Amazon Prime Fashion Brands for Men no longer appear to be available for sale:
- Casual Terrains featured vintage and hipster-inspired pieces including a short sleeve camp shirt, a hidden placket button down, and printed vintage dress shirt with a fit similar to slim-fit shirts from J.Crew & Banana Republic.
- Chain Stitch carried sweaters, flannels and more “for a well-stitched life.”
- Denim Garage Classics was designed to be your favorite jeans featuring premium fabrics, washes and whiskering to produce classic denim for men and women at a mid-price point. I had liked the look of a pair relaxed, straight leg jeans for men in deep blue, which had a hint of elastane stretch and button fly, as well as 3D fading and (purposely) ripped details on the knees.
- find offered modern takes on inexpensive clothing and shoe basics for men (pants, sweaters, t-shirts, cotton boxer briefs, leather sneakers and workboots) and women (block heel mule open-toe sandals, jumpsuits, high waist paperbag pants, jeans, t-shirts and more).
- Franklin and Freeman was Amazon’s first shoe brand. Amazon launched its in-house men’s shoe brand Franklin and Freeman at the same time as Franklin Tailored in 2016. The shoes and boots were made in China from leather or suede and tend towards the dressier side.
- Flying Ace was all about comfortable, stylish, affordable casualwear and fitness gear, including t-shirts, jersey tops and pants.
- Quality Durables featured “authentically washed and lived-in essentials, timeless denim, and rugged work wear,” according to copy no longer on Amazon’s website, and their jeans emphasized on comfort, with some featuring a stretchable waistband and elastane for stretch.
- Linz Pure was an Amazon brand focused on sweaters.
- Meraki debuted in 2018 with a focus on “simple, modern essential” European-inspired clothing for men and women.
- Nothing But Denim was a little edgier, with detailed stitching – evident on a cool pair of black jeans – and in some cases more aggressive washes, fading, tearing and even patches.
- The Plus Project specialized in rain-resistant and waterproof jackets.
- Portland Plaid Co. had rugged outerwear for men and women.
- RADHYPE concentrated on performance athletic wear.
- Rebel Canyon advertised that the brand was “more than just a streetwear label, it’s a way of life.”
- Rugged Mile focused on ethically sourced wardrobe staples, and their jeans were constructed from cotton and “LYCRA dualFX technology” (aka T400 Elasterell-P nad LYCRA Elastane), which were developed to improve fabric flexibility and recovery and are also found in denim from American Eagle.
- Something for Everyone made “streetwear classics for men and women.”
- The Slumber Project offered pajamas and sleepwear.
- Trimthread featured sleek business casual pieces. Amazon’s Instagram ads promoted the now-discontinued Trimthread’s jackets and overcoats for men. The brand also offers button down shirts, slacks and other tops and bottoms focused on business and business casual pieces.
- 28 Palms featured resort and beachwear for men.
- Urban Shoes Co., launched in 2018, featured upscale dress shoes for work including single monk straps in scotch, black lace-up, cap-toe chukka boots, and deep blue, brogued wing-tip lace-up oxfords. Urbane Shoes Co. advertised that it uses “crust leather,” which is tanned but untreated and provides a blank slate for dying and allows shoes to show character and a rich patina. Last glance, Amazon did not appear to have any Urban Shoes Co. products in stock.
- The Wood Paper Company featured modern takes on iconic workwear, including stretch chinos and an understated button-down Buffalo Plaid Cotton Shirt.
Try Amazon Fashion Brands via Prime Wardrobe
I have tried out a number of clothing brands using Amazon Prime Wardrobe, a sort of try-before-you buy service exclusively for Prime members.
Here’s how it works: Customers can fill a Prime Wardrobe Box with 2 or more items of clothing, shoes and/or accessories that are eligible for the program. (These items can be from Amazon Prime Fashion brands or other companies.) Take seven days to try them out; keep what you like; and return the rest.
It’s a unique opportunity to mix-and-match a number of different wardrobe elements together. That is, as long as you’re cognizant of the short time frame to return the items you don’t want to keep.
Amazon fashion brands via Personal Shopper by Prime Wardrobe
Amazon has another way to try its Prime Wardrobe brands for men: Personal Shopper by Prime Wardrobe. Through the service, which Amazon’s effort to be an alternative to Stitch Fix and Trunk Club, customers pay $4.99 per month for personalized clothing selections.
As of this writing, you have to sign up and navigate the Personal Shopper by Prime Wardrobe process entirely via Amazon’s mobile app. (To begin, fire up the Amazon mobile app and search “personal shopper.”
I signed up for the service and have to say I enjoyed the initial discovery process. My stylist offered up several third party brands that I admire and have covered here, including Billy Reid, UnTUCKit, Alternative Apparel, Joe’s Jeans, and Pendleton along with several Amazon Prime Fashion for men labels.
Amazon did a good job matching clothes to my tastes.
It’s also nice that Amazon allows you to preview and make adjustments to your stylist’s selections prior to your package shipping.
If you like the idea of online personal stylists but are looking for an alternative to Amazon’s Personal Shopper by Prime Wardrobe, see why I think Wantable is worth a try.
Amazon Fashion Deals during Prime Day
Amazon’s trademark summer sale began back in 2015 and has grown into a multi-day extravaganza. Amazon Prime Day has become so big that other innovative brands from Huckberry to Todd Snyder to Target are crashing Prime Day to offer alternative sales.
In addition to deals on Kindles and Alexa-enabled devices, Amazon Prime Day has become known for tremendous bargains on Amazon’s Prime Fashion brands for men, women and kids.
For example, during Prime Day 2021, Amazon sliced 30% or more off its Prime Fashion Brands including Amazon Essentials, Buttoned Down and Goodthreads.
When is Amazon Prime Day?
Traditionally, Amazon has held its Prime Day sale in June or July. In 2020, amid the pandemic, Amazon delayed Prime Day until October. In 2022, Amazon held two different Prime Day Sales in January and October.
When is Amazon Prime Day 2023?
Amazon has not announced dates for its 2023 Prime Day yet. Typically, Amazon hosts Prime Day in July though, in 2022, they also hosted a separate Prime Day in October.
When was Amazon Prime Day 2022?
The first Amazon Prime Day 2022 took place July 12-13, 2022. Advance Amazon Prime Day deals began as early as June 21.
Amazon launched a second Prime Day Early Access sale October 11-12 to kick off the Early Black Friday shopping season.
The Best Fashion Deals for Men During Amazon Prime Early Access 2022
Here are some of the top fashion deals during Amazon Prime Early Access from October 11-12, 2022:
- Up to 30% off men and women’s clothing from Amazon Prime Fashion Brands.
- Levi’s Jeans for men and women are up to 52% off.
- Minimalist slim wallets from the Ridge are 20% off.
- Up to 41% off shoes from Sperry, Keds and more.
During Amazon’s first Prime Day sale in July 2022, here were some of the best fashion deals for men:
- Up to 55% off Levi’s apparel and accessories including 505 jeans and cargo shorts.
- Up to 39% off Amazon Prime’s Fashion Brands like Amazon Essentials, Goodthreads, iWoo and Stylore.
- Nab up to 30% off Ray-Ban and Oakley sunglasses.
- Take up to $145 off next generation smartwatches from Fossil, MK and Skagen.
- Up to 40% off adidas apparel, footwear and accessories including comfort slide sandals, joggers and much more.
- Up to 52% off Amazon Prime Day deals on Crocs.
- Get up to 47% off Columbia Sportswear including fleece, waterproof hiking boots and washed out shorts.
- Save up to 48% on Dockers.
When was Amazon Prime Day 2021?
Amazon Prime Day 2021 took place June 21-22, 2021, which Amazon only announced several weeks prior on June 2. The company promised “two days of epic savings on more than 2 million deals globally.”
It’s actually more than two days, since Amazon Fashion set up a dedicated landing page for Prime Day fashion deals for men, women and children way in advance of the actual event.
In advance of Prime Day 2021, Amazon had offered a $10 credit to use on Prime Day when you spent $10 on items sold from select small businesses at Amazon from June 7-20.
Remember that deals on these days are exclusive to Amazon Prime Members. If you are not a member, sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime.
When was Amazon Prime Day 2020?
In 2020, Amazon Prime Day took place October 13-14.
Amazon had postponed its Prime Day event several times in 2020 because of the COVID-19 crisis. (In May, Amazon first decided to postpone Amazon Prime Day 2020 from its normal June-July time frame until September because of the demands on its warehouses stemming from the COVID19 crisis, according to the Wall Street Journal.)
Will Amazon’s Style Store feature Prime Fashion Brands?
In January 2022, Amazon announced the launch of its first brick-and-mortar clothing store, Amazon Style. Amazon intends to bring a Brick-and-Mortar 2.0 experience to malls, starting with The Americana at Brand in Los Angeles, California.
While the company has scaled back its Brick-and-Mortar 2.0 ambitions in other areas like bookstores, it has continued to press ahead with fashion, announcing that it would open a second Amazon Style store in Easton Town Center in Ohio.
Amazon’s Style store is a great place to discover Prime Fashion brands for men and women in person.
What has your experience been like with Amazon Prime fashion brands?
Have you tried Amazon’s private label menswear brands? What has your experience been?
About JakeJake is passionate about exploring entrepreneurs' global journeys. He founded Modern Fellows in 2012 to get to know the entrepreneurs behind the innovative brands helping men dress sharp in the digital age. Jake has written about entrepreneurship, international business and/or fashion for outlets including Business Week, Forbes, Inc., Details Style Syndicate and Primer Magazine, and has provided analysis on international business for BBC Radio, NBC News, CNN and Time Magazine.
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1 thought on “Here are the Differences between Goodthreads, Amazon Essentials, Buttoned Down and other Amazon Prime Brands for Men (2023)”
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