‘IT’S SO FLUFFY’
Yes, it’s me again – banging on about how bloomin’ awesome cashmere jumpers are. I know, I know, I sound like a broken record; but I’m telling you that once you come over to the cosy side, it’s practically impossible to buy knitwear that hasn’t at least got a weeny blend of cashmere in there. It’s catching, I’m telling you. I’m now at the point where most female family members that I need to buy Christmas gifts for want some kind of cashmere-related item. That might have you thinking GOODBYE MONEY, but cashmere doesn’t have to be completely bank breaking to the point where your card will be held for fraud. Of course it’s a pricier purchase than other knitwear options available, but there are ways and means of adding it your wardrobe without having to take a deep breath to stop you from fainting before you put your pin in. Before we get into the nitty gritty, it’s probably worth dropping my cashmere care post here with all my top tips in for how to care for your items without racking up an extortionate dry cleaning bill (a cashmere washing liquid and the hand wash section on your washing machine tend to be a-ok), so there’s no need to be put off by a faffy washing instructions. OK, now onto the nitty gritty…
THE BEST OF THE HIGH-STREET
When I think of the most affordable, high-quality cashmere selection out there, I think of Uniqlo. Prices for a long-sleeve, crew-neck jumper start at just under £70, which after scouring the web for yonks to find the best deal, is the most cracking find I’ve found. There are all different colours and all different cuts – there’s definitely something for everyone. My advice would be to buy online because in store there’s always an elbow sharpening party happening round the cashmere rails and I often struggle to find the size and colour I want.
Then you’ve got the classics like M&S and John Lewis. They don’t have the best budget options out there, but they do offer large ranges. For these shops I would sit on your hands until the sales rock around after Christmas, because they always have some absolutely stellar deals on cashmere. My Mother-in-Law once found a jumper in the sale for £20. I KNOW! If you’re after something more fashion-forward the Jigsaw range that I’ve been rambling on about recently, is cracking. It’s not the most affordable option out there, but some of their thinner knits are under the £100 mark and they have some great accessories. Somewhere that has a smaller selection, but is really well priced is Topshop. There’s not a lot of stuff there, but what they do have is STUNNING. Just check out this cashmere rib dress. SWOON.
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THE BEST OF ONLINE
My whole thinking for even writing this post in the first place was to highlight the ASOS White cashmere range which is completely AWESOME. It’s one that I feel goes under the radar and is never spoken about, but I’ve actually purchased cashmere items from them for the past three winters in a row and I’ve never been disappointed. Even the ones I bought three years ago are still going strong in my wardrobe. They wash well, are priced around the £90 mark and tend to have some funky fits compared to other places online. Annoying they sell out quick (and most have already), so my advice is to get in there during autumn because come winter everything is gone.
One place that tends to have a little bit more stock is & Other Stories. Again I purchased a cashmere number from them last year and it’s worn well and is one of the best fitting knitwear pieces in my wardrobe. I’d highly recommend checking them out for wool items as well because they seriously have a tonne available online. During my research for this post I found Arket, which is a new store that I’ve seen banging around. They don’t have a tonne of cashmere items, but the ones they do have seem hardy, although they are a little pricer than most high-street finds, at £125.
If you’re U.S-based then I’ve got to point you in the direction of Everlane, who have just launched cashmere (and really, really need to extend their shipping to the U.K – PLEEEEASE!). They stock ethical, top-notch pieces that aren’t wildly priced and not only do they do cashmere jumpers, they do cashmere joggers too. THE DREAM.
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THE BEST OF THE ACCESSORIES
At the end of the day, cashmere just isn’t cheap. Full stop. It’s never a complete bargain unless you manage to scour the sales racks like my MIL did and find an utter steal that will make your mate’s jaws hit the floor when you tell them. So if a jumper is just too painful to stomach, then there are always accessories, which pricing-wise are much easier to swallow. Uniqlo cashmere scarves are really what started it all off for me and come in under £40. Side note: These make great Christmas presents if you’re stuck on what to buy someone. I got my Mum one a few years ago and she loves and goes ‘ooooh it’s cashmere!‘ every time she puts it on. If it’s scarves that you’re after then & Other Stories is a good place to check out too. They’re almost double the price, but they are more than double the size if you want yourself a blanket-like piece.
As I mentioned Everlane do cashmere jogging bottoms at a fair price if you want the ultimate luxury loungewear piece. Unfortunately they are crazy expensive everywhere else. Trust me, I’ve looked and you practically have to remortgage your house to go head-to-toe cashmere. If you don’t mind a mix though, check out the ASOS White collection, because they have some cotton/cashmere blend comfy bottoms that make you feel like you’re wearing the real thing.
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Photos by Lauren Shipley
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