You must have read a billion articles on classic pieces to buy, this is the ultimate list of clothing, bla bla bla.
I myself, love reading those lists, but ultimately, there are very few items that really stand the test of time through washes and trends. For me, and for many women living in colder temperatures, it is the….
Classic Cashmere Sweater
(Shop the Look but I made that Toronto Grid scarf myself here)
Now whether you prefer a crew-neck, v-neck, a boyfriend cut, or a classic slim but not tight sweater, is up for debate.
But the one thing that stays in everyone’s closets (those who live in colder temperatures anyway), is a cashmere sweater. It lasts for years, always feels and looks luxurious and beats any other natural fibre hands down for sweaters.
Wool is too itchy, and cotton isn’t warm enough.
I myself prefer a v-neck cashmere sweater that is a slim-fit (at least in the arms and not baggy) but not skintight.
PRICE DOES MEAN QUALITY
I also like thick, soft, luxurious cashmere which costs $$.
This is sort of the one area where the more you pay, the better quality you get because what you want are the really soft, downy hairs to weave the cashmere from, not the coarse outer ones.
Every fibre from this cashmere coat can technically be called “cashmere” but as with anything, there are different grades of cashmere depending on what you want to pay.
Good cashmere generally starts around $75 – $150 with the super, ultra luxurious cashmere going upwards to $1500 (gack!!).
You can find fast fashion cashmere at stores like H&M but it is generally in the low-range (I have tried it on in stores and found it itches against my very sensitive eczema-ridden skin, but other friends have found it perfectly fine).
Retailers like Grana make pretty decent cashmere (here’s my review) that can be considered mid-range cashmere, or surprisingly, Banana Republic has made leaps and bounds in its cashmere but you can never ever really find it on sale unless it’s on the sale rack and is a very unusual colour (not a neutral); they’ve really increased the quality from when they first starting retailing it.
I remember trying their cashmere on in-store and was disappointed. I went back recently, and didn’t feel a single itch on my skin.
Uniqlo has cashmere for under $100 as well, although as we don’t have a retailer here I cannot speak to that retailer’s quality.
BUY IT IN ANY SIZE
With cashmere, I snap it up in any size from Small to Extra-Large because as long as it is soft and comfortable, it is a rare find (especially depending on your budget).
The super large cashmere sweaters are perfect for lounging around at home, and after 5 years of careful hand washing, they have inevitably shrunk to fit me as a more slim-cut look. Win-Win I say.
I wear cashmere even to go to sleep in winter! I put on my Grana cashmere jogging pants (wearing them as we speak), and layer a cashmere sweater over my Eberjey pyjama sleepshirts which are made of the softest cotton.
I am cosy and snug as a bug in a rug during winter.
HOW TO SCORE GREAT CASHMERE ON THE CHEAP
I have also successfully found really gorgeous cashmere pieces in consignment for very reasonable prices like this pretty cashmere v-neck Brunello Cucinelli sweater that retails for 6X its resale price tag, or this classic ivory v-neck.
If you’re super patient, you can even find cashmere in thrift shops but it may take a lot of combing through the racks.
That’s how I found this stunning dandelion-coloured cashmere v-neck at Banana Republic on a deep discount because they were getting rid of the colour, which incidentally is this year’s “It Colour”. LOL.
I even picked up a dress in the same gorgeous shade: