Collected from the undercoat of a particular type of goat, hand-combed to separate the coarse from finer hair and then finally dyed and converted into textile yarn, it is no wonder that cashmere garments often come with a higher price tag. However, the material, which has become synonymous with luxury and extravagance, is more than a worthy investment. Whether a classic cosy knit or a vibrant tailored jacket, a good quality cashmere garment will stand the test of time, as well as provide unparalleled comfort. Here are a few options for this year’s enduring winter.
The genius of cashmere is that it needn’t be thick for you to get the most out of its insulating benefits. Take, for example, this roll neck from Edward Sexton. Anything could be worn over it, either a blazer or heftier leather jacket, it will be warming without stifling and elegantly purposeful in social or professional surroundings.
While structured tailoring has its place, it’s becoming increasingly unnecessary to wear in a world that no longer places extraneous importance on the necktie. Swap out your blazer for KA/NOA’s knitted cashmere and Merino wool jacket, which looks like a traditional blazer but has none of the stuffiness and is infinitely more comfortable. Keep it simple and pair with a Breton stripe T-shirt and laid back penny loafers for a casual yet sophisticated take on tailoring.
Forest green is a seriously underrated colour; it’s neutral enough to pair with an array of tones, yet it’s a more interesting alternative to navy or black. A rich material such as cashmere allows the colour to be really vibrant, and Piacenza‘s V-neck sweater is a perfect example of this. When it’s cold out, layer with a cotton or super-fine merino roll neck, jeans and easy Chelsea boots.
Break out of your cashmere comfort zone (I’m looking at you, roll neck addicts) with a tailored alternative that will make you walk a little taller. Rubinacci’s single-breasted jacket features a mid-sized houndstooth with a lilac overcheck, a particularly flattering colour next to silver hair and complexions that are suffering this (seemingly endless) winter. The Italian construction, soft shoulders and amethyst silk lining will glide over a cotton shirt, fine knit or soft polo.
Rubinacci is renowned for its eclectic jacketing offering and the family believe that they might have over 200,000 feet of vintage cloth in their archive. They’re always one for a check, and a current favourite of mine is this discreet Prince of Wales single-breasted number cut from 100% cashmere in the Neapolitan way, naturally. I’m currently experimenting with patterns and textures, so as the jacket’s check is subtle, I’d pair it with a hand-sewn Bengal stripe shirt from 100Hands and silk polka dot tie from Turnbull & Asser. Neither component is fighting for centre stage, so in this case, navy on navy on navy will always be a winning combination if done right.
As we slowly but surely move into spring, we can finally rejoice in knowing that the sun might continue to hang around come 5 o’clock. Which means, fingers crossed, our spring wardrobe can make a long-awaited appearance. Cashmere is the perfect trans-seasonal fabric thanks to its lustrous handle and insulating properties, and Rubinacci’s green waffle knit cardigan puts those qualities to perfect use. Layer up with a fail-safe, selvedge denim shirt from 100Hands and a pair of Carmina brown grain leather boots.
Although I am the first to lust over a pure cashmere chunky knit, they usually belong in the depths of winter and temperatures are slowly beginning to thaw. If you want to cling on to that ultra-soft feel, however, then make the transition to a cashmere-silk blend – like this blue safari shirt from Marol. With bellows pockets, epaulettes and a centre back box pleat, it could be worn on its own or layered over a T-shirt as a lightweight jacket (depending on the weather). A safari shirt works best as part of a casual look, so find a good quality pair of jeans and a pair of brown suede boots, and you’re all set.