Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Cpal, Sep 28, 2004.
I'm preparing for fall ... any recommendations on a nice, crew neck cashmere sweater? Thanks.
You have many options.
The usual suspects would be Loro Piana, Malo and TSE. I think you can easily find these brands at better dept. stores or their respective boutiques. A good place to look is the outlet malls, which often carry past season items at a decent discount.
Everybody and their grandpa makes cashmere these days, avoid the likes of BR, JCREW, etc. It's usually quite coarse, poorly made and won't stand the test of time. BR cashmere used to go down to $49.99. I see even Seven is making cashmere sweaters now.....
I have a sweater from Ballantyne which is extremely soft and I have worn it often for almost 3 years nonstop and it has held its shape. I am quite pleased with it, try browsing Yoox.com for a selection. They have more interesting patterns/styles than other brands...oh and Pringle of Scotland is another brand people seem to like....I've seen it at Bloomingdale's.
Finally, there is Lucien Pellat-Finet, which is insanely priced, think upwards of $2000. They have a new store here in the West Village and I've been meaning to check it out to see if people actually shop there or if it is like a museum.
I picked up an Arnold Brandt one for $99 at The Basement -- I think it is really luxurious. Italian made, and it may be a Loro Piana fabric. Check them on Ebay. Nice fit around the waist and chest too -- snug, but still nicely comfortable and classic.
Ill throw in my 2 cents since Im in a similar position of upgrading my knitwear this season (pants first, then knitwear, and a new pair of shoes probably...). Â Im slightly biased in my love for Piana quality--its consistently amazing. Â However, given the prices that LP charges and the poor discounts, I think better deals can be found among the lesser known top tier cashmere makers. Â Malo provides the best fit for skinny guys. Â Quality is on par with Piana with fewer design options. Â Avon Celli and Bruno Cucinelli both make beautiful sweaters, but I found that AC sizing to be a little generous while my experience with Cucinelli is quite limited.
Second tier brands worth a look see are TSE and Gran Saso. Â TSE tends to incorporate a lot of blends into their offerings, but their styling tends to be more modern than any of the brands mentioned above. Â Gran Sasso is a lesser known Italian company that might have some affiliation with Cifonelli (they were being sold at the same sample sale). Â I really liked their sweaters and the prices were attractive even at full retail $300ish for something that Piana would charge $600+. There was a dropoff in quality but not to the same effect as the standard $300 Polo cableknit (coincidently, my first cashmere sweater).
House labels by Davide Cenci and Jay Kos might also be worth checking out if you live in the NYC area. Â I'll refrain from throwing designers into the mix...
Peter Millar, a label started by a former Burberry wholesale man offers a huge array of styles/colors at reasonable prices - and since his relationships are with Independent clothiers, can often be had at discount prices. I picked up a nice cable knit for $195 (reg. @ $395 I think) at the end of last season.
I agree that Loro Piana is very high quality.
Also, check out Brioni cashmere sweaters. Gucci and Armani are both near Loro Piana in quality.
How does Ralph Lauren & Dolce & Gabbana's cashmere compare to some of the other brands mentioned?
And is there any place online that has Lora Piana at reasonable prices?
I've had pretty good experience with RL Polo and RLPL cashmere items. Perhaps a bit overpriced when purchased at full retail, but when had a decent discounts, definitely worth the money. Whilst as to quality difference between Polo and RLPL, I think the difference is negligible, RLPL cashmere items with buttons will have better quality buttons overall, but I think that's the bulk of it.
I have no experience with D&G, so I can't help you other than noting that their retail prices are insanely high.
I am wearing a Land's End cashmere sweater as I write this. I own a few of them, including their special heavier sweaters. Quality/price is excellent--they have amazing volume. Don't see any difference in quality vs the Malo sweaters I own.
I'm reviving this topic. Can anyone advise on the quality of Marc Jacobs cashmere? There seems to be a few nice offerings on Bluefly.
I own a RL cableknit crewneck in an off-white, it is very good quality IMO. Retail of $400 is not worth it, but these can always be found at $200 and below easily. I think I paid $125 for mine brand new on Ebay.
From my readings over the years, Malo, Piana, and Avon Celli seem to be consistently heralded as the best quality for the price on cashmere.
Pehaps some of you can suggest sweaters that will properly fit someone needing a size large and 36 inch cleeves?
I know of only Land's End where I can get large long and a local store CAN special order them but ithe price is always (overflated ) full retail. I refuse to pay the price of a 4 ply sweater to get intermdiate 2 ply.
Scotland makes some of the best cashmere sweaters. Italy's cashmere seems to be more stylish with Scotland level of quality. I find Loro Piana makes the best cashmere sweaters in both quality and style. Also, Brioni cashmere sweaters rank among the best. Malo, Tse, Hermes, Gucci, Ralph lauren Purple label, Armani Black Label, etc. make superior products.
Bergdorf, Barneys NY, NM, etc. house brands can be good deals, especially if you can wait for the Fall sales.
Try LL Bean. THey do long sizes, and I think that they are marginally better than Land's End for this sort of thing. Similar prices/styles.
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