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While cashmere is considered a luxury fabric, it has become more affordable thanks to an influx of DTC brands. But not all cashmere is created equal, and price alone doesn’t dictate the best brand.
This new wave of accessible cashmere offers both high quality and price-friendliness. TQE is here to help you wade through the myriad of brands (as you can’t feel the fabric for yourself) to provide recommendations worthy of your investment. Cue the try-ons.
While most wear cashmere in frigid winter months, I love wearing mine to transition from winter to spring. It’s perfect for those days that are too warm for a winter jacket, but too cold for that thin t-shirt.
As someone who is very sensitive to touch, I can’t have any material that is itchy (sorry wool!) on my skin. Yet despite how amazing cashmere is, I’ve been disappointed with some brands’ feel in the past. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bought a cashmere sweater that looks beautifully soft online, only to feel like sandpaper against my skin. It’s why I set out on a mission to find cashmere outfits so soft, I could live in them day and night.
I started researching cashmere loungewear months before I committed to any purchase. Once I started searching, I got tons of targeted social media ads. Filoro was one of the brands I kept seeing—in fact, the brand earns an A+ from me in the targeted ad department because it is exactly what I wanted.
The vibrant color options make this cashmere outfit a stand out. The hot pink half zip sweater and adorable joggers caught my eye immediately – on paper, it’s the perfect cashmere set.
How does it hold up IRL? Another A+ grade from me. My new go-to. The pink color looks exactly the same as on the website, the fit is flattering (true to size… but I sized up the pants for a roomier look), and the fabric is so soft I never want to take it off.
I’ve been a Bella Dahl fan for years (the brand’s jean joggers are next level comfy). I was elated when I learned Bella Dahl was branching out into cashmere.
The cashmere doesn’t disappoint, as the softness and comfort meet my high expectations. I opted for a pair of cashmere joggers and matching cashmere Henley sweater—perfect for any season because it’s versatile, layerable and light.
This outfit is a light speckled gray, a great closet staple. As for the fit, it’s true to size. I wear a medium and both the top and bottom mediums give me that fitted, but comfortable fit I crave in a lounge outfit. And the subtle color means I can easily wear the joggers and sweater as an outfit or as separates – making it a worthy investment.
Having been disappointed by cashmere in the past, from moderate-priced blends that lose shape and wrinkle, to pricey 100% cashmere brands that pill after just a few wearings, I have become critical with my picks. Here are two brands that won’t let you down.
Since launching in 2016, Lingua Franca has taken the cashmere category by storm. The moniker, which means a mixture of languages to communicate, is embodied by its unique design – hand stitched sayings on sustainable, fair trade cashmere. The designs spout everything from “love to love you baby” and “here comes the sun” to “nevertheless, she voted” and “My body, My Choice” (all $380). I bought Lingua Franca’s first sweater (“Original Gangsta”) at launch, then a second (short sleeve version) years later to reflect my nostalgic love for NYC.
Choose from a variety of custom stitching requests, always delivered to perfection on lightweight, silky seasonless cashmere. Whether you want to make a statement or say nothing at all, Lingua Franca won’t let you down. While no cashmere is 100% pill proof, I have not had to break out a sweater razor since purchase.
I learned about this brand the new-fashioned way – through social media. I was intrigued to try Gentle Herd’s cashmere (sourced from Inner Mongolia) as the brand’s story is one of grace, treating the herd gently (hence the brand name), combing and trimming the cashmere by hand. Carefully spun, Gentle Herd delivers cashmere in various weights and colors.
Since their arrival, I am living in my Undyed 100% Cashmere Joggers ($185) and 100% Cashmere Turtleneck Sweater ($225), which are as soft as they are beautifully tailored. Gentle Herd uses long, thin fibers (which equate to higher quality and is known to pill less), so while incredibly soft, the garments do not lose shape or wrinkle. Their breathability also makes them ideal for the southern winters I experience. I look forward to these cashmere keepers for years to come.
- When doing a tactile test of your own, stretch the cashmere to see if it bounces back – low quality cashmere will not rebound, and you can often see through the threads. Another test of quality is to run your hand slowly down the fabric – if fibers come loose, the cashmere is made with shorter hairs and will likely pill easily.
- Although technology is changing, most cashmere (including the pieces in this edit) is dry clean only. The beauty of the fabric is its ability to keep its shape, even after multiple wears. The less you dry clean it, the longer it holds up. Aliza loves to air her cashmere out after wearing it, and put it back in the closet—so it looks as fresh as the first time you put it on.
- To get high-quality cashmere at a lower cost, consider waiting until the end of (winter) season sales. Given the adaptability and breathability of cashmere, you will likely be able to wear it during the transition months and beyond. Both Aliza and Christine love to throw theirs on for cooler April/May days or during breezy beach nights.
Now is the perfect time to invest in quality cashmere!
Shop our favorites:
Filoro Cashmere Stella Women’s Cashmere Textured Half Zip Sweater, $225
Filoro Cashmere Tamara Women’s Cashmere Joggers, $175
Bella Dahl Long Sleeve Henley Sweater, $206.50
Bella Dahl Cashmere Pocket Joggers, $246.50
Lingua Franca Custom Handstitched Crewneck (long sleeve), $380
Lingua Franca Custom Handstitched Crewneck (short sleeve), $305
Gentle Herd Undyed 100% Cashmere Jogger Pants, $185
Gentle Herd Seam Detail 100% Cashmere Turtleneck Sweater, $225