About the Author: Adam Terry is a 30-year-old Technical Trainer in the heating and manufacturing industry. He’s #menswear by day and #workwear by night. He enjoys raw selvedge denim, Scotch whisky, and working on maintaining his dad bod.
In this week’s episode of “Can Cheap Jeans Be Any Good?” we take a look at Target’s new line of Goodfellow & Co. branded selvedge jeans in a classic slim-straight fit. Hanging on the rack for under $40, how good can they really be?
To recap, selvedge denim is woven on narrow shuttle looms and has a self-binding edge, or self-edge. This selvedge feature looks cleaner and ensures the denim won’t fray at the outseam edge. Generally speaking, selvedge denim is more expensive because those machines can only churn out so many yards of fabric per day. In our last review of cheap selvedge denim, we found that Amazon’s Goodthreads stretch selvedge denim offered a great value for those who like slim, stretchy denim. If you’re not a fan of stretch, Target’s Goodfellow & Co. may have the solution for you.
“The difference between appearing socially awkward or sharp and confident is often reduced to the fit of your clothing. Some of this is identifying the right tailor, but a lot of it comes down to you and the fitting room mirror. Picking the right fit is not some innate, instinctual ability, but is learned from paying attention to detail.”
– Shujin, via reddit.
Goodfellow & Co. selvedge jeans are currently available in three basic fits – slim, slim-straight, and straight. For most people, slim or slim-straight will look the best. If you’re more of a Hagrid than a Harry, Target also offers selvedge denim in big and tall sizing!
Size 32×32 on 6’0″ / 180lb
In size 32×32, the slim-straight cut fit my 6’0, 180 lb. frame relatively well off the rack:
- Waist: 33.5”
- Front Rise: 11”
- Rear Rise: 15.25”
- Thigh: 12”
- Knee: 8.75”
- Inseam: 32.5”
- Opening: 7.75”
If you prefer a more svelte slim-tapered or relaxed-tapered fit, a local tailor can easily trim these down for a few bucks. Just let them know that these are selvedge, so the taper will need to be completed from the inseam.
If Amazon’s stretchy cotton/elastane blend denim could be worn in the futuristic movie Interstellar, Target’s rigid 14oz 100% cotton denim would feel right at home in Rebel Without a Cause. Slightly heavier than your average pair of Levi’s 501s, the Goodfellow & Co. denim feels dense and slightly starchy. While they were comfortable right away for me, you may need to break them in for a week or two before you love them.
Target offers selvedge denim in a few different washes and distressed looks, but the dark “indigo” rinse is the most versatile for most people. It really can be paired with anything – from sport coats and Oxford shirts with brogues to tees and hoodies with sneakers. Just try to avoid the Canadian tuxedo look, please.
Target representatives wouldn’t disclose the name or location of the denim manufacturer, but I suspect it’s a Japanese denim mill. Uniqlo sources their denim from Kaihara and those jeans retail for around $40, too.
Custom Goodfellow & Co. branded tack buttons secure the button fly and branded copper rivets anchor the front pockets. The front pocket bags are made from a nice herringbone twill cotton. The belt line patch is made from some sort of construction paper cardboard, just like Levi’s.
Overall construction gets an A grade with surprisingly meticulous stitching throughout. No noticeable loose threads or causes for concern anywhere. The deep rear pockets are cleanly bar-tacked, the inseams are flat-felled, and the waist and hems are simply lockstitched. Surprisingly clean for jeans at this price point.
Target has their Goodfellow & Co. denim assembled in Bangladesh. You should probably know that Bangladesh has a history of poor and unsafe working conditions, not to mention it’s one of the cheapest places in the world to make clothes thanks to the inexpensive labor (which is why these jeans only retail for ~$40). There is absolutely a human cost to cheap clothing and we, as educated consumers, rarely talk about it. Target is refreshingly open with their supply chain and sourcing, even going so far as to post their global factory list. That level of transparency is nice, even if we never need it.
Whether you’re a denim nerd like me or just an average Joe, you can always count on a pair of dark indigo jeans being in style. If you’re in the market for a new pair of jeans and you’re working with a ~$50 budget, seek out Target’s Goodfellow & Co. rigid selvedge jeans. They offer a superb value and you’ll get a lot of bang for your bucks.