My Go-To Winter Sweater
We all mark life’s milestones, both big and small, in different ways. Some people do it with celebrations and vacations, some do it with expensive jewelry. No surprise for me, this year’s mini-milestone was marked with cashmere. Yummy, soft, delicious cashmere, oh how I have missed you!
The Story Behind My Cashmere Sweater
As you know, I had three little miracle babies in two years…eek! That’s a whole lot of boobie leakage, formula, spit-up, pee, poop and other fluids that we don’t normally come in contact with all that much until our season of motherhood is upon us.
Why am I telling you this?
All of that gross stuff has a major impact on the wardrobe choices we make every single day as new moms – or should I say the wardrobe choices we don’t make because there are lots of days when pajamas and sweats become our day clothes.
This is just the season. Soon, our kiddos grow and we relearn the joys of retail therapy, dry clean only and fabrics like cashmere.
My Cashmere Milestone
When I had Sammy in 2017, my wardrobe consisted of oversized maternity tops that were trendy enough to wear post-baby. My goal was to let these items soak up all the spit-up so that when it was time to dress right again, I’d be more than ready to throw those duds to the curb.
Mark loves buying me clothes – I know, you would think I’m ultra fussy and buy all of my own stuff right? He actually has a great eye. So when we were strolling through Nordstrom one day with (then) baby Sammy, he wanted to “treat” me to a yummy gray cashmere sweater by Vince (swoon). I foolishly refused as I knew it would be covered in some sort of baby fluid in no time.
He rolled his eyes and called me a killjoy to which I (apparently) replied “Once I’ve hit the no more baby spit-up milestone, I will let you buy me cashmere.” I have no recollection of this conversation, but he swears I said it.
So one spit-up-filled winter went by dressed in yucky maternity tops. By the time the next opportunity for cozy cashmere sweaters came around, we had started yet another IVF cycle to try for number 2 (and 3, unbeknownst to us). So what was the point of shopping for new expensive clothes? There wasn’t one, I concluded.
*Please note, I have since revised my theory about buying clothes between babies. While I stand behind prudence when making new purchases, I think it is very important that we treat ourselves now and then. I didn’t do that enough. Whether it’s clothing, a nice manicure, or a special trendy bag, you deserve a little something while you’re peed, pooped and spit upon.
Flash forward to February 8, 2021: Mark surprised me with this gorgeous crewneck cashmere sweater by Vince, purchased at the very site that marked our conversation 3 years earlier. Like a masked knight in shining armor, Mark stormed the department store gates and found the perfect cashmere. Kind of romantic, right?
How To Style Your Cashmere
Gray is one of my favorite wardrobe colors overall, but soft beige is my favorite winter sweater color. It complements my olive skin tone and works well with my favorite gold and neutral accessories. The fit on this particular Vince sweater is perfect, not at all boxy but not clingy (size down one size), the length is just right, and the double slits offer a little contemporary detail. For my daytime look (which is my only look, really) it pairs perfectly with any denim wash and a brown ankle boot; for a date night, add a touch of sexy with faux leather leggings and a heel.
If you’re fair-skinned or dark medium-dark skinned, a very light gray or heather gray cashmere will look beautiful on you. In that case, I prefer silver jewelry or jewel-tones and black footwear.
Now, if your craving for cashmere can’t wait until the infant phase is over, I highly recommend sensibly splurging on an open cashmere cardigan or duster. White and Warren’s are reasonably priced as far as cashmere goes, though they’re lightweight. Feel like your little one is about to spew something? The cardigan is an easy on and off so you you can get it out of the line of fire faster than a pull-over.
A Little Cashmere Never Hurt Anyone
Here are some of my other favorite sweaters from prior years. Many I have thrown away or donated, but these are a few that managed to stay with me. These pieces are a lot less neutral than my Vince cashmere, but I love the personality on each of them, and I have a story behind them all.
It might seem like a little thing, but for me, leaving behind the spit-up phase is a milestone – and it’s a little bittersweet as I watch my precious babies grow into adorably quirky toddlers. Have you marked any milestones with something seemingly as frivolous as cashmere? I’d love to know!