Note: It has not been a good week for Amazon, as their latest failure to look after their employees has come to light. Dappered is a style blog, but to ignore that NYT article wouldn’t feel right. Thanks to Brandon D. for the tip. Now, on with Jason’s review of the new Goodthreads line.
The Bezos-backed brand has continued to put out new seasonal collections every Fall and Spring, and with this year’s Fall/Winter collection coming in the midst of a supply chain nightmare, I was curious if there were any manufacturing or quality control issues, as well as what styles the Goodthreads brand was leaning into. Has Goodthreads improved on last year’s Fall / Winter collection? Or has the global supply chain mish-mash negatively impacted the product line? Let’s find out.
For a fit perspective, I (the Jason guy) am 5’7″ / 185lbs. Sizes vary for each piece, both for the tops and bottoms, and are noted with each piece.
Starting the review off with a foundational item of any fall wardrobe, the long sleeve tee. The shirt is quite comfortable, and has a hint of stretch for added movement. Raglan sleeves typically offer gents with larger shoulders/backs/chests more comfort because of the stitch placement and overall construction, and this is no different. The tight stripes provide a visual punch and add style to an otherwise basic long sleeve tee. It looks great and fits fairly well. But…it smells terrible. I was sent two sizes to try on, in two separate packages, and both have a sort of chemical smell that I didn’t find with any other piece in this collection. It smells like some sort of adhesive that I can’t quite pin down with my nose. Perhaps the smell comes from wherever Bezos stored this shirt in the warehouse, but I would wash this one separately before wearing or storing with your other items. You don’t want the stench migrating to any of your other clothing. It’s really quite a turn off to an otherwise good shirt. Size shown is a large.
First, a note on the fit. We had intended to review the slim fit option, but upon arrival, these #ThunderThighs could not fit into the pants without showing off a little too much. If you know what I mean. In my typical size 33″ x 28″, the slim-fits fit like a true skinny-fit pant. Those should be reserved for gents who are not familiar with “leg day” of any sort.
The Straight Fit (shown above) are a 5 pocket thin-wale cord pant in a 98% cotton, 2% elastane blend for added stretch. The difference in leg opening between these and the slim fit are a substantial 2″. Straight fits get a 16″ opening and the slims get 14.” If you have spent any time in a gym, the straight fits are for you. The same 33 x 28 size here fit comfortably. The fabric is smooth to the touch, and the pant moves with you with ease. Now if you’re looking for a traditional cord with visual depth and plush texture, these aren’t those. This interpretation of a the style leans heavily toward a traveler pant, with the wale being nearly invisible unless looking at the fabric mere inches away. That said, it is no doubt a very comfortable pair of pants, and continues to show that Goodthreads does well when focusing on foundational pieces at value prices. Available in 8 colors. It’s just a shame about the larger ankle opening. Again, size here is 33×28 in the straight fit.
This is a really good L.L.Bean Scotch Plaid flannel alternative. Built in 100% cotton, this has all the trademarks of a classic, heritage flannel in a blackwatch tartan pattern. As someone who owns quite a few of the L.L. Bean flannels, I get the impression that Goodthreads used the Maine brand’s shirt as a benchmark. They got close, but not quite. The cotton used here is not anywhere near as nice – it’s thinner, stiffer, and missing half the softness of the Bean flannel’s cotton. That, and the Bean shirt has buttoned down collars to keep you looking sharp while you’re in the woods, at a cafe, or hosting some folks for dinner. Of course, the value proposition with GT is a good-enough flannel at a value price, and this does undercut the Bean shirt by $20, and those are rarely – if ever – on sale. If you can spare the extra $20, get the L.L Bean flannel. If you’re on a tight budget, you will be happy with the shirt. You are getting exactly what you should be from Goodthreads for a $30 flannel. Nothing to be upset about here! Size shown is a large, and despite being a slim fit, still has enough room for comfort without looking too big.
50% Merino Wool, 50% Acrylic, 100% lightweight coziness. This is an ideal layering piece for a slightly brisk morning or evening walk in the fall, or fireside with a drink and some friends. Light, breathable merino wool provides a touch of warmth and softness, while the acrylic fabric adds structure. If you have spent the last 2 years in hoodie and adidas Tiro pants, consider tossing on the bedford cord pants and this hoodie for a sharper looking take on an uber-casual outfit. This will offer a LOT more variety on the shoes you can wear, too. For example, chukka boots don’t look right with athleisure, but they look damn nice here. A hoodie will never be the sharpest casual layer you can wear – quite contrary, it is usually the dullest – but for those who are devotees of the mental coziness of a hoodie, get this. You won’t regret the upgrade. Shown here in a size Medium.
An absolute basic, as far as Merino crewnecks go. 100% Merino Wool, and an improvement on past years’ efforts of the same fabric. Lightweight, breathable, comfortable. GT added a nice athletic-inspired triangle detail at the neck, but otherwise this is a standard fare sweater. The wool is nothing to write home about, but overall it fills a similar position in the wardrobe as, say, the oft-referenced Banana Republic Italian Merino Crewneck. But, that’s where this Goodthreads sweater falls down a bit. BR’s Italian merino crewneck are built with a superior wool and a raglan sleeve construction. Yes, BR’s basic wool crews are far more expensive at full price, but they’re often included in codes. And with Black Friday weekend + Cyber Monday around the corner, I’d suggest paying an extra few dollars for a better sweater at BR. That’s not to say this GT crewneck is a bad option – it’s quite good. But, the competition is much, much better and can be had for about only $10 more during promo periods.
***WORST IN SHOW*** (sorry, not sorry)
Why do these exist? I want to light them on fire. Not while I’m wearing them, of course. But, it is not hyperbole to say these are the worst pair of bottoms I have tested in the three years I’ve been doing these seasonal roundups from Goodthreads. As a lounge pant, they are too thick on account of the chino-like cotton. As a casual pant, they could work fine depending upon whether or not your belt line is hidden. From the crotch up, these are a disaster. The fit creates bounties of excess fabric, causing the dreaded pocket ballooning with any movement. The waistline is elastic – a standard inclusion for a lounge pant – but utilized with ill effect. These are LOOSE, and elastic does very little to keep the pants on. Ah but yes, there’s a belt! A bad one. On a pair of pants like these, hidden drawstrings like last year’s pair would have been FAR more appropriate, while providing more benefit to the elastic waistline itself. This nylon hook-and-loop camp/hike type belt looks completely out of place. If these were a hybrid indoor/outdoor activity pant, then it could play. On these pants, which are certainly not suited for that type of variety, it’s a miss. Put it all together, and you have a poor-fitting, ugly pair of pants with minimal utility. Compared to last year, these are a MAJOR step back for Goodthreads. Shown in a “Large” waist and 30″ L.
Admittedly, as a lover of shawl collar sweaters, this was going to be a tough one to beat, simply on the aesthetics. It thrills me to say the this sweater did not disappoint. A great cable knit pattern, with some alternate texture running down the sides of the sleeves, offers visual depth and texture. Just be warned that the fabric itself is fairly flat for a cable knit. While it looks like a hefty sweater, it really isn’t. It fits close, and the cotton construction is thinner than not just most wool cable knits – but it’s also thinner than most cotton cable knits. BUT. That’s not necessarily a knock on the sweater – far be it. The fit is excellent on my frame in a size medium, and the fabric is indeed “super soft.” Brushed merino wool might offer a more luxuriously soft feel, but this is superb comfort for a sub-$40 cotton sweater. If you didn’t know the price, you would assume this is far more expensive. Two things keep this from receiving the first place trophy. First, the aforementioned use of cotton versus wool. If GT can utilize merino or lambswool in other sweaters at the same price, why opt for cotton here? Wool is, by almost all accounts, a superior fabric to use on sweaters such as this. Second, the collar is wimpy. I would love to see Goodthreads add more structure and heft to the collar on the next go ’round. These two foibles, albeit quite minor, place this sweater in second place. Size shown is a medium.
***BEST IN SHOW*** AND ***BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK***
EDITOR’S NOTE: Son of a gun, and just like that, on the day this thing wins best in show (I know, I’m sure Jeff Bezos, somewhere, is thrilled)… they… might have eliminated it from the site? They have another 100% lambswool crew in the Goodthreads collection, but the above color is gone so we can’t be sure it’s the same? Raglan sleeves though. Could be the same. Sorry guys.
Because, this sweater is just THAT good. $36 for 100% lambswool with this level of build quality is a steal. This is the best bang for the buck AND best in show. No participation trophies are merited from the other items in the collection. If you buy one thing from this review, let it be this sweater. Raglan sleeve stitching is oh-so-perfect, as it lends itself to a sweater that offers both a generous amount of comfort and coziness in this lambswool fabric, while maintaining an athletic silhouette. The wool here is far superior to the other fabrics in the collection, relative to their categories of cotton, wool, etc. Woven in a tight gauge and a slightly “marled” or “heathered” color, this light-navy wool is soft on the skin and strikes the ideal balance between warmth and breathability. Quite frankly, this might be the single best garment that Goodthreads has ever made. In the very least, it is the best of any of our past GT roundups here on Dappered. Size shown is a medium.
I want Goodthreads to stop playing games with weird pants and focus on perfecting the fundamental pieces of a seasonal wardrobe. On one end of the spectrum, they’re producing an abysmal pair of “what are these?” pants… yet on the other end, they’ve made the best dang item they have ever sold (the lambswool crew). This year, Goodthreads Fall/Winter is more of a rollercoaster than last years, but the highs exceed those of the previous year and it feels as if wool items are the brand’s comfort zone. If they can sharpen up a few items through the winter, I have high hopes for what we might see next year.
About the Author: Jason P. spends his days working in the creative marketing department of a big telecom company. He also does a bit of real estate investing on the side. He believes in curating a timeless, classic wardrobe with subtle modern touches for today. He and his wife love hiking with their dog and shopping at local small businesses and antique stores when they travel. Jason is a practitioner of muay thai and traditional boxing, and his favorite drink is a hoppy New England IPA.
Got something from Goodthreads that should have made this fall round up? Send those tips into firstname.lastname@example.org.