I have gotten a lot of requests of late for my favorite cashmere sweater designers (and a lot of women complaining about ones that they own that don’t hold up and pill, etc.) I’m trying to offer some price points, but I will be honest, a good cashmere sweater is an investment. I think we’ve gotten used to buying too much too often. That said there are some expensive cashmere sweaters out there that do not hold up well. Also I think durability can depend upon the sweater itself and the weave and mill where it was produced. If I have left a company out, it might be because I don’t like their offerings. For instance, J. Crew makes decent inexpensive cashmere, but what they have now doesn’t excite me. Also, Prada cashmere is always a good idea, but I can’t find any online worth posting. Also, please feel free to comment and share your faves/never agains. My favorites? (images below list)
- Khaite. I have one Khaite sweater, the Marlon (like the walnut colored turtleneck below). Khaite sweaters are expensive (why I have one), but the weave on the expensive ones is super thick and no pilling. Worth the investment. And because they continue to produce the same silhouettes, I don’t feel they are trendy. Modern? Yes. Trendy? No. Hand-me-down quality.
- Celine. I bought the Khaite sweater last year, and a Celine gray v-neck this year. Expensive? Yep. But the quality is also superb. A medium weight. The style is timeless. Hand-me-down sweater.
- Allude. These are a step down in the price point. I have a gray crewneck that has held up really well that I bought on Matches. See their selection here. I choose one, that is pricier, from Net-a-Porter below. I will admit I am not in love with the shapes this year. Not sure if they are hand-me-down, but definitely long-term.
- Uniqlo. I do not like fast fashion, however, when something from a big retailer is classic and it lasts, I’m all for it. I have a Uniqlo cashmere crewneck in navy and black. I’ve had them for years. Nominal pilling. They’re now on sale.
- Vince. I do think Vince cashmere is the best bang for your buck. The quality is great (my daughter asked for a men’s Vince sweater for Christmas that was on sale), and they hold up. Sadly, there aren’t a lot of styles right now, but this is my medium-range go-to.
- Nili Lotan. I haven’t bought a Nili sweater in a couple of years, but the ones I do have have held up considerably well. They are not inexpensive, but the designs are super classic. A reader complained her’s pilled, so this is where I wonder if it was the specific sweater, or the mills changed.
Finally–take care of the cashmere you have! Wash them by hand with The Laundress wool and cashmere shampoo, then block them out (which means be sure they are in the shape they are supposed to be, no wrinkles) and lay them on a towel to dry. Then I like the cheap drugstore sweater combs (like these) to de-fuzz. (I find the more expensive the comb, the worse it performs.)
top image courtesy Khaite