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Sweater Time: Highest Quality Sweaters

Soph

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????
What do you like?
 

aportnoy

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These make up the bulk of my collection...

Avon Celli
Cucinelli
Aida Barni
Loro Piana
Borrelli
Kiton
Della Ciana
Barbera
Agnona/Zegna Cashmere
Malo
Berk
Ballantyne
Lyle & Scott
John Smedley
 

RJman

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Berk was at least at one time made by Ballantyne.

I find it hard to imagine a better cashmere sweater than my Cucinelli. I have an old Ballantyne which is superlative as well. The cashmere sweaters at HK Paris are among the best I've seen and they're made in Scotland by one of the "Cashmere Made in Scotland" trade group, but I don't know by whom.
 

itsstillmatt

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My favorites are Cucinelli and Avon Celli. AC makes better summer sweaters and Cucinelli better designed ones for winter.

Loro Piana does very nice basics, although they get very little love here.
 

Artisan Fan

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Loro Piana silk/cashmere blend long sleeve polos and V neck sweaters are my winter staple. I also like Avon Celli and Cucinelli. I bought my first J Crew cashmere V neck in a rich navy and I'm impressed. I have some W. Bill cashmere classics as well.

I don't know how good they are but I saw some nice silk/cashmere blend sweaters in Banana Republic for around $70 I think. Good color selection.
 

zjpj83

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Thick cashmere or wool/cashmere blends. I don't like thin sweaters very much, though I own them. I constantly find myself reaching for the thick ones. I like my Asprey cashmere turtlenecks very much. I also like the way Brooks Brothers does a wool/cashmere blend, actually.
 

gamelan

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i'd have to say John Smedley is best bang for the buck when you can get them at STP's firesale prices (usually anywhere from $50-75). while i'd love to try a Cucinelli or an Avon Celli, even on sale i never see them go below the $200-300 mark.

-Jeff
 

SGladwell

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Most of the branded cashmere sweaters I own are probably Pringle. The newest I bought last year, and the oldest I think my father bought before I was born. I also think very highly of Ballantyne and Loro Piana. I don't know who makes Knize's cashmere but it's superlative and surprisingly well-priced. Jil Sander also uses amazing cashmeres that seem to last forever, with spectacular cuts and corresponding designer premiums. The best non-Scottish or Italian cashmere I've seen is TSE's.

I'd never heard of J & D McGeorge before, and don't know if they're still around, but a vintage sweater they made for Horrid's is what I'm wearing right now, and is likely to be a favorite of mine this winter.

Sometimes good stores' house brands are great cashmere, too, but you have to judge piece by piece. I've been very happy with sweaters carrying Barney's, NM, Clan Douglas/Nordstrom, and Bergdorf labels. As far as house brands at outlets, NMLC gets some great stuff, and some meh stuff. Off5th's seems to be more consistently on the meh side.

Of middle-rung cashmere, I'm totally unimpressed with J. Crew and Banana. Brooks has some that look and feel like they're from the same OEM as Banana, and some that are nicer. The cut is a bit stodgy, but I think quality-wise the Lands End cashmere is simply a notch above those mall brands.

I'm not such a huge fan of Avon Celli. The one I bought just didn't hold up as well as something that expensive should. Also, new Burberry sweaters seem not very good, though I recently bought two Burberry[s'] vintage sweaters (one labeled as made by Ballantyne, one labeled as made by Pringle) that are the equal or superior of anything sold today.

I have no experience with Smedley beyond their Sea Island cotton knitwear (which I like) or Cucinelli. And not cashmere, but for thin sweaters Zegna has (or had) a line of woven 15-micron wool sweaters that are wonderful. If I'm somewhere cold, I'll layer a 15milmil15 Zegna turtleneck under a collared sweater.
 

norcaltransplant

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I've found the arms on Jil Sander pieces too long for my tastes. I like Malo for their slimmer cuts (a eu48 fits nicely). I'll cast another vote in the favor of Cucinelli for making a great product.
 

horton

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Avon Celli -- cashmere, tasmanian, (normal?) wool. Great in all weights styles

Malo

Borrelli-- I have a thick cashmere cardigan that is probably my favorite sweater

Cucinelli

I have yet to buy a Loro Piana, but I've seen many that look and feel good

I've also been pleased with Louis, Boston and Scott Hill, though I don't know who makes them.
 

aportnoy

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Originally Posted by horton
Scott Hill, though I don't know who makes them.

Lomberto Losani makes Scott Hill's private label cashmere and I agree that they are quite nice.
 

drizzt3117

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I have cashmere from Malo, Tse, Theory, Loro Piana, CK Collection, Pringle, and some others... quite nice.
 

Swann

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Originally Posted by SGladwell
Jil Sander also uses amazing cashmeres that seem to last forever, with spectacular cuts and corresponding designer premiums.

Did you know who makes them?
 

aportnoy

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Originally Posted by Swann
Did you know who makes them?

If they are the more recent Sander products, it will undoubtably be the same factories that are making Prada cashmere.
 

jmh

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For fashion that will look tired in a season or two or sweaters that will wear out, go with any of the designer names above.

For timeless style as well as highest quality, stick with Pringle or Ballantyne.

Fine Scottish cashmere beats Italian and all others.
 

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