It’s that time of year, when I climb up into the loft and pull out all my old suitcases full of sweaters, cosy knits and coats. More often than not, I think ‘oh that doesn’t look too good anymore’…but with cashmere, I never get bored. A good cashmere jumper is for me, a great investment – but there are also bargains to be had. I decided to do a round-up to try on the best on the High Street – so I called all these in to my house purely for research (and I sent them all back in case you’re thinking I conveniently now own 17 different varieties of cashmere). All are 100% cashmere.
Oh it was a tough day in the office.
1. Orange and navy stripe, £325, Chinti & Parker (can be handwashed)
2. Navy cashmere crew-neck, £99.95, Gap
3. Crew-neck bus logo jumper, £159, Boden (machine washable)
4. V-neck blue jumper, £160, Iris & Ink at THEOUTNET.COM (can be handwashed)
5. Stripe crew-neck, £79, Marks & Spencer (machine washable)
6. Cashmere jumper, £319, Madeleine Thompson
7. Grey poloneck, Cos
8. Green crew-neck, £160, Whistles (can be handwash)
9. Grey cashmere logo jumper, £370, Bella Freud
When editing, I realised I was picking the most classic, boring, and mostly grey jumpers. I think this is because buying cashmere IS a big deal, so you’re often best to stick to great quality basics. Here is my round-up of the best (I wore with my denim shorts so you can compare the length and fit of them).
VALUE FOR MONEY: Uniqlo
|Cashmere crew-neck: £69.90, Uniqlo
Annoyingly, this is the problem about borrowing clothes – the green one is not available online…but Uniqlo cashmere is up there with my top High Street cashmere – super affordable, a great shape and it comes in loads of colours – a must piece for the winter. Cons? It’s dry-clean only.
SUPER SOFT LUXURY: Hush
|Boucle cashmere crew-neck: £250, Hush
If you want softer than soft curl up on the sofa cashmere, this is it. To be honest, this jumper made all the others look rather feeble. The con? It’s price…but you get what you pay for.
THE MENSWEAR CLASSIC – Marks & Spencer
As seen in my last LK Bennett post
, my M&S men’s crew-neck is my favourite thing in my wardrobe at the moment (I actually own this one). I’m size 8-10 and wearing a men’s size S – I love how it sits a bit longer in the body as a mens’ style. Oh and it’s machine washable. Con? It isn’t as soft as some others, but it’s also not as pricey….
THE POLONECK: Cos
This is dropping online next week at £190, and I will keep you updated as it is BEAUTIFUL. Really stunningly soft and a thick, weighty cashmere. It’s long length will work as a tunic style which is very in for winter. The con? It’s not available yet…so will keep you posted.
THE LOOSE FIT ESSENTIAL: Whistles
|Crew-neck jumper with pockets, £160, Whistles
Everyone needs that Sloppy Joe classic cashmere, right? And this one is amongst the softest WITH pockets. The con? The pockets are possibly too small to actually fit anything in, but they look great.
THE DESIGNER CASHMERE: Madeleine Thompson
|Red edged crew-neck, £295, Madeleine Thompson (A/W collection coming to Net A Porter soon)
I’ve loved Madeleine Thompson’s cashmere for years, ever since I was at Eve magazine and we shot one of her beanie hats. Her pieces are much coveted on Net A Porter and I was thrilled to be able to try one on – the cashmere really is one of the softest, best quality around (I have a hoodie from years ago which always looks amazingly fresh – my airplane essential). The con? The price, of course.
THE BASIC GREY: Asos
This is amazing quality, which I really wasn’t expecting. Really soft but it also looks really expensive. Might be one of my new cashmere ‘go-to store’. The con? None…you can even handwash it.
THE PREPPY NAVY: Gap
|Crew-neck, £99.95, Gap
A pretty similar fit to the Uniqlo version, a classic navy cashmere crew will never go out of style – buy in a size up so you can style a shirt underneath. The con? The Uniqlo one is cheaper…
CHEAP & CHIC POLONECK: F+F
I’ll step right in with the con first: we might have to race each other to the stores for this one, as it’s not online at the moment. I’ve heard about F+F as a secret cashmere treasure trove and was so impressed with this sample. This longline poloneck is excellent quality – and now I need it! It will be available from 25th October and will be £70.
AND JUST BECAUSE…Bella Freud
One for the birthday wishlist…Bella Freud has launched some of her iconic knitwear in cashmere – it’s basically the dream. The con? Do I really need another grey cashmere…?
I hope this has helped somewhat in the minefield that is cashmere jumpers. There’s so much choice out there at the moment though, which is great for those of us on the more ‘handwash’ end of the spectrum – good luck!