When it comes to warm, cozy outerwear for men, there's nothing quite like a cashmere sweater. They're luxuriously soft and supremely cozy. They're lightweight enough for multiple seasons. They're versatile - pair a cashmere cardigan with jeans and a tee for a casual weekend look or layer a v-neck under a blazer for a fancy dinner. And when cared for properly, they can be part of your wardrobe for years to come.
For a stylish men's sweater in a classic cut, our top pick is Everlane's Cashmere V-Neck. It comes in neutral colors with a slim silhouette, making it easy to pair with anything in your closet. The v-neck adds more interest than a traditional crew neck and can be dressed up or down. Find the rest of our picks below and check out our buying guide for tips and tricks on how to choose the best cashmere sweater.
Cashmere is a fiber that's often used to make scarves and sweaters, and is prized for its warmth and softness. It gets its name from cashmere goats, who live primarily in the mountainous regions of Mongolia and China. Due to the harsh weather in these areas, the goats grow a protective double-layer fleece coat to keep themselves warm.
The undercoat consists of ultra-fine hairs that provide exceptional insulation. When the goats are shorn, this undercoat is used to make cashmere fiber. Cashmere is lightweight but very warm - up to eight times warmer than sheep’s wool! And due to the ultra-fine hairs, it’s super soft. It also holds its shape well.
When choosing a men's cashmere sweater, there are a few things to keep in mind. The composition of the sweater will affect its feel and warmth, while the style will determine its versatility.
When it comes to warmth, softness, and durability, a 100% cashmere sweater will have different properties than a cashmere blend. Take a look at the sweater’s composition before you buy, so you know what to expect.
The quality of cashmere can vary depending on the yarn. However, 100% cashmere is generally super soft, extremely warm, durable, and lightweight. Look for “100% cashmere” in the product’s description. If you buy from a manufacturer that specializes in cashmere, they may also include what region the wool comes from.
Cashmere is sometimes blended with other materials to create a fabric with the best properties of both. The most common blends are cotton, silk, and wool. Cashmere blends typically aren’t as soft or warm as 100% cashmere, but they may be lighter, thicker, hold their shape better, or easier to care for.
Avoid blends that contain less than 20% cashmere. At amounts that low, there isn’t enough cashmere in fabric to make a difference in softness or warmth.
The way the sweater is knit will affect its warmth, durability, and look. For cashmere sweaters, the most common styles are flat knit, ribbed knit, and cable knit.
A flat-knit sweater has an even surface with stitches that are all the same size and shape. With flat-knit cashmere, look for a sweater that’s solid and not see-through. This will ensure that the material is dense enough to be warm and durable.
Flat knit sweaters look polished and professional, but can also be dressed down depending on the outfit. If the sweater is more loosely knitted, you may be able to see the individual stitches and the fabric will appear less solid.
A loosely knitted sweater will be more prone to wear and tear, as the stitches can more easily get snagged. If you like a looser knit style, it may be better to look for a sweater made from a stronger material, like wool, cotton, or acrylic.
Ribbed sweaters have a ribbed texture that can range from narrow to very thick. While ribbing is typically used on cuffs and hems you can also find sweaters that use this knitting style across the entire garment.
Ribbing creates a stretchier fabric. It also adds texture, thickness, and visual interest. Ribbed sweaters tend to look and feel more casual and cozy than their flat knit counterparts.
Cable knit is a style of knitting that looks like multiple strands being twisted together (like cables), running vertically up the sweater. This is a classic look that evokes countrysides and fishermen. Cable knit can be thicker than flat knit, so it may be warmer.
It also adds texture and visual interest to what may otherwise be a plain sweater. Cable knit tends to veer casual or preppy, best for keeping warm on weekends, or with friends and family.
A high-quality cashmere sweater is an investment piece that can last many years. Rather than choosing a trendy piece that you might get tired of, pick a versatile style that can go with multiple outfits.
The neckline of a sweater is important - it frames your face and sets the tone for the entire look. Crew necks are the most common. They’re universally flattering and easy to pair with other tops. V-necks are slightly more adventurous and show a bit more skin. They add visual interest to traditional sweater shapes and are still easy to layer.
Turtlenecks are more in-your-face. With fabric that covers your neck, they pack a visual punch and also keep you warm. Turtlenecks can look great layered with other tops, but it may take more work to get the look right.
If you’re looking for something super comfortable, the half-zip is a classic. This style usually consists of a slight mock neck with a zipper that comes partway down the chest. Beloved by dads everywhere, this style is casual and adjustable.
The fit of the sweater will have a large impact on its aesthetic. A typical men’s cashmere sweater is cut slim, skimming the body without looking too fitted. It hits at the hips, with sleeves ending at the wrists. This look is effortlessly stylish and polished.
Another great style for men is the cardigan. Cardigans are ideal for layering since they’re open at the front. For a casual look, opt for a looser cardigan in a textured or chunkier knit. For something more professional, choose a more fitted cardigan in a flat, simple knit.
Sweater vests can be a hard look to pull off, but they’re a practical way to add warmth to your body without bulk in the arms. Look for a fit that’s not too tight; a looser vest will look more modern. To avoid the grandpa look, try wearing it over trendier items, like a patterned shirt, a flannel, or even a hoodie.
Cashmere is classified as A, B, or C grade based on its quality, which depends on the size and length of the fibers used to make the yarn. However, you’re unlikely to see this information unless you’re purchasing from a manufacturer that specializes in cashmere.
To help determine the quality of a sweater, take a look at the reviews for clues about its feel, stretch, and texture. Good cashmere is soft and not itchy. It retains its original shape when stretched. It shouldn’t be too fuzzy or shed - if so, it’s likely made from lower-quality cashmere that may pill or get holes.
Here are our favorite men's cashmere sweaters, including casual zip-ups, chic turtlenecks, and even a sweater vest!
Polo Ralph Lauren
The Cashmere V-Neck
Fine Gauge Cashmere Crewneck Sweater
Cable-Knit Cashmere Sweater
Cashmere Quarter-Zip Sweater
Cashmere V-Neck Sweater
Plush Cashmere Cardigan
V-Neck Cashmere Sweater Vest
Half Zip Mock-Neck Cashmere Sweater
An Easy-to-Care-for Basic in a Flattering Cut
A Classic Crew Neck for Any Wardrobe
Stay Cozy in a Turtleneck
Add Textural Interest With This Cable-Knit Sweater
A Cozy Cashmere Blend Cardigan
A Casual Quarter-Zip Sweater for All Seasons
A Cashmere Sweater You Can Monogram
A Cashmere Cardigan With Modern Details
A Timeless Vest for Easy Layering
A Cozy Half-Zip to Keep You Warm
|Material||Body: 100% cashmere; trimmings: 90% cashmere, 9% nylon, 1% elastane||100% cashmere||Cashmere||100% cashmere||Cashmere, wool||100% cashmere||100% cashmere||100% cashmere||100% cashmere||100% cashmere|
|Style||V-neck||Crew neck||Turtleneck||Crew neck||Cardigan||Half-zip||V-neck||Cardigan||Vest||Half-zip|
|Material||Body: 100% cashmere; trimmings: 90% cashmere, 9% nylon, 1% elastane|
If you take proper care of your cashmere sweater, it can last through many seasons. Most importantly, pay attention to the care instructions on the label. Some cashmere sweaters need to be dry cleaned; others should be hand washed or washed on gentle. Turn the sweater inside out when washing and use only cool water.
Don’t put your sweater in the dryer. Instead, lay it flat to dry and gently reshape. Most cashmere sweaters will pill at the beginning, but don't worry! This is normal and should stop after the first few washes. You can remove pills using a sweater comb, de-pilling stone, or fabric shaver.
When storing your cashmere sweater, fold it rather than hanging it - hanging sweaters of any material will cause them to stretch out. In the warmer months, store your cashmere sweater in an airtight bag with cedar balls to protect it from moths.
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