In recent years, I’ve found myself becoming a lot pickier when it comes to the fabrics I choose to buy and wear. I hate to admit it but younger me never checked the labels of clothes before adding to bag, and if I jumper itched all day but looked on trend? I’d just accept it as suffering for fashion.
But these days, my mindset – and my need for comfort – has changed. I’m still guilty of the odd fast fashion, trend-led buy but for the most part I have started to buy less, but better, with a focus on building a timeless wardrobe. And a big part of that is focusing on quality materials, including affordable cashmere, which is not only a lot more enjoyable to wear, but better for the planet too.
And winter is the season where I’ve become particularly, well, particular about the fabrics of the garments I buy. I want to be warm (without having to wear 7 different layers) and comfort reigns supreme, whilst still looking chic. And no fabric ticks all these boxes quite like 100% cashmere – ah, just the thought of the soft, luxuriousness of it is like having a comforting hug.
What’s perhaps not so comforting is the thought of outlaying hundreds of pounds for just one jumper (or even a beanie.) But what was once considered a fashion myth – affordable cashmere on the high street – has (fortunately for my wallet) become a lot easier to find, and just as luxe as higher end brands.
That’s not to say investing in 100% cashmere is cheap, with a jumper on average costing around £100, but I choose to look at it as an investment that will last me seasons to come.
Whilst that might mean you’ll see me in the same, classic, navy cashmere jumper week after week (apologies to my Insta feed), I’ll happily take the quality and comfort over the equivalent of 5 polyester jumpers. So, if like me you’re on the hunt for the best affordable cashmere that won’t break the bank, here are the 5 high street stores doing it well.
When it comes to good quality pieces at affordable prices, it’s hard to beat high street stalwart, M&S. Their affordable cashmere was the first that I bought on the high street, and it’s remained a firm favourite of mine ever since.
Their selection includes classic styles and printed designs, but it’s their plain, round neck jumpers that I return for year after year, to add another colour to my collection.
If you’re after a boxier fit like I am, size up a couple of sizes for that effortlessly, slouchy look that could easily have a designer price tag. And if (like me) you’re really looking to indulge your comfortable side this season, M&S’ cashmere joggers are not only heaven to lounge in but look pretty good out of the house too.
Zara may be my go-to for everything trendy, but that doesn’t mean they don’t know how to do classic well too. In between sequin party dresses and Y2K low slung jeans, there are some affordable cashmere gems to be found, all under £150.
Whilst theirs might not be the cheapest on the high street, I can attest to their quality. I particularly love this soft, mint green cable knit jumper for a preppy vibe; I’ll be wearing it with everything from jeans on weekends, to leather trews and ankle boots for meetings.
And if you’re looking for a festive knit (that isn’t *actually* a Christmas jumper and you can *actually* wear again, this bright red cashmere jumper is perfect for this time of year – and beyond.
Is there anything cosier than a slightly oversized, fine knit cashmere dress? I wager not – and even better when it’s high street and nobody knows. No one will guess this 100% cashmere dress is from H&M, and it’s the perfect wardrobe addition for chic, minimalist dressing.
But if you’re looking to add some colour or say, even a striped cashmere jumper with lilac detailing to your winter wardrobe, H&M is brimming with 100% affordable cashmere options – probably one of the widest on the high street. And whilst most pieces are from the brands premium selection, they start from less than £80 – pretty much a steal when it comes to cashmere.
Numerous influencers I follow (including some who usually exclusively wear designer brands) have been raving about COS’s cashmere of late, so naturally, I was compelled to check it out. And I can confidently say, it did not disappoint.
Whilst their price point is right near the top end of the high street, there’s no denying their pieces could easily rival designer styles but without the eye watering price tags. Detailing like oversized roll necks, ribbed cuffs and punchy colours (as well as classic neutrals) elevate their styles, plus there’s a wide range of designs.
If their prices are a little steep but you’d love to treat yourself to something from their cashmere range, this scarf is currently in my basket – it comes in 7 colours, and will add an instant touch of luxury (plus warmth) to any look.
I don’t know where my wardrobe would be without Uniqlo basics. From their legendary thermals to their epic down jackets, it’s a brand that forms the backbone to a lot of my winter outfits. And just like everything Uniqlo does, their simple, well designed cashmere pieces are affordable and will fit seamlessly into just about anyone’s style.
Their classic round neck affordable cashmere jumper comes in a whopping 15 colours (I’ll take one of each please). And then there’s the brand’s cashmere accessory game, which can’t be beat on the high street; from gloves to scarves and even 100% cashmere beanies (laters, itching head) they make getting out the house on even the coldest of mornings quite a treat.