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15 Best Cashmere Sweaters to Cozy Up in Fall 2023

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Is there anything more decadent than being swaddled in the best cashmere sweaters? Not only does the supersoft fabric feel incredibly smooth against the skin, but beautifully crafted cashmere knitwear is a worthy fall investment (and a tried-and-true wardrobe essential) that can instantly elevate any outfit and last for years if treated properly. (Pro tip: Use a sweater comb to minimize pilling.)

As a shopper who indulges in the fabric and a fashion editor who has seen, felt, and tested countless cashmere from a wide range of brands through the years, I can attest that the best cashmere is available at all price points, from affordable online clothing stores to luxury brands. But first: How do you know whether it’s good cashmere?

To define that, let’s start with the basics. According to the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), cashmere is a type of wool with fine fiber that comes from the undercoat of a specific breed of goats that originate in Asia; most of the world’s highest-quality cashmere is sourced from Mongolia. Because of the climate the animals live in, their coats are dense to withstand cold temperatures. The longest and thinnest fibers produce the softest and most durable cashmere, which is considered grade A on the A to C scale, which defines cashmere quality (some brands, like Quince, lay it out in their FAQ pages).

You’ll often see the terms “gauge” and “ply” listed as well. The former applies to the amount of stitches used per inch of cashmere, and thus how tight and warm the weave is. The latter refers to the number of threads twisted together to form a piece of yarn; the higher the ply, the stronger the yarn.

If this all sounds very time-consuming and complex, it is. Cashmere production is limited and deeply reliant on environmental factors. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a nonprofit working with activists and lawyers to confront climate issues, explains that the current demand for virgin cashmere exceeds supply in a sustainable way. If sustainability is a concern, the CFDA recommends seeking out alternatives to virgin cashmere like recycled wool or alpaca. (If you do want regular cashmere, the CFDA suggests looking into whether it’s recycled, sustainably grazed and raised, and naturally colored.)

As we transition into cooler months, we rounded up the best cashmere sweaters from trusted and vetted brands. From thin, breathable cardigans to wear under light fall jackets and blazers to fluffy sweaters for keeping warm in really cold weather, shop some of our favorite new autumnal knits and high-quality cashmere pieces now.

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