Quince vs. Jenni Kayne: Which Comfortable Fisherman Sweater Deserves a Spot in My Wardrobe?

All comfort, no itch

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Quince vs Jenni Kayne review universal
Paula Boudes for PureWow

Everyone in my close circle of family and friends knows that I’m a harsh critic when it comes to sweaters. They can’t be itchy and they need to fit right, especially if I’m about to drop a good buck to buy ‘em. All my life, I’ve found it frustrating to find sweaters (of any price point) that live up to my high standards; not to mention, long-lasting styles that don’t make me feel the urge to upcycle after one season. (After all, I’m trying to build a capsule wardrobe here.) And can I let you in on a little secret? Never in my life did I think I’d gravitate to a fisherman’s sweater, but boy was I wrong.

I’ve always had my eye on Jenni Kayne, la crème de la crème California lifestyle brand that’s totally ‘lax, sophisticated and Malibu-esque, but as a Virgo who’s inherently frugal with her dollar, the price tag has proven difficult to swallow. My fellow editors raved about the Cashmere Cocoon cardigan ($495), and I’ve been debating on purchasing the much more reasonably-priced Everyday sweater (185), but was told that the best-selling Fisherman sweater ($425) was one of the most iconic pieces to try from the collection. And when it came to my attention that Quince, the brand that makes high-quality products at affordable prices, had a strikingly similar piece for $50, I knew there was a sweater showdown in our midst.

After one month of testing both fisherman sweaters, it was time to answer the nail-biting question: Did they make the cut into my sweater drawer? Short answer is yes, yes they did.

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quince vs jenni kayne review side-by-side
Quince/Jenni Kayne

What Sets Jenni Kayne and Quince Apart?

While it may come as a surprise to some, Jenni Kayne began in 2002—16 years before the start of Quince, in 2018. Both brands focus heavily on transparency with their customers, implementing sustainable practices and producing high-quality essentials like the cozy fisherman knit sweaters. Quince and Jenni Kayne both make an array of apparel—think: dresses, jackets, skirts, blouses, shoes and the like. Plus, you’ll find accessories, homes goods and dedicated men’s and kids sections for both brands.

While the companies aren’t lacking in their large selection of styles, Quince has a hefty number of designs that use a variety of materials suitable for any season, from European linen and organic cotton to Mongolian cashmere and tencel jersey. On the other hand, Jenni Kayne produces smaller, more curated, Californian-inspired drops using seasonal fabrics and a next to none quality and craftsmanship that can cost anywhere from $45 up to the four-digit range. And it’s the price point that really sets the brands apart. At Quince, you can find a cashmere sweater and a shearling slipper selling for $50 (hello, UGG Tasman lookalike)—hence, affordable luxury.

How I Tested the Sweaters

I received two fisherman sweaters to test in late August, one from Quince and the other from Jenni Kayne. I’d love to say I immediately went to work, slinging the sweaters over my body after they arrived in the mail, but I’d be lying. You see, I live in California, and August is most definitely not sweater weather. During the month of October, I’ve worn them a handful of times, from sporting them inside my house (which has no A/C or heat—an important detail to note for testing) while recovering from a rough go of bronchitis to traffic-filled car rides and running errands.

When testing the fisherman sweaters, I honed in on fit, comfort and warmth. ICYDK, fisherman sweaters originated in Ireland and were knitted to keep fishermen warm. So, it only seems right that I shouldn’t feel the need to throw on layers when wearing. As someone who runs hot and sweats (a lot), there’s nothing worse than wearing five layers at once at any given time. I take that back…an itchy sweater might come close. I want a garment that’s cozy and so unbelievably comfortable that I forget I’m wearing it to get me through the winter months. For that reason, I paid close attention to the fit. A traditional fisherman sweater must be relaxed yet tailored, and preferably proportionate in length.

My Quince Fisherman Sweater Review:


  • Appearance: 18/20
  • Comfort: 17/20
  • Fit: 19/20
  • Value: 20/20
  • Quality: 17/20

Total: 91/100

The Quince fisherman sweater is made from 100 percent organic cotton and, much to my surprise, the knit is rather thick (without being chunky) and weighty. When I referred to the size chart, I found that the small was my suggested size—I fluctuate between a four and six, depending on the brand—but after reading some reviews of buyers who sized up for an oversize fit, I was convinced to go with the medium.

The sweater has a slightly boxy fit to it, and I liked the roominess in the waist and chest. I especially appreciated that it didn’t suffocate my armpits, which would make it an immediate NO in this gal’s book. The hem lays at the widest part of my hips (a result of sizing up), so I found that it looked great when I French tucked it into my jeans.

Then came washing day, and luckily my new Quince fisherman sweater is machine-washable. I tossed my camel number into my delicate pile with all-natural detergent and let the washer do its thing. Even though the brand says it can be tumble-dried on low, I knew better than to take my chances. I mean, we’re talking about 100 percent cotton, people. I’ve seen one too many keepsakes go from adult size one minute to baby’s clothes the next. So, after laying it flat, it dried well and looked the same as when I received it. (Phew!)

Because of that cotton knit, it isn’t very insulating, and I found myself wishing I had another layer on as I sat at my heatless WFH desk setup. The feeling dissipated once I stepped outside and into some sunlight, where the breathable material did its job. And while I wouldn’t call it plush or overtly cozy, per say, it is nowhere near scratchy (hooray!) and has a comforting texture that reminds me of a weighted blanket. I did notice two tiny areas where fabric was raveling, but for $50, it’s a solid sweater option for those of us who run hot or for people who wear lots of layers and don’t want to drip in sweat on their commute home.

So, does the Jenni Kayne knit stand a chance? Let’s read.

My Jenni Kayne Fisherman Sweater Review:

Jenni Kayne

  • Appearance: 19/20
  • Comfort: 20/20
  • Fit: 18/20
  • Value: 18/20
  • Quality: 20/20

Total: 95/100

OK, I finally understand what the Jenni Kayne hype is all about. The fisherman sweater was classic, tailored and luxuriously soft. I could immediately tell that the fabric (it’s 100 percent cashmere) was of the highest quality and the sweater was knit to perfection. When glancing at the brand’s website, I noticed the sizes, XS to 3X, are a touch more inclusive than Quince’s range, which spans from XS to XXL. Like Quince, I opted for the size medium (one size larger from my usual) in hopes that this would fit me slightly oversize.

When I compared the two sweaters, one on top of the other, the cut, width and length were the same. For some reason, Quince’s looser fit of the cotton was more my style, but I appreciated the straight and more tailored fit that the cashmere took to my body. I did need a second to get used to the armpit length, though, which sat alarmingly close for comfort. Compared to the Quince, this jumper is far more lightweight and warmer—though that doesn’t surprise me considering cashmere is known for its insulating properties.

When my sister saw me wearing it, she showered me in compliments and my initial hesitation over the fit melted right away. She loved the way it hung on my body and gushed over how sophisticated and expensive it looked. It didn’t take her long to guess that it was a Jenni Kayne sweater (and nearly snatch it off my body in envious rage).

Whether it was the sister envy that convinced me, or I was finally letting go of the idea I had in my head of what kind of silhouette looks good on me, it was clear to me that wearing Jenni Kayne was like being wrapped in the softest, coziest blanket that I never wanted to take off. And the warmth on this fisherman sweater was almost too impressive; I had to take it off a couple of times after just a few hours of wear because I was starting to sweat, which wasn’t ideal, but bearing in mind the confusing California fall weather, it checked out.

The Jenni Kayne, while pricey, is a great option for those who want a staple sweater that’s long-lasting, versatile, lightweight and chic. Yes, $425 is a hard pill to swallow, but considering it’s well-made from 100 percent cashmere, you’re investing in quality and construction that’s truly *chef’s kiss*.

Quince vs. Jenni Kayne Final Notes

Jenni Kayne

When you boil it down, both fisherman sweaters are great in their own ways. They’re comfortable, stylish and fit somewhat similarly. It’s safe to say that the material will feel different between both sweaters, considering the Quince garb is made from 100 percent organic cotton and the Jenni Kayne from 100 percent cashmere, so it really boils down to fabric preference and budget. I found the Jenni Kayne to feel overall more luxuriously soft and plush against my skin than the Quince sweater, which has a weighty, thick and breathable knit that I appreciate and will without a doubt wear during the transitional months when there’s a slight chill out. Until then, I’m reaching for my Jenni Kayne fisherman sweater to warm me up.

TLDR? Whether you’re sweat-prone like me and are looking for an affordable sweater that won’t break the bank or you’re on the hunt for an impeccably well-made, warm cashmere number, neither of these fisherman sweaters will let you down.

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Associate Fashion Commerce Editor

Stephanie is a natural savant in the fashion, beauty, and dating & relationships beats. She graduated with a bachelor of arts at the University of San Diego, where she majored...

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