When you’re picking out new clothes, whether that’s a whole new wardrobe or simply a couple of items to freshen up your outfits for a new season, you’re confronted with a lot of choice. It can be overwhelming and paralysing: you have a limited budget and you need to use it wisely as these clothes will be part of your wardrobe for a long time.
You need to let yourself be guided by some simple principles. Pay attention to the agenda setters on the catwalks; black goes with everything; always pick cashmere.
Cashmere is one of the great classic materials. Beloved of high end designers, you can be assured that anything using high quality cashmere is a good buy for your wardrobe. Let’s look at why it’s such a marker of quality.
Cashmere is a byword for luxury. It’s one of the softest materials available and anything made of cashmere will be a comforting, soft garment that feels like luxury.
It’s made from the soft hairs of the undercoat of specially bred goats – with up to two goats worth of wool going into a single sweater. That contributes to the cost of cashmere, as only a small amount can be produced each year. It also contributes to the quality: only the best, softest hairs make it into the wool, and they’re selected by hand, so you know cashmere represents quality.
The Cashmere goats are mountain dwelling: they grow coats for insulation, so cashmere wool is extremely warm.
For the best luxury cashmere it can be up to eight times as warm as a standard wool jumper. This warmth not only makes it perfect for wintery weather it also means cuts of clothing made with the fabric can be lighter and more inventive, so you’ll be picking more interesting clothing. Cashmere isn’t just a comfort it can help catch eyes and turn heads!
There’s a common perception that cashmere is delicate, that cashmere garments don’t last. This certainly isn’t true of good quality cashmere. As long as you care for it properly, you will find it a fixture in your wardrobe for many years to come.
If you can, handwashing your cashmere items is a good way to keep them soft. Using a mild detergent avoids stressing the fabric and loosing that softness. Using a light detergent, or even baby shampoo can actually enhance its softness over time.
Don’t wring out cashmere items, press excess water out gently then leave to dry over a towel. This avoids twisting the fibres and keeps the material supple. Make sure you fold it to store, as hanging it makes it stretch and lose its shape.
Taking all this into account it’s easy to see that cashmere is always a good bet when you’re shopping for new clothes.