Sweater coats have been a staple in my cashmere wardrobe for a few years now. I cannot tell you how much use I get out of those things!! They are wonderful when you are wanting to snuggle up and read a book and are perfect for going out shopping in the middle of winter. I have even performed in one and was photographed wearing it! (I have a music degree, but I have this secret obsession with cashmere for some reason...)
When shopping for a sweater coat I have a few things for you to consider:
- Brand- This may seem judgmental, but brand, in this case, can make or break the purchase of a sweater coat. The best cashmere brands (Loro Piana, Malo, TSE, etc.) all use premium cashmere fibers. They are longer and thinner so they pill less. Cashmere sweater coats are often made from 8-12ply cashmere so the knitting is "wider". When each stitch has a larger surface area, the smaller fibers will pill up more easily than with a tighter-knit sweater. With a tight-knit sweater, the smaller fibers can be spread across 3 stitches. In a thick sweater coat, they might just barely spread over 1 stitch if at all.
- Knit Style- When looking for a thick and warm sweater coat, pay attention to the way the sweater was knit. When a sweater is knit with a cable pattern, they use more yarn. Therefore, you get a warmer sweater! A simple stockinette stitch (like you find on normal knit sweaters) will have less yarn per square inch. Also, a tighter knit will last longer. A sweater that is knit loosely may look neat, but you are asking for trouble with pilling and washing.
- Color- If you are going to spend upwards of $1000 or more on a new sweater coat of great quality, pick a color that is timeless. A pink sweater coat may be tempting, but in a year, it will be very dated. You are better off spending the "beaucoup bucks" on something classic that will last you 10 years.
From Neiman Marcus:Brown Sweater Coat $695
From Neiman Marcus Sale:Rust Sweater Coat $495
From Nordstrom Sale:White Todd and Duncan Sweater Coat $769
From Neiman Marcus:Loro Piana Navy Sweater Coat $2650
From Ralph Lauren:Brown Toggle Sweater Coat $1298
From Neiman Marcus - same as Ralph Lauren but in dark grey:Grey Toggle Sweater Coat $1298
From Kinross:Hand Knit Cable Coat (Boutiques only)
From Neiman Marcus (I own this in black and LOVE it!):Cable Coat $695
So, those are my picks for now! I have the last coat listed from Neiman Marcus (thought it was only for sale last season, but there it is again!), a Ralph Lauren coat, and a Kinross coat. They are so delicious! I must say that my two favorites from the list above are the brown sweater coat from Neiman Marcus and the Ralph Lauren toggle sweater coat. If I could afford the Loro Piana, I would buy that in a heart beat!! You should already know by now how I feel about their cashmere... nothing better!
Well, enjoy the hunt for the next staple in your wardrobe! If I find any others I love, I'll post them. If you know of any others, let me know!!