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best cashmere sweater

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
this month's GQ has a feature in which they list 47 new year's resolutions. one is to buy a first-rate men's cashmere sweater. the one the magazine suggests/recoomends is an editor's favorite -- from marc jacobs. how good is marc jacobs cashmere and what are some other contenders? loro piana?
post #2 of 21
I have a MJ cashmere sweater, it's quite nice, fairly comparable to my LP cashmere sweaters, but honestly (and many may consider this blasphemous) there isn't a whole lot of difference in my experience between the LP sweaters and the ones made by J Crew of LP fabric, and the "fine gauge cashmere" sweaters from Express seem to be almost as good, I recently picked up one of these in navy for $50.
post #3 of 21
Marc Jacobs is a designer. Someone else is making his sweaters; at most he dictates the cut, which can make a difference in how stylish the sweater is. However, he will have no input on the quality of the yarn used or most other parameters of a good cashmere sweater. I'm wearing a Ballantyne cashmere sweater right now and it's the best cashmere sweater I've owned. Soft yet tightly woven; warm; substantial but not bulky; minimal wear or pilling. Thing is, it's vintage. I have a new one that I haven't worn yet, and I fear that the quality of top Scottish cashmere may have declined. FYI both _are_ made in Scotland. I boguht a new N.Peal a few years ago and while it's nice, it seems to stretch and pill more than I would have expected. Brunello Cucinelli makes a fantastic cashmere sweater though. I own one Loro Piana cashmere-silk sweater and feel like it's nice, and I'd always wanted one, but it feels much flimsier than the other cashmere I own. Richard James' cashmere sweaters are nice, but I wouldn't pay retail for them (close to $1000). Many are made by Corgi, which is a good house but not quite up there with the very best.
post #4 of 21
Quote:
Marc Jacobs is a designer. Someone else is making his sweaters; at most he dictates the cut, which can make a difference in how stylish the sweater is.  However, he will have no input on the quality of the yarn used or most other parameters of a good cashmere sweater.
This statement is TOTALLY wrong. Honestly, nothing could be further from the truth. Designers most definately have a say in the quality of the material and an absolute say in the specs the garment is cut to. This is what "design" is. What do you mean when you say "Someone else is making his sweaters"? Of course he is outsourcing the garment to a factory... Marc Jacob is a design house not a manufacturer. It wouldn't be profitable/feasable for them own factories.
post #5 of 21
Mike is right.
post #6 of 21
Traditional knitwear brands for consideration: (some previously mentioned), top tier: Ballantyne, Loro Piana, Bruno Cucinelli, Colombo Mid-High Tier: Malo, TSE, Avon Celli All of my cashmere sweaters are from the second group. I'm sure various design houses offer top quality products, however, I can't recommend anything off the top of my head. Oh wait, If you have the opportunity to visit New York, the Beretta boutique has a few amazing 100% cashmere sweaters ($700-1200?), and a full length cashmere/rabbit-lined fur coat ($4-5000-ish) by an Austrian company I can't remember.
post #7 of 21
Avon Celli's millionaire cashmere sweaters are definitely one of the best money can buy. Kiton are also making some great cashmere, I saw one at Barneys New York on sale for a "mere" $950.
post #8 of 21
Quote:
It wouldn't be profitable/feasable for them own factories.
Depends on the structure of the particular house. For example, Costume National has its own factories, and that seems to work for them, but I can't see the Ralph Lauren group doing this. Depends on how many brands, etc... are in the group. Even now, C'n'C, Costume's diffusion line, is outsourced.
post #9 of 21
Malo sweat shirts Yummy
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Avon Celli's millionaire cashmere sweaters are definitely one of the best money can buy. Kiton are also making some great cashmere, I saw one at Barneys New York on sale for a "mere" $950.
Saw some of the Avon Celli Millionaire Cashmere sweaters at Filene's Basement. They were already incredibly pilled, though the Avon Celli normal cashmeres were fine. Are they that much more delicate?
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Designers most definately have a say in the quality of the material and an absolute say in the specs the garment is cut to. This is what "design" is. Mike is right.
Mr. RJman is not entirely wrong either. A designer does not have control of the quality of the garment --- the factory does.  However, the designer can pick the factory.  Some designers pick a good factory/maker while others don't. For example, even if a designer wanted a high quality product, a factory in China would certainly not be able to meet it.  In a way, if he is stuck with that factory, he doesn't really have a say in the quality.  The only choice he (or his company) has is to change factory. That's the reason why Hermes 'makes' a better cashmere sweater than other Milanese designers. They all want to have a great product, but Hermes picks a great factory/maker.
post #12 of 21
I will vote for Brunello Cucinelli, Avon Celli and Loro Piana for best cashmere sweaters.
post #13 of 21
I think that's what I meant. Well, I was not entirely right, but designers are limited by their subcontractors' abilities. If the subcontractor can deliver, they can specify levels of quality in the manufacture of the garment, if they care.
post #14 of 21
Well, American Apparel owns its own factory(s)...as does Zenga and Loro Piana. Total ownership in a factory is not necessarily required to assure required quality, partial ownership can satisfy that. I am sure that the RL Corp. owns stock in several of its manufacturing companies, or finds way to press its interests by other means. Jon. Well, American Apparel owns its own factory(s)...as does Zenga and Loro Piana. Total ownership in a factory is not necessarily required to assure required quality, partial ownership can satisfy that. I am sure that the RL Corp. owns stock in several of its manufacturing companies, or finds way to press its interests by other means. Jon. Out of curiosity, does anyone know which company produces the Cashmere items for RL Polo / RLPL? I have been trying to find out but with to no avail.
post #15 of 21
Avon Celli is definitely top-tier, many consider them the best. My favorite is Brunello Cucinello, based on styling. Sort of a sophisticated take on military and field clothing. A tip for Bergdorf Goodman shoppers: Some of their private label sweaters are (or at least were) made by Avon Celli and Brunello Cucinelli, though they are about half the price of the comparable branded items.
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