How can I make sure I get good cashmere?
November 20, 2011 7:19 PM   Subscribe

AskMe has convinced me that cashmere scarf (or maybe even a scarf/hat/glove) set would be an ideal Christmas gift for a friend in the cold north. How do I make sure I'm buying the good stuff? (caveat: online)

I'm shopping online for Christmas because I am distant from stores. There are 'cashmere' scarves going on some sites for $9.99... and then there are scarves that are selling well upwards of $1k. I'd like to get good quality cashmere, if I'm going to get cashmere, but would rather not pay extra for the tag/ a random name brand.

Any advice? I know essentially nothing about clothing, I mostly buy my own at Target and Nordstroms Rack.
posted by stewiethegreat to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (6 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
This might be a good place to look for options. I have several of the Johnstons of Elgin scarves mentioned in the "Under $40" section (they'll meet that criteria if you track down a Sierra Trading Post coupon) and they're excellent. I also really like some of the options from Howard Yount, although most of those aren't cashmere.
posted by ethand at 7:34 PM on November 20, 2011

J. Crew has some awesome full sets in nice colors available right now. They aren't cheap, but you know that you will be getting great quality.

p.s. I don't work for j. crew, but I probably should...
posted by shrimpsmalls at 7:39 PM on November 20, 2011

I have a really nice cashmere scarf from J. Crew from a few years ago, so I can vouch for the quality. It was about $40; I waited until it went on sale.
posted by k8lin at 8:09 PM on November 20, 2011

Came in to recommend Johnstons. I bought one of these in the Autumn Buchanan colorway yonks ago, and it is easily my favorite scarf EVAR. Silky smooth soft, no pilling, beautiful colors. I ordered direct from their website after a lovely email exchange with customer service during which I got on a first name basis with the goats involved.

(I.e., you really are dealing with the folks who actually design and make your scarf.)
posted by likeso at 8:27 PM on November 20, 2011

The short answer is that if it's from China, it's typically lower-quality cashmere that won't last nearly as long. (The $9.99 cashmere is real cashmere, but it's low-quality, short-length fibers that won't last are in a looser knit or weave (usually) and will tend to lose shape quickly.) Assuming you're in the U.S., the origin of the fabric is on the tag.

Here's a longer answer.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:01 PM on November 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

I found this post at Put This On helpful-
posted by mrs. taters at 6:09 AM on November 21, 2011

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