About the Author: Ryan N. is a professional web developer for (and alum from) the University of Delaware, who keeps a close shave as to not be confused with his strongly-bearded twin brother. He plays guitar and drums, loves going to concerts with his wife, and loves being a dad.
Guys. I think Target’s Goodfellow & Co. line is here to stay. Goodfellow has been slowly and steadily putting together a season-on-season streak of quality, super-affordable menswear by way of consistent, subtle, detail-oriented improvements. And Spring 2020 keeps that streak alive. They’re just nailing the little details. Target, yes TARGET (the place with the popcorn machine up front) has become a great, entry-level menswear retailer, not just a retailer that happens to sell menswear. They’ve come a long way from the Merona days. Let’s check out their Spring offerings.
SIZING NOTE: I’m 5’9″ / 160, all tops shown are a size small. Jeans are 32×30 unless noted.
When I saw these in the box, I thought they looked pretty similar to last year’s Lightweight Jeans. I figured they were the heir apparent. Turns out they’re more like a cousin.. and that’s not a bad thing at all. As much as I like last year’s, this version is less “crazy-stretch,” and much more “reasonable flex.” There’s stretch here, but like the All In Motion line, Target seems to be honing their stretch game into a more functional version of comic-book stretchiness. The color is an excellent desaturated light blue, meaning it will wear almost like a light grey when you’re matching your outfit. I’m usually not a light-wash guy, but these are a home run for me.
A bit about sizing, re: the flex. I tried 32×30, 33×30, and 34×30 just to see how the sizing held up. The 33×30 fits me the most comfortable in the waist.. when first putting on. Also fits great in the legs. But, will that hold true for the second wear, or third? My lightweight jeans from last year stretch quite a bit between washes. The 32×30 fits me quite slim, but to be honest, that’s usually my sweet spot for lightweight denim. Given the flex, I’m probably going with the 32×30. But these are such a specific fit that I’d recommend trying a few sizes. Check out the side-by-side comparison of 32/33/34 waist sizes right over here.
Honestly, not a lot to say here that wasn’t said in the “light denim” color. Unlike last year’s scattershot “lightweight denim” offerings, this year’s seem to be more homogeneous in feel and fit, so you know more what to expect. What I like about these in particular is the opaqueness of the white color (these aren’t see-through), and the color itself. They’re white allright, but they’re not a blaring, eye-melting, contrast set to 100 white. They remind me a lot of the “Ecru” Old Navy jeans from last year. And most importantly, they pass the high leg kicks test. KI-YAAAA!
The details on this bag remind me a lot of the AmazonBasics Weekender Bag from a few months ago. That same twill softness inside, same double-pocket-palooza. I’m not much of a backpack guy, but this wears REALLY nicely, and the straps are quite comfortable. It seems roomy enough, with plenty of pockets both inner and outer. The tan color they chose is warm enough to not be boring, but not saturated enough to look like you’re wearing a pair of khakis on your back. Nice magnet straps on the front, with brassy hardware on leatherette, as well a nifty drawstring cord to cinch up the main compartment. While roomy, it doesn’t make for a bulky profile from the side or back.
What else is there left to say about Target’s glorious basics? They just nail the fit on these easy-wearing, casual tees. Neck isn’t too tight, hem hits right, sleeves hit right, and includes a useful pocket, which just elevates a crewneck tee. The grey color goes with almost anything, light enough to reflect some heat in the summer. Almost all of my basic tees are from Target, and Goodfellow keeps up that accomplishment here. Six colors to pick from.
As I’ve noted before, I’ve always loved Target’s henleys. They just get the job done without doing too much. Still has that super-soft collar that lays great, and raglan sleeves keep your shoulders looking sharp. Really wish they’d have opted for that nice rounded hem from their long-sleeve henleys on this, but that’s personal preference. Seven colors to pick from, including a sharp dark green that this Eagles fan might need to scoop up. Shown above would be the super-descriptive “blue” color.
Double-weave means.. well, to be honest, I don’t quite understand it, but I’ll try to explain it anyway!! A double-woven shirt has a different pattern woven into either side of the shirt, but the two sides are connected to each other at certain stitches. I know, right? So you’re basically wearing two extremely thin layers, in this case a micro-check outside, and a full plaid inside. So is it hot? Far from it. To be honest, this shirt blew away my expectations. I thought it would wear thick, and not be summer-friendly. I was wrong. This glides on super-smooth, lays really comfortably, and because of how thin the fabrics are, it’s almost like there’s some air between the layers that allows it to breathe. Crazy. Plus, you get to do that cool roll-up-the-sleeves move and show off the inner tartan. Neat!
Another place Target is upping the standards is in their polos. If you remember the All In Motion review, their performance polos earned high marks for a stand-up collar with strong but flexible construction, unlike the floppy collars most offer in their softer-materials shirts. Again, here Goodfellow has a strong showing with the collar, which is where grading of any polo should begin. Under that is a reinforced placket, with a sideways top button (rare) and rounded collar band, much like you’d see on a dress shirt. While the texture of the fabric is almost slub-like, I wouldn’t put it in the same category. It wears too nicely for that, though the material is lightweight, airy and almost gauzy. The pattern is subtle, not loud, and it’s something I could wear to work and then right out to a happy hour. There’s a subtle, almost imperceptible patch chest pocket, and the fit, of course, is spot-on.
Given the stretch, patch pockets, a fairly chopped butt, and functional cuff buttons (sigh!), I’d put this blazer squarely in the “casual” realm. But there, it excels. Throw it over a simple tee, hike the sleeves up, and you’re gonna be comfortable and stylish for a variety of situations. Now, could you dress this up? Possibly. I tried pairing it with the navy polo, which doesn’t look bad, but I think this is best used going super-casual. Two inner pockets, as well as a strange branding patch that I thought was a third pocket (why not just put that directly on the pocket, Target?), complete the storage options. The color is excellent and a welcome change from oversaturated navy and khaki, and the price point makes this a good buy. Just make sure the sleeves hit you where you them to, because investing in adjusting functioning sleeve cuff buttons on a $40 blazer seems kind of silly.
Got a tip on something from Target’s Goodfellow & Co. line that didn’t make this round up? Send those suggestions into firstname.lastname@example.org.