Clothes Worth Fussing For

Clothes Worth Fussing For

Happy Sunday ladies. Clothes that pop out of the dryer looking brand new are without a doubt, my favorites. Luckily most of my wardrobe falls into that category but there is one thing I will do a little fussing for. It’s my cashmere. V-neck cashmere sweaters are a big part of my wardrobe during the winter. I reach for one 4 or 5  times a week.

You can pay a fortune for cashmere but the price is not always a guarantee of quality. I have a few that I paid dearly for that drive me crazy because they pill so badly every time I wear them. Then there are the ones from Cost-co that are terrific!grey Everlane cahsmere sweater

My favorite cashmere sweaters come from Everlane. I’m wearing the same V-neck pullovers for the 4th winter in a row and they’re holding up beautifully. The company prides itself on “radical transparency” and ensures ethical working conditions throughout its supply chain. On top of that, they’re priced well.

Most cashmere care tags insist you “dry clean only”. They say that to absolve themselves of any liability when people destroy shrink their sweaters. But I hate having anything dry cleaned because they never come home looking clean plus they reek of toxic chemicals. I wash all my cashmere knits and find they get softer each time.Jennifer of A Well Styled Life wearing lavender cashmere sweater from Ann Taylor

Wash your Cashmere

I still use the washing machine – but differently. I wash my cashmere in lukewarm water in my bathroom sink with a mild shampoo (cashmere is hair after all). I say lukewarm because 100% cold water is miserable to put your hands in and adding a tiny bit of warmth doesn’t damage the fibers. I squeeze the water through multiple times then refill the sink to rinse.

I squeeze (don’t twist or wring) as much water out as possible then put into my washing machine. I usually wash several sweaters at a time so they balance out the machine. I set the machine on the final spin cycle which gets most of the water out.Jennifer of A Well Styled Life wearing ivory cashmere sweater from Everlane with leopard wrap

Dry Your Cashmere

It’s the dryer that felts your wool and cashmere so never use it. I drape mine over the bars of a drying rack. They suggest you arrange your sweater into shape and let it dry flat but I don’t have that many flat surfaces in my house. They always end up with wrinkles anyway, so draped works fine.Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life wearing Talbots plaid scarf with black sweater and hat

Remove Wrinkles in Cashmere

When it’s dry I iron my cashmere on a medium setting, just the way I’d iron any shirt. I let it cool before folding or hanging. Lightweight cashmere does perfectly well on a felt hanger and gets worn more often because they’re easy to see.Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life wearing Everlane cashmere

Removing Pills

While on the ironing board I use a sweater shaver to remove pills. They usually show up under the arms, on the cuffs, and down the front.Evercare sweater shaver for cashmere care on A Well Styled Life

I use this inexpensive little fabric shaver from Amazon which does a great job and leaves my sweaters looking brand new.

These days, I’m looking for cashmere in spring colors to lighten the gloom of winter.

Are you a fan of cashmere? How do you care for it?

Thanks for reading and have a great day.


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  1. Anita
    September 16, 2020 / 7:49 am

    Hi Jennifer!

    I have many pieces of cashmere sweaters and dusters. The best way I have found to clean them is to put them into a lingerie bag and wash on delicate cycle with cold water. A spin cycle with them in the bag and they come out beautifully. Hang/shape to dry. I don’t use a dry cleaner because of the chemicals.

  2. Lisa
    December 30, 2019 / 4:34 pm

    I just bought 2 cashmere sweaters (for the first time!) after reading your blog and seeing how lovely they look on you. I just assumed I had to dry-clean them but I will try your method. It will save a little money on my dry-cleaning bill. Thanks!

    • Jennifer
      December 30, 2019 / 7:01 pm

      I’ve never felt things got clean at the dry cleaner. Seeing the gray water turn clear as I rinse my sweaters makes me glad I’m really cleaning them.

  3. Pat Englund
    March 24, 2019 / 1:20 pm

    I’m so glad I ran across this article. I’m traveling in a cold climate and brought two new cashmere sweaters that are labeled dry clean only. Obviously I didn’t pay attention to the label or I wouldn’t have brought them. I will launder them the way you suggested. Many thanks!

  4. Catherine
    February 15, 2019 / 6:41 am

    I too am curious about the cape/poncho; I’ve never seen one with a print lining like this one. Will you share where you found it? Thanks!

    • February 15, 2019 / 7:32 am

      The print you see is a blouse I’m wearing under the poncho. Sorry.

  5. Christine
    February 11, 2019 / 7:33 pm

    I love your poncho in the first photo! Is it Halogen, from Nordstrom? I purchased one that looks identical, except in olive, this year. I’m in the Los Angeles area, so all of my cashmere, wool, etc. purchases are of lightweight fabric, as well as “billowy” and easy cut. Thank you for all of the hand wash tips in the responses.

    • February 15, 2019 / 7:31 am

      It is Halogen from Nordstrom. Still going strong after several years and very reasonably priced.

  6. Penny L. Luckenbaugh
    February 11, 2019 / 2:56 pm

    My daughter has a cashmere sweater of mine that I wore in my graduation picture in 1956- do the math- and it still looks good. Nothing, except silk, feels so good next to your skin or makes you feel so special. It’s worth the work of taking care of it and the initial cost is easy to swallow when you consider the cost per wearing.
    Have you ever tried a cashmere/silk blend? I have several Ralph Lauren sweaters in that combo and they are great.
    I love merino wool, too and it lasts forever and holds it shape well.
    I have never hopped onto the man-made fibre bandwagon. It seems worth the maintenance time to have clothes that feel so good. And I am willing to spend the time to iron 100% cotton and linen.

    • February 15, 2019 / 7:35 am

      That’s amazing Penny. How lucky for your daughter too! I do not have cashmere combined with silk, but I need it now. What a fabulous sounding combination.

  7. Betty
    February 10, 2019 / 7:52 pm

    Hi Jennifer, I always look forward to your posts. I also love cashmere. You mention “Cost-co” offers cashmere. But I can’t follow their link from your posts and when I google it, the only thing I get is Costco warehouse. Could you clarify please?

    • February 10, 2019 / 9:59 pm

      I buy mine at the local Costco around the holidays. I can’t link for you but just keep an eye out around the holidays.

  8. Karen
    February 10, 2019 / 7:14 pm

    Living in Vermont, lucky me, I wear Everlane, J. Crew and LL Bean cashmere sweaters all the time! So glad to see a new way to wash them. Most of the time I just air them out and steam later. When washing, I’ve always rolled them after washing and then laid them flat on a dry towel. Like you, there just isn’t a lot of flat space, so I will try the spinner and rack method. I use a hand steamer and a defuzzer, but I think I’ll try your ironing technique, and shampoo too! This was a great post!

    • February 15, 2019 / 7:37 am

      Ironing steams them nicely and smooths them more that upright steaming.

  9. Susan
    February 10, 2019 / 4:03 pm

    Cashmere is so great. I think people are afraid of caring for it so shy away from it. So thank you for this post. There are some great tips!

  10. Kay
    February 10, 2019 / 2:52 pm

    I wish I could wear it. My wool allergy extends to cashmere, too.

    • February 15, 2019 / 7:39 am

      There are some cashmere I can’t wear. Too itchy. Same with most merino. Maybe my skin has changed over the years.

  11. Yvonne
    February 10, 2019 / 9:54 am

    I love cashmere sweaters and have always hand washed them (and merino wool sweaters) in cool water with a mild detergent like Woolite, wrap in towels to get out the excess moisture, then lay flat to dry. Great suggestion to use shampoo – I will try that.

  12. Anne
    February 10, 2019 / 9:20 am

    Sadly I am allergic to cashmere. I love the soft feel, but I start to itch immediately.
    I have luckily found some acrylic sweaters that have a similar look, and no surprise –
    they get washed the way you wash your cashmere in order to keep them looking new.
    I just bought some alpaca yarn to knit an infinity scarf. If it doesn’t itch, I might try to
    find alpaca sweaters that have that luxurious cashmere feel.

    • February 15, 2019 / 7:40 am

      I can’t wear alpaca at all! It’s way too itchy. I knit a poncho with a merino/alpaca yarn and could never wear it.

  13. Joanna
    February 10, 2019 / 9:18 am

    I wash my cashmere by hand, squeezing out the excess water, then lay flat on a towel. When mostly dry, I hang on a hanger over a heat vent. The air dries them nicely without any wrinkles. I love the feel of cashmere.

    • February 15, 2019 / 7:30 am

      That’s a brilliant idea! My vents are sadly on the ceiling

  14. Audrey
    February 10, 2019 / 8:49 am

    I live in North of England and until about 7 years ago man used to come down rom Hawick with knitwear either seconds or surplus stock that he sold at very reasonable prices so I bough lots of cashmere from him. I have always washed these in machine on lingerie setting and dried draped over a rack; I still have and wear every item I bought from him. Incidentaly for thos not from UK Hawick is town in Scottish borders home to several mills producing high quality knitwear.

  15. Maggie Morris
    February 10, 2019 / 7:56 am

    Love all you scarves! I would love a column on different types of scarves and how you accessorize with them!

    • February 10, 2019 / 7:59 am

      Great idea for a post.

  16. February 10, 2019 / 7:43 am

    I love cashmere and have always washed mine as well. However I cannot keep the moths out of mine so I am trying not to buy any new ones until I get my closet organized so all my sweaters can be in drawers. i am going to pick up one of those shavers. Thanks for the tip!

    • February 10, 2019 / 8:04 am

      I had a moth invasion in my house on Vancouver Island. It was an epic disaster and took years to clear up. Good luck!

    • Christine
      February 11, 2019 / 7:29 pm

      The cotton bags with cedar ships inside from BedBath&Beyond solved the moth problem for me. They come flat, for drawers and containers, and with a little loop, for hangers. I use them with anything that has a speck of wool, cashmere, or alpaca.

      • Christine
        February 11, 2019 / 7:29 pm

        cedar chips 🙂

  17. Roseanna
    February 10, 2019 / 7:36 am

    I also wear cashmere and the tippi merino wool sweaters from J.Crew. My last sweater was from Everlane and it’s lovely and warm. I use a shampoo that I purchased from Pure cashmere years ago. The cashmeres are kept in large plastic baggies. I have a special cashmere comb that I use but the gadget from Amazon looks promising. Has anyone putchasedbshoes from Everlane?

  18. Anita
    February 10, 2019 / 7:22 am

    Do you know that you can put your cashmere in a lingerie bag on delicate cold in the washer? It comes out great. Dry like Jennifer does. I’ve been doing this for years.

  19. Laurel
    February 10, 2019 / 7:08 am

    I love cashmere, too. I’m allergic to wool but am able to wear cashmere, which is a godsend – it’s so warm and soft. It was a thrilling day when I realized I could wear it after drooling over wool for years.

    While I do wash my cashmere and most of it comes out fine, I washed a Talbots sweater a couple years ago (my favorite color) using all the same techniques as my other cashmere, and it ended up half its size. Waaah! Luckily, they were great about refunding my money, but I now dry clean another favorite by Talbots given that experience. It’s one of my favorite colors and, of course, fashion has moved away from it for the time being. Better safe than sorry on that one!

  20. Eileen
    February 10, 2019 / 6:58 am

    I love cashmere, I hand wash all my cashmere, and silk, lay flat to dry. I roll in a towel to remove water, works fine.

  21. Margot
    February 10, 2019 / 6:51 am

    I use Eucalan wool wash – a common wool wash used by yarn crafters. You can hand wash with it or machine wash and it isn’t “rinsed” out like shampoo would need to be. It comes unscented or scented. I love it! I even purchased single use pods to take on our European vacation so I could carry them on and do some simple laundry on our trip.
    Then I use this OXO garment drying rack I found at the Container Store. It folds flat to store and units can be stacked to dry more items at once. I sound like a commercial but these items have worked especially well for me.

  22. February 10, 2019 / 6:51 am

    Good tip about final spin for hand wash items. I have one of those inexpensive pill removers and I have to say, it’s saved my life more then once.

  23. Barb
    February 10, 2019 / 6:50 am

    I ordered from Everlane for the first time yesterday. I’m trying their ballet-neck cashmere that is described as “cropped” in hopes that it will fit my 5’ 3” frame. It’s also a relaxed, more boxy fit which should help with the muffin top issue. I got the pretty pale blue for spring. Fingers crossed!

    • February 15, 2019 / 7:27 am

      Let me know because I love that blue!

  24. Jeanne
    February 10, 2019 / 6:49 am

    Have always hand washed cashmere. wool and silks. After rinsing and squeezing water out. I lay sweater flat on a towel, then roll towel. That removes most water from sweater. Hand washed feels so much cleaner than dry cleaned.

  25. Betsy
    February 10, 2019 / 6:33 am

    This inspires me to give cashmere a try — didn’t live in a climate where I could wear it until recently. I’m also curious about Merino wool — do you want it, and if so, how do you care for it?

    • Margot
      February 10, 2019 / 6:54 am

      Merino wool is a staple in my upper midwestern wardrobe – a good everyday option. Good quality is as soft as cashmere bu the yarn has less of a halo. Care for the same as cashmere.

  26. Julia
    February 10, 2019 / 6:26 am

    I love the v-neck sweaters you have showcased in many of your posts and covet them! However, I try them on everywhere I go including every style at Talbots this year and feel like they accentuate my large bust and muffin top. Any advice (other than lose weight!) on different styles to try? Usually I am a petite large occasionally an XL.

    • February 10, 2019 / 7:43 am

      V or scoop necks should be best for you. Try going up a size and keep to deeper colors on top and lighter colors on bottom. Add larger earrings to draw the eye up and skip a necklace. Muffin tops are also caused by your waistband so make sure the rise is as high as possible and not snug. That’s one of the reasons I love Eileen Fisher pants so much. Elastic waistbands 😉

      • Shawn
        February 10, 2019 / 8:51 am

        I have the same problem, so I buy cashmere without the bottom band. Mine are shirttail-shaped or have side slits. Works like a charm.

        • Julia
          February 10, 2019 / 12:06 pm

          Thank you Jennifer and Shawn. I’d better get back out shopping before all the winter items are gone!

  27. Marlene
    February 10, 2019 / 6:17 am

    OK, meant chic not sheek—what kind of spell-check was that?!

    • February 10, 2019 / 7:26 am

      Gotta love spell check 🙂

  28. Diane
    February 10, 2019 / 6:15 am

    I shrunk a cashmere sweater once because I forgot and dried it in the dryer. So I have been taking mine to the dry cleaner ever since. But I do hate the chemical smell not to mention the cost. At the end of our cold season, I will give your method a try. I love to wear cashmere sweater. Nothing can come close to cashmere for cozy comfort and warmth. I am ordering one of those fabric shavers today! Thanks for the style tips and the care info.

    • February 10, 2019 / 7:24 am

      Those little shavers are wonderful. Be sure the cashmere is flat on the ironing board when you shave it.

  29. Marlene
    February 10, 2019 / 6:10 am

    OMG, until reading this post I would have never been brave enough to wash my cashmere sweaters—of which I have many living here in Colorado. But now, you have me feeling brave enough to just do it. Do you or can you wash merino wool sweaters the same way? And, what shampoo do you use for washing? Love this post!

    • Marlene
      February 10, 2019 / 6:14 am

      And, as always, I love your classic yet casually sheek style!

      • Marlene
        February 10, 2019 / 6:24 am

        Ok spellcheck—meant chic not sheek.

    • February 10, 2019 / 7:22 am

      Yes, I’ve washed Merino wool the same way, Marlene. I use an organic baby wash from Whole Foods but have also used organic liquid hand soak in a pinch.

  30. February 10, 2019 / 5:24 am

    My cashmere all packed away since I live in Florida now.

    • February 10, 2019 / 7:13 am

      That’s too bad..and nice too because you’re warm. I know the humidity there would make cashmere pretty miserable.

  31. Janet
    February 10, 2019 / 5:08 am

    Cashmere really suits you! I absolutely love cashmere! It is so soft and luxurious looking and feeling. I will try your tips of using the final spin cycle and hanging it when dry. I find they slide so much when folded. I almost exclusively steam clothes ratherer than iron them. Have you tried steaming cashmere?

    • February 10, 2019 / 7:11 am

      I do have a steamer and often steam cashmere but after they’re just washed, I prefer the smoothness I get from a steam iron.

  32. February 10, 2019 / 5:00 am

    I have three v neck cashmere sweater, deep grey, burgundy and black…love them. But so far only dry clean them. Two are pretty old, in good shape, and may try your hand washing idea….obviously it works.

    Love cashmere in my scarves (cold here in northeast) and other accessories too.
    (Gloves, winter berets)…..,,

    • February 10, 2019 / 7:08 am

      Yours are all deep colors so you may be shocked at what comes out of them in some mild soapy water.

  33. Cindy
    February 10, 2019 / 4:36 am

    On my first trip to England in 1987 I bought several cashmere sweaters. Our guide for the trip gave the same advice that you offered here. “There is no need to dry clean cashmere. Wash it carefully in cool water and dry flat. Your sweaters will last and last.” I still have those sweaters. I wish they were v-neck, but they are crew neck. Still love them!!!!

  34. Pamela M Lutrell
    February 10, 2019 / 4:17 am

    Very helpful post, Jennifer. I often wish I lived in a climate where I could wear more cashmere….but I love the few pieces I own. You wear it well!

  35. Beth M.
    February 10, 2019 / 4:06 am

    I can see why you reach for your cashmere sweaters frequently — they all look so cozy and soft! Your outfits in this post are great!

    • February 10, 2019 / 7:01 am

      Thank you Beth. Cashmere is such a nice treat and mine last for years and years so cost per wear is low.

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