When the weather outside is frightful, there's nothing more delightful than bundling up in a softy, cozy sweater. You can find sweaters made from all kinds of materials - dense wool, fluffy mohair, trendy acrylics - but when it comes to softness and warmth, you can't beat cashmere. Cashmere is luxurious to touch, lightweight to wear, and can be warmer than even your chunkiest wool sweater. Pick a versatile style and care for it properly, and your cashmere sweater can last you through many a crisp fall day and cold winter night.
If you're looking for a cashmere sweater that can do it all, we highly recommend The Essential $75 Cashmere Sweater from Naadam. With a classic crew neck style and a fit that's not too loose and not too tight, this sweater is the perfect building block for your winter wardrobe. And the company is conscientious; they treat their animals and workers ethically and strive for sustainability. Keep reading for our other favorites and check out our buying guide for some helpful tips on how to choose a cashmere sweater when shopping online!
While wool comes from sheep, cashmere is a fiber that comes from goats. Similarly to wool, it's often used to make clothing items like sweaters, scarves, and shawls.
Cashmere goats live primarily in Mongolia and China, where the weather is harsh and cold. To keep themselves warm, the goats grow a protective double-layer fleece coat. Cashmere fibers are derived from the goats’ undercoat, which consists of ultra-fine hairs that provide insulation.
Cashmere is prized for its unique properties. Because it’s made up of very fine fibers, it’s super soft and not itchy. It’s light but retains its shape well. And although it’s soft and light, it can be up to eight times warmer than sheep’s wool.
With cashmere sweaters, quality is important. High-quality cashmere is luxuriously soft, supremely warm, and considerably durable. On the other hand, low-quality cashmere can be rough, itchy, and prone to holes and constant pilling. Here are some things to look for to help you choose a solid, long-lasting cashmere sweater.
Whether you want a 100% cashmere sweater or a cashmere blend, it’s important to look at the composition so you know what you’re getting. To determine the sweater’s composition, look in the product’s description, product details, or contents.
If a sweater is pure cashmere, it should state “100% cashmere.” Some brands will also list where the cashmere is from.
The quality of 100-percent cashmere sweaters can vary depending on the quality of the yarn, but overall, these sweaters will retain all of the properties that make cashmere highly valued. They will be super soft, warm, durable, and light.
If a sweater is made from a cashmere blend, it should break down the composition into percentages, like “80% cashmere, 20% wool.” Cashmere is often blended with silk, wool, or cotton, which will give the finished garment some of the properties of both.
A cashmere blend will not be as soft or warm as 100-percent cashmere but may be stronger, easier to care for, or better at retaining color. When purchasing a cashmere-blend sweater, avoid anything below 20 percent cashmere. At low amounts, there will not be enough of the fiber for the garment to retain cashmere’s unique properties.
Because cashmere is such a fine fiber, it can be prone to getting holes. To avoid this, look for a densely knitted sweater
One factor that contributes to cashmere’s durability is the ply of the yarn. Single-ply yarn consists of one thread of cashmere fiber. Two-ply yarn consists of two threads twisted together, and so on. Look for a sweater that’s two-ply or higher to ensure that the sweater can withstand wash and wear.
Brands don’t always specify the ply, so you may need to check out the reviews or contact the manufacturer to obtain this information.
In addition to the ply of the yarn, the way the yarn is knitted together can affect the warmth and durability of the sweater. A densely knitted sweater is solid and soft. You should not be able to see the individual stitches unless you look very closely.
On the other hand, a loosely knitted sweater will be lighter and may be somewhat see-through. You’ll be able to see the individual stitches from farther away and they may contribute to the overall texture of the sweater. A looser knit is generally more prone to snagging or holes because there’s more space between the individual threads.
If you like the look and feel of a looser knit, just be aware that it may require more intensive care. You could also look for a sweater in the same style but a stronger material, like cotton or acrylic.
Cashmere sweaters can vary in quality, depending on the size and length of the original cashmere fibers used to make the yarn. While cashmere is broken down into A, B and C grades of quality, you likely won’t find this information listed unless you’re buying from a company that specializes in cashmere.
When browsing retailers, there are a number of ways to determine the quality of the cashmere. Good cashmere should be soft and able to retain its original shape when stretched. It should not shed or have a lot of fuzz; if it does, this indicates that it’s made from shorter fibers which are less durable and more likely to pill.
Of course, when shopping online these things are difficult to determine yourself. Take a look at the reviews to get insight from buyers and look for information about the sweater’s feel, stretch, and texture.
A cashmere sweater is a great investment piece. While they require a higher level of care, they can last through many seasons. Because of this, we recommend picking a versatile style that you’ll love for years to come.
The neckline of the sweater is a big part of the look, ranging from low V-necks to high turtlenecks. A V-neck sweater is a classic look that shows off the collarbones. Because it shows a bit more skin, it’s not as warm as other necklines. V-necks may be more difficult to layer, but look great on their own.
A crew neck sweater is an extremely versatile and universally flattering style. It can be easily paired with many other items of clothing.
A turtleneck sweater is the warmest, with fabric that can come up to the middle of the neck or as high as the chin. Turtlenecks can range from classic rollover styles to more modern mock necks and cowl necks. Generally, classic styles are easier to layer, while mock and cowl necks work best as the top layer or on their own.
The type of fit will determine how the sweater can be layered and will affect the overall aesthetic. A looser fit will work best as a top layer, while a tighter fit will work great underneath other clothing.
The fit can also affect the style of the sweater. In general, looser fits tend to look more casual, comfy, and relaxed. Depending on neckline, length, and other details, loose fits can also read as modern or gender-neutral.
Fitted sweaters tend to look more professional, with cleaner lines and less drape. Depending on the other details, they can read as preppy, feminine, or elegant.
Our top 10 cashmere sweaters are all classics in their own way. Whether you like your sweaters fitted or oversized, crew neck or turtleneck, cropped or long, we hope you find the perfect addition to your winter wardrobe! All of our choices are 100-percent cashmere, too, for the ultimate comfort and warmth.
The Group by Babaton
The Essential $75 Cashmere Sweater
Cashmere Cropped Sweater
Cashmere V-Neck Boyfriend Sweater
Margaret Mock Neck Cashmere Sweater
So Low So High Cashmere Sweater
Cashmere V-Neck Sweater
Pilcro Alani Cashmere Mock Neck Sweater
Cashmere Turtleneck Sweater
Crew Neck Sweater
Luxe Cashmere Hoodie
A Cashmere Sweater With a Conscience
A Relaxed Sweater With a Feminine Touch
A V-Neck Sweater for Night or Day
A Mock Neck Sweater With Thick Ribbing
A Slouchy Sweater for a Casual Vibe
A V-Neck Sweater With a Slight Crop
A Sophisticated Sweater With Exposed Seams
A Classic Minimal Turtleneck Sweater
A Fitted Sweater With Cable Knit Details
The Ultimate Loungewear Hoodie
|Fit||Standard||Cropped, slightly oversized||Oversized||Relaxed||Cropped, oversized||Cropped, relaxed||Relaxed||Standard||Fitted||Relaxed|
|Neckline||Crew neck||Wide scoop||V-neck||Mock neck||Turtleneck||V-neck||Mock neck||Turtleneck||Crew||Hoodie|
|Available sizes||XXS-XXL||XS-XL||3XS-3XL||XS-L||XS-XL||XXS-3XL||XXS-XL standard, XXS-XL petite, 1X-3X plus||XXS-XXL||S-XL||2XS-L|
|Fit||Cropped, slightly oversized|
|Available sizes||XXS-XL standard, XXS-XL petite, 1X-3X plus|
It’s important to take good care of your cashmere sweater to ensure that it will last for years to come. Here are some tips on how to wash and store your sweater. When it comes time to wash your sweater, make sure to follow the care instructions on the label.
Some cashmere sweaters are dry clean only. Others should be washed on the gentle cycle or hand washed. You should always use cool water when washing cashmere and turn the sweater inside out. Lay the sweater flat to dry and gently reshape.
Pilling is inevitable, but with high-quality cashmere, it will only happen for the first few washes. To remove pills, use a sweater comb, de-pilling stone, or fabric shaver. Never hang your cashmere sweater. This will cause it to stretch out.
Instead, fold it. If you don’t plan to wear your sweater for a few months, make sure to protect it from moths by storing it in an airtight bag with cedar balls.
When it's cold outside, layers are your best friend. Check out our other favorite items to add some flair to your winter outfits.
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