This post has been on the cards for a while now, I just needed more to sample and trial for you all…..So in case you are new to my blog and don't know, I am a bit of a fibre composition freak/fan/addict, call it what you like. I'm not sure where it started, my Mum always used to 'harp on' about it as kids, then maybe it was working in Buying that finally fermented it. Needless to say, I check everything I buy to see what it's made from. Cashmere and silk are my absolute favourite fibres. Cashmere is just so soft, can stand the test of time, doesn't leave fluff on other tops, doesn't bobble, and doesn't itch. Aside from a good Merino wool, it is in my opinion the creme de la creme of wools.
My first taste aside from some amazing samples were from Tesco. I am going back at least 7 years now. They were v-neck styles and were well and truly worn and washed badly (my fault for not having a hand wash cycle at the time and being to lazy to hand wash so putting them in a normal cycle). When these gave up the dust I bought a longer, fairly bright green one (see here) and more recently a stripe one (seen in this post). If you want to try cashmere and don't want to spend a lot of money, I hugely recommend using your Tesco vouchers and doubling them up. It's a great way to introduce some cashmere into your wardrobe and are so well priced. They are all reduced at the moment and I am absolutely fuming with myself for not checking more regularly. The hoody style (which I don't have) is now £30, half price, so only £15 of my vouchers and they don't have my size left and it's not in store. Major fail on my part. Major win for any of you who happens to be a size 10 and want a grey one! Click here to see their range, I have filtered it down for you, there are cardi's, v-necks, round necks and hoodies.
I was blissfully unaware that La Redoute also offered cashmere. So I gave there's a try. They come up slightly larger than Tesco and are a slightly thiner knit but it has washed very well. It's fairly new to my collection but at the moment so far so good. I like their detailing around the neck as shown below. It is £89 but currently £53.40.
When Joseph was in Bicester Village I managed to get a short sleeved black crew neck sample for £30. I love the cut and shape of it, I think it is probably my best for design but it hasn't been fantastic wash wise and looks a little worn now. However to be fair to them it was a sample so this may not be a reflection on their cashmere in store. On to a another new cashmere brand in my wardrobe, this cardi from Boden. Now thickness wise, this is probably the best I've had from the high street so far. Coupled with the waffle effect in the main body and contrast bright trim, it is currently my favourite. I haven't worn or washed this yet but knowing their quality I'm doubtful it will fail in that department. They also have a sale on and a good selection starting from around £50 so do take a look. They come up true to size. This surprisingly is also my first cashmere cardi.
|£129 down to £51.60|
And finally, possibly my number one for quality and price so far is good old M&S. I nabbed a pale blue one in their clearance last year for around £22, it was a size too big but for the price I took the risk. It was washed impeccably and apart from the Boden above is the thickest knit so far. More recently I tried a pink kids one! It was £60 down to £27 and has some sparkle around the neckline and cuffs, it was a age 13-14. It is slightly thiner than my blue one but I fancied some pink so I thought I'd try it. It's been washed a few times and like my blue one, so far so goo.
|From L to R; Tesco, Tesco, M&S, M&S, La Redoute & Joseph|
Moving on from jumpers, I also have a few cashmere scarves. The Texier is the thickest, followed very closely by Gap though. The Gap & black H&M ones are huge in depth and width so you really do get a good amount of lovely warm cashmere for your money. I did have a grey H&M sweater but unfortunately this got returned as it did shrink a ridiculous amount.
|from L to R; Texier, Gap, H&M|
So on my 'to try' list (but no more for the moment, unless they are a great price of course) are Gap, Zara and Uniqlo from the High Street. Judging by the thickness and quality of my Gap scarf, I don't doubt their jumpers will be the same. They are fairly pricey but didn't seem to come down that much in the sales.
|Gap Cashmere Sweater, £89.99 down to £69.99|
Now I am new to the Zara cashmere, I only happened to stumble across it whilst browsing online so I haven't seen any in the flesh yet. But talk about a bargain, this roll neck was £79.99 down to £22.99. It comes in black and a sand/marl colour. There is free delivery over £50 and I must say, of all the companies I have used for home shopping, Zara are right up there. Your order comes boxed and items folded in tissue paper. Delivery is pretty quick (and I always top up for £50 for free) with free returns. The returns procedure is brilliant, you can get them picked up from your door! Surely worth a go for £22.99 if you've not invested in some cashmere yet? (My good friend J, mentioning no names...).
And finally Uniqlo. I'm not a huge Uniqlo shopper, I can't put my finger on why. I have a few merino woollens from them, they've washed ok, slight shrinkage but fair for the remarkable price points (under £30). Their cashmere like Gap, haven't been majorly discounted in the sale.
|£79.90 down to £69.90|
So have you got some cashmere, where's yours from?
PS a few keepsake tips for your cashmere;
- I always wash my woollens inside out and on a hand wash setting in my machine.
- They are folded, only a few larger items hung so there are no shoulder stretches on them from hangers.
- I also advise putting some sort of moth repellent in with them. I have the tea bag variety in amongst mine!
- I would suggest possibly sizing up if you can get away with it, just to allow for any shrinkage that may occur over time.