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Target is attracting guys to its stores with a trendy new clothing brand — here’s what I thought of it (TGT)

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target goodfellowGoodfellow is full of surprises.Target
  • Target launched a new private-label brand of men’s clothing earlier this year.
  • It’s off to a roaring start, with higher sales than Target’s earlier men’s clothing brands.
  • I thought it was a good value, stylish, and on-trend, even if it was a bit directionless.

Target is courting men — and it seems to be working.

When comparing its new men’s clothing line, Goodfellow, which launched earlier this year, to its previous offerings for men, sales are up more than 10%.

“The market has changed and so has the guest,” Target’s chief merchandising officer, Mark Tritton, told Bloomberg. “More men are purchasing clothes and they are more discerning. So it was time for us to do something new.”

Earlier this year, I judged Goodfellow for myself. I visited a Target in New York City to see if the retailer could lure these discerning, budget-oriented guys with the promise of cheap, on-trend fashion — and maybe convince them to pick up a razor or package of muffins on the way out. 

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After wandering around the store for an embarrassing length of time, I finally found it: the men’s clothing section, all decked out with its new Goodfellow line.

After wandering around the store for an embarrassing length of time, I finally found it: the men's clothing section, all decked out with its new Goodfellow line.

Dennis Green/Business Insider

The assortment, quite frankly, surprised me. It seems Target has done its market research here, and it’s crammed in everything that could be considered a current trend. There are T-shirts, jackets, casual pants, dress pants, outerwear, and a whole assortment of accessories.

The assortment, quite frankly, surprised me. It seems Target has done its market research here, and it's crammed in everything that could be considered a current trend. There are T-shirts, jackets, casual pants, dress pants, outerwear, and a whole assortment of accessories.

Dennis Green/Business Insider

There’s also an assortment of shoes, which I made the decision to ignore completely. Though the designs looked nice, cheap shoes are generally best avoided, in my opinion.

There's also an assortment of shoes, which I made the decision to ignore completely. Though the designs looked nice, cheap shoes are generally best avoided, in my opinion.

Dennis Green/Business Insider

Some pieces, like this rugby shirt, reminded me of something a cartoon character might wear, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Some pieces, like this rugby shirt, reminded me of something a cartoon character might wear, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Dennis Green/Business Insider

Overall, the collection was neatly presented, but it still didn’t quite match the presentation of a mall store. The prices, I noticed, were higher than Mossimo and Merona, the brands that Goodfellow replaced. They still aren’t as high as prices you’ll find at mall stores, though.

Overall, the collection was neatly presented, but it still didn't quite match the presentation of a mall store. The prices, I noticed, were higher than Mossimo and Merona, the brands that Goodfellow replaced. They still aren't as high as prices you'll find at mall stores, though.

Dennis Green/Business Insider

A leather jacket caught my eye — I wasn’t expecting to see that.

A leather jacket caught my eye — I wasn't expecting to see that.

Dennis Green/Business Insider

Yeah … it’s definitively not leather. Still, it’s an aesthetic I didn’t expect to find here. The jacket costs $50.

Yeah ... it's definitively not leather. Still, it's an aesthetic I didn't expect to find here. The jacket costs $50.

Business Insider / Dennis Green

I stumbled upon this chore coat-like jacket that I really liked. I loved the color and the design, but I ran into a problem that I would run into throughout my visit — my size (small) isn’t on the rack, and there isn’t anyone to ask for sizing help.

I stumbled upon this chore coat-like jacket that I really liked. I loved the color and the design, but I ran into a problem that I would run into throughout my visit — my size (small) isn't on the rack, and there isn't anyone to ask for sizing help.

Dennis Green/Business Insider

Overall, I would judge the quality — as assessed through sight and touch — as better than H&M, but not quite as good as Uniqlo or Gap.

Overall, I would judge the quality — as assessed through sight and touch — as better than H&M, but not quite as good as Uniqlo or Gap.

Dennis Green/Business Insider

There were some strange pieces, like this stretchy, zip-up jacket that I couldn’t imagine looking good on a human.

There were some strange pieces, like this stretchy, zip-up jacket that I couldn't imagine looking good on a human.

Dennis Green/Business Insider

By far the weirdest thing I saw were these stretchy knit pants that looked like dress pants but felt like a pair of athletic pants.

By far the weirdest thing I saw were these stretchy knit pants that looked like dress pants but felt like a pair of athletic pants.

Dennis Green/Business Insider

Still, I did find some things that I liked enough to try on, including the range of T-shirts and henleys seen here in an array of colors and patterns. It was off to the dressing rooms.

Still, I did find some things that I liked enough to try on, including the range of T-shirts and henleys seen here in an array of colors and patterns. It was off to the dressing rooms.

Dennis Green/Business Insider

Everything I tried on was size small, my usual size. This bomber jacket was shockingly trendy, but it felt a bit small when I put it on — strange for a department store brand. I’m 5’9″ and about 140 pounds, so slim fits are usually my go-to.

Everything I tried on was size small, my usual size. This bomber jacket was shockingly trendy, but it felt a bit small when I put it on — strange for a department store brand. I'm 5'9" and about 140 pounds, so slim fits are usually my go-to.

Dennis Green/Business Insider

The tag claims it’s even resistant to water — a nice bonus. The jacket goes for $40, which feels more than fair for how the materials and construction felt.

The tag claims it's even resistant to water — a nice bonus. The jacket goes for $40, which feels more than fair for how the materials and construction felt.

Dennis Green/Business Insider

I was certainly not a fan of the pullover sweater — it was simultaneously too big and too long, and it somehow still made me look fat.

I was certainly not a fan of the pullover sweater — it was simultaneously too big and too long, and it somehow still made me look fat.

Dennis Green/Business Insider

Still, I was impressed by the materials it was made of. I was expecting a 50/50 cotton/acrylic blend, but it’s actually a cotton/nylon/wool blend. It was comfortable, soft, and didn’t feel cheap. That’s impressive, especially at $25.

Still, I was impressed by the materials it was made of. I was expecting a 50/50 cotton/acrylic blend, but it's actually a cotton/nylon/wool blend. It was comfortable, soft, and didn't feel cheap. That's impressive, especially at $25.

Dennis Green/Business Insider

The collection’s Oxford shirt is pretty no-frills. The material is thin, and the styling is pretty standard. But it did score big on fit. Even though this is a standard small, I don’t know how much tighter I’d really want it. There weren’t any slim-fits at this location to compare it against, but I’m not really curious — how slim does this collection get? The shirt retails for $25.

The collection's Oxford shirt is pretty no-frills. The material is thin, and the styling is pretty standard. But it did score big on fit. Even though this is a standard small, I don't know how much tighter I'd really want it. There weren't any slim-fits at this location to compare it against, but I'm not really curious — how slim does this collection get? The shirt retails for $25.

Dennis Green/Business Insider

This work shirt was probably my favorite of the collection. It was also a standard fit, but it fit snugly. I loved the way it looked over the shirt I wore to the store. This shirt is heavyweight cotton and feels sturdy. It goes for $25.

This work shirt was probably my favorite of the collection. It was also a standard fit, but it fit snugly. I loved the way it looked over the shirt I wore to the store. This shirt is heavyweight cotton and feels sturdy. It goes for $25.

Dennis Green/Business Insider

The T-shirt I tried on felt and fit great. The cotton isn’t that soft, and I would say it felt a little thin. Still, the cut was good. It’s exactly how you’d want a T-shirt to fit. For $10, it’s a pretty good deal. The non-patterned shirts are about $2 cheaper.

The T-shirt I tried on felt and fit great. The cotton isn't that soft, and I would say it felt a little thin. Still, the cut was good. It's exactly how you'd want a T-shirt to fit. For $10, it's a pretty good deal. The non-patterned shirts are about $2 cheaper.

Business Insider/Dennis Green

The $15 henley I tried on felt good and sturdy. It had hip cutouts on the side, which I thought was odd, but it was otherwise conservatively styled. I was not a huge fan of the fit. I like my henleys to fit close to the body, and this was a much looser cut. It was surprising considering the slim cut of the other clothes.

The $15 henley I tried on felt good and sturdy. It had hip cutouts on the side, which I thought was odd, but it was otherwise conservatively styled. I was not a huge fan of the fit. I like my henleys to fit close to the body, and this was a much looser cut. It was surprising considering the slim cut of the other clothes.

Dennis Green/Business Insider

The collection also contained some wild pants. These, sort of a hybrid between dress pants and casual pants, were my favorite. Made out of cotton, the pants were very soft to the touch. The ones I tried on were tagged as slim fit, and I can attest that they were actually slim-fitting.

The collection also contained some wild pants. These, sort of a hybrid between dress pants and casual pants, were my favorite. Made out of cotton, the pants were very soft to the touch. The ones I tried on were tagged as slim fit, and I can attest that they were actually slim-fitting.

Dennis Green/Business Insider

They had a really cool pattern that Target calls ebony plaid. At $30, I would have bought them had the store had them in my size, but the ones I tried on were too long in the inseam.

They had a really cool pattern that Target calls ebony plaid. At $30, I would have bought them had the store had them in my size, but the ones I tried on were too long in the inseam.

Dennis Green/Business Insider

I also tried on a regular pair of slim-fit chinos, which were actually slim. I liked them, and for $23, I wouldn’t hesitate to say they’re probably a bit of a steal. The fabric was a bit stiff, but I imagine it would get softer over time. Goodfellow also has a standard and skinny fit.

I also tried on a regular pair of slim-fit chinos, which were actually slim. I liked them, and for $23, I wouldn't hesitate to say they're probably a bit of a steal. The fabric was a bit stiff, but I imagine it would get softer over time. Goodfellow also has a standard and skinny fit.

Dennis Green/Business Insider

The collection also has blazers. I tried on this one, which Target calls a deconstructed knit blazer. It’s made from cotton and polyester. It’s thicker than I expected, and I thought the fabric draped strangely. There’s a point where slim goes overboard, and I found that to be true with this piece. It was too small for me in a small, but there wasn’t a medium to compare it with.

The collection also has blazers. I tried on this one, which Target calls a deconstructed knit blazer. It's made from cotton and polyester. It's thicker than I expected, and I thought the fabric draped strangely. There's a point where slim goes overboard, and I found that to be true with this piece. It was too small for me in a small, but there wasn't a medium to compare it with.

Dennis Green/Business Insider

Considering the styles often seen at Target in the past, as evidenced by these dreadful cargo shorts in the clearance section, the improvement Goodfellow provides is noticeable and appreciated.

Considering the styles often seen at Target in the past, as evidenced by these dreadful cargo shorts in the clearance section, the improvement Goodfellow provides is noticeable and appreciated.

Dennis Green/Business Insider

It was a bit disappointing that some sizes and fits were hard or impossible to find, as it made comparing the different fits difficult. Still, I could see myself returning to browse more throughly for my own wardrobe without worrying about breaking the bank.

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