Neiman Marcus "Made in China" cashmere sweaters

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by swiego, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. swiego

    swiego Senior member

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    1-ply? 2-ply? Good? Not so good?

    I have seen this at the regular store as well as the Last Call. They come in a variety of sizes and styles. Cashmere is very soft, but it's hard to tell how durable. Some are labeled "superfine" others "luxury cashmere" and still others "private label" but all are listed as made in China. Prices are ~ $200-700 retail; the Last Call discounts make them seem a relatively good value.

    Thoughts?
     


  2. swiego

    swiego Senior member

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    I was at a NM today (not the Last Call) and tried asking around about this. No one working there knew much about the sweaters, and none had any idea about ply count or any other details. When I asked one, she replied, "oh, the ply count? Let me see... I think it's 100% cashmere."
     


  3. DrHouse

    DrHouse Active Member

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    Last Call is an outlet owned by NM just as Off 5th is owned by SAKS but that's the extent of it. The merchandise is all different and it's really another company.
    Made in China is not bad and today can mean Made in Hong Kong where high quality goods were always made.
    Cashmere is one of those items which if you don't get the top quality is hardly worthy of the name. Cashmere used to be difined as the undercoat from the neck area of the Kashmir goat raised in certain areas of the world.
    Goats have 2 coats, a rough one and an undercoat. Much of the stuff today sold as "cashmere" is just the undercoat of a goat, in some countries it's called underdown. This is why there is such a difference in price. A real cashmere sweate rmay be $400. Like a light V neck for example. While a cheap version may sell for under a $100 or even $50 on sale.
    Real cashmere is very durable. When you hear people who complain about cashmere or any other fibre, you can be sure that it's a cheap version. I still have some old Alan Paine sweaters, like 30 years old, and they still look new despite the fact that they've been washed a number of times.
     


  4. HomerJ

    HomerJ Senior member

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    I bought a couple of those NM cashmere sweaters this year. They seem nice but I haven't worn them yet so can't speak to durability.

    Regarding ply, I think it's 2 ply or more. There seems to be yarns twisted together (hard to tell) and the sweater does not feel thin and light as you'd expect from single ply.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2011


  5. swiego

    swiego Senior member

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    I agree, at least some of the heavier sweaters seem solid. I have purchased a couple of the more braided variety. It's interesting that even under a loupe I am unable to discern the ply.
     


  6. bourbonbasted

    bourbonbasted Cyber Eliitist

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    This is not necessarily true. While both stores do carry a good amount of outlet-only merchandise they also sell discounted items direct from local NM stores (generally). Many times these items are denoted with "From a Neiman Marcus Store" tags. I have bought a good deal of Cucinelli, RLPL and Isaia items from NM Last Call at huge discounts in the past.
     


  7. Klobber

    Klobber Senior member

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    I would not let the made in China throw you off. As for quality, NM house brand is not too bad. I doubt they rival some of the luxury brands in terms of quality, but they seem to be on a par with what you get at Brooks Brothers or Ralph Lauren. Not bad, and if on a sale for under $100, I say you can pull the trigger.
     


  8. TheWGP

    TheWGP Senior member

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    I have one of the NM house label Made in China cashmere sweaters, acquired off B&S in a trade. It's quite nice, in all honesty. Definitely on par with what you find at Brooks and RL, at least in the standard ilnes. Would not put it in the same category as old Scottish stuff. For what it's worth, I also have an old NM house label Made in Scotland cashmere sweater... that one blows the Made in China away. Never did figure out who made it, but it's something else.

    Seriously though, if you want good, durable and long-lasting cashmere, troll Ebay for 1980's-back sweaters made in Scotland. A very very short list of brands: Alan Paine, Pringle, Ballantyne, Drumohr, Lyle & Scott, McGeorge... there are more, both high end and less high end - but pretty much all nice. Not to distract from the OP's question about NM house branding... would that it were still contracted out to Scotland! :(
     


  9. Amelorn

    Amelorn Senior member

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    A decent cashmere sweater under $100 NWT from a retail store is virtually non-existent.
     


  10. hangthree

    hangthree Senior member

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    I would avoid them...I've purchased a few NM cashmere sweaters in the past for ~ $150 and they all started to pill within a few weeks. Save your $ for something from Scotland.
     


  11. MikeDT

    MikeDT Senior member

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    I see nothing wrong with 'Made in China' cashmere jumpers, seen as much cashmere comes from China(Inner Mongolia) anyway.

    BTW do they actually have cashmere goats in Scotland?
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2011


  12. swiego

    swiego Senior member

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    I am not so concerned with the manufacturing origin; as far as I am aware, most cashmere is sourced from China anyway. I was more interested in the specific quality of these items.

    They are quite plentiful at both NM and NM Last Call stores and I've visited both often enough (and looked at the sweaters often enough) to be fairly certain that they are the same things. (I'm aware of outlets sometimes having different stock and I see some of this at NM Last Call.) In both locations, the cashmere sweaters are typicaly in the $200-700 range MSRP. Sometimes on sale at NM. At the Last Call outlets you can go about 70% off that. For example the last couple of days Last Call has had stackable 30%+15% off pretty much everything in the store, which actually brings prices down quite a bit. (Picked a whole gaggle of Loro Piana, Kiton and Borelli shirts for $120-ish--finally!)

    In any case, I pulled the trigger on a couple of sweaters and will attempt to post them if I have time.
     


  13. HomerJ

    HomerJ Senior member

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    Nice. I checked out the sale today also.

    Also stopped by Goodwill and came across some old Alan Paine sweaters that reminded me of this thread. They had held up well, no pilling. The sweater felt harder than any in my closet but definitely not scratchy. Maybe that wears better than softer fabrics.

    I looked at the NM sweater next to a few sweaters that are $1500 MSRP and I can't really tell the difference other than not being as luscious. Maybe if I pull a fiber out and compare the length! I think time will tell and the NM may not hold up as well but for the price I paid I'm not too worried.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2011


  14. swiego

    swiego Senior member

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    Well, I've been wearing a couple of these quite regularly, and I am sad to say that they've both pilled quite a bit. I don't mind so much, since they were quite affordable, but I would have been miffed if I'd paid the ~ $400 MSRP.
     


  15. miran

    miran Senior member

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    Please Understand, coz it's pretty simple actually: Made in China == GARBAGE. There is no way you can manufacture for so much cheaper, without cutting some serious corners.

    You are better off burning your money to light your cigars...that is a better use for it!
     


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