A soft-as-clouds cashmere sweater is a great staple for the winter months. But where do you find the best cashmere sweaters which will keep you warm without breaking the bank?
Below you will find some of the best cashmere sweaters in stores now – no matter what your budget, and whether you are choosing as a treat for yourself or a gift for someone else.
While cashmere does, understandably, have a reputation for being a luxury material with a price tag to match, there are actually plenty of stylish AND affordable options available.
We asked for recommendations from the 40+ Style Community on where to shop for the best cashmere sweaters and below are the results, along with a few of our own favorites.
Best cashmere sweaters – What is cashmere?
First of all, what is cashmere, and why does it keep you so warm?
If you’ve worn or touched cashmere, you know how soft it feels against your skin.
That’s because its made from the super-soft fibers farmed from cashmere goats.
Cashmere comes from only the soft layer underneath a goat’s outer coat.
When the weather gets warmer and goats shed their coats, cashmere producers comb out the fibers which are then spun to they can be made into sweaters.
It will take three to four goats to make just one sweater, which explains why the price of cashmere can be high.
Why opt for a cashmere sweater?
Here some of the advantages of choosing cashmere as your fabric of choice for your winter sweater:
1. Quality and longevity
Cashmere is considered one of the most luxurious of natural fibers. It is durable and soft and, when it’s well taken care of, can last you for a very long time.
Kim (above) looks beautiful in her cobalt blue knitwear, which she teams with white booties.
Want the warmth but not the bulk? Cashmere is a great choice. It has insulating properties so you don’t need lots of layers to stay warm.
Karen (above) opts for a lightweight sweater with her denim maxi skirt.
3. It’s warmer
Did you know cashmere can be seven to eight times warmer than wool, making it a great investment for the winter months.
Bev (above) shows that you can still wear pale colors during the cooler months.
4. The feel against your skin
This has to be one of the biggest reasons for choosing cashmere. There is nothing like the silky feel of cashmere against your skin.
Oxana (above) wears all neutrals and adds a pop of color with her shoes.
5. Available in different colors and patterns
While it does come in natural colors of white, gray and brown, it is also easy to dye so you can get cashmere in just about any shade or pattern you want.
Judith (above) looks wonderful in a leopard print sweater and matching shoes.
6. Natural and breathable
Because it is a natural fabric, cashmere is breathable, making it comfortable in both winter and summer weather.
If you want to know more about fabrics you enjoy this article on the properties of fabric.
Rachel (above) combines green with leopard print and white to fabulous effect.
You may also agree with what I have to say here in this article on why I have a problem wearing synthetic materials.
7. A gift
I always think cashmere makes a fantastic gift, particularly for Christmas. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t appreciate receiving a cashmere sweater.
For more gift ideas look at the best gifts for women over 40.
8. To travel in or for lounging at home
A cozy cashmere wrap or hoodie is a great option to travel in as it will keep you snug on the plane or train (if you’re able to travel right now). Otherwise, cashmere is also a wonderful option for lounging at home.
For more ideas, see our article on stylish travel clothes for women.
How to select the best cashmere sweaters
Even though all cashmere has to come from the cashmere goat, not all cashmere is of the same quality.
Kylie (above) shows how you could wear your sweater with a maxi skirt to give your summer skirts extra longevity as the weather cools down.
Cashmere is graded A,B or C, with A grade cashmere being the finest and C grade being the coarsest.
Unfortunately, it generally won’t say what grade it is on the label. Your best option is to feel it.
Is it 100% cashmere?
If you want a pure cashmere sweater, then check it is 100% cashmere. It it’s a blend, the percentage of cashmere will be stated.
However, don’t discount the option of buying a blend as these can sometimes last longer as they are not as delicate as pure cashmere.
Don’t be afraid to spend more than you usually would on a sweater. Cashmere is something you will keep in your closet forever.
Will it pile?
Whether you’re shopping in-store or online, check the feel of the fabric.
Make sure it feels soft, rub your hand over it and try to get a feel about whether it will pile, give it a little stretch and make sure it goes back into shape.
What is the ply?
See if the label tells you if it is one-ply or two-ply.
Two-ply is likely to last for longer. When it’s 2-ply, two threads of yarn are twisted together to give a more resistant knit.
With single-ply cashmere only single thread is used and holes may develop more easily.
Usually the higher the ply the more tightly knit the sweater is. If the ply is not mentioned on the label check how tightly knit the sweater is which will give you a good indication.
The thicker it is, the more expensive
This one is obvious, but the thicker your sweater is, the pricier it is likely to be because plain styles such as a simple v-neck take less cashmere than a cable-knit, for example.
Classic cashmere sweater styles to look out for
If you want to make sure you get many seasons out of your cashmere sweater, you may want to opt for a very classic style which definitely won’t date.
Below are the most timeless styles to look for.
The best cashmere sweaters – a V-neck
A v-neck style is very flattering and will never go out of style.
Sharon (above) teams the classic feel of a v-neck with on-trend puff sleeves.
Cashmere round neck sweater
A round neck is another classic option to choose.
Abi (above) mixes casual and formal to create a beautiful outfit.
Cashmere turtleneck sweater
A turtleneck is a versatile sweater which is a good addition to your closet for transitional weather.
You can pop a turtle neck under a dress and wear with boots to give you some extra warmth.
Abi (above) wears her camel turtleneck with ripped jeans and classic white sneakers.
A cardigan is always a great option to stay cozy in cooler months, and a wrap style is very flattering.
Annette (above) looks beautiful in navy and white.
Our readers’ recommendations for the best cashmere sweaters
So, where should you shop for your cashmere. Below are some of the favorite brands for cashmere sweaters, as chosen by 40+ readers:
Nordstrom cashmere sweaters
Nordstrom Signature is a good go-to for cashmere.
A cashmere sweater is something that should live in your closet – and on you – for years to come, so I think choosing a classic style is important.
I love the this open front cardigan and I can see it transcending seasons.
Another brand you’ll find at Nordstrom, Halogen is also well recommended.
It’s an exclusive brand to Nordstrom and often has good basics.
Halogen pieces are perfect to wear during cold months as you can layer over blouses or knitwear, depending on the temperature.
The Halogen cardigan below is a blend of wool and cashmere so should have extra longevity.
Uniqlo is a good option for timeless, quality basics that won’t date and won’t break the bank. Uniqlo cashmere feels good to wear and the sweaters come in a wide range of colors – so you could treat yourself to a new one each year.
Eileen Fisher is renowned for creating classic pieces which are stylish but won’t go out of style and the brand’s cashmere is no exception. You could wear this cardigan with any tops and pair it with leggings or skinny jeans.
Have you thought about Amazon for your cashmere? There are a number of well-reviewed brands including Jennie Liu. There’s a choice of 20 colors and reviewers say they were impressed by the quality.
Vince is a favorite for luxurious basics which all go well together.
This sweater below comes in a beautiful ginger shade which would look lovely with darker denim for winter or with white jeans as the weather starts to warm up again. Vince cashmere was recommended to me as it doesn’t pile.
I love the fact this sweater (below) features a playful pattern. You’ll find a good choice or colors and prints if you’re looking for a cashmere sweater which is a little bit different.
Another staple of the British high street, John Lewis has a wide range of cashmere in neutrals, brights, and patterns. I love this cashmere wrap jumper which would look fabulous with wide-legged pants.
Marks & Spencer
Marks & Spencer is renowned as being one of the places on the high street to go for classic design. This season, you’ll find plain colors as well as animal prints.
Polo Ralph Lauren
Polo Ralph Lauren‘s cable-knit sweaters are immediately recognizable, and they go with everything from jeans to pleated skirts.
A turtle neck like this one from J.Crew will be a good addition to your fall wardrobe.
This turtleneck from Everlane (below) comes in a choice of soft neutrals and pastels. It has a slightly cropped, oversized fit, which makes it a good option for layering over a long, white shirt, or for wearing with wide-legged pants.
Lark & Ro
One of Amazon’s own fashion brands, Lark & Ro is a good option for value cashmere. The classic cardigan (below) had good reviews, with wearers saying it feels warm and soft.
Another Amazon brand for you to try, the State cashmere sweater (below) comes in a choice of autumnal shades. Reviewers say it is nice and soft, although it runs a little small, so you may want to size up.
Reformation is often considered a “youth” brand, but there’s plenty to find for women of all ages. If you have a pair of high-waisted pants, this cropped wrap style could be perfect. It could also be worn over a dress as a cover-up if you want to cover your arms.
Lafayette 148 New York
Lafayette 148 New York isn’t the most affordable option to choose, but it does offer great quality and clothes are modern yet timeless so should last you for plenty of seasons. This wrap style (below) would be lovely for lounging at home, for wearing on casual weekends with your jeans or for travel.
With more than a nod to its Scandinavian heritage, Samsoe Samsoe favors a relaxed style that doesn’t slavishly follow trends. The cashmere sweater below is a mid-price option which comes in this lovely soft purple, or a classic navy.
If you’re looking for striped essentials, then La Ligne is the place to go.
Have you discovered NAADAM yet? The brand works directly with herders in Mongolia’s Gobi desert to cut out the middle men and give herders a fairer price for their cashmere.
Your best cashmere sweater recommendations
I would love to extend this list and get more of your recommendations for the best cashmere sweaters available in stores now.
If you have any recommendations or have a cashmere sweater that you really love, let me know!
Do you love to wear cashmere? Do you have a favorite sweater?
- 13 Ways To Style Winter Sweaters And Fall Sweaters For Women Over 40
- The Best Winter Coats For Women This Season And How To Choose A Coat
- 5 Types Of Fabric That Are Definitely Worth The Investment
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Feature image by Karen
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