It's finally cooling down = Cashmere sweaters

If wearing your summer clothes in October isn't a sign of global warming, then I don't know what is. Anyways, LA weather is finally cooling down. While I was glad to be able to milk more mileage out of my clearance finds, it's good that Fall weather is here. For the past 8 weeks, I had to contend with dressing for 90 degree weather while bringing a sweater or jacket just for being indoors (yes, the AC turned classrooms into completely different climate zones).

I love my new cashmere sweater. For $30, I got an amazingly good deal. Apparently the sweater was from Trina Turk's resort collection, and the only place I found it online is the Lena K boutique, in aqua blue (mine is a light peach), medium, and a hundred bucks more than I paid for it (down from original retail of $198). I don't care about what season it's from because it's so simple but pretty; it's one of those timeless pieces that I'm sure will last me a long time.

A caveat about buying cashmere sweaters--don't buy it online unless you know exactly how it looks and feels, which could be ascertained in a retail store. When I bought my sweater, the tags for the size and contents were cut out because it was a charity sale. I found another sweater that looked exactly the same but in a bigger size to see what it's made out of, but even before finding a tag (on that other sweater) that said it was 100% cashmere, I knew what I picked up was quality stuff. All you have to do is feel it--it should be very smooth and very soft. Try touching a couple of pure cashmere sweaters to get the feel...it's actually quite instinctive. If you're going to plunk down a couple hundred dollars to get a cashmere sweater, make sure it's worth it first. Keep in mind that just because it's uber-expensive doesn't mean it's good, and conversely, just because it's an expensive product doesn't mean you have to pay a lot. Although my $30 sweater is an anomaly, I've seen $50 cashmere sweaters and wraps at one of the New Mart showrooms. They were definitely the good stuff.

If you find a good one in a brick-and-mortar store but it's full price, note the brand, exact model, etc., just as you would for a car, then do an online search. When you can find an out-of-state online boutique that also has a coupon code, you can avoid paying tax and get a good discount. Many places has reasonable shipping fees or, better yet, free shipping with a minimum purchase, so you won't be trading a small sales tax for a big extra fee. Oh yeah, make sure you read the label--there are many cashmere-other fiber blends, which are lower in quality and not feel as luxurious. Even though you can certainly feel the difference, reading the label is a good safeguard against expensive mistakes.

Here's a good article from Style Diary on finding a good cashmere sweater. It's a good read, along with other reviews from the site.

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