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Brunello Cucinelli

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On Cashmere

I am a cashmere addict. I love sweaters in general, and my favorite part of fall/winter is feeling cozy in a warm, super comfortable knit. And my warm fabric? Cashmere. Over the years I’ve amassed a slightly shameful collection of cashmere items…I buy at least a few per spring/fall season and can’t resist fingering the cashmere offerings from any clothing store I happen to be in.

Cashmere-2

Some of my favorites…and disappointments

The last few years however, I’ve noticed an unfortunate decline in the quality of cashmere from some of my favorite former main stays. Happily though, I’ve also found some great, lasting items…and some from really affordable designers.

Here are some of my favorite cashmere resources, as well as my nominations for best value, best overall, and worst in cashmere.

Best value: Old Navy/Gap, 360 Sweater

Gap/Old Navy: I list these two brands even though it seems that both have discontinued stocking 100% cashmere items. I wonder if it’s because there wasn’t demand (this seems unlikely) or if they were no longer to meet their quality standards at a certain price? It’s a shame because one of my most durable cashmere items is actually from Old Navy – a gray hoodie that I’ve never treated very preciously, yet it’s survived very well over the years. The zipper is higher quality that a similar J.Crew hoodie I tried out this year for something like 4X the price.

Edited to add that a wonderful reader, Poupak notified me that Gap is still stocking cashmere! I still need to get to the stores to take look but my pick is this cashmere hoodie.

360 Sweater: One of my favorite workhorse cashmere sweaters is from 360 Sweater – a deep v-neck boyfriend style called the Luci. I bought it on a whim and probably wear it every week. It’s gotten softer with wear, and hasn’t suffered from excessive pilling at all. This was my first piece from 360 Sweater and I wouldn’t hesitate to get more. I was happy to find this brand as I always find trying out new contemporary brands a bit of a crapshoot in terms of quality. Continue Reading