An honest review of direct-to-consumer cashmere brands

Mid-February is probably not the best time of year to be talking about cashmere sweaters—one, because you’re probably tired of yours by now and two, because whatever is left in stores by now (which might not be anything at all) is on major sale due to spring (hopefully) coming soon. But, after several months of reflection on the cashmere sweaters I bought this year, I thought I’d take this opportunity to review what I got from the three major direct-to-consumer cashmere brands. Here are my thoughts.




Everlane
I am a huge fan of Everlane in general (and have been for years) and while they offer much more than cashmere, it’s definitely a big category for them. They’re probably most famous for their $100 cashmere crewneck and V-neck sweaters, which they sell year-round; I have one of those, as well as a turtleneck dress, a turtleneck, and a cardigan. This year, they got a little more fashion-y, with lantern sleeves, boxy shapes, and premium cashmere added to the mix; they also introduced recycled “Re-cashmere,” which I would not recommend (I ordered a sweater and it was itchy AF). I will say, their cashmere sweaters are a pretty good deal overall, but they’re not as soft as they used to be, even if you stick with 100% cashmere. That said, I love the styles I own and will probably keep adding to my collection.
Pros: Great value, classic-with-a-twist design
Cons: Not the softest


Naadam
While Everlane is all about “radical transparency,” Naadam is more cashmere with a conscience. They work directly with goat herders in Mongolia and use sustainable processes throughout their supply chain, which my bleeding liberal heart loves. As for their cashmere, I only own one cardigan sweater so far, but I love it—the cashmere is crazy soft, the pilling has been minimal so far, and the price was reasonable, especially considering how specific (and hard to find) the style is. Naadam one-ups Everlane with a unisex $75 sweater that comes in a gazillion colors (and never goes on sale), but their prices can get much, much steeper. They do have frequent sales if you subscribe to their email list, so that can soften the blow.
Pros: Very soft, trend-conscious
Cons: Prices jump considerably beyond the basics


Naked Cashmere
I first learned about Naked Cashmere not through Instagram or digital ads but by good old-fashioned direct mail! (Guess print is not dead after all.) And from the catalog alone, I was persuaded to try their Waverly sweater, which is a somewhat basic style (with a cool raised seam detail at the shoulder) that, at $125, was a bit more compared to the other two brands’ pricing for basics, but I decided to try it anyway. And wow, am I glad I did—the softness blows the other brands out of the water. The yarn is super fine and yet really lofty at the same time; you kind of do feel naked wearing it, in a good way. But perhaps more importantly, I am into their aesthetic—or, to put it plainly, I would wear nearly everything on the site, which is a situation you want to be in as a retailer who’s after repeat customers. Of course, Naked Cashmere is generally the most expensive of the three, although the quality is equivalent to products multiple times the price in department stores. So in this case, I think you get more than you pay for.
Pros: Ridiculously soft, wide range of covetable styles
Cons: The most expensive of the three


2 comments

Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom said...

I have one cashmere sweater in my closet and I just love it, but it is getting old (it is VERY old! lol!). I'll have to check these cashmere sites out. I LOVE that outfit on you with the moto jacket and skirt.

Carrie
curlycraftymom.com

Claire Justine said...

Loveall your outfits Cheryl :) Thanks for sharing your post with us at Street Art Chesterfield And An Over 40 Outfit Post: Creative Mondays.