fashion   //   November 29, 2010

The Basics: Cashmere

I think Miss Carrie Bradshaw said it perfectly: “It’s a cashmiracle!” When it comes to wardrobe staples, the cashmere sweater is one of the most important. Versatile and chic (not to mention super comfy), a great cashmere sweater will keep you covered year-round – for years to come. With that said, it’s important to choose your cashmere wisely. Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to cashmere:
1. Price: You’re not going to find good cashmere for $20.00. Cheap cashmere is just that – cheap. It will be itchy and it certainly won’t last you for more than one season. With that said, it doesn’t have to break the bank either. There are plenty of places that carry wonderful, classic cashmere sweaters for around $100 – J.Crew and Lands’ End, to name a couple. (Note: Keep your eye out for end-of-season cashmere sales!)
2. Quality: The thicker the knit feels, the denser the gauge, which means there’s more cashmere in it. Put it to the test by gently stretching the sleeve of the sweater to see if it snaps back to shape – a lower quality cashmere sweater won’t.
3. Care: Most people drop their cashmere off at the dry-cleaners, but this isn’t necessarily the best option as the harsh chemicals can shorten the life of your sweater. The best way to care for cashmere is to gently hand-wash it in cold water with baby shampoo. To dry, roll it in a towel (do NOT wring it) to get the moisture out of the fibers and then simply lay it on a flat surface.
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