- Value: 19/20
- Functionality: 19/20
- Quality: 18/20
- Aesthetics: 19/20
- Fit: 19/20
- TOTAL: 94/100
I’ve always joked that one day I’ll throw a cashmere party. The dress code would require guests to wear the cozy knit from head-to-toe; there would be throw blankets abound of the soft material; hell, there might even be a couch upholstered in my fave fabric. Suffice it to say, I like cashmere. Like, a lot.
Which has frequently led me to wonder if Naadam’s famous $75 Essential Cashmere Sweater would live up to my admittedly snobbish taste in knitwear. Would it be as cozy as my fave Artizia Cashmere Hoodie? Would it be as versatile as my can’t-travel-without-it White + Warren Travel Wrap?
So, after years of seeing Naadam’s sweater splashed across subway ads and served to me via targeted Instagram posts, I finally gave in to the allure of a relatively affordable price tag on a decidedly luxury item. But it wasn’t as easy as adding to cart and calling it a day: There were 14 colors to choose from, ranging from basic black to a trendy pale pistachio hue, plus three shades of blue and two types of grey. Phew, my indecisive side was already overwhelmed.
But then my fashion editor sensibilities kicked in. The Essential Sweater is a true basic; it features a classic crew neck that’s cut in the body to be a little roomier than, say, a J.Crew sweater. In fact, it almost has that borrowed-from-the-boys feel, as it purposely looks a little slouchy. Thus, I decided going with a fail-proof shade of oatmeal meant I’d get a ton of wear out of this sweater and find it easy to rock with blue jeans, black dress pants and even leather skirts of almost any color.
And I made the right choice; Naadam’s knit had an even creamier color in person than it did online. I felt instantly soothed while looking at it, which is something I think we could all use more of in 2020. So yeah, I was already a fan before I even took it out of the box. Then, I slipped it on, and I have to say, this knit fits really well. Since most oversize pieces tend to overwhelm my 5’2” frame, Naadam’s cut allowed for plenty of roominess with none of that “I’m actually wearing a sack” feel.
However, it’s important to note that this isn’t the softest cashmere I’ve ever worn. It does have a little itch to it, something most 100-percent cashmere knits do not have. That said, the slight discomfort has faded quite a bit after the first handful of wears and when I slip my Naadam on now, I hardly even notice it. I also have yet to notice a single pill or sign of wear on this sweater—and since it’s on the thicker side, I’m confident it will be some time before I notice any. Not to mention, that heft will make this knit my go-to for even the coldest days of January and February.
As someone who is pretty much always cold, I wear sweaters almost constantly from November through March. So having this Naadam addition to my wardrobe feels like I made a really smart and economical purchase; my cost-per-wear calculation for the Essential Cashmere Sweater will prob be like $1 by the time winter’s over. The only issue I foresee in the near future? I’ve already convinced myself that I need to acquire Naadam’s signature in a few more colors. Apologies in advance to my bank account.