The Very Best Cashmere Sweaters For 2021 (Sustainable, Plus Sizes, Guys and Kids Included)

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When it comes to cashmere, I have some very strong opinions. Cashmere sweaters are, quite simply, my go-to pieces for most of the year. I layer them under coats in the winter months (especially the thick, super-soft, delicious ones), and use them as outerwear in the spring and fall. Lightweight cashmere gets packed in my beach bag for cool summer nights, and I’ve worn my cashmere sweaters hiking, skiing, as loungewear, as pajamas, with fancy skirts to fancy parties, and — most often — with jeans for all sorts of date night/dress-up/errand running/playdate and other daily activities.

Since my cashmere sweaters get so much use, I always (always!!) machine wash them on cold, in a mesh bag. If interested, here’s how I’ve been caring for my cashmere sweaters.

Cashmere sweaters are, for my lifestyle, always a safe bet. The price-per-wear of my cashmere after a single year of wear is low. And considering that most will last me for years…well. This is one clothing item that has been 100% worth the investment.


The Best Cashmere Sweaters For Men, Women & Kids (Sustainble & Plus-Size Too)

So. To properly recommend cashmere sweaters that really go the distance, I’ve spent the last two months ordering various cashmere sweaters, trying them on, sending some back, washing others, and generally comparing one cashmere sweater to another. I narrowed my search to include only sweaters under $400 (there’s no increase in quality above $400 — you literally just start paying for a name)…and a few of my favorites are under $200. If you want to know the cashmere with the longest sleeve length? I’ve got it. If you want to know the cashmere with the prettiest color range? I have thoughts on that, too. The coolest neckline? Yes. The most modern cut? The thickest? The best value for the money? Got ’em all.

1. Top Cashmere Sweater: NAADAM Cashmere Oversized Crew (Sustainable, Plus Size & Best Overall)

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sweater (s) | jeans (27)

  • SUSTAINABLE: Yes
  • PLUS SIZE: Up to 3XL
  • PRICE: Under $400

Why does Naadam’s Oversized Cashmere Crew get the top nod? Well first of all, it’s the thickest cashmere of the bunch, it’s sustainably made, and it’s available in plus sizes. This is cashmere that harkens back to the good ol’ days of cashmere, when retailers didn’t seem to be competing for first place in a Cashmere Under $100 Contest. This cashmere is totally, wildly luxurious — think: thick, drapey, warm and soft. The cut is roomy, so it’s easy to move, and yet it’s not overly bulky when layering under a coat. I also appreciate that the neckline, while crewneck, is a higher crewneck, which means that you can easily layer tees underneath without the necklines competing or getting messed up.

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sweater (s) | jeans (27)


2. The Best Everyday Cashmere: Jenni Kayne Fisherman Sweater

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sweater (s) | jeans (27)

  • SUSTAINABLE: Yes
  • PLUS SIZE: Up to 3XL
  • PRICE: Under $400

Jenni Kayne’s cashmere fisherman sweater is an instant classic. The sweater is soft and on the thicker side, yet the result of this gorgeous texture is almost…lightweight? Make no mistake — this sweater is still cozy, but one that’s extremely wearable in both freezing midwinter or spring.

And that’s just the texture! The real reason this sweater is such a favorite of mine is because the cut is, basically, perfect. The sleeves are long enough, the body is long enough to be half-tucked, but not so long that it overwhelms, the neckline is good (even for layering) and the armholes are high enough to be flattering, without being uncomfortable. This sweater is also available in plus sizing, and is a good example of a brand getting it exactly right.

I’d love to see Jenni Kayne make some moves in sustainability, and it looks like they’ve recently launched a recycled cashmere fisherman sweater in a cool, marled knit. Progress.


3. The Best Black Turtleneck: Naked Cashmere Recycled Renata Sweater

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sweater (s) | jeans (27)

  • SUSTAINABLE: Yes
  • PLUS SIZE: No
  • PRICE: Under $300

I have a whole review of Naked Cashmere coming out eventually, but Naked’s slouchy, oversized cashmere turtleneck — made from 100% recycled cashmere — is easily my fav. It’s deliciously soft and oversized, and the turtleneck itself is well-behaved — it’s not going to attack your face or make you feel as if you are wearing a neck-brace. I’ve been wearing it almost daily with Naked’s cashmere joggers and my mini UGGs, and I’m not mad about this outfit AT ALL.

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sweater (s) | cashmere joggers (xs)

Naked cashmere costs less than Naadam cashmere (this sweater is $100 less than my favorite Naadam sweaters, for example), and it’s made from recycled cashmere. The difference in price, I believe, comes down to the fact that Naked cashmere has slightly shorter sleeves and tends to pill faster. All cashmere pills, however, so I don’t *really* care (I just use this sweater shaver a couple of times per year), but I think these two reasons could explain the difference in cost. In the future, I’d love to see Naked come out with plus sizes, too.


4. The Best Affordable Black Turtleneck: Halogen Cashmere (Under $100)

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sweater (s)

  • SUSTAINABLE: No
  • PLUS SIZE: Up to XXL
  • PRICE: Under $100

I’ve had Halogen’s black cashmere turtleneck for more than a year now, and it has gotten a TON of use. So much so…that when moths attacked this spring, it was the one that ended up with allllll of the holes (it was the one sweater I didn’t wash before putting it back on the shelf: NEVER AGAIN).

This is the sweater I’ve been skiing and hiking in, and, despite its price tag of under $100, I’m happily surprised by how long the arms are, and how much room there is in the body. Nordstrom did not skimp on this seriously affordable sweater. And yes: I did buy another this year, and it is the same quality I remember. This sweater is available in sizes up to XXL.

That said, this sweater can’t really compare to the truly luxurious sweaters described above, but it does get softer with each wash. And the black, based on last year, won’t last much past Black Friday, so if you want one, I would snap it up pretty quickly. (Save the fun colors for when the Black Friday sales hit….)


5. The Most Luxurious Cashmere Sweater: NAADAM Oversized Turtleneck

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sweater (s) | jeans (27)

  • SUSTAINABLE: Yes
  • PLUS SIZE: Up to XXL
  • PRICE: Under $400

Yet another example of Naadam just freaking killing it: Sustainable? Yes. Sleeve length? Perfect. Cut? Fresh and modern. Cashmere? Oh dear GOD…

Gang, this cashmere is like nothing else I’ve ever felt. It’s so soft I want to weep. It’s so thick…I’m confused. The only downside, at this point, is that Pax likes to rub his face all over this sweater. (In hindsight, black may have been a better choice.)

When I first tried it on, I was skeptical about the neck. Again, I was worried about potential neck-brace vibes. But the cashmere is so soft and thick that the neck just…works. Soft enough to slouch under your chin, but thick enough to not be too wimpy and lose all shape. Since I first wrote this sweater up, a few readers have tried it and sent it back (reluctantly — it’s that soft)…but there were more who were pleasantly surprised by how flattering it was. (Sizes available up to XXL.)

I’ve been wearing this sweater with matching cashmere joggers (also sustainably made) if you really want to go all-out-luxe this winter. (Watch major sale periods for this one, I predict it’ll be there.)

Our resident cashmere expert is totes on it — reviewing the best cashmere sweaters for women, men & kids, as well as on plus-size & sustainability.

sweater (s) | joggers (xs) | slippers


6. The Best Cashmere Sweater For Fireside Hangs: NAADAM Marled Boyfriend Cashmere Sweater

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sweater (s) | jeans (27)

  • SUSTAINABLE: Yes
  • PLUS SIZE: Up to XXL
  • PRICE: Under $300

Like Naadam’s other sustainable cashmere sweaters, the Marled Boyfriend Cashmere is deliciously thick and cozy. Unlike the Jenni Kayne sweater, the added texture actually makes this sweater very warm, and I’ve found it is just the thing for outside hangs. Earlier in the season I’d layer it over a long-sleeve tee…eventually I added a vest and hat…and now a full puffer coat. There’s just something so cozy (and beautiful) about the marled knit pattern. It really is a special sweater, with an almost rugged, outdoorsy vibe. (And yes — the gray is a bit evergreen tinged.) Sizes available up to XXL.

NOTE: The men’s version comes in NAVY BLUE and I am OBSESSED. The second these go on sale, I’m picking one up for Mike.


7. The Cashmere Sweater With The Most Flattering Fit: Reformation Cashmere Crew

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sweater (xs) | jeans (27)

  • SUSTAINABLE: Yes
  • PLUS SIZE: No
  • PRICE: Under $150

This sustainably made, recycled cashmere sweater from Reformation is not the softest cashmere on the planet, nor is it the thickest. What it is, however, is perfectly cut. The sweater doesn’t need to be tucked in (although it’s thin enough to tuck), the sleeves are long enough, and the fit — shorter but not-quite-cropped and tomboyishly slouchy — is modern and fresh. It’s the kind of sweater I wear like a t-shirt…but one that’s warmer for winter’s chill. I’ve found myself reaching for it when I wanted to look dressed up…but didn’t feel like dressing up. The colors are often unexpected, and Reformation does stripes like a nonchalant French girl.

Nordstrom also carries this sweater, but they’ve miss-marked it as a blend of cashmere and wool. According to the Reformation website, these sweaters are 70% recycled cashmere and 30% cashmere (no wool). If you wash them on cold, the cashmere will soften right up (mine did). Sizes only available up to XL at both retailers (c’mon Ref — do better).

Our resident cashmere expert is totes on it — reviewing the best cashmere sweaters for women, men & kids, as well as on plus-size & sustainability.

sweater (xs) | jeans (27)


8. The Best Cashmere Sweater For Work (Or Zoom Calls): Vince Boiled Cashmere Funnel Neck

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sweater (s) | jeans (27)

  • SUSTAINABLE: No
  • PLUS SIZE: No
  • PRICE:Under $400

This Vince funnel-neck cashmere sweater is so chic. The neckline is wearable (it’s not really a turtleneck) yet it’s a far cry from a crewneck. The result is an almost Jackie-O vibe that elevates this basic cashmere sweater. Also, Vince cashmere is all over the map in terms of softness and heft…but this is one of the brand’s best. It’s super-thick, soft and drapey. A chic, easy win.(Disappointingly, this sweater is only available up to an XL.)

Our resident cashmere expert is totes on it — reviewing the best cashmere sweaters for women, men & kids, as well as on plus-size & sustainability.

sweater (s) | jeans (27)


9. The Best Off-The-Shoulder Cashmere Sweater: A Tie (NAADAM Vs Naked)

NAADAM Cashmere Boatneck Sweater (above, left) – $125

  • SUSTAINABLE: Yes
  • PLUS SIZE: Up to 3XL
  • PRICE: Under $150

This sweater has longer sleeves (look at that delicious cuff), a more aggressive off-the-shoulder, and a longer body. The cashmere is suuuuuper soft, but definitely not as thick as Naked’s sweater. It’s also the slouchiest cashmere I’ve ever tried, borderline pajamas. For example, I can easily knot this sweater at the waist (almost like a tee), and it’s the one I’ve found myself wearing to bed a few times. Sustainably made, and available in plus sizes.

Naked Cashmere Dawn Sweater (above, right) – $245

  • SUSTAINABLE: Yes
  • PLUS SIZES: No
  • PRICE: Under $300

I sent this one back initially because I preferred the wider neck and longer sleeves of Naadam’s off-the-shoulder sweater. That said…this one has an easy elegance that the Naadam one is lacking. The cashmere is thicker and the look, in general, is much more refined and dressed up. Also sustainably made, but only available up to size large??!! Yikes. You can see why I often err on the side of Naadam.

10. The Best Cashmere Under $100: NAADAM $75 Cashmere Sweater

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sweater (s) | jeans (27)

  • SUSTAINABLE: Yes
  • PLUS SIZE: Up to XXL
  • PRICE: Under $100

After trying on dozens of cashmere sweaters…if you are looking for the best cashmere sweater under $100, this is it. Naadam’s almost-iconic $75 sweater is really hard to beat. It’s thinner than the more expensive Naadam cashmere, but it resists pilling just as well, and the brand doesn’t skimp on either sleeve length or body. The range of colors is unparalleled, and it’s available in both mens’ or womens’ sizing, from XXS – XXL. It washes like a dream, and only gets softer with each wash. Like Reformation’s cashmere sweater, it can be worn tucked or un-tucked and is also sustainably made.


11. The Best Affordable Dupe: Everlane Oversized Stroopwafel Crew in Recycled Cashmere

Naadam sweater (s) | Everlane sweater (s) | jeans (27)

  • SUSTAINABLE: Yes
  • PLUS SIZES: No
  • PRICE: Under $400

If you love Naadam’s oversized crewneck sweater (my top pick), but can’t swing the price, Everlane’s recycled cashmere crew has a very similar fit. The cashmere isn’t nearly as soft or luxurious as Naadam’s, and the sleeves aren’t as long, but Everlane’s sweater boasts a similar high neck and overall shape that’s perfect for layering, impossibly warm and cozy, yet still layers nicely under coats.

Everlane’s sweater also has some really beautiful textured details, too. Only available up to size XL.

Our resident cashmere expert is totes on it — reviewing the best cashmere sweaters for women, men & kids, as well as on plus-size & sustainability.

Everlane sweater (s)


12. The Best Cashmere Sweaters For Kids or Teens: NAADAM or Quince

Quince sweater (s) | Naadam sweater (s)

I’m not a huge fan of spending $$$ on crazy kids who will just grow out of it (or lose it or accidentally put holes in it, if you have kids like mine). That said, there’s something to be said for having ONE really warm, hardworking sweater, and cashmere is it. (Plus, I don’t have to deal with two boys complaining about itchiness.) So we took the plunge this year and got each boy one cashmere sweater. Not only do they look so handsome (seriously, I swoon), but they both love them, and it’s often the first thing they reach for when waking up in a cold house each morning. This is a tradition we’ll continue.

Quince Cashmere Crew (above, left)

This stupidly affordable cashmere sweater ($60) comes in both mens’ or women’s sizing and is of similar quality to Naadam (see my Quince cashmere review here). However, this brand does not have the same level of transparency around animal treatment as Naadam does, so it’s really hard to tell if they are as sustainable. That said, for kids’ cashmere, this is a pretty safe bet in terms of quality and price. My only concern is that the men’s sizing, in particular, is limited — the smallest size is a size small, so this would likely work better for older teens.

  • SUSTAINABLE: Maybe? (They make some sustainability claims, but we’re not totally convinced.)
  • SIZE RANGE: S – XL in mens, XS – XL in women’s
  • PRICE: Under $100

NAADAM $75 cashmere (above, right)

This is still my favorite cashmere under $100, and because both the men’s and womens’ sizing goes down to XXS, Naadam is my top picks for tweens. But beware: once you go cashmere, it’s really hard to go back.

  • SUSTAINABLE: Yes
  • PLUS SIZES: XXS – XXL
  • PRICE: Under $100

13. The Best Cashmere Sweaters For Kids: J.Crew Crewcuts Cashmere

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sweater (size med)

  • SUSTAINABLE: Yes! J.Crew has partnered with Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF), a nonprofit that certifies The Good Cashmere Standard®, which ensures the welfare of the cashmere goats, protects natural resources, and improves the working conditions of farmers and farmworkers in Inner Mongolia.
  • SIZE RANGE: XXS (size 2 kids) – XXL (size 16 kids)
  • PRICE: Under $100

My oldest, Raines (age 12), fits perfectly into Naadam men’s XS cashmere sweater, but little Pax, who just turned 10, is still too small. So I finally splurged on J.Crew’s cashmere sweater for kids (which almost never goes on sale) and they’re a total win. They’re even softer out of the box than the women’s cashmere. This sweater is now the only thing he wants to wear when it’s cold, and he’s even asked for the bright turquoise blue (which, frankly, fits his personality better, but I like the almost-never-wash quality of black). The color range is great, too.

14. The Best Cashmere Sweater For Guys: Naadam

sweater (m)

At the risk of sounding like a broken record…Naadam makes some of the best cashmere for men, too. My current favorite is Naadam’s Marled Cashmere Crewneck Sweater (pictured on Mike, above), but don’t sleep on the Cashmere Waffle Crew Neck Sweater, either. The texture is gorgeous and that brown/tan color is really good in person.

Of course, there’s always Naadam’s $75 sweater for men, as well. Thinner than the other two mentioned above, but has a great cut and fit – you won’t go wrong.

I hope this helps you find a sweater you genuinely love, one that will actually last for years and years and years! (Just…ya know…give it a good wash in the spring before moths set in. Grrrrr.)

xo,

S

PS: Have you checked out Holiday Central yet? Go now…holiday sales, gifts and outfits all in one spot. It’s a happy place.

For the Pinners…

Our resident cashmere expert is totes on it — reviewing the best cashmere sweaters for women, men & kids, as well as on plus-size & sustainability.