NEW YORK CITY — Amazon has introduced its own clothing brands to US consumers in recent years.
Some of the clothing is Amazon-branded — Amazon Essentials — but most of it is sold under private labels.
Amazon still isn’t as well known for selling pants and shirts as it is for selling batteries and Bluetooth speakers.
We tried Amazon’s clothing to see if it’s worth the money.
Typical for clothing ordered online, but Amazon's pieces seemed to have been sitting for longer than normal, creating deep creases that were impossible to smooth out without an iron.
That makes it necessary for the clothes to be either washed or ironed before wearing. Common sense for some, but for others it may be an unexpected hassle if you need to wear the shirt immediately.
It would be a mistake to call Amazon's private labels 'fashion brands.' They're mostly just functional clothing, with absolutely zero frills. It's clothing created for people who don't care that much about clothing, but still want to look neat, nice, and put together. I'd wager that's a good number of people.
The styles aren't boring, but they're not exactly adventurous either. It feels like they were created in a lab somewhere to appeal to the broadest swath of men possible.
It's clear the Amazon is chasing the crowd that usually shops at mall stores. 'If you like J. Crew or Banana Republic oxford shirts, check out Goodthreads' selection of effortlessly stylish oxfords,' one caption reads for the Goodthreads Oxford shirt.
We weren't able to test any of the clothing in the long-run, but generally all of it felt solidly made with decent fabrics for the price. Quality was comparable to a mall outlet store, with a slight edge in fabrics used.
Goodthreads' $US30 5-Pocket Chino is designed to be the workhorse of your pant wardrobe. They felt cool and comfortable, and looked decent on me. I could have worn them all day and been fine, and I'm picky about my pants.
The added spandex in the fabric was a nice surprise, and made the pants both very comfortable and easy to take on and off.
The fabric felt a little thin, but that's not surprising for a pant in this price range. Though these were a slim fit, they had an awkward flare at the end that I am attributing to the fact that I usually wear a 30 in length, and these were a 32.
Goodthreads' shirts are something I was excited about. I'm always looking for cheap shirts that I can use for layering, and throw away once I get tired of them or they wear out.
The first shirt I tried, this blue standard-fit number, I wasn't terribly impressed with. As soon as I put it on, I started sweating. The fabric didn't fell very breathable, even though it was softer than I was expecting it to be.
Still, the shirt looked so nice, it was hard to believe it was only $US25.
Overall, the standard fit didn't work for me, so I don't think I'll be getting much use out of this particular garment.
Now we're talking.
Goodthreads' slim-fit check shirt is everything a shirt should be. I had doubts that Amazon would create a slim-fit shirt that actually fit close to the body, but those fears were unfounded. I have more an average frame, but I do typically wear slim shirts, and I was pleased with how the garment fit.
The sleeves were also a great length, and even though the fabric was closer to my body, it felt cooler than the end-on-end shirt.
A winner, and my favourite item of the Goodthreads bunch easily. For $US25, it's a bargain.
The 'slim' part of these slim-fit dressy chinos wasn't quite enough for my taste. They weren't boxy or oversized, but I still wasn't in love with them.
I didn't like them quite as much as the 5-pocket chinos because they feel dated. Not dated in the look, but dated in the style. I'm finding it harder and harder to see a need for 'dressy chinos' in today's more relaxed dress codes.
Still if you do find a need, these ones are decent. The fit isn't incredibly slim, but it's flattering. The slightly stretchy is comfortable and moves with you, and truth be told they looked like nice pants.
The navy blue colour was deep and rich, and looked more expensive than the $US30 they cost.
This shirt was huge. I tried it on in a size small, and I was swimming in it.
That said, it's a decent polo shirt for $US12. It was incredibly comfortable, and the fabric looked decent as well. It even had a little strip of jersey fabric around the colour so your neck isn't scratched by the waffle knot of the shirt -- a touch I've never seen in a shirt in this price range.
It's the perfect shirt for a service job uniform. Just make sure to size down.
The regular fit dress chinos are just your typical, run of the mill dressy chino pants, but in a boxy fit -- designed for men shaped differently than me.
I will hand it to Amazon on one thing: they aren't pleated. In most other respects, they're similar the Dockers your dad used to buy at Sears before the store in your hometown closed. Except one: price. These pants are only $US30.
If you like or need pants like these, these are the ones to get. They're cheap and feel sturdy. If you don't, it's best to look elsewhere.
There's no way else to say this: this is an great dress shirt.
I always dread putting on dress shirts. I worry that the fabric will feel stiff and uncomfortable and I won't be able to wait to take it off.
Not so with this Buttoned Down dress shirt. It was comfortable from the moment I put it on. I haven't worn that many dress shirts in my life, but I certainly know a cheap one when I feel it. And this didn't feel cheap.
The fit was spot on. I also loved the way it looked on me, and the fabric felt substantial but soft. The Amazon listing says its made with Supima cotton, and I don't disbelieve it.
The fabric has a subtle weave in it, but don't mistake me. It's as plain a shirt as can be. Sometimes, though, that's really all you want in a shirt, and you can pair with a nonstandard tie for personality.
Buttoned Down, the private Amazon label, offers three different fits ranging from standard to slim, and a ton of different collar styles for whatever need you may have.
For $US40 though, it's an extremely hard price and quality ratio to beat.
It's clear what Amazon is going for here. It's trying to be one specific thing, and do it well.
The clothes are all a bit boilerplate and uninspired, but that's exactly what they were designed to do. If there are some gaps in your wardrobe, it's advisable to fill them with some of Goodthreads' decent offerings that are great for the price -- especially their slim-fit casual shirts.
And Buttoned Down's dress shirts are not to be missed -- a true stand out in the lineup with a great intersection at price, fit, and quality.
Other than that, there's nothing really to draw a shopper to Amazon's private labels yet. Launching brand new brands is difficult, and we've no doubt Amazon is whipping up some new designs that will draw more than just the utilitarian buyer.
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