I absolutely cannot stop buying things made out of cashmere. I know this love affair started in childhood. I distinctly remember any cashmere item being greeted with “oooo” and “ahhh” by all the surrounding adults. It was revered and mysterious, and now as a grown woman, cashmere is simply magical to me. That super soft hair from the underside of a goat, makes anything it is spun into instantly more luxurious. Simple items like gloves, hats, scarves, blankets, and socks, suddenly become unique and gift-worthy. While more elaborate items like dresses, skirts, track suits and cargo pants are treated (and I’m speaking for myself here) as though a unicorn walked in the room. Last season I became obsessed with blanket scarves (yes, a scarf that’s as big as a blanket). So I bought an actual cashmere throw blanket, which I now where as a scarf…don’t judge me.
I know people automatically think that cashmere is really expensive, and of course it can be. But you’d be surprised to know that you can find amazing cashmere pieces at thrift, vintage and consignment stores. At Iguana Clothing here in Los Angeles, I have found several cashmere sweaters for me and my boyfriend. You’d be amazed at the things people give up. If you do go the vintage route, there are two things to keep in mind. 1) Try it on. Don’t hold it up and think “yeah, it’ll fit.” The fit of the garment will probably have nothing to do with whatever labels are in it. 2) Check it METICULOUSLY. Look for holes, snags, stains…anything. If you find something you think you can live with, show it to the manager and you might get a discount. I once found a 100% cashmere sweater from J.Crew that was perfect, except for a stain on the cuff. I knew I could get that stain out, so I showed it to the manager, and he sold it to me for $5.00.
This post made me do something I’d never done before: attempt to count my cashmere pieces. I lost count somewhere around forty. This figure includes gifts, and items I’ve commandeered from others. For example, after my father passed away I took over his favorite cashmere sweater, which I now wear around the house. I also LOVE cashmere scarves, and I have found several on a website called ThePashminaStore.com. I got my blanket “scarf” here too. It’s 60×80 inches of cashmere heaven.
So, I just wanted to give you a heads up about what treasures you can find in a thrift store. All you need is a little patience and a good eye. Happy hunting!