3 ways to dress up your thrifted cashmere

Photo of a woman in a cashmere sweater

By Guest Blogger Sally McGraw

None of us want to admit it, but soon the snow will fly again. And when it does, we’ll need to haul out our boots and scarves and layers. Most Minnesotans know that cashmere is a fabulous winter fiber that is just as soft as it is warm. Most of us also know that a quality cashmere sweater can cost between $100 and $450 bought new. Which is why I’m here to recommend hitting up your local Goodwill for some gently used cashmere; I’ve paid up to $20, but frequently find pre-loved cashmere sweaters for even less. Case in point, this 100% cashmere sweater, purchased from the Roseville Goodwill for $11.99.

Although it is wonderfully soft to the touch, it’s pretty plain on its own. So here are some ways I’ll be dressing it up over the course of the season:

Add a scarf
With a solid colored cashmere sweater like this, try a patterned scarf that pulls out the main color in the sweater. You can certainly pick a contrasting or complementary solid, but printed scarves add more colors and movement to your look. To cash in on the Western trend in a very subtle way, take a large square scarf, fold into a triangle, and tie the ends behind your neck. This is called the “cowboy knot” and it was all over the fall/winter runways. A fun way to create cohesion in your outfit: Match your sweater to your shoes.

Layer over a button-front

To make this work, you’ll need a fairly loose-fitting sweater and a fairly close-fitting button-front shirt. You want to keep bulk to a minimum and also make sure the layers don’t fight each other. With a high neckline like this, popping the collar out and layering a sparkly necklace beneath makes for a fun look.

Throw on a necklace
Obvious, right? But here are some things to consider when picking the piece you want to wear with your cashmere: Your necklace should either mirror the shape of your neckline, or fall well below it. If this sweater had a v-neck, a pendant necklace or v-shaped bib would work best. Since it has a very high crew neck, it’s virtually impossible to find a necklace that will fit within the neckline space. So I’ve opted for a long pendant, which falls far below the crew and looks cool and intentional.

Lightweight cashmere can be layered under blazers and jackets, or even layered over dresses for a faux-separates look. Push up your sleeves and add bracelets, or pick small earrings and a funky brooch. The possibilities are virtually endless. So head out to your local Goodwill ASAP and thrift up some gorgeous cashmere! It’ll keep you cozy, warm, and stylish all season long.