Last December I wrote a story about Levi Strauss in which I bemoaned the now-extinct "stovepipe" cut of Gap (NYSE:GPS) jeans and my seemingly endless quest to find a similarly suitable fit -- whoever the maker might be. A helpful retail analyst whose name and email I have, unfortunately, forgotten offered countless suggestions, but nothing worked.

I'm here to tell her I found 'em, entirely by accident, at Target (NYSE:TGT) in the company's Mossimo collection. OK -- well, they didn't have exactly the waist size I wanted, but it was as close to perfect as I probably deserve. Bravo, Target: You have a jeans customer for as long as you make 'em. Especially, it seems, following yesterday's announcement of the "Target to a 'T'" program, which allows Target customers to order a limited selection of made-to-order clothing.

Target as tailor? This isn't the first foray of a megacompany into online customized goods. Nike (NYSE:NKE), for example, has a number of personalization options available through its Nike iD website. Lands' End is another that springs quickly to mind.

The bigger question, perhaps, is whether this is a good use of Target's time and energy. From my perspective, it's hard to fault the company's cautious foray into one-on-one product production. It's chosen three articles of clothing purchased in large numbers by people who are frequently quite particular about them: women's jeans and men's shirts and chinos. The company has already been doing online fulfillment for a while.

The benefit to the company, meanwhile, is crystal clear. Cherokee pants are currently going for less than $15 on Target's website. Your custom version will run $35. Women's jeans pop from $25 to $35. And the ticker on men's Merona shirts jumps from about $20 to $45 apiece. All in all, those are pretty good prices for custom apparel -- and the add-on margins must be enticing for Target managers. It's an experiment worth trying.

When they add men's Mossimo jeans to the list of available articles, I might keep them in business myself.

Fool contributor Dave Marino-Nachison doesn't own any of the companies in this story.