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Best Cashmere Sweaters for Women: 8 Quality Options for Any Budget

Best Cashmere Sweaters for Women
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updated: May 27, 2024

When I was 14 years old, I received my first cashmere sweater for Christmas. It was a delicately slouchy, inky-blue cardigan with mother-of-pearl buttons. It was extremely soft, unlike the cotton and merino wool versions in my closet. It had a deep v-neck, and when I put it on, I felt immediately older, more sophisticated, and warm because even though it wasn’t thick, it kept me toasty. Bonus: it didn’t make me itch like the boiled wool sweater I also received that same holiday season.

Eventually, I grew out of the sweater but never found the right replacement. In fact, decades later, I’m still looking for another perfect twilight-blue cashmere cardigan, so I jumped at the chance to write this article.

Cashmere is a classic material for sweaters, and during the holiday season, it’s a gift that keeps on giving to those lucky enough to receive it.

What to consider when buying cashmere sweaters

Not all cashmere, like most materials, is created equal, although all cashmere comes from goats. These cashmere goats (not a breed, but a type of goat) provide the cashmere in sweaters, much like sheep provide wool. The best cashmere goats hail from Mongolia, but you can find cashmere goats worldwide.

However, the goat is just the starting point. A few aspects make a sweater like my beloved cardigan a long-lasting investment, and given that high-quality cashmere usually has a high price tag attached to it, you should consider a few things before you purchase one.

Materials

Look for 100% cashmere on the label if you shop for a purely cashmere sweater. Some garments are made with cashmere and other fibers, like wool or nylon. Always check the label before you purchase a “cashmere” sweater.

Source

While cashmere goats may be raised anywhere, cashmere goats from Mongolia are considered the best options for making cashmere garments. Mongolian cashmere goats are known for their long and fine fibers. There is nothing wrong with cashmere gathered outside of Mongolia, but the quality might not be the same in other locations.

Ply and Knit

When you see the word “two-ply” on a cashmere sweater tag, it stands for the number of threads twisted together. You may see a three-or even four-ply or above indicated, but it shows the strength of the treads. A higher ply will mean a heavy weight to your garment, but it doesn’t mean it is higher quality than a two-ply one. However, if your cashmere sweater is 1-ply, it may not have as much longevity as a higher-ply due to durability. Cashmere can be thin and prone to holes if it has a low ply.

The gauge of a knit garment, like a cashmere sweater, is the number of stitches per inch of fabric and can indicate how tightly the sweater is knit together.

Price

Less expensive cashmere sweaters may be mixed with other materials or have a one-ply or low gauge, making them slightly see-through and light and more prone to pilling. While they may cost less, these sweaters may not be as durable as a two-ply or higher sweater with a 12-gauge knit. A cashmere sweater won’t be cheap, but not all cashmere is unaffordable. How long it lasts will depend on the quality of the garment and how you care for it over time.

Our top picks for the best cashmere sweaters for women

Best affordable cashmere sweater for women: Quince Cashmere Sweater

Best affordable cashmere sweater for women
Women's Quince | The Classic Cashmere Crew in Heather Grey | 100% Grade A Mongolian Cashmere - Size Small

Women's Quince | The Classic Cashmere Crew in Heather Grey | 100% Grade A Mongolian Cashmere - Size Small

Soft and pretty, this cashmere sweater comes in at $50 at Quince. The sweater is made from Grade-A Mongolian cashmere and is available in a wide range of colors including classic black, jewel green, and crimson red. There are a few different styles, from crew and v-neck (also $50) plus a ribbed cashmere fisherman knit for under $100. These sweaters keep their shape over time due to the higher grade of cashmere. Quince is known for its eco-friendly materials and transparent pricing. Plus, they offer free shipping and returns. (Shopping for a gift? Quince also made our list for the best cashmere sweaters for men.)

Specifications

  • Sizes: XS to XL
  • Colors: 19 colors at press time
  • Materials: Grade-A, Mongolian cashmere
  • Price on publish: $50

Pros:

  • Affordable, Grade A
  • Keep their shape

Cons:

  • Not size-inclusive; only goes up to XL

The bottom line:

Affordable, quality cashmere in a variety of colors and styles.

Best cashmere turtleneck sweater for women: Everlane The Cashmere Oversized Turtleneck

Best cashmere turtleneck sweater for women
Women's Cashmere Oversized Turtleneck Sweater by Everlane in Olive, Size S

Women's Cashmere Oversized Turtleneck Sweater by Everlane in Olive, Size S

Everlane sells ethically-sourced and affordable cashmere in classic and contemporary styles. This oversized turtleneck will keep you warm and comes in a generous fit and seven colors, including a bubblegum (or Barbie) pink. Made from Mongolian, Grade-A cashmere, this is a high-quality cashmere sweater without the super-high price tag. Pair with flared leggings for a casual luxe look.

Specifications

  • Sizes: XXS to XL
  • Colors: Seven
  • Materials: Grade-A Mongolian cashmere
  • Price on publish: $248

Pros:

  • Affordable, Grade-A cashmere
  • Extremely comfortable

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come in petite sizes

The bottom line:

Comfortable, soft, high-quality cashmere in trendy oversized style, without an oversized price tag.

Best V-neck cashmere sweater for women: J. Crew Cashmere Shrunken V-Neck Sweater

Best V-neck cashmere sweater for women
Cashmere shrunken V-neck sweater

Cashmere shrunken V-neck sweater

If you are looking for a trendy fit, this shrunken V-neck cashmere sweater from J.Crew is an budget-friendly option. This slightly-cropped length comes in nine color options like neon papaya and heather grey and pairs well with dress pants for work. Made from 100 percent cashmere from Mongolian goats, this sweater also comes with the AbTF's (Aid by Trade Foundation) The Good Cashmere Standard® certificate, so you know that it is made of ethically-sourced material.

Specifications

  • Sizes: XXXS to 3X
  • Colors: Nine
  • Materials: Mongolian cashmere
  • Price on publish: $138

Pros:

  • Fitted, not boxy
  • Under $150
  • Offered in larger sizes

Cons:

Doesn’t list the cashmere’s grade on the website

The bottom line:

This shrunken and slightly-cropped classic cashmere sweater is a good alternative (in a range of sizes) if you want a fitted v-neck sweater.

Best sustainable cashmere sweater for women: NAADAM The Original Cashmere Sweater

NAADAM The Original Cashmere Sweater

NAADAM The Original Cashmere Sweater

NAADAM is known for selling sustainable and affordable cashmere. This “original” and beloved NAADAM crewneck checks all the boxes if you are looking for a durable and stylish sweater. The neckline is a little looser than a typical crew and it ranks high on NAADAM’s softness scale. This nautical-inspired sweater is lightweight making it a good option for shoulder seasons, like spring. In addition, the company is known for its dedication to using sustainable and eco-friendly fabrics and direct sourcing. Its cashmere is sourced directly from Mongolian herding communities with cashmere goats.

Specifications:

  • Sizes: XS to XXL
  • Colors: 9 core colors (including neutrals, olive, and a stunning peacock blue); plus 18 limited edition colors—basically every hue in your crayon box.
  • Materials: Mongolian cashmere
  • Price on publish: $150

Pros:

  • Offered in a range of sizes
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Many limited edition colors sell out quickly

The bottom line:

An affordable (from an eco-friendly company) made form 100% Mongolian cashmere sweater in over a dozen colors.

Best cashmere cardigan for women: White+Warren Essential Trapeze Cardigan

Best cashmere cardigan for women
White+Warren Essential Trapeze Cardigan

White+Warren Essential Trapeze Cardigan

Classic, flowy, open-front long cardigan in a delicate design. White+Warren cashmere is minimalist luxury at its finest. This sweater drapes beautifully, and the trapeze cut usually looks good on everyone, although the arms run slightly tight. Made from 100% cashmere, the price tag on this sweater is a little high, but if you care for it, White+Warren cashmere (speaking from experience) has a long shelf life.

Specifications

  • Sizes: XS to XL
  • Colors: Eight
  • Materials: Mongolian cashmere
  • Price on publish: $335

Pros:

  • Durable and classic
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Expensive

The bottom line:

A great choice if you are looking for a durable, high-quality, long cashmere cardigan and don’t mind the open front.

Best size-inclusive cashmere cardigan for women: Universal Standard Pure Cashmere V Neck Sweater

Best size-inclusive cashmere cardigan for women
Universal Standard Pure Cashmere V Neck Sweater

Universal Standard Pure Cashmere V Neck Sweater

Universal Standard’s pure cashmere v-neck sweater comes in three colors: black and two gorgeous blue and green colors. The brand’s commitment to size-inclusivity means that this v-neck cashmere sweater is available in myriad sizes to fit all types of figures. While not tight, the sweater skims the body and isn’t boxy. We like it paired with a nice white button down shirt. Ribbed cuffs are a nice touch, too.

Specifications

  • Sizes: 4XS to 4XL
  • Colors: Three
  • Materials: 100% cashmere
  • Price on publish: $248

Pros:

  • Extremely soft
  • Comes in a crew neck version too
  • Website claims it is “pilling resistant”

Cons:

  • Only three color choices
  • Cashmere grade not listed

The bottom line:

This classic-fit v-neck cashmere sweater is extra soft and available in many sizes but is offered in limited colors.

Best cashmere polo sweater for women: Quince Mongolian Cashmere Polo Sweater

Best cashmere polo sweater for women
Quince | Women's Mongolian Cashmere Polo Sweater in Ivory, Size Medium

Quince | Women's Mongolian Cashmere Polo Sweater in Ivory, Size Medium

Quince appears in our list a few times due to its Grade-A, high-quality cashmere, affordable price point, and commitment to selling sustainable fabrics. Its polo-style cashmere sweater is durable, extra-soft, and has a relaxed fit with drop shoulders and an open collar. Available in seven colors from ivory to burgundy.

Specifications

  • Sizes: XS to XL
  • Colors: Seven
  • Materials: Grade-A, Mongolian cashmere
  • Price on publish: $79.90

Pros:

  • Affordable, Grade-A, high-quality cashmere

Cons:

  • Only goes up to size XL

The bottom line:

A relaxed fit cashmere polo with rib-knit cuffs and hem made from Grade-A cashmere.

Best luxury cashmere sweater: Jenni Kayne Cashmere Boyfriend Sweater

Best luxury cashmere sweater
Jenni Kayne Cashmere Boyfriend Sweater

Jenni Kayne Cashmere Boyfriend Sweater

This “borrowed from the fellas”cashmere sweater is based on Jenni Kayne’s best-selling version in cotton. Soft and slouchy with a high-low hem and side splits, it has an inherent preppy, coastal-cool vibe and looks smart with leggings and Chelsea boots. Made from superfine Mongolian cashmere, it is breathable but has enough weight to keep you warm in the winter.

Specifications

  • Sizes: XS to 3X
  • Colors: Two striped patterns or Storm lue
  • Materials: Grade-A, Mongolian cashmere
  • Price on publish: $395

Pros:

  • Affordable, Grade-A, high-quality cashmere
  • Incredibly soft and well-made

Cons:

  • Expensive

The bottom line:

A high-quality boyfriend style cashmere sweater worth its high price.

How I selected the best cashmere sweaters

I analyzed the materials, brands, and origin of the sweaters I chose, talked to experts, tried on some brands, consulted with cashmere-loving friends and colleagues, performed in-depth fact-checking, and scoured hundreds of reviews to select our top picks from various retailers.

Best way to store cashmere sweaters

Moths love cashmere (I’ve personally found out the hard way), and it’s best always to keep your cashmere sweaters folded into garment bags and hung up in your closet. If you wear your sweaters on rotation, having them professionally cleaned, especially before storing them away for the summer season, is also important.

The best way to clean cashmere sweaters

You can wash them by hand and lay them flat to dry or take them to a professional dry cleaner, preferably an eco-friendly one with experience caring for cashmere.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How much should I spend on a cashmere sweater?

You can spend under $100 for a quality cashmere sweater or over $1000 or more; it depends on what you can afford.

What is the highest quality cashmere?

Cashmere labeled Grade-A is considered the highest quality cashmere. Cashmere has three grades: A, B, and C, and the quality varies depending on the grade.

How can you spot good cashmere?

A quality cashmere sweater should feel soft and light to the touch. Try holding the cashmere sweater up to the light to see the long fibers in the sweater. You should see approximately 1-2 mm of fibers. Lightly run your hand over the sweater—if you get balls of fluff it may mean that the sweater is made from a low-grade cashmere.

Is it worth it to buy a cashmere sweater?

Absolutely. Cashmere has a higher insulation capacity than wool to help you stay warm and toasty rather than overheating. Plus, it is a naturally breathable fiber. You may be able to wear a light cashmere sweater, particularly a cardigan, year-round (depending on the temperature), which may not be the same as a wool one. Cashmere sweaters instantly elevate a look and are soft to the touch, and these days, it is possible to purchase a decent one for under $100. If you take care of them, cashmere sweaters are extremely durable, too. I own a few vintage cashmere sweaters from older family members that are decades and decades old; they hold up over time and can be lovely heirlooms if the cashmere is high-enough quality.

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