For warmth, elegance and durability…I choose cashmere. Many women find wool, angora or some other animal fibers irritating to the skin…yet most can wear 100% cashmere with no problem.
The appeal of cashmere is in its incredible softness. We feel beautiful in cashmere because it feels so good to wear it. Cashmere comes from the soft undercoat of goats bred to produce wool. It requires the fibers from more than two goats (the goats aren't harmed to harvest the 'wool') to make a single two=ply sweater. Garments made from high-quality cashmere can be up to eight times warmer than sheep's wool. It's not surprising that cashmere is widely considered a luxury fabric.
Cashmere sweaters can be very expensive. I understand that clothing budgets often need to include lots of practical pieces and cashmere can seem like a splurge.
So, before you go out and buy an inexpensive alternative to 100% cashmere…l want to share where I’ve found some really great quality cashmere sweaters that are easier on the budget.
TJ Maxx and Marshalls- especially around the holidays, these retailers carry a nice selection of cashmere sweaters. They are usually folded on a Gift Ideas-type table near the front of the store since they make great gifts. These sweaters are well priced and usually good quality, most often $59-$89.
Department Stores- In the U.S., head to your nearest Nordstrom, Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Dillards, etc. In Europe, visit Galleries Lafayette, Printemps, Marks & Spencer, El Cortes Ingles or the equivalent. You'll find big holiday displays of cashmere. There will most often be several classic styles offered at an approachable price point. Usually right around $100…sometimes even lower, especially if you shop during pre-season sales.
Consignment Shops- Spend some time culling the racks of a high-end resale shop. These stores can be treasure troves of donated cashmere. Check for moth holes and stains. If the garment looks and feels good…grab it! I love giving clothing a second life… a bonus for the environment and your wallet.
Request Cashmere- My father loves to give gifts. He's known to steer clear of what's on the wish list and instead prefers to give something he selects personally. Many years ago, he began the tradition of giving me a cashmere sweater for my December birthday. When I opened the first one, I didn’t know how much I would love owning and wearing cashmere. I have since come to eagerly anticipate the box that arrives in the mail just before my birthday. Maybe you have someone in your life who would be thrilled to help you build a cashmere collection:-)
And...I also have an incredible cashmere throw. It was a Christmas present from my husband many (maybe 10) years ago. I hadn't asked for it. When I opened it, I wasn't even sure if I would use it. Silly me. I can say now that it is one of THE BEST GIFTS I've ever received! I use it every day. All year long. Try to find someone wonderful who wants to buy you cashmere:-)
Or start smaller with a pair of cashmere socks, a scarf or cashmere lined gloves. All will feel like a snuggly hug on a cold day.
I'm currently wishing for a temperature change in my town. We are experiencing a beautiful, but very warm fall...not so good for tall boots and cashmere sweaters. I guess I'd better be careful what I wish for...it will be snowing soon!
Have a favorite cashmere story? I'd love to hear it...please share it below.
Thanks for reading.
Hello, I'm Kristen.
As a personal stylist,