If you’re like me, the word cashmere has for years elicited an image of upper-crust socialites in attire I would never dream of wearing

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It wasn’t until recently that I realized that the best cashmere sweaters for men are actually affordable, can accommodate many different style-types, and can be a long term investment that I hang onto for years. For example, a black cashmere sweater is a timeless classic that will last a lifetime if well kept.

Affordable cashmere sweaters can be found all over the internet these days, but determining quality, fitment, and finish can be difficult without putting your hands on the garment. A cheap cashmere sweater could be a real waste of time, so to help you avoid these pitfalls, we’ve searched the internet far and wide and developed a robust list of options for you to consider. Here are the best affordable cashmere sweaters for men!

The Best Affordable Cashmere Sweater for Men

State Cashmere Essential V-Neck Sweater for Men (BEST CHOICE)

State Cashmere is a relatively new company based out of New York City, but its owners have a long-standing relationship with the people of Inner Mongolia. State’s cashmere comes directly from the source, without a middleman. Their Men’s Essential V-Neck Sweater is a pure cashmere weave, no blends to be found, so you can be certain of the quality.

The sizing on these tends to run a bit small, so if you tend to be a little tight with your shirt size of choice, you may want to consider sizing up once for maximal comfort.



Key Features:

10 Color options
100% Pure cashmere
Item runs small, size accordingly
Two-ply construction



Purchase

State Cashmere Men’s Essential Crewneck Sweater

State Cashmere’s Crewneck Sweater is a great alternative to our top choice, the V-Neck, if you’re looking for a little bit more coverage. This 2-ply sweater is woven from 100% pure cashmere and sourced directly from Inner Mongolia. The ribbing, or segments where the sweater is sewn together, is very subtle to ensure that the garment doesn’t itch as you move around.

Like the V-Neck, the sizing on these runs a bit small according to the many reviews delivering feedback on this sweater.



Key Features:

12 Color options
Subtle ribbing finish
Item runs small, size accordingly
Two-ply construction



Purchase


State Cashmere Half Zip Mock Neck Pullover

Continuing with State Cashmere’s excellent line of products, we have this Half Zip Mock Neck Pullover. We love this option because you have a little bit of neck coverage when the temp starts to drop but can pull the zipper down when you transition back inside. One amazing thing about cashmere is its versatility, so not only will this Polo Neck Sweater work shoveling snow, but it will look great at a dinner party just the same.

Out of all the State Cashmere line, this one fits “true to size,” so you can be confident when placing your order.



Key Features:

13 Color options
10 Ply construction
Basic high neck
Fits true to size



Purchase


State Cashmere Men’s Classic Turtleneck Sweater

When you need to be absolutely sure you’ve got full coverage, a turtleneck is the only way to go. State Cashmere’s Men’s Classic Turtleneck Sweater is 100% pure cashmere (not a blend) and designed to last. With 14 different color options, this sweater has a look for every occasion.

State Cashmere’s fabric ships directly from the source in Mongolia, so you can be certain you’re buying very high-quality fabric with this choice.



Key Features:

14 Color options
Two-Ply construction
Fits true to size
Full turtle neck length



Purchase


State Cashmere Essential Crewneck Sweater

Our final entry on the list from State Cashmere is their Essential Crewneck Sweater. Crafted from a hypoallergenic 100% cashmere, State is one of the few American brands bringing their fabric indirectly from the source. This Crewneck is the perfect thing to throw on for a casual dinner or a weekend on the road.

There are only two color options in this particular cut, but Charcoal and Winter Twig go with just about anything.



Key Features:

2 Color options
Two-ply construction
Fits true to size



Purchase


Billy Reid Men’s Cotton Cashmere Mini Waffle Crew Neck Sweater

Billy Reid is a brand working to establish iconic, traditional American style with modern manufacturing. Their Men’s Cotton Cashmere Mini Waffle Crew Neck Sweater would look good under a flannel or just by itself. This cashmere and cotton blend lends itself a little better to the kind of wear and tear of someone who likes to get their hands dirty and look good doing it.

According to the ratings and reviews from Amazon, the Billy Reid Mini Waffle Sweater fits true to size, so order with confidence!



Key Features:

Blended cashmere with cotton
Part of purchase benefits Common Thread
Six color options
Waffle knit for comfort



Purchase


Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Pima Cotton Cashmere Sweater

Billy Reid is a brand working to establish iconic, traditional American style with modern manufacturing. Their Men’s Cotton Cashmere Mini Waffle Crew Neck Sweater would look good under a flannel or just by itself. This cashmere and cotton blend lends itself a little better to the kind of wear and tear of someone who likes to get their hands dirty and look good doing it.

According to the ratings and reviews from Amazon, the Billy Reid Mini Waffle Sweater fits true to size, so order with confidence!



Key Features:

Blended cashmere with cotton
Part of purchase benefits Common Thread
Six color options
Waffle knit for comfort



Purchase


Buttoned Down Men’s Standard Cashmere Cardigan Sweater

If you’ve never slipped on a cardigan, you just don’t know what a comfortable dress casual can feel like, until now. The great part about a cardigan is that it dresses up and down so easily, and it’s always comfortable. Buttoned Down (an Amazon brand) has this Men’s Standard Cashmere Cardigan Sweater, and the reviews are over the moon.

With six different color options, this 100% cashmere top should be in your wardrobe. The hard part will be figuring out which to buy. Many reviews say that the sweater runs a tad small, but cardigans are best when baggy, so order accordingly!



Key Features:

Amazon brand
Six color options
Very highly reviewed



Purchase


Amazon Brand – Buttoned Down Men’s Cashmere Quarter-Zip Sweater

Buttoned Down makes another appearance on our list with their Cashmere Quarter-Zip Sweater. This 100% cashmere features a small zip closure up top, which will give you some super warmth on cold days, and a quick zip will cool you off once you head back inside. This quarter-zip style is quite versatile as this can be pulled over a tucked button-down or layered under a jacket for maximal warmth.

11 Color options are available for this particular sweater. This is a hand-wash-only item so make sure you don’t toss it in the wash!



Key Features:

11 Color options
Soft ribbed closures
Amazon brand
Fits true to size



Purchase


Amazon Brand – BUTTONED DOWN Men’s 100% Premium Cashmere Full-Zip Sweater

One more entry from Amazon brand’s Buttoned Down to close out our list is this 100$ Premium Cashmere Full-Zip Sweater. Full-zips are awesome because they allow you to take them off and put them back on quickly, without messing with your other layers. Like a quarter zip, this too can be layered in a way that dresses the sweater up for nicer occasions.

This Full-Zip is only available in one color, a light blue but when paired with black or grey makes for a nice contrast.



Key Features:

One-color option
Soft ribbed closures
Amazon brand
Hand wash only



Purchase
Cashmere Sweater for Men Buying Guide & FAQ
Features to Look for in Cashmere Sweaters for Men

Size – The sizing on your garment is wholly dependent on the style you choose, the manufacturer’s cutlines, and how you treat it through its life. Cashmere is one of those fabrics that offers incredible durability and resistance to the cold, but if you treat it the wrong way in the washing machine, you’re going to have a sweater fit for your pup instead of you.

When selecting your cashmere sweaters, just remember that some shrinkage will occur naturally, maybe 2-3% with proper care and maintenance. However, a too-hot wash cycle or anything other than no heat on the dryer will leave you with a sweater you cannot wear. So take a close look at the sizing in the product description. If necessary, take a measuring tape out and stretch it across a sweater you already own to determine if the sizing is appropriate for you.

Style – Like cotton or regular wool, cashmere sweaters come in a wide variety of styles. From the open-front style of a cardigan to the throat-hugging snugness of a turtleneck, there’s a lot of ways to utilize this rare material. We tried to provide a variety of the standard cuts like v-necks, crewnecks, and button-down cashmere sweaters for our selection here. These classic styles are timeless and will be a great value for you over the years of ownership.

Fit – The fit of your sweater will really come down to your body type and whether you’ve selected the correct size. Like all sweaters, the manufacturer decides what body type they want to be represented in their line, so they tend to cut their clothes with that in mind. If you tend to be on the bigger side, you’ll want to consider that when buying higher-end clothes. Bumping up a size may be in order.

Comfort – Cashmere is an incredibly comfortable fabric. Ranking somewhere between linen fabric and alpaca wool smoothness, cashmere has an almost silky feel while also maintaining an incredible amount of warmth.



Cashmere Sweaters for Men FAQ
Is a cashmere sweater worth it?

While it is technically wool, cashmere comes from a specific breed of goats and is much harder to source. What makes cashmere so appealing is the level of warmth it retains, up to eight times that of regular wool, while being dramatically less bulky.

A cashmere sweater will typically cost you two to three times more than a standard wool option. However, given how soft, warm, and thin they are, we are compelled to say that they are worth the expense if you can swing it.

Why are cashmere sweaters so expensive?

Two million tons of regular wool is produced each year worldwide, while only seven tons of cashmere is available in the same amount of time. To make one ladies’ sweater, you’d need about two goats worth of hair to produce a fine garment. This supply and demand situation is what runs the budget up on this incredible fabric.

How can you tell real cashmere?

A quick glance at the label will identify for you whether you’re holding genuine cashmere. Many manufacturers offer a blend of cashmere and standard wool as a way of creating an entry point for consumers while still maintaining some of the benefits of cashmere. This is, of course, a sub-optimal option if you’re looking for the good stuff, but it allows new consumers to get their hands on the unique fabric.

How do you tell if it’s good cashmere?

Good cashmere is actually pretty easy to identify, so once you get your hands on a sweater, you can run it through a few quick tests.

The first test is just feeling the fabric. If you’re even remotely familiar with standard wool, this fabric should feel very soft and supple compared to standard wool. However, be leery of over-soft cashmere. Some companies will treat their material with harsh chemicals to increase their softness. While this may feel better upfront, the garment will definitely not last as long. Avoid cashmere that feels softer than linen.

Great cashmere has incredible rebound to it, making it an amazing fabric for sweaters as you want them to retain their shape over the years. Give your cashmere fabric a little tug and see how quickly it bounces back to its original form; it should be quick. The tighter the weave of cashmere, the better it will bounce back.

All cashmere will pill over time or form small, rice-sized swirls of fabric that eventually fall off. If the fabric you’re holding pills very easily, it means that they used a lot of shorter hairs to produce the threads, and thus it is of lower quality. All cashmere is subject to pilling, but the pilling will happen much more slowly if it features long threads.

Finally, hold the cashmere up to your eye level and look across the surface with a little bit of light on it. There should be a very minimal amount of fiber or fluff hanging off the sweater, indicating that long hairs have been used for the construction. If there’s a lot of short fibers looking like they are trying to escape, you’ve probably got your hands on a lower quality cashmere.



Which country produces the best cashmere?

Deep in the far east, the vast majority of cashmere is sourced each year. The Kashmir region is a small pocket of mountainous territory that is shared by Pakistan, China, India, and Mongolia. This region is responsible for over 75% of the world’s cashmere goats and produces over 5 tons of fabric each year.

How often should you wash cashmere?

Cashmere should be dry cleaned once in the middle of the winter and once at the end. We would not recommend trying to wash cashmere at home because doing so incorrectly could cause the garment to be unwearable. In between your dry cleaning sessions, rolling the garment up in a plastic bag and placing it in the freezer will kill any bacteria and reduce the odor the sweater may be carrying.

Once you’ve pulled the sweater out of the freezer, apply a cashmere treatment to it. This spray treatment can be bought at any grocery store and helps to keep the fibers from drying out, and will ensure your garment is wearable for years to come.

Is cashmere production cruel?

It can be. However, there are many companies that deal with cashmere that have a dedication to treating animals with respect. One of the biggest concerns in cashmere production is removing the hair from the goat when they need it most, the winter. Respectable companies shorn their goats in the summer months to produce material for winter and allow the animals to retain their fur when the temperature starts to drop. One of the easiest ways to reduce the harm is through buying recycled cashmere from brands like Patagonia, ADAY, and Stella McCartney.

Sources:

Ultimate Sweater Guide For Men – Real Men, Real Style

 

Looking for more winter style insights? Check out our buyer’s guide to the best corduroy pants.

The post Best Affordable Cashmere Sweaters for Men appeared first on Improb.

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