Why I'll always invest in cashmere
(In partnership with The White Company)
As I’ve honed my personal style over recent years I’ve noticed an increasing amount of synergy between the things I choose for my home and the clothes that make it into my wardrobe. You won’t find much in the way of bright colour or bold prints in either - perhaps the odd accent here or there, but usually only to a very restrained degree, and even then it’s nearly always to provide a contrasting detail or point of focus within a more neutral, pared back look. People sometimes pull me up on this and ask if I’m ever tempted to introduce more colour or pattern, and the truth is I’m not. I guess over time I’ve just learned what I like and what makes me feel good. Mostly I’m drawn to stuff because of an appreciation of its texture, the quality of the material, or the design… or more usually, all three.
When it comes to interiors I’m as concerned about how a space makes me feel as I am about how it looks, and the same goes for clothes. For me it’s always about quality over quantity. I probably buy far fewer clothes now than I did when I was in my twenties or thirties. Instead I seek out beautiful, wearable pieces that are designed to last.
When I first quit my job in corporate marketing and began working freelance I found it such a relief to no longer have to spend my Sunday evenings ironing shirts for the week ahead. Now that I work from home most of the time my wardrobe consists of relaxed, off duty pieces where the focus is on comfort and (importantly) versatility, since my day typically includes dog walking, running errands in town and lots of renovation jobs as well as styling, photography and desk based stuff like writing or answering emails. I don’t have time to change my clothes several times a day, so my working from home wardrobe needs to be both practical and versatile. What have I replaced all those shirts with? Well cashmere mostly.
I usually treat myself to a couple of new pieces every year. Cashmere may seem like an extravagance but given the fact that I have cashmere pieces that are several years old and still look as good as new it’s an extravagance I’m happy to justify. On a cost per wear basis my cashmere jumpers represent some of my best buys ever. In fact it’s quite rare for me to buy non cashmere knitwear these days. Good cashmere really is timeless. I love the fact that it hardly ever bobbles. If it does pill slightly any loose fibres are usually easily removed with a cashmere comb. It’s breathable and I also find it keeps its shape better than other knits. And then of course there’s the fact that it just feels amazing. So yes, you’ll find me wearing cashmere pretty much from now through until next Spring.
I picked up a couple of roll neck sweaters last year so this year I’ve gone for a more relaxed sweatshirt style knit by The White Company, who always do great cashmere pieces. It’s the perfect weight for autumn as it’s fairly light, so it’s ideal for this ‘in between’ weather when it’s so hard to know what to wear. Later on in the year I’ll layer it with a t-shirt or cardigan for extra warmth but right now it’s perfect for the mild autumnal weather we’ve been enjoying. I also chose this ribbed beanie which will be great for whippet walks on cooler mornings.
Back at home I have a cashmere throw from The White Company that’s a couple of seasons old now but I still absolutely adore it (so does the whippet). It’s sadly no longer available but I found a similar one here. I also really love their cashmere bed socks. I often pick up a pair or two as gifts, especially for those extra hard to buy for members of the family, because really who wouldn’t appreciate a pair of cashmere socks? This year they’ve added some lovely cashmere boot socks to the collection too.
I’m not quite sure how The White Company have managed to create a home fragrance that so perfectly evokes the scent of freshly washed cashmere but they somehow have, and it’s really rather lovely. I have lots of scented candles, so I like to categorise them according to when and where in the home I use them. I’d probably describe this one as more of a daytime fragrance. It’s warm, soft and comforting, just like your favourite cashmere knit, and I find it a really soothing one to have on my desk while I’m working.
Finally, while I’m sticking to my no mention of the ‘C’ word until after the clocks go back rule, if you are one of those super organised people, and are already tackling your gift shopping list, then this cashmere blend Star sweater would make a lovely festive knit this winter.