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Cashmere sweaters

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by RainCityClotheshound, Nov 9, 2002.

  1. Thracozaag

    Thracozaag Well-Known Member

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    My favorite saying concerning this (courtesy of my mom):


    "I wish I could give poor people money and rich people taste."
     
  2. davei

    davei Well-Known Member

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    GQG: I can sense your frustration, but quite frankly, your rant makes you sound like an elitist snob. If that's what you are, fine, but it doesn't help the logic of your argument. Rest assured that the high end will ALWAYS be high end and expensive, even if it varies or moves around. You can get ABS on a Chev Cavalier these days, but not a system like BMW's iDrive. Perhaps in a dozen years, but by then we'll all be floating around in aircars [​IMG]
     
  3. Nick M

    Nick M Well-Known Member

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    True, but I know plenty of people who spend next to nothing on clothes, but are very individually stylish. On the other side of the coin, I know just as many people who throw piles of money at trends and labels, and end up looking like everyone else. Case in point, I recently attended a party thrown by, and for, the 'in crowd'. Plenty of money to throw around, no doubt, but three guys were wearing the exact same designer shirt. As we know, it's all about how you put it together.
    I don't get it. If it reaches the stage where someone has the choice between an inexpensive wool sweater and an equally inexpensive cashmere sweater, and the cashmere sweater is more comfortable, why not? It's like saying, 'Man, it's a sad day now that everyone gets to sleep in a bed.' [​IMG] Â Everything was a luxury once... Someone wearing a cheap cashmere sweater isn't going to make yours cheap too, and it's not going to make Zegna or Loro Piana throw up their hands and surrender. Once consumers as a whole start buying big - just like TVs, DVD players, and whatever - prices will go down, at all levels. No doubt, the big guns of the textile industry will keep researching and breeding to stay competitive, and for the price of your (X) micron designer sweater today, you'll get an (X minus 1) micron sweater in a few years. Everybody wins. Maybe vicuna or escorial will become the new cashmere. Progress in a capitalist society is, for want of a better word, good [​IMG]. In a communist society, we'd all be wearing sackcloth sweaters, and all the Kashmir goats would've been burned for fuel. [​IMG] We could change the name - if the fibers are thicker than some arbitrary number of microns, then we just call it something else. The schlubs get the comfort, the snobs get to keep the name. Pretty pointless, though. Most people just buy their clothes and wear them because they're comfortable, who cares if they think they're wearing super-high-grade cashmere when it's 'just' Land's End or BR? Who goes around saying, 'Hey, check out my cashmere sweater', anyway? If you know anyone like that, rich or poor, then they can be safely ignored. On a related (but less flamewar-inducing) note, does anyone have an opinion on Charles Tyrwhitt's 4-ply cashmere sweaters? The company's shirts are nice - at a discount - and I was considering picking up a cashmere v-neck when they have one of their inevitable half-price sales... Cheers, Nick.
     
  4. bigbadbuff

    bigbadbuff Well-Known Member

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  5. pstoller

    pstoller Well-Known Member

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    I think these gentleman have said most of what I'd say, but to respond to the one specific comment addressed at me:
    You're making the same mistake that you attribute to the volume Chinese producers: assuming that supply and demand is all about quantity, rather than quality. I don't debate most of the statements you've just made, but I don't think you've put all the pieces together correctly. The proliferation of low-quality cashmere does not have a negative impact on the demand for high-quality cashmere. On the contrary, it increases that demand. You, as a consumer, are an illustration of that point. Zegna is an illustration as a supplier. Any of the luxury goods companies whose reputation rests on selling superior goods knows that it can't be caught selling $800 sweaters that aren't appreciably better than widely-available $80 sweaters. What this adds up to is a higher demand for superior cashmere. There will have to be more of the good stuff, and the good stuff will have to be consistently better than it has been. That's exactly why Zegna is running its program. It wouldn't be doing it without seeing a substantial profit in it; Zegna understands the long-term rewards of its efforts. As Zegna's competitors figure it out, they'll get into the same game. The price differential in qualities of cashmere goes back to the suppliers. While there will always be some who rely on mass sales of cheap stuff, there will be others who understand the fiscal incentive to increase the quality of their herds, as well as the quantity. When other herders see Zegna-trained outfits getting more money per pound of yield, what do you think they're going to do? You seem to think that both consumers and producers are just going to give up and settle for Gap cashmere, simply because it's so common and cheap. Well, have you seen the market for luxury denim lately? And you think the newly democratic appeal of cashmere is going to kill the luxury market? It ain't gonna happen.
     
  6. Ambulance Chaser

    Ambulance Chaser Well-Known Member

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    Let them eat cake.  (And wear merino wool sweaters.)
     
  7. bigbadbuff

    bigbadbuff Well-Known Member

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    oh no, I love merino wool sweaters. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. RainCityClotheshound

    RainCityClotheshound Well-Known Member

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    Well,well. This has been quite the lively discussion. Thank you all again for your opinions. Any recommendations on retail outlets/websites where I might find the best prices on quality cashmere? RCCH
     
  9. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    RCCH: As there are no Last Calls or Off 5ths in the Seattle area, try the Clan Douglas (I'm not sure it's Clan Douglas, but it's Clan something) at the Nordstrom Racks up there. Forte's web site is www.cashmere.com. And you can always cruise Ebay and Bluefly. What color/style/size are you looking for?
     
  10. RainCityClotheshound

    RainCityClotheshound Well-Known Member

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    Steve B, Thank you for your suggestion. I am planning to check out both Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack,in lieu of Off 5th etc. I'm looking for a black v-neck sweater. Probably 2-ply.
     
  11. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    Haven't seen many of those RCCH, but I'll keep an eye out. Will be in Chicago over Thanksgiving and will perhaps bump into one. If so, I'll let you know. Great choice- color & style will work with anything.... Sak's usually discounts their own brand right about now, and depending on how they're doing financially, the price gets lower and lower as Christmas approaches...I'll look in SF; I need to run in there some time in the next few days before departing for Chi. Plus I'll check the one there. And of course all the specialty stores here there and in between. [​IMG]
     
  12. RainCityClotheshound

    RainCityClotheshound Well-Known Member

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    Steve B, Thank you for your help. You are quite the resource. RCCH [​IMG]
     
  13. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    Your'e welcome, RCCH. Just checked their web site and these sweaters are on sale NOW, just no black...If price is in your range, you could call SF and ask after black...But I bet they'll mark them down further. And I will look Saturday or Sunday, just for fun [​IMG]
     
  14. aybojs

    aybojs Well-Known Member

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    sorry if i'm hijacking the thread, but what's generally considered a good price for a high quality cashmere sweater (malo, loro piana, etc.)? as i'm sure most here are already aware of there's a bunch of malo sweaters on bluefly for $300, and that 20% coupon is making me second guess a wool zegna sweater which i ordered last week (but hasnt shipped yet). if it's a really good deal i may ask them to take back the order and then splurge on cashmere. also, as someone who currently lacks any quality/dressy winter sweaters, i'm interested in hearing your recommendations for a first sweater in terms of neck type/color. i've decided i don't want a crew neck, but is there any reason to pick a v-neck over a mock neck or vice versa? as for color, i'm thinking about getting something beige, cream, or tan , although i have heard the school of thought that more vivid colors are better for sweaters.
     
  15. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    I think Malos and Loro Pianas run in the neighborhood of $450-500 retail. But I don't own any cashmere sweaters and must defer to GQG's earlier post. Checking Bluefly is an excellent idea to start a collection, though. Thanks for the tip. [​IMG] I would choose something versatile in a color that flatters you. RCCH's choice of black was excellent- almost anyone looks good in black. Same with navy and charcoal. And tans/khakis are good. Pick something that goes with your hair, eyes, and complexion. A V-neck can be dressed up or down, and worn by itself (IMO if you wear an undershirt it should be V-neck as well and NOT show), or for work or casual, depending on what your office's dress code is.
     
  16. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    RCCH:

    Spotted one at a Rack yesterday. Brand was Cashmere Exchange, black v-neck, size M, price $100. Quality was so-so.

    Got Land's End catalog yesterday also. I had forgotton about them and don't now how you feel about their quality, but that's another option.

    Steve
     
  17. Ambulance Chaser

    Ambulance Chaser Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering if someone could comment on the quality of TSE cashmere.
     
  18. bigbadbuff

    bigbadbuff Well-Known Member

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    supposedly very good. I'd personally consider them a tier under Loro, Malo and the like, but nonetheless very good. Bluefly had a few cashmere items from them, not sure if they still do.
     
  19. bigbadbuff

    bigbadbuff Well-Known Member

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  20. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    RCCH:

    Wasn't able to check the Sak's in SF, but the one in Chi had cashmere Exchange in black for around $180 on sale (think it was cable knit). Sak's own brand had only polos in black, at the price quoted on the web ($229). Land's End claims they are selling 2 ply Inner Mongolian cashmere. They have a black v-neck for $138 in the catalog, which I'm sure you could also get from the web site.
     

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