Thursday, December 16, 2010

Classic Cashmere- the Perfect Winter Layer

I grew up in New England, a region known for bitterly cold, harsh winters. It's not Alaska or Siberia, but it certainly gets chilly in these parts. Pennsylvania had snow and cold weather, but not on the same level. Now that I'm back in my home state, I'm having to adjust to the colder, more snow-y weather. One thing you learn early on in this part of the country is how to layer. A cami under a long sleeve t-shirt under a sweater, under a vest with a winter coat on top of it all and a nice warm scarf and hat isn't uncalled for on a freezing cold day up here.

The key to layering without looking too bulky is to select pieces that are light and thin, but also warm. Two of my favorite textiles for this task are alpaca and cashmere. Both are incredibly soft wools and are often made with a very fine weave so they are not too heavy or bulky. In addition, they are two of the warmest materials you can wear. For someone who doesn't like how itchy wool can be, cashmere and alpaca are definitely the best choices. Cashmere especially is SO soft and smooth, it makes an ideal textile in the winter.

ML Kessler Alpaca Wool Men's Sweater, Sierra Trading Post, $59.95

Alpaca Neck Warmer, Etsy, $60.00 

Generally speaking, cashmere and alpaca are very expensive wools, but if you are a smart shopper, you can find them at bargain prices. At this time of year, stores like Marshalls and T.J. Maxx often have specials on cashmere. I recently saw a nice selection of cashmere turtleneck sweaters and cardigans at Marshalls for around $60 each! It doesn't hurt to go through the racks at consignment shops, either. I picked up a beautiful pale blue cashmere shawl-neck pullover for $9.75 at a consignment shop just the other day. You'll have to wait a couple of days for me to use it in an outfit, but now that I've replaced the battery in my camera, I'll be sure to snap a photo. Good luck cashmere hunting! 

1 comment:

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