There are so many fall pleasures, from apple picking to leaf peeping. I’ll tell you mine: cashmere sweaters.
With all due respect to other materials – plush angora, say, or warming boiled wool, or maybe a super practical fleece – there’s nothing quite like cashmere. The extreme comfort it provides makes every moment of my day 100% better.
Of course, not all cashmere is equal. There are many different quality levels. Some are durable (my preference), and some are not. Some fun facts about cashmere: It comes from the undercoat of a specific goat native to Kashmir, and the best quality fibers are believed to come from this breed that currently lives in Mongolia. Cashmere naturally wicks away moisture, which means it adapts to all types of environments and temperatures. And it softens over time. As long as you take good care of it (I brush mine gently and carefully between wears to prevent pilling), it will last for many years and remain a super solid investment.
This fall, I can’t wait to get my hands on a handful of new designs. For example:
For starters, there’s Naadam’s Striped Cashmere Boyfriend V-Neck Sweater ($195 at naadam.co). Naadam is a company that supports sustainable cashmere by offering living wages throughout its supply chain, holding key suppliers accountable for their social and environmental performance, and investing in the Mongolian herding communities where they come from. get their wool. They also have some really nice sweaters, like this cool, graphic black and white number, with a soft v-neck, relaxed fit and very modern shape. I can’t wait to wear it with black slim cigarette pants, as well as a long black pencil skirt and chunky black boots.
I’ve long been a big fan of Stella McCartney, and she’s a big winner in the recycled cashmere department. She has used only recycled cashmere in her creations since 2016, and the result is a product that is still as soft as possible, but whose environmental impact is seven times lower than that of conventional cashmere. And his creations are absolutely spectacular. Witness her rib-knit regenerated cashmere cape sweater ($1,190 at stellamccartney.com) in oatmeal or black. Yes, it’s crazy, but as with everything Stella creates, the quality is sky-high; in this case, the ribbed knit sports a raised turtleneck and the armhole slits allow it to be worn with its balloon sleeves or as a cape, making it so versatile that you’ll wear it almost all fall long.
Slipping on a cashmere shawl is one of fall’s most iconic experiences. J. Crew has significantly deepened its cashmere store, and there you’ll find the company’s oversized Cashmere Wrap ($198 at jcrew.com) in colors ranging from dark walnut to camel. Is there a more versatile accessory? Wear it over evening dresses. Keep it on your desk in the office when it’s cold. Or roll it up and wrap it around your neck like a warm scarf with a denim jacket. They partnered with the Aid by Trade Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes sustainable agricultural development around the world. So you can feel good while wearing it, in many ways.
Texture plays a very important role in how we feel when we wear cashmere, and that means you can’t ignore things like cables and other chunky knits. And there you have it: the Lumi Cabled Cashmere Turtleneck Sweater ($299 at garnetgarnethill.com). In a beautiful shade of deep pinkish red, I can’t imagine anything more attractive – or softer – this fall, with its rolled details and boxy silhouette. I can see myself wearing this with no less than 20 different pairs of pants, and so many skirts, that it might even seem a little disappointing when spring arrives and it’s time to put it away for something a little lighter.