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Cashmere for Everything

From must-have pieces to premium weaves, our editor reveals what you need to know about the world's softest wool.

A photograph of Hermès Avalon Tangram Blanket Shop at Hermès



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EVEN IF TEXTILE manufacturers make all of the technological fabric advances imaginable, something tells me that they will never create a more blissfully satisfying material than natural cashmere. The word itself has practically become synonymous with luxury and delight, at least for me. And although you can’t improve upon perfection, progress in the form of expansion has been made: Whereas the use of cashmere had, for years, been mostly relegated to sweaters, scarves, and gloves, myriad companies are now weaving the baby-soft fiber into everything from sweatpants to tailored blazers.

When it comes to selecting your cashmere staples, quality is what matters most. You want 100% cashmere weaves that have been artfully done, ideally from the belly hairs of the goat, which are the longest and softest — and are less prone to pilling. Items themselves should be classic enough in style that you can wear them again and again and again. Just remember to care for them properly to ensure their longevity (read: organic dry-cleaning or hand-washing with a gentle soap). If they do pill, give them a delicate brush with a cashmere comb.

Here are a few of the items I hope to be lovingly caring for in the near future.



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Shop at Hermès

Hermès Avalon Tangram Blanket

Hermès is best known for handbags and leather pieces, yes, but the storied French brand is also among the premier go-to sources for incredibly high-end home items, with everything from tasteful tableware to gorgeous chairs and lamps. Their sumptuous cashmere blanket is a wonderful way to spruce up any sofa or bedspread — impossibly soft and impeccably chic all at once. An added bonus: Laid artfully on a chair or shelf behind your laptop setup, with the branded “H” subtlety showcased, it helps make for a very sophisticated Zoom backdrop. SHOP NOW

Shop at Loro Piana

Loro Piana Philion T-shirt

Because spring and summer deserve cashmere, too. As you probably already know, Loro Piana is the absolute Italian gold standard when it comes to luxury fibers: The 99-year-old brand makes just about every piece of clothing you could ever want in its softest, most supreme iteration. But the company’s short-sleeved T-shirt is a particularly clever idea — something to carry you into warmer-but-still-chilly March and April days, and even all the way through the spring solstice and breezy June nights on the Amalfi Coast. SHOP NOW

Shop at Todd Snyder

Todd Snyder Cashmere Hoodie

In the work-from-home era, a hoodie is probably the item of clothing we all wear most. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be elevated. Todd Snyder is renowned for casual-cool clothing that combines bold colors with premium materials, and here, the American brand elevates the common hoodie with 100% cashmere. One little warning: Once you pop this bad boy on, it will define your daily fashion. SHOP NOW

Shop at Zegna

Zegna Cashmere and Cotton Knit Sweatpants

You know the vibe — it’s Sunday, you’re not looking forward to Monday, and you’re trying to soak up every hour of sedate relaxation you possibly can. Cashmere sweatpants should do the trick. Zegna, as always, provides a best-of-the-best iteration of this must-have staple: it’s simple and straight to the point, with comfort as the main event. SHOP NOW

Shop at Prada

Prada Double Cashmere Scarf

The scarf is probably the most expected cashmere item, which means — to make sure you get something truly unique and special — you need to up your game a little extra. Enter Prada with its timeless, tantalizing brand logo on a neutral palette for an elegant yet intentional statement. SHOP NOW

Shop at Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren Cable-Knit Cashmere Hat

Real luxury? Swathing even the top of your head in the softest material possible. Once you’ve worn a cashmere hat, especially one this finely made in Italy, winter doesn’t seem so bad. Add a cable-knit weave and classic red hue, and you’ll agree with me for years to come. SHOP NOW

Shop at John Elliot

John Elliott Capri Cashmere Crew Sweater

John Elliott has become a bedrock of sleek, straightforward menswear that always feels top-notch. The Los Angeles-based brand’s got great flannels, jeans, and T-shirts, but its Capri Cashmere Crew sweater, with a distinct fisherman rib, is really on the money. It’s one of those perfect wardrobe staples that is basic enough to be wearable anywhere but — in cut, color, and quality — special enough that you’ll always feel premium. SHOP NOW

Shop Brunello Cucinelli

Brunello Cucinelli Cashmere Jersey Blazer with Patch Pockets

Ok, so we can’t always hang around the house in luxury sweatpants and hoodies — sometimes, we actually need to show up for meetings. The Brunello Cucinelli Cashmere Jersey Blazer is the best of both worlds: fitted enough to wear to the office but soft and cushy enough that you’ll feel entirely unruffled while there. SHOP NOW

Shop at Graham

Graham Cashmere Socks

Cashmere socks are proof that you take lounging around the house seriously: These are not meant to be worn hiking mountains or even sweating through Saturday errands. Graham’s cashmere socks are exclusively for indoor coziness — movie nights, snuggles on the sofa, and sick days. And when you do have to leave the house, they’ll be something you look forward to until you get back home, particularly if you’re on a crowded and crazy subway. SHOP NOW


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Our Contributors

Alex Frank Writer

Alex Frank is a contributing editor at Departures. Based in Manhattan, Frank previously worked at Vogue.com as deputy culture editor. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, GQ, Pitchfork, New York Magazine, Fantastic Man, and the Village Voice.

Ahonen & Lamberg Illustrator

Ahonen & Lamberg is a multidisciplinary design studio based in Paris. Founded in 2006 by Finnish designers Anna Ahonen and Katariina Lamberg, the studio concentrates on art direction, creative consultancy, and graphic design.

Departures and American Express do not provide, endorse, or guarantee any of the items, and the sale of such items is governed by the third-party seller’s policies, terms, and conditions.

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