Forget the itchy and uncomfortable sweaters of your childhood — cashmere is the game changer adults need. In fact, our transitional fall wardrobe would probably consist entirely of cashmere if it weren't for one thing: the triple-digit price tag.
Fortunately, if you know where to look, it's easy to find this favorite fiber for a great price. Not only is cashmere a great option to keep you cozy but also a reliable material for sensitive skin. And if you need a last-minute gift, cashmere is a great timeless piece to surprise anyone.
Shop TODAY talked to stylists for tips on how to care for this soft textile and ways to expand its longevity. Plus, we selected styles under $100 and worthy investment pieces to keep you warm.
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What is the best grade of cashmere?
Usually, the best way to tell the quality of cashmere is by touch. According to stylist expert Amanda Sanders, "Cashmere comes in grades A, B and C — A being the best and C being the worst. The grades measure the quality of the softness and micron width per cashmere hair."
"Grade A is the finest. Grade B is intermediate, around 18/19 microns per hair. Grade C measures around 30 microns per hair. Ultimately, the way to tell is by the softness of the touch," she adds.
How to care for cashmere sweaters
One of the biggest mistakes you can make with a cashmere sweater is to clean it in a washing machine. "Even the finest cashmere will pill or shed its fiber over time. Pilling occurs where there is friction with the cashmere, such as the arm or the shoulder where you might carry a handbag. Cashmere should only be hand-washed cold or dry clean," says Sanders.
Though cashmere is more delicate than other fibers, you can extend the wear of your garment by using a gentle baby shampoo.
"After hand-washing your cashmere piece, make sure to lay the garment flat so that the fibers do not stretch," adds Sanders. In addition, you can also freshen up the fabric after use in a plastic bag in your freezer.
"For all my cashmere, I get them dry cleaned to ensure they’re being cleaned the right way. For storing them I recommend folding them so the hanger doesn’t stretch them out," says stylist and personal shopper Elisabeth Kassab.
If you need to hang your cashmere, Kassab suggests using a felt hanger to prevent creases. "Steaming is okay if it’s on the lowest setting and not too hot. Same with ironing," she adds.
Cashmere sweaters for women under $100
Naadam prides itself on sustainable cashmere. According to their site, the company pays Mongolian goat farmers 50% more than the industry standard and even invests in vaccination programs for their flocks. Naadam's bestselling sweater, which is unisex and available in crew neck and V-neck, comes in 20+ different colors.
A good turtleneck is essential to every cozy, layered look! This particular one comes in five colors including beige, burgundy and black, making it easy to pair with your existing wardrobe. Plus, it is made with 100% cashmere so you are sure to keep cozy.
This cashmere cardigan is perfect to layer with just about anything in your fall wardrobe. The piece offers a waist-hugging construction that lends feminity to your look. Also, it is made with grade A fiber to ensure the softest feel during wear.
This sweater combines the best of both worlds thanks to the cashmere-wool blend fabric. The length is made for pairing with high-rise jeans or pants, plus crisp colors like rich red and luscious green are just waiting to be worn over the holidays.
This super soft V-neck sweater made out of Grade A 100% Mongolian cashmere is everything you need for cooler weather. It comes in 13 different colors and has a near-perfect average from nearly 2,000 Quince shoppers. One reviewer even called it "so perfect in every way."
This Bloomingdale’s-exclusive piece is truly a timeless addition to your wardrobe, keeping you cozy (and chic) all season long. It also comes in 18 colors ranging from off-white to a deep purple.
When you need to zhuzh up your work wardrobe, go for this classic fit from Uniqlo. The design comes in different hues and is a must-have sweater to keep you warm. While it's a bit roomy, this one offers a relaxed fit for a great layering system.
Best luxury cashmere brands
With the right amount of texture and warmth, this sweater will leverage your basic pieces. It feels luxurious and pairs well with high-waisted pants for a classy work attire. It also comes in different bold colors and doesn't itch, unlike other heavier-knitted cashmere tops.
This crew neck sweater, which comes in a dozen colors including a sable heather, boasts an impressive average rating from almost 2,000 reviews. It’s made of 100% cashmere from goats in inner Mongolia where, supposedly, the best cashmere comes from.
Cover your wardrobe basics with this cashmere blend sweater. It can be paired with jeans and a cardigan for a casual look or dress pants and a blazer for the office. It comes in neutral and pastel hues to add a foundation to your prints and patterns this fall.
Feel relaxed but put together in this classic sweater from State Cashmere. This sustainable piece has a more fitted construction and is made with 100% Inner Mongolian cashmere. The brand recommends sizing up if you expect a loose fit.
The combination of silk and cashmere will add a chic vibe to your ensemble. This is a great option if you need to upgrade your return-to-office wardrobe. The shawl-collar design also adds instant femininity to any look.
When it comes to staying warm, this cashmere will add some extra heat. Thanks to the 100% cashmere fiber, this sweater will feel ultra soft to the skin. It features a ribbed texture and fitted silhouette to pair with your leather pants or favorite denim.
This cashmere sweater is worth the investment thanks to its soft and luxurious construction. First, you can adjust the turtleneck with its snappable buttons plus you can also wear it as a jacket. While it requires extra care compared to other designs, this sweater will add a sophisticated aesthetic to your basic pieces.
I (Jannely) own this sweater and is my new favorite acquisition. The texture is so soft and feels exclusive. Honestly, it's a true piece of art.
How we chose
- We selected styles based on the cashmere percentage and composition, plus we tried a few styles that felt soft to the skin. Also, we scoured through reviews from numerous websites and based our decision on our stylists’ tips.