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Cashmere is buttery soft, nice-looking, and sometimes even seasonless. If you take good care of it (and keep the moths away), you can wear it forever, but it typically comes with a higher price tag than your average cotton sweater. That’s because cashmere yarn comes from the fluffy undercoat of cashmere goats, which makes for a softer and warmer fiber than sheep’s wool.
With more affordable brands cropping up, you can get it at a fraction of the price. Not all cashmere is created equal, though (more on that below), so I tried out sweaters myself, testing their weight, feel, and durability. I also consulted stylish men for their favorites. Below are sweaters we think are worth their price and ones that don’t skimp on quality.
What we’re looking for
In our search for the best, we’re looking for sweaters with an inclusive range of sizing options.
As mentioned, the feel and weight are important when shopping for cashmere. The quality is reflected by grades: A, B, and C. Grade C is the lowest grade, measuring around 30 microns width per cashmere hair. Grade B measures around 18 to 19 microns width per cashmere hair. And Grade A, the highest, measures no more than 14 microns width per cashmere hair. (For context, the average strand of human hair is about 70 microns thick.) All that to say, the best-quality cashmere is finer, resulting in the softest and most well-constructed sweaters. And though all cashmere will eventually pill, lower-quality cashmere is prone to pilling faster and more frequently. We noted the grade if that information is provided from the brand.
Style and details
With cashmere, you might want to invest in something that won’t go out of style in a couple of seasons. Most of our picks are classic cuts and neutral colors, but we also included sweaters with bolder designs and patterns.
As we’ve mentioned, cashmere typically costs more than other natural fibers. Despite that, we’ve included a range of affordable options that don’t sacrifice quality. We denoted the recommendations below as either $ (under $150), $$ ($150–$250), or $$$ (over $250).
Best overall men’s cashmere sweater
Sizing: XXS to XXL | Quality: Grade A | Style and details: Crewneck with tubular stitching at the neck, cuffs, and hem | Price: $
Naadam is one of the aforementioned affordable cashmere brands that’s come up a lot with stylish women and men. I own its least expensive option — the Essential $75 sweater — and it’s supersoft (though has a slight slickness to it). Mine arrived with minor pilling on it upon arrival, but it hasn’t pilled any more after multiple wears. Joel Moore, blogger at Moore His Style, calls Naadam one of his “go-to brands for good quality cashmere” for its affordability and sustainability. Influencer Steven Sharpe Jr. calls out the brand’s dedication to sustainability and “ethical production from start to finish” as well. The Essential comes in a wide variety of sizes (XXS to XXL) and colors (13 core and 13 seasonal colorways). It’s also available in a V-neck cut but in just seven colorways.
Best less-expensive men’s cashmere sweater
Sizing: S to XL | Quality: Grade A | Style and details: Crewneck with tubular stitching at the neck, cuffs, and hem | Price: $
Quince, known for its supersoft bed sheets, recently expanded into the cashmere space. Its most affordable men’s cashmere sweater comes at just $60. I have the women’s version of the sweater (though note that the women’s is $10 cheaper), and it arrived in perfect condition. It’s also held up incredibly well after a couple of wears with no pilling. It has a similar feel as Naadam’s — supersoft with a slight slickness to it — but is a tad lighter in terms of weight. The biggest difference between Quince and Naadam are its range of choices. Quince’s sweater comes in sizes S to XL and just seven colorways. It’s also available in a V-neck cut that’s in the same size range and eight colorways.
Best men’s lightweight cashmere sweater
Sizes: XXS to XXL | Style and details: Ribbed crewneck with tubular stitching at the neck, cuffs, and hem | Price: $$$
Alex Mill’s Jordan sweater was mentioned by two men I spoke to: personal stylist Patrick Kenger and Season Three co-founder Jared Johnson. Both described it as a versatile, lightweight sweater for year-round wear. I requested one to get a feel of it for myself, and I have to agree. While being lightweight, it still has structure, and its textured knit makes it look like an elevated basic. It is slightly bigger than the Naadam and Quince crewnecks, but that makes it perfect for layering, according to Johnson. Of all the men’s cashmere sweaters I tried, this one’s closest to that “butter-y” feel you expect cashmere to have. It comes in sizes XXS to XXL and five colorways (beige, gray, pink, blue, and green).
Best less-expensive lightweight cashmere sweater
Sizing: XS to XXL | Quality: Grade A | Style and details: Crewneck with tubular stitching at the neck, cuffs, and hem | Price: $$
Everlane has a reputation for nailing basics, and its cashmere is no exception. A step up from Naadam and Quince, it feels a tad more substantial but still lightweight. It’s almost as soft as Alex Mill’s but has a bit more grit to it (though it’s not itchy by any means). It’s right under $200, making it a great middle-of-the-road option in terms of price. Pittsburgh-based streetwear influencer Joe Watkins and content creator Steven Fingar both call out its affordability, with Watkins adding that “the quality is very evident.” It’s available in sizes XS to XXL and five neutral colors. If you’re looking for a V-neck, it has limited sizes available in four colors.
Best men’s cashmere turtleneck
Sizing: S to XL | Style and details: Turtleneck with tubular stitching at the neck, cuffs, and hem | Price: $$$
When we spoke to stylish men about their favorite sweaters, stylist Bryant Simmons told us Raey’s cashmere turtleneck “is cut perfectly oversize and just screams classy.” Referencing Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s beloved-by-women fashion brand, Simmons adds that the sweater is exactly “what a lot of guys wanted The Row to be when we heard that there was a men’s line coming — but even better, because it’s about a quarter of their prices.”
Best less-expensive men’s cashmere turtleneck
Sizing: S to XXL | Style and details: Turtleneck with tubular stitching at the neck, cuffs, and hem | Price: $$
State’s turtleneck came recommended by Moore, and is less than half the price of the aforementioned Raey sweater. Similar to State’s V-neck sweater, this comes at a reasonable price point for 100 percent cashmere. Moore adds the turtleneck is “easy to dress down while still looking polished.”
Best men’s sweater made with recycled cashmere
Sizing: XS to XXL | Style and details: Crewneck with tubular stitching at the neck, cuffs, and hem | Price: $$
“Any color of this simple sweater, with a pair of dark jeans, will make you look pulled together even if you don’t feel it,” says Nick Axelrod-Welk, co-founder of Necessaire. Tricot’s recycled cashmere consists of other wasted cashmere garments that are respun with virgin cashmere fibers and knit in Italy, which Axelrod-Welk says he appreciates. This crewneck has the widest range of colors, but Tricot also makes a turtleneck, V-neck, and polo.
Best men’s cable-knit cashmere sweater
Sizing: XS to XXL | Style and details: Cable-knit crewneck | Price: $$$
“Have you ever touched this sweater? It’s obscenely, almost immorally soft,” says Andrew Favorito, public-relations manager for Tatcha, who adds that the feel “makes it worth the nearly $400 price tag alone.” He calls it “substantial enough,” meaning it’s “not too thick or bulky, and it feels light as air,” but it’ll still keep you warm. Photographer Malcolm McNeil says this “truly iconic” sweater is his go-to because it’s “soft as butter,” and the cable-knit detailing “add an extra dimension and bring home the aesthetic.”
Best men’s cashmere hoodie
Sizing: XS to XXL | Style and details: Drawstring hoodie with tubular stitching at the cuffs and hem | Price: $$$
This Todd Snyder drawstring hoodie is a favorite of Kenger, who loves cashmere’s “ability to elevate the look of a more casual item.” While still on the expensive side, it’s more than $100 cheaper than the aforementioned Vince hoodie and comes in a wider variety of colors. Kenger adds that it’s lightweight and easy to wear year-round.
Best less-expensive cashmere hoodie
Sizing: S to XL | Quality: Grade A | Style and details: Zip up hoodie with tubular stitching at the cuffs and hem | Price: $$
I sought out to find a cheaper cashmere-hoodie alternative and landed on Italic’s zip-up option. I don’t have the Todd Snyder one to compare it with, but Italic’s hoodie is incredibly cozy and lightweight. I’ve worn it lounging around the apartment because it’s easy to throw on but has a luxe feel comparable to Everlane’s cashmere (supersoft without the slippery feel). After many wears, it hasn’t pilled, and its cuffs have maintained their shape nicely (minor stretching, but not enough to concern me). The only potential downside is that sizing is more limited than Todd Snyder’s and it’s only available in gray, navy, and black.
Best splurge-worthy cashmere sweater
Sizing: S to XL | Style and details: Crewneck with tie-dye design | Price: $$$
Here’s a fun — if absurdly expensive — riff on the recent tie-dye moment. “I know this is a disgusting amount of money to spend on a crewneck sweater, but Elder Statesman designer Greg Chait is the only person I’ve ever come across who tie-dyes and paints cashmere sweaters by hand, so you’re getting something pretty special,” says Axelrod-Welk, who bought one on “deep, deep discount.” He describes the sweater as “super thick and luxurious with a generous cut and thick ribbed neckline and cuffs, which make them both flattering, not clingy, and cozy.” Jacob Gallagher, men’s fashion editor at The Wall Street Journal, agrees: Elder Statesman cashmere sweaters are “really beautiful and have incredibly rich colors,” he says.
Best less-expensive splurge-worthy cashmere sweater
Sizing: XS to XL | Style and details: Crewneck with striped design | Price: $$$
Another pricey cashmere-sweater brand on our radars is Leret Leret (which also came up in our article on women’s cashmere sweaters). While still steep, it’s less than half the price of the Elder Statesman one above, so it might be a more attainable choice. Plus, men we spoke to are just as impressed with the brand. “It’s often hard to tell why good cashmere costs as much as it does, but not with Leret Leret,” says Strategist associate editor Louis Cheslaw. “On top of being one of the few brands stretching the limits of how cashmere can look — with over 38 wild prints, including clouds and hemp leaves — they also pay attention to the small stuff like how tightly ribbed their cuffs are and where the sweater drapes.” Cheslaw has had his for six months (“I was gifted it after befriending one of the founders while playing soccer,” he says) and reports “zero pilling.”
Some more men's cashmere sweaters we've written about
• Joel Moore, blogger at Moore His Style
• Steven Sharpe Jr., influencer
• Joe Watkins, a Pittsburgh-based streetwear influencer
• Steven Fingar, content creator
• Patrick Kenger, men’s personal stylist at Pivot Image Consulting
• Jared Johnson, Season Three co-founder
• Rob Kirkland, actor
• Bryant Simmons, stylist
• Andrew Favorito, public-relations manager for Tatcha
• Malcolm McNeil, photographer
• Nick Axelrod-Welk, co-founder of Necessaire
• Jacob Gallagher, men’s fashion editor at The Wall Street Journal
• Devan Anderson (a.k.a. DevanOnDeck), creative director and fashion influencer
• Louis Cheslaw, Strategist associate editor
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