Cashmere Sweater Hierarchy

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Taimur, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. furo

    furo Senior member

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    How often do you wear the same one? I don't wear mine too often so this would be difficult to accurately compare... I wear maybe one per week in the winter, and I rotate about five or six of them.

    I primarily buy the BB Made in Scotland V necks, which have held up surprisingly well for a sweater that can easily be found for under $200 on sale. I also have some RLPL cashmere sweaters (made in Italy) that are pilling quite a bit faster than the made in scotland BB ones
     
  2. Melvin Udall

    Melvin Udall Well-Known Member

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    How does Howard Yount stand up agaist those brands?
     
  3. harryx2

    harryx2 Senior member

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  4. harryx2

    harryx2 Senior member

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    Surprisingly, the softest cashmere sweater that I had so far is from Valentino's main line. It is amazing.
     
  5. apack

    apack Senior member

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    Re: Chinese makers
    Yes, apparently just a few Chinese makers currently produce for most of the major designer labels.

    Personally I have always wondered about cashmere fabrics made in Italy. There is obviously no local production of the fiber, and no historical association as in Scotland. I suppose that this is just a matter of major cloth-makers utilizing a variety of raw materials. Certainly this makes sense when it is material that Italian mills are well known for, such as suiting fabrics. I am always a bit skeptical about Italian-made cashmere sweaters though.
     
  6. NORE

    NORE Senior member

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    I have three or four that get worn maybe once a week each during the cooler months. All cableknits if that matters.
     
  7. ThinkDerm

    ThinkDerm Senior member

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    This is quite informative!
     
  8. apack

    apack Senior member

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    Sierra Trading Post currently has excellent prices on Johnston's of Elgin cashmere sweaters -- $120 for a sweater-vest, and $120 - $165 for regular pull-over sweaters (depending on cut and color) with their dealflyer coupons.

    If any of you want to do that, you can signup in a way that will give them some credit to me by clicking through here. This will give you a $10 coupon as well. Then sign up for their dealflyer email, and follow the link through that to get the discount pricing. It works very well, with the only minor annoyance that STP sends their discount emails ~twice/week.
     
  9. House

    House Well-Known Member

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    Real Pringles are expensive.The term cashmere today is used too freely. The definition of cashmere is the undercoat of the Kasmir goat from areas like Inner Mongolia (part of China today) and from the neck area of the animal so it may take a number of goats to make just 1 cashmere sweater. Today anything is called cashmere and may just be the undercoat of any goat from anywhere from its entire body. In many places they would just call something like this the underdown and not cashmere but I guess the labeling laws are rather lax now. It would be better to get a very high quality worsted lambswool rather then a cheap "cashmere". Cashmere is one of those things that if it's not the top it's not worthy of the name. Cognac is the same where unless it's at least a VSOP the cheaper stuff is not even as good as some top brandy from another area at the same price.
     
  10. House

    House Well-Known Member

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    Erm, there are no Kasmir goats in the milder Scotland either or is there sea isle cotton from England. The raw materials come from elsewhere and it's a craft turning them into something suberb.China should make the best cashmere because that's where the goats are located but they don't (not yet anyway) and the same with silk, but Italy makes the best and and has the silkworms right there too.
     
  11. House

    House Well-Known Member

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    http://www.pringlescotland.com/prin...N/tskay/BAD3B277/gender/U/collection_id/19273
     
  12. House

    House Well-Known Member

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    I've had every one and yes they were better even the lambswool was excellent. I guess that you can still find some as good but they'll be ultra expensive but they were all still expensive in their own day in 1970. I'm just guessing a little here from what I remember of prices in England and I may be off but I'd say that in today's money these pullovers would be like $300-400 apiece
     
  13. Ridgy

    Ridgy New Member

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    I've seen a lot of love for John Smedley's sweaters on the forum and snagged a couple from ebay on the strength of the comments around these parts but I have to say I couldn't recommend them. TK Maxx (a chain store that sells end of line designer stuffs) is full of Smedley sweaters, they aren't exactly a niche brand.

    I don't know whether it's some kind of romantic notion about them being English but these things are simply form over function. This time of year over here when you wear a sweater you're wearing it to keep warm, both the Smedley one's I have are so thin you can see through them. One is a Sea Island cotton the other is wool. I dunno maybe he has heavier weights available but these are akin to all the All Saints sweaters i've ever seen i.e wafer thin. My RL and Gant sweaters are much more practical I find.

    I've had a look at some Johnstons of Elgin sweaters and they look more suitable for conditions here, I'd be interested if anyone has tried them.

    I've also had a look in the Sevenwolves store here in Cambridge and I've been impressed with Norse Projects. Has anyone had experience of their sweaters?
     
  14. apack

    apack Senior member

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    Johnstons of Elgin is *much* better than Smedley. I have found Smedley sweaters generally very thin and don't like their Sea Island fabric. It seems like it would distort quickly. Johnston's cashmere is great, and John Laing is also excellent. If you look up-thread to the post by msameth you will find some discussion of recent Scottish cashmere weaving and some of the labels it's sold under.

    If you're looking for lighter-weight or cheaper options, I have found Daniel Cremieux's cotton/alpaca blends to be surprisingly good, and also like Bobby Jones fine-gauge cotton sweaters.

     
  15. apack

    apack Senior member

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    List prices for good-quality cashmere are that or more. However, deals can be found -- for example the current offer at Sierra Trading Post for Johnston's cashmere sweaters at $120-$160 with their email discount. I have seen Laing sleeveless cashmere pull-overs on ebay NWT for as little as $50. So it is still possible to acquire very good quality cashmere at good prices with some judicious shopping. Just stay out of the brick-and-mortar retail stores. These clothes are timeless so there is no need to pay a premium for this year's model.
     

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