I Wore Summer Cashmere During a Weeklong Heat Wave and Lived to Tell the Tale
“Cashmere” and “summer” are two words that sound foreign when used in the same sentence. Throw in the term “heat wave” and it basically becomes a different language. So when Naadam introduced their ultra-thin cashmere line earlier this summer, my curiosity was piqued—is it really wearable in New York City, especially in July when humidity is at an all-time high? The line is different from their usual Mongolian cashmere in that it's blended with organic silk (another natural, biodegradable fiber) to allow for a super light and soft feel without sacrificing quality. Coupled with the fact that it can be machine washed on cold and laid flat to dry (a summer must), I stocked up on deodorant, put the fabric to the test and captured the evidence via mirror selfie for a full workweek. Here’s how my cashmere experiment played out.
Day 1: Ribbed Biker Short
Outside Temperature: 95 and humid
I’ve been championing bike shorts since their debut last fall, so I was very pleased to see them in the Naadam lineup. Not to mention, I now had a great excuse to wear my favorite controversial trend to the office. Because the weather was sticky, I opted for a cotton tank and linen blazer on top, plus a silky headband to mask any sweat incurred during my mile-and-a-half walk to work.
The verdict: These bike shorts were surprisingly cool—figuratively speaking. It was my upper body that was a little worse for wear (yeah, I had to reapply deodorant throughout the day). And given the fact that I was sweating less on the cashmere half of my body, I felt a bit better about what was to come the rest of the week.
Day 2: Ribbed Jumpsuit
Outside temperature: 90 and (still) humid
Feeling pretty confident from my bike shorts day, I went all-in with a wide-leg jumpsuit for day two. I originally bought this piece for an international flight, because it feels like (ok, and kind of looks like) PJs. Since the top of the jumpsuit is cut really low, I layered a white tee underneath. You’re welcome, HR!
The verdict: I may have been a little too ambitious with this outfit for the schlep to work, but once I stopped sweating, I was very comfortable in my frigid office for the remainder of the day. And since the cashmere-silk blend is super lightweight, it didn’t take long for me to cool off. I’d definitely consider rocking this jumpsuit again during summer, but I’d wear it on a weekend, when I could get away with skipping the T-shirt layer.
Day 3: Tank Dress with Side Slits
Outside Temperature: 85 and thunder-storming
Day three was a solid five degrees cooler, but don’t worry, it was the most humid day of the week…even though it was downpouring. I didn’t want to perish on the commute to work, so I went with the tank dress (which is now my favorite piece of clothing, BTW) and some silver Stan Smiths, because you really don’t want to risk stepping in a NYC puddle in sandals. Believe me.
The verdict: Did I mention this is now my favorite article of clothing? This dress is everything. It feels like a nightgown in the best way possible—non-clingy and soft as can be, except it doesn't totally hide my shape. It's something that I could confidently wear to happy hour drinks without thinking twice. As far as my commute was concerned, not only was I comfortable on the walk, but I was also comfy in the office, where the AC was on full-blast. It basically solved all my problems without the need to carry around an extra sweater.
Day 4: Ribbed Flared Pants
Outside Temperature: 90 and humid
I hoped that yesterday’s storms would nix some of the humidity, but alas, I was wrong. Day four was just as humid, but I really wanted to wear these pseudo-sweatpants to work (who wouldn’t?!). I knew it was risky to wear long sleeves, too, but this white button-up from Madewell is usually very breathable. So, I just went for it.
The verdict: Yeah, definitely a little sweaty. But again, I was feeling comfy at my desk. My upper body was honestly hotter than my lower half and thanks to the flared silhouette, the pants were quite breezy. I felt like I was getting away with something sneaky by wearing sweatpants to the office. That was enough to get me through the day.
Day 5: Long Sleeve Ribbed Crop Top
Outside Temperature: 80 and sunny
Hallelujah! Looks like I caught a break for my final day of cashmere. I honestly didn’t even look at the forecast before leaving my apartment, but I decided to offset these long sleeves and cropped cut with high-waisted linen paper bag-waist shorts. Cue up the Lizzo—confident is an understatement.
The verdict: This might have been my best idea all week. I learned a few things over these cashmere days and knew it would be a struggle to go with long sleeves and long pants, no matter the temperature. My walk to work was actually so pleasant that I even took the scenic route. Plus, I loved the surprisingly cute color scheme of pale pink and faded camel.
I will no longer shudder at the idea of wearing cashmere during the summer, but it’s definitely a strategic outfit choice. It worked for me, because although I walk a long distance to and from work, I spend the majority of my day in a highly air conditioned office. I still felt like I needed layers and my beloved desk blanket throughout the day, so that’s how you know Naadam’s ultra-thin cashmere is indeed, thin AF.
It’s worth noting that the ribbed fabric is extremely comfortable and forgiving—aka I never had to worry about it being see-through or bunching in unflattering ways. The fact that it was blended with silk really helped to give it a lighter, less dense feel.
Will I wear cashmere for the rest of August? Honestly, yes (especially that tank dress). And if you’re someone who doesn’t have a long commute, or better yet, gets to work via air-conditioned car, then I whole-heartedly recommend grabbing your own summer cashmere. Plus, you can layer it throughout fall with heavier jackets and flannels. That, my friends, is versatility at its finest.