Without a Cashmere Cardigan, Your Winter Wardrobe Isn’t Complete

Wrap yourself up in cozy luxury.

TingTing Lai wears creme white cardigan, shorts, turtleneck, brown bag, knee high boots during the Berlin Fashion Week AW23 on January 19, 2023 in Berlin, Germany.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Now that temps have officially hit teeth-chattering cold, there's one fashion item you can find me in on a near-daily basis and that's a cozy sweater. I'm constantly rotating out turtlenecks, chunky knits, crewnecks, and graphic options but the kind of sweater I turn to most thanks to its versatility are cardigans. Whether you wear them open, closed, or layered over t-shirts, you can't deny cardigans work hard in your wardrobe. When it comes to cardigans, though, there are a ton of styles and fabrics to choose from so where do you begin? Well, if you're looking for the coziest, warmest, and softest of sweaters, you can't go wrong with one of the best cashmere cardigans.

Cashmere sweaters are basically the king of all knits and for good reason. The fabric comes from cashmere goats found across the Himalayas where temperatures can be below freezing, so the goats' coats are exceptionally thick and warm. Each goat only produces about 200 grams of wool a year, whereas a sheep can produce about three kilos, so not only is cashmere incredibly warm, but it's also a rare material. In short, cashmere cardigans might be some of the most luxurious knitwear you'll ever wear, but don't let that fool you into thinking they are unattainable. As you'll see from our favorite cashmere cardigans, below, they come with a range of price tags to suit any budget.

As I mentioned before, there's a vast number of cashmere cardigans on the market, so to help you narrow your search, I tapped Naked Cashmere CEO, Patti Cazzato, on exactly what to look for when shopping for your next go-to cardigan, plus her top cashmere care tips. Then, shop our very best picks, all of which are pure cashmere, heavenly soft, and built to last for seasons to come. There's cozy picks for every kind of budget, too, with some cashmere even on sale!

What to Look For

When shopping for a cashmere cardigan that's built to last, the most important thing to consider is its cashmere grade. All cashmere is graded based on its fibers, explains Cazzato. "The fiber length and width are examined and then graded on a letter scale from A to C, which helps to determine how long the pieces will last and the overall quality of the product," she says. "The higher the grade, the more longevity the piece will have." Depending on your budget and needs, different grades of cashmere may suit you best. Below, Cazzato breaks each grade down:

  • Grade A cashmere has the thinnest and longest fibers, which results in the highest quality. The diameter is very small, as low as 14 microns, and the length can be as long as 36 millimeters. Pieces made from Grade A cashmere have the longest life span, and they are more of an investment piece.
  • Grade B cashmere is made from fibers that are about 19 microns, which is good quality but not quite as high as Grade A. Grade B cashmere is a great middle-ground for those looking to invest in cashmere but are still on a budget.
  • Grade C cashmere fibers are the lowest quality with thicker fibers at about 30 microns. This results in a lower quality and can lead to pilling, however, Grade C cashmere is the most affordable.

The Best Cashmere Cardigans

How to Care for Cashmere

Once you've made the investment in a cashmere cardigan, you can't just throw it in your closet (and definitely not the washing machine!) all willy-nilly. To ensure your cardigans last for years to come, follow Cazzato's best cashmere care tips:

  • Washing: Unfortunately, it's best to have your cashmere items dry-cleaned, but you still can wash them at home. Just wash them by hand carefully, with lukewarm water and a gentle, dye-free detergent.
  • Drying: After washing, gently dry your pieces by pressing out excess water and laying them flat to air dry on a towel. Never use a dryer, but you can feel free to utilize a steamer to get out any remaining wrinkles. 
  • Storing: To ensure your sweaters keep their shape, fold your pieces instead of hanging them up as hangers can leave indents on the soft knitwear.
  • If you really want to keep your cashmere pieces looking new, invest in a cashmere comb. Groups of short or broken fibers can get tangled from abrasion, rubbing, or just everyday use, which causes pilling. This can be improved by using a cashmere comb.

Meet the Expert

Patti Cazzato
Patti Cazzato

Patti is the CEO of Naked Cashmere with over 30 years working in the fashion industry.

Brooke Knappenberger
Associate Commerce Editor

Brooke Knappenberger is the Associate Commerce Editor at Marie Claire, where she specializes in crafting shopping stories—from sales content to buying guides that span every vertical on the site. She also oversees holiday coverage with an emphasis on gifting guides as well as Power Pick, our monthly column on the items that power the lives of MC’s editors. She also tackled shopping content as Marie Claire's Editorial Fellow prior to her role as Associate Commerce Editor.

She has over three years of experience writing on fashion, beauty, and entertainment and her work has appeared on Looper, NickiSwift, The Sun US, and Vox Magazine of Columbia, Missouri. Brooke obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism with an emphasis on Magazine Editing and has a minor in Textile and Apparel Management.