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 (read: more durability).
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.)
From thin, breathable cardigans and crewnecks to layer under blazers and puffer jackets to fluffy options in all necklines that anchor your winter outfits, shop some of our favorite high-quality cashmere sweaters from trusted brands and retailers at every price point.
All products featured on Glamour are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.