Monday, March 17, 2008

Materialistic Monday: Cashmere

Until January of this year, I had never owned anything cashmere, nor had I bought anything at Bloomingdale's. Within two days, I had two cashmere hoodies, and Matt liked them so much that he went out and bought one, too. At Bloomingdale's.

This is all thanks to Kristen. You may know her as a very thoughtful and kind blogger, a wonderful writer. Sure, that's all true, but I also know her as my personal shopper. Because once Kristen, Queen of Cashmere, found out that I didn't own a cashmere sweater, she made it her job to change that. You think I'm joking? Exaggerating? I am not.

I will let Kristen herself tell you about her cashmere addiction obsession adoration because I cannot do it justice. First there was the IM chat in which she extolled the virtues of cashmere: it's soft, adjusts to your body temperature, perfect for a climate like Chicago! Then there was the email with some ideas about where to shop for my cashmere sweater (high end department store sale racks, J. Crew, Lands End). Later, when it became clear that I was interested but wasn't taking the initiative to buy the sweater fast enough, there was the email with a series of actual links to four cashmere sweaters that Kristen had judged to be the best quality for the best price in stores at that moment.

If someone had told me that blogging would yield a personal shopper in New York willing to help me pick out a good cashmere sweater, I would have started a LOT sooner. Because as soon as I had a free Sunday afternoon, I went to Bloomingdale's, where they were having a fantastic sale on cashmere sweaters. I took about 10 black cardigans into the dressing room (because Kristen had also insisted I make my first one a black cardigan and at this point I was willing to do whatever she said) and found one I loved so very much that I also bought it in pink (and hey, looks like they still have it and it's still marked down!).

I cannot tell you how much I love these sweaters, but especially the black one (she was right, of course). I wear it almost every day. I also bought some cashmere-lined black leather driving gloves from Nordstrom after Christmas and I adore those as well. My hands have stayed so toasty, and they're incredibly soft. Aaaaahh...cashmere.

Right now my black hoodie is waiting to be washed, and I am really missing it. Speaking of washing it, I am still unsure about the best way to care for it. My understanding is that my choices are hand wash or dry clean. When I dry cleaned it once, it came back less soft, but Kristen tells me that hers have been fine and I need to try a new dry cleaner. I found this piece at Friday Style, all about caring for cashmere, that I wanted to share with you and in it Susan Wagner begs me to hand wash it. Anyone else want to weigh in on that?

So, yes. People who tell you that cashmere is wonderful are right. And so are friends who are willing to shop for me. Kristen, have I mentioned that I'm in the market for some spring slacks?


Drama Mama said...

I love cashmere.

On you.

Me? I look like a fuzzy tamale in cashmere.

Good try, though. I've been flirting with those Land's End jobbies.

Jordan said...

I haven't tried the Lands End ones yet but I might, given the price. I have one of their cotton cardigans that I wore a lot last year.

But you know? My cable cardigan is very lightweight and not fuzzy at all - I swear!

Anonymous said...

Jordan--sorry, I don't do pants. Too depressing.

Drama mama--fuzzy? Are you sure you're not thinking about angora, which is a different thing altogether. Cashmere is simply...soft.

I have one of the Land's End cashmere sweaters. It's okay. It pills quite a bit. Unfortunately, with cashmere you get what you pay for. It is justified, however, by the fact that it never goes out of style and is appropriate for 3 seasons in most climates.

Okay. Someone stop me now.

Niksmom said...

I sigh with envy. Not able to afford Quality cashmere at this point. And Kristen's get what you pay for. Cheap knis plus Niksmom equals...not pretty!

tulipmom said...

I love that hoodie! And I can imagine how cozy it feels. I've never gotten around to buying myself a cashmere sweater (although I've wanted to ... just couldn't seem to justify the price) but I have enjoyed the cashmere-lined gloves I found at TJ Maxx.

Shan said...

Oh my goodness, Susan Wagner would faint dead away if she knew you sent your cashmere to the dry cleaners. Hand wash in baby shampoo, woman! You gotta listen to Ms. Friday Style!

Special Needs Mama said...

My mom swears by the Lord and Taylor brand, on sale. I think there used to be one in Chicago? Is it still there?

Boy do I miss an excuse to wear cashmere. But my daughter loves it.

Lori at Spinning Yellow said...

Remember the Seinfeld about Cashmere? I LOVE all my cashmere sweaters. But, my husband thinks the Lands End ones (which my mom bought for me) are not very hip. My favorite right now is from Garnett Hill and is a gray v-neck. I am not a good shopper, so I only get these things as gifts, but I could wear that sweater every day.

OK, if Kristen won't do slacks, maybe you or her could tell me where to find the yoga pants everyone talks about.

(and you didn't link to her, just fyi)

Jordan said...

Didn't link to her? Thanks, Lori! I had linked to her and tested it out to make sure it worked - and you're, right, it was gone! I just fixed that. Now you can all go visit Kristen and praise her shopping talents.

And Lori - I think Old Navy carries a lot of yoga pants. I tend to get mine at athletic stores; there's an amazing discount place in SF called Sports Basement that I visit every time I'm in town for that sort of thing.

Vicki - Kristen did list a Lord & Taylor sweater for me, too. I believe we do have those around here so I'll have to check that out. I tend to associate that brand with my mother and grandmother...I'm not sure I'm ready to shop there!!

Shannon - I know! But Kristen says it's very risky to hand wash cashmere and hers do great at the dry cleaner! Whose advice to follow?? I think the take home here is that they're just plain risky to wash.

Anonymous said...

okay, just to clarify on the hand wash point...

I do, at times, hand wash. In fact, I used to exclusively hand wash. But now I'm lazy and rushed and the dry cleaner does a fine job. After this lengthy discussion, however, (and owing to the fact that I have a new laundry sink in the basement) I may need to stop being lazy and see if I don't love my hand washed sweaters even more than my dry cleaned ones.

As for L&T and the association with mom and grandma...well, in cashmere terms, that's not a bad thing. Cashmere should be passed from generation to generation. It's the best kind of hand-me-down.

And Vicki, there are plenty of lightweight cashmere sweaters that are ideal for LA in the fall and winter.

Jordan, do you think this post accounts for the dramatic spike in my stats today?!?!

Anonymous said...

i need me the cashmere! i once coveted a cashmere full length bathrobe. i used to go into the shop and stroke it, and say things about the rabbits. but i never bought it. hmmm, black you say?

Alice said...

Nice photo..! I too want the cashmere. I love that hoodie.