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For a while, it was impossible to purchase a cashmere sweater without plunking down major cash. And for good reason — the process of creating cashmere is incredibly time-consuming, as Business Insider highlighted after visiting a cashmere factor last year.
These days, though, several brands are changing the game, offering up quality cashmere at pretty affordable prices. Luxury cashmere still exists and is sometimes worth it, but many of our favorite cashmere sweater brands truly won't break the bank. If you're open to your cashmere being blended with other fabrics like cotton, you can spend even less.
Whether your priority is sustainability, affordability, wearability, or all of the above, you've got options. The brands on this list have one thing in common: gorgeous cashmere sweaters that will suit you all winter long. Your new and improved sweater wardrobe starts here.
A note on fit
This guide is focused on sweaters that were designed for cisgender women. What the industry calls "women's sweaters" has everything to do with the fit, shape, and style of how these pieces are designed. Sweaters that are designed for women tend to be smaller and less boxy than those designed for men. However, we think anyone should feel free to wear any type of sweater, regardless of gender or how the clothing is labeled. If you're more interested in a boxy, oversized style, you might want to shop for cashmere sweaters designed for men.
Updated on 12/7/2020 by Maria Del Russo: Updated links, prices, and formatted. Added Quince to this guide after testing multiple styles of the brand's cashmere. We're always testing brands to include, so check back for our updates.
Here are the best places to buy cashmere sweaters:
We talk about Everlane often. The brand's quality and attention to design are unparalleled for the prices. The company's transparency model means you'll get designer-level goods at mid-level cost to your wallet.
Everlane is our favorite place to get women's sweaters in general, and the cashmere range is no exception. Everlane's Grade-A cashmere from Mongolia runs from $100 to $155 and in sizes XXS to XXL. The most popular and versatile style, The Cashmere Crew, is one of the cheapest and best options.
It comes in tons of colors, from basics like charcoal gray and black to fun shades like mauve pink with mustard trimmed sleeves. Insider Reviews reporter Mara Leighton calls this sweater "a foundational closet piece."
But that's not the only piece of cashmere Everlane does well. The brand put its contemporary spin on other classic cashmere sweater styles like the Cashmere Sweater Tee — which was well-liked when our Insiders Reviews team gave it a test-run. The Cashmere Henley is another sweet spin on a classic cashmere sweater, with its oversized cuff sleeves and darling neck buttons.
What to buy:
"Democratizing cashmere" is the tagline on the Naadam homepage — and that's what the brand claims to do with its range of sustainable knits. One of Naadam's most popular items is a $75 crewneck cashmere sweater, a price the company says it can offer thanks to a lean D2C business model. Styles such as a long open-front cardigan and a wide-sleeved kimono are priced at $225.
In addition to 100% cashmere, the brand offers blended knits like wool-cashmere, silk-cashmere, and cotton-cashmere.
The sweaters are mostly simple in design, but their means of production is unique. Sourced from Mongolian goats, Naadam's cashmere is hand-combed and produced in facilities powered by 100% clean energy. The brand also claims to pay herders "50% more than traditional traders." Cashmere that's as ethical as it is cozy? Sign us up!
Aside from the crew, Naadam has also ventured into both more contemporary and classic styles. The Grandpa Cardigan, for example, is a perfectly oversized topper ideal for cozy layering. On the other hand, the Cashmere Cropped Tank is a sexy way to bring your cashmere love into warmer temps. The company also has a wide variety of styles and color options and a size range of XXS to XXL
What to buy:
Cashmere sweater options in plus sizes are unfortunately few and far between. Lands' End has a variety of classic styles in a slightly superior size range to many cashmere sweater brands on the market.
Now the brand isn't necessarily known for its trendy styles. But this is the place to go if you're looking to expand your cashmere selection without breaking the bank — or if you're more interested in classic, minimal styles of sweaters.
A favorite is the Cashmere Crewneck. It comes in a rainbow of colors that will become instant wardrobe staples and fits up to a size 18. The brand's Plus Size Cardigan is another classic and nips into the waist for a more fitted silhouette.
And while the majority of Land's End's sweaters come in solid colors, there are also a bunch of patterned buys to add to your cart. There's a herringbone version of the brand's crew that would be stunning at the office or at a cozy brunch.
The cashmere at Land's End typically sits on the more expensive side of the spectrum. But the brand is known for its regular sales, so you can typically score a topper on the cheap.
What to buy:
If you want your cashmere sweater with a side of embellishment and whimsy, hit up J. Crew. The ultimate business casual purveyor produces some of the most delightfully tricked-out knits in the business.
Yes, you can take your pick of solid-colored turtlenecks and crewnecks at J.Crew's Cashmere Shop, many of which come in under $100. But if it's a pattern you crave, you're also in the right place. Stripes, stars, hearts, tie-dye, leopard — the brand's current offerings have it all.
J. Crew has partnered with the Aid by Trade Foundation to help promote sustainable agricultural development — including sustainable cashmere production. The brand is actually the first US member of the foundation and is certified under the AbTF's The Good Cashmere Standard. This ensures the welfare of cashmere goats, protects natural resources, and improves the working conditions of cashmere producers. So you can feel good knowing that the cashmere in your sweater is being ethically sourced.
And those cashmere sweaters are straight-up adorable. The Relaxed-fit turtleneck sweater comes in a rainbow of bright, punchy colors and has that perfectly oversized silhouette. The Waffle-knit cashmere crew comes in a fun color block pattern, which offers up a preppy vibe that's classic J. Crew.
But if you're looking for a bit more whimsy, check out the brand's crewneck sweater with bow stripes. It takes a classic Brenton stripe and gives it a feminine twist, adding a bow detail for some visual interest.
J.Crew also has a surprisingly inclusive size range, with sweaters sizing up to a 3XL, or a size 24. And thanks to the brand's regular sales, you can typically get these cozy tops on the cheap.
What to buy:
Quince is a minimalist's dream, offering up gorgeous, classic cashmere pieces for wallet-friendly prices. The brand, which was created from the ethos that nice things shouldn't be expensive, is home to the $50 Cashmere Crew. It's soft and cozy without being itchy. And unlike other cashmere crews, this one has a bit more of a fitted silhouette, making it perfect for tucking into jeans or a high-waisted skirt.
And while the brand leans into more classic styles, there's no shortage of beautiful pieces here. Editor Maria Del Russo calls her Mongolian Cashmere Cardigan one of her favorites pieces in her closet. "I'd be scouring vintage shops for the perfect toss-on-and-go cardigan that I could wear with a tee or on its own, and this was the first one that checked all the boxes," she says. Its soft, relaxed silhouette and darling buttons make this a piece you can wear with anything.
Just to prove how affordable its pieces are, Quince has a price matching tool on each of its product pages that shows you what you'd pay at a competitor — including some of the brands on this list. And while it's known for its sweaters since it's arguably what the brand does best, but they also have other cashmere offerings, from scarves to beanies.
And while Quince could stand to expand its sizing (it currently only has XS-XL), it's a great place to stock up on the basics without breaking the bank.
What to buy:
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