It’s coooold. Sosososososo cold. The cold brings out my inner granny, and I give up trying to look half decent and turn into a giant ball of clothes. I no longer care about lines or colours, only the possibility of a draught getting through my ballo’garments. I know, I’m a sartorial trainwreck. For the past few winters tho, I have been stockpiling Aaran sweaters (the proper, not very pretty ones, as opposed to the lovely but not warm at all versions) and my favourite anti-brrrr secret weapon – CASHMERE.
Cashmere is delicious for two reasons. First it feels amaaazing. Soft, fluffy but not annoyingly so (ahem, angora). Secondly, it’s super warm. Like, supersuper warm. One cashmere jumper is roughly equivalent to a jersey longsleeve top, another cotton/acrylic knit jumper and then a bigger jumper/cardigan over. Seriously, I have tested this theory, so it’s basically a science FACT. Cashmere has given me back some semblance of style in winter months, which is roughly two thirds of the year – it’s Ireland after all. I know I’m always banging on about the quality of fabrics and that, but when ur freezing it’s a no brainer.
The third reason cashmere is delicious (I lied when I said there were two reasons) is that it has become crazy affordable. Last year I bought a 100% cashmere jumper in Penney’s for 40euro. Or possibly 60, I am a little hazy on last week, never mind last year, but even still, 60 quid is ridiculously good value for cashmere. And to be fair to Penney’s, the jumper has lasted really well. I also devour M&S cashmere (I told you I turn into a granny). It’s slightly more expensive, about 70-80 euro, but it’s better quality, thicker (and therefore warmer), and they do more colours. JCrew is like the Gap of cashmere, they have a huge selection of basic jumpers and cardigans and other cashmere things, it’s expensive, but not extortionate. Having said that, it’s a bit too rich for my blood :(
Most high street stores now sell garments with Cashmere-bend fabrics, but be careful with those, check exactly how much cashmere is in it. I’ve found ones with as little as 3%, with the rest of the yarn being acrylic, which is pretty much a sham. When you are buying cashmere, it’s a good idea to get the size or even two up, unless you want that super fitted look – it has a tendency to cling to the body, so a bit of space is good. It’s nothing to do with your body shape, it’s just the nature of the wool, so don’t be getting all huffy and weird about the number on the label. Also (and I can’t stress this enough), despite my passionate aversion to doing so, it’s really important to handwash cashmere carefully with detergent that is kind to wool. Don’t ask me why (because I’ll just have to make something up), but it works. If you don’t believe me, do it the other way and come back to me when your favourite new sweater is all shrunk to the size of barbie clothes and bobbled to bits. I won’t say I told you so, but I’l be thinking it.
You know when I said cashmere is affordable. Yea, well some of it is. As with all things in life, the most covetable stuff is stooopid pricey. Sigh…
all images via net-a-porter.com