As a true cashmere addict, I’m always on the lookout for new go-to brands of my favorite material. So this season, I decided to branch out and try some new cashmere items. There had been two companies in particular which were on my radar for awhile – Brora and Everlane, and I tried out a few items from each. Here were my experiences!
First up – Brora.
I’d heard about Brora from my UK friends for some time now, and how the brand was a must try for a cashmere fanatic like myself. I wasn’t able to find it anywhere in the Bay Area however, and looking for the shop completely slipped my mind the last few times I was in London. So, I was happy to discover recently that Brora had a USA site, and happily browsed through. In the end, I narrowed down my favorites to a few items, including the brand’s famous cropped cashmere cardigan, and a shearling vest.
Cashmere Cropped Cardigan – this is a classic item from Brora, and one that I’d been wanting for a while. I liked this cardigan a lot…especially after putting it on. I have to admit that when I first pulled it out, my mother asked me if I had accidentally purchased a kid’s size. After being used to wearing mostly looser knits, this cardigan looks small. But once I put it on, I loved it. The cropped length is perfect for wearing over dresses, and hits at flattering spot on the waist. Now I actually want more of these, in other colors.
You can also see this cardigan on some excellent models – Nigella and Emma! – and see where it hits them nicely on the waist.
The quality is really super on the cardigan. The cashmere is wonderfully soft, and also a good mid weight (lighter than my Chanel sweaters, which are super plush, but thicker than Vince, 360 Cashmere, etc). The buttons are a lovely and thick mother of pearl, and each button is sewed on securely with lots of thread. I may sound like I’m nitpicking, but a few of my latest J.Crew cardigans had their buttons fall off after a few washes. Also, there’s a nice grosgrain ribbon trim.
And speaking of washing – after a few wears, I decided to gently wash my cardigan in my washing machine (yes, I know), and it turned out great. Just needed a quick iron, and good as new. Also – I took a size up in this cardigan (I ended up with a UK 10), as I had the feeling that it ran quite small – and I thought the fit was perfect.
I also decided to try out a non cashmere item, and found this great shearling vest! A shearling vest has been on my list for a while, and my original pick, this Iris and Ink version, sold out in my size quite quickly.
The Brora version is really plush, and fully reversible to suede. I also appreciated the longer length – I think it looks better for my torso. I’ve been wearing this vest both alone, and under other jackets/coats. I’m in casual clothes most days now, and I feel like this vest dresses things up a bit.
Next up for review – Everlane (that’s a referral link for me, by the way – if you sign up, thank you!).
One of my worn pairs of shoes right now are Everlane’s Street Shoe in grey, so I was quite excited to try out the brand’s cashmere. My favored sweater silhouette is usually the v-neck – I have broad shoulders, so v-necks tend to be the most flattering on me. Since Everlane’s cashmere v necks were quite well priced at $125, I decided to stock up and get two in basic colors, gray and black.
After a few months of wearing, my verdict? I think the best way for me to describe my thoughts on Everlane cashmere is, “very good, especially for the price.” I’m quite content with both of my sweaters – they seem quite sturdy and well made, aren’t itchy, and were inexpensive enough that I don’t have to be particularly precious about them. Yes I’ve had better cashmere…but at way higher price points. I’d equate the quality to similar as Vince, Theory, and the like. As for the style, I personally prefer a deeper v neck in my sweaters, but the neckline on Everlane’s version was nice as well, and certainly very work appropriate.
Also, I’d note that for some reason, I’ve found that my black cashmere sweater was noticeably softer than the gray (you can see the gray on me in this post). I’ve found this in some other brands (though not the Brora), and I wonder if to get that heather gray, mills have to mix in some rougher yarn? Anyway – if you’re looking for very soft cashmere and are quite sensitive to being itchy – I might advise to stick with black (I haven’t tried any of the other colors).
After washing? Both sweaters did fine being washed in my machine in a delicates bag, and then being air dried. There was no shrinkage, and after a quick iron, both looked as good as new!
I hope this review helped some of you who may have been considering these two brands. I’d love to hear your experiences with them (and any other cashmere brands) as well!