now that we are officially in the midst of winter here in nyc, i have been relying prettily heavily on my sweater collection to get me through the week.  my skin gets incredibly dry and itchy in the cold, so i need sweaters that are either 100% cotton, 100% wool, or as a luxury, 100% cashmere.

true cashmere freaks swear by a few choice brands (chanel, loro piana, brunnello cucinelli), but those prices are out of the question for me.    i’ve tried a lot of brands that are much cheaper (though some are admittedly not cheap), and i thought i should do a round-up of how they have held up over the years.

cashmerevince (top right):  this sweater is just okay.  even on sale, vince cashmere is pretty expensive.  the softness is okay, but the sweater still pills like crazy.  plus, after a few wears, i don’t feel like this looks as plush or as high-quality as some of my other sweaters.

j.crew factory (middle right):  my j.crew factory cardigan is the best quality cashmere i have gotten from j.crew as of late.  i can’t stand the j.crew featherweight cashmere (just asking for holes), and i haven’t found much of the regular j.crew cashmere to be thick or as soft as i want.  plus, it is regularly over $100 for a sweater. i think this cardigan came in at about $50 on sale, and it is a true workhorse for me in my freezing office.  i would say the pill factor is pretty average, though it still looks as plush as the day i bought it.

demylee for j.crew (bottom right):  this is probably my favorite sweater in terms of quality and price point.  the full price is very expensive, but as j.crew does, it got marked down to about 70% off before i took the plunge.  the cashmere is soft and thick, and i haven’t seen much pilling.  the navy has not bled onto the white, and every time i wear this, it feels like i am wearing a great big cashmere hug.

eric bompard (top and bottom left):  these are the newest to my collection, and also the most expensive.  these sweaters are not as soft as my j.crew cardigans but they feel much thicker and don’t pill as much.  plus i love the various design options that really elevate these sweaters into something fancy enough to wear for dinner or to dress up with a pencil skirt for work.  the fitted gray pointelle pictured above looks great with a gray pencil skirt (ala my style idol rachel zane below), and this navy and lace does just as well with a black skirt.

SUITS -- "Heartburn" Episode 314 -- Pictured: Meghan Markle as Rachel Zane -- (Photo by: Ian Watson/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank)

SUITS — “Heartburn” Episode 314 — Pictured: Meghan Markle as Rachel Zane — (Photo by: Ian Watson/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank)

isabel marant (middle left):  although isabel marant is my homegirl, as you can see from my collection, i don’t think her cashmere sweaters are worth the price.  while they are undeniably soft, this sweater is pretty thin and pills like crazy.  plus, i think it has stretched out to a weird shape.