The Best Affordable Cashmere For Work

affordable cashmere for workSure, we all know what basics professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

Which are your favorite affordable cashmere sweaters for work, ladies? Which ones do you reach for, for warmth, style, or comfort — and which have held up after laundering or dry cleaning? We haven’t talked about this in a while, and cashmere sales are starting (Neiman Marcus, Uniqlo, Lord & Taylor, and Nordstrom all have some crazy markdowns right now) — so let’s discuss.

Pictured at top, clockwise: black / cream / navy / blue.

Pictured below, some of our Hall of Famers: boatneck / crewneck / turtleneck / faux wrap / turtleneck

 

Before we get to our featured cashmere sweaters for work for today, let’s talk about some greatest hits:

Curious for past iterations of this list? 2016, 2015, 2014, 2012.

 

On to today’s feature, which looks at some of the most affordable cashmere for work (nothing over $265!):

cashmere for springOn the affordable end of things, everyone raves about Uniqlo cashmere — so it’s great to see that they have a cotton cashmere cardigan for only $19 in eight colors (neutrals and springy pastels). It’s available in XS-XXL. Cotton Cashmere V-Neck Sweater
lord & taylor cashmereI personally can’t stand the Lord & Taylor site for reasons like this — they’re having a crazy sale with lots of cashmere sweaters marked to $29, but they’re all on separate product pages so I can’t get you a great link. Still: I’m seeing lots of petite and plus-size pullovers, cardigans, and more, marked from $160ish down to $29.  The pictured sweater is only available in size 1X, but here’s a link to a general search.
affordable cashmere sweatersLast year during one of the big Nordstrom sales I got a Halogen cashmere sweater and a higher-test Nordstrom-brand cashmere sweater, and immediately returned the Nordstrom brand one because the Halogen one was similarly soft and at a much lower pricepoint — it seems like lots of people agree since there are a number of Halogen cashmere sweaters with TONS of high ratings. This looser, lightweight crewneck is normally $89 and available in ten colors, regular and petite sizes — with some colors and sizes down to $49. Nice. Crewneck Lightweight Cashmere Sweater
lands end cashmereReaders have sung the praises of Lands’ End sweaters for years, and it’s great that they come in regular, petite, and plus size options. Their highly-rated crewneck is $149 (also check out their cashmere cardi), but today you can take $10 off $500, $25 off $100, or $50 off $150 with code SUPER and pin 2382. Cashmere Sweater
best theory cashmereTheory cashmere is represented among the best-sellers of Bloomingdale’s (the Adrianna sweater, pictured), Saks (this high-low sweater), and Amazon (the Adrianna as well as this short-sleeved sweater). The pictured sweater looks great for layering with a t-shirt, camisole, or crisp button-front — at full price it’s $265, but Nordstrom has it on sale for $159 (lucky sizes only). (A very similar dupe to this sweater for only $95: this sweater from Reiss.) Pictured: ‘Adrianna’ V-Neck Cashmere Pullover
I was intrigued by the huge Todd & Duncan section of Banana Republic recently — it’s an interesting collaboration given that Todd & Duncan is generally known for quality, colorful cashmere. This pink crewneck is one of Olivia Palermo’s picks, but the sweater also comes in six other colors, in sizes XS-XL. (Note that if you’re looking for something more affordable but similar, BR’s store-brand cashmere sweater is very colorful and only $68.) Pictured: Todd & Duncan Cashmere Crew

Readers, what brands and stores are your favorites for affordable cashmere for work? Which cashmere sweaters do you like to wear to work the most? 

Like this feature? Check out other recent installments!

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Pictured below, clockwise: black / cream / navy / blue.

the most affordable cashmere for work

most affordable cashmere for work

Comments

  1. Meg March :

    The Equipment vneck in the looser cut (I think it’s called the Asher) is my favorite– I love the way it drapes. I also recently got two v neck cashmere sweaters from Macy’s generic line, Charter Club, that I’ve been pleasantly surprised by.

  2. Anonymous :

    Any tips for work travel to Mexico City?

    In my experience in other Latam countries, women tend to wear pantsuits more than skirts — can anyone confirm that’s what I should be bringing?

    I’ll be there for a few days, and I expect I’ll pretty much be in meetings the whole time, maybe dinners afterward.

  3. Anonymous :

    I’ll offer a counter opinion on the Halogen sweaters.

    I bought the crewneck cashmere in one of the Nordstrom anniversary sales, and it shrunk a little bit after each cleaning that after only about 5 or 6 wears (and not washing it every time), it went from being loose to the point of too-baggy to eventually being bodycon and crop top length.

    I know it was relatively cheap for cashmere, but that was still more than I wanted to pay for essentially a one-winter sweater. Still, I decided to give it another shot in the next anniversary sale, thinking maybe I was to blame for the shrinkage. But the style has changed to have the long slits on the sides, and it just wasn’t flattering on me. I had ordered an Equipment crewneck at the same time to compare, and the fit and fabric quality was just so much better that I felt like it was worth it to keep the Equipment version. So far it’s lasted beautifully, though I do admit I still wear the Halogen one under a vest (to hide the exposed tummy) when I want that color of sweater but will be around children, heavy shedding dogs, at a bonfire, etc.–all places I know I’d want to wash it after every wear.

    • Anonymous :

      I have also recently had some disappointments with Halogen quality. I was pleased when I found their ankle pants worked with my pear shape, but after only a 2 or 3 washes (cold water, Woolite, hang to dry)their colors were so faded they didn’t look nice enough for workwear anymore. I had better luck with Loft curly fit.

    • I was a huge fan of the Halogen sweaters and owned several in crew and V-necks. I asked my brother to get me the black crewneck for Christmas this past year and was SOOOO disappointed that they changed the banded bottom to a loose one with two slits on the sides. It’s a much more casual look and makes it very hard to wear with skirts. I don’t know if they changed the bottom on the V-neck as well. So sad because they were very soft and a great price point (you could get for around $50 on one of Nordstrom’s sales).

  4. I’m wearing an Everlane cashmere sweater dress today. I’ve gotten a few of their sweaters too, although one got a hole after two wearings. But super soft.

  5. Pure Cashmere brand :

    Has anyone ever bought ‘Pure’ brand cashmere? I found a great sweater years ago at T.J. Maxx and I’ve never found it anywhere else. The label just says “Pure Cashmere” -grey label with white writing. There’s a separate 100% cashmere tag so it’s the brand name and not the material content.

    • Anonymous :

      I believe it’s a UK company; maybe do a search? I know I’ve gotten a catalog at home.

      • Pure Cashmere brand :

        I found a British company online called “Pure” or “Pure Collection” but the label looked different and it said “Pure Cashmere” on one line. I never thought about it but maybe it’s the same thing and they were rebranding so that’s how the sweaters ended up at T.J. Maxx?

    • I have a Pure Collection sweater and it is SO SOFT. I don’t recall offhand exactly what the tag looks like, but I think it matches the description of yours.

      Yes, it’s a UK company. They tend to have decent promos, too–I’m not currently in the market for any cashmere, but next time I am I will almost certainly buy from them. They have excellent customer service, too.

  6. Wildkitten :

    I need a longer (but not tunic length) open front black sweater. I want something that will last because I wear it every day but I want to pay under $100. Also, nothing see-through. Size 12/large. Anyone have suggestions?

    • jumpingjack :

      I have exactly this from Lord & Taylor – open front cashmere black cardigan, hits at mid/upper thigh. I bought it in fall 2015 and wore it nearly every day in the office during the winter until January, when I realized it was about to pop a hole in the elbow. Sadly, the stores were sold out when I went to look for a replacement. I’m sure they’ll carry it again next year. It was more than $100 though – I think $125 on sale.

  7. Anonymous :

    I have a drawer full of Eric Bompard. The prices are fair and they have several sales per year. They hand wash beautifully and pill little to not at all.

    Pure Cashmere is a UK brand that I believe is internet/mail order only. I’ve never tried the brand but have heard good things about it.

  8. Really can’t recommend them enough because they never appear on these lists, but Ralph Lauren. They have good sales right after Christmas. Their cashmere NEVER pills and is so soft! I have a thin cashmere cardigan from there that I have probably worn everyday for the last ~5 years (it sits in my office or gets thrown in my bag) and it does.not.pill. Despite its thinness, it never snags and keeps me warm and it’s somehow opaque and not sheer. It’s just woven with such high quality. Even my thicker cashmere sweaters from them hold up well. Meanwhile, my Vince, Equipment, and J.Crew cashmere always starts to look a little worse for wear after a couple of months. Seriously, it is magic.

    • What do you do about the piling on your sweaters? I bought two White and Warren sweaters a few months ago and the piling is out of control :(

      • Get a sweater shaver! Or just a disposable razor. Super satisfying.

        • Is there a sweater shaver you recommend?? I am so stupidly anxious about shaving my sweater and creating a giant hole where I paid $200+ for each one! :(

      • I use a sweater stone. It’s much safer than anything with a blade and has been as if not more effective for me than any shavers have been

        • Dritz Sweater Stone Clothing Care https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000WUXOT2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_SMjTybBZKZ3KY

  9. berrybooo :

    LL Bean does these 100% cashmere crew neck sweaters in a range of colors for about $120 each. they’re very very warm, and retain their shape well – even though I machine wash (gently cycle) mine regularly.

    The do pill a bit, but I have yet to encounter cashmere sweaters at any price point that don’t pill when I wear them.

    • To add to this, LL Bean is a company with an excellent warranty:

      “Our products are guaranteed to give 100% satisfaction in every way. Return anything purchased from us at any time if it proves otherwise. We do not want you to have anything from L.L.Bean that is not completely satisfactory.”

  10. berrybooo :

    Ooooh, also, the Gleener Ultimate Fuzz Remover is the absolute best for removing pills. I can’t remember who recommended it to me, but i ditched all others and keep one at work and one at home now.

  11. I got a Lands’ end cashmere cardigan just after Xmas and it’s already pilling like mad. Bah.

    I used to have a Kirkland one that I got at a thrift store that lasted forEVER. Costco: worth considering!

  12. Manderley :

    Woolovers has cashmere merino sweaters. The two I bought last year are soft and have held up well.

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