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A cashmere sweater is a versatile, durable, seasonless investment that can last decades (as long as you keep the moths away). But choosing the right one can be overwhelming because you’re paying a premium price for an inherently luxurious staple. Cashmere comes at a heftier price because cashmere yarn comes from the fluffy undercoat of cashmere goats, which makes for a softer and warmer fiber than sheep’s wool. (Fascinatingly, cashmere goats are a type and not a breed; according to the Cashmere Goat Association, almost all goats can grow cashmere, but only selectively bred flocks produce it “in significant amounts.”)
Plenty of brands are now offering more affordable options. To make sure you’re not sacrificing quality for price, I tried out sweaters from some of the top budget brands in that space as well as some luxury options to see how they hold up. I mainly tested each sweater’s feel, weight, and durability. (Note: I’ve had the sweaters for as long as a couple of months and as short as one week. I’ll have updates on that last point as time goes on.) I also reached out to stylish folks to see which ones they thought are worth the cost or skimp on quality. Read on to see our picks from every price point.
What we’re looking for
Sizing, Quality, Style and details, Price
Sizing: XS to XL | Style details: Crewneck with stripes | Price: $$$
After a few of her sweaters “were decimated by moths,” former Strategist writer Hilary Reid bought this Kule cashmere sweater on sale. She says it’s the “softest, most substantial-feeling cashmere sweater” she owns. It has an “ideal and elusive crewneck fit: It’s cut comfortably close enough to wear on its own, but can still accommodate a shirt underneath without looking bulky.” It comes in a wide range of classic patterns of black, white, brown, and navy stripes, as well as less-traditional patterns that feature fun multicolored stripes.