In the world of accessories, one reigns supreme: the cashmere scarf. If you’re looking for the perfect way to top off or tie together your winter ensembles, look no further.
A men’s or women’s cashmere scarf is the ideal blend of functional and chic, simple and stylish.
In fact, Next Level Wardrobe’s stylists love recommending cashmere scarves to their clients. Today, we’re sharing our quick guide to this timeless accessory. From whether or not you should buy a cashmere scarf, to how to care for it, to how to style it, we’ve got all the answers.
Table of Contents
Should You Buy a Cashmere Scarf?
Yes, you should buy a cashmere scarf. If you live in cold or cool climates this piece is without a doubt a must. It’s warm enough to wear with a medium or lightweight jacket in milder temps, and layerable for frigid locations too.
They’re super soft, comfortable, and easy to find in different lengths for your style preference.
That said, all of this only works if you buy the right cashmere scarf.
What To Look For in a Cashmere Scarf
Whether you’re looking for a scarf, coat, or shoes you should always go in with a plan.
Having a shopping strategy saves you time, energy, and money. If you know exactly what you want and need, you won’t waste time on items that don’t fit your criteria. (Or end up leaving the store with fifty different scarves that’ll just take up space in your closet.)
So what should you look for in a cashmere scarf?
Number one: Quality.
100% cashmere from a trusted, well-sourced brand like Nadaam or Cuyana is optimal. There are also some great wool-cashmere or cotton-cashmere blends out there.
But above all: see how your skin reacts. Some people are allergic to cheap cashmere blends, others are allergic to cashmere in general. Try before you buy!
Number two: Color.
One of the main principles of our NLW Style System is the importance of color. Namely, that most of your closet should be made up of core colors (black, grey, white, and navy blue.) That’s because these colors go with everything and never go out of style.
Your cashmere scarf will be a seasonal staple. So purchasing one in a neutral, versatile color will give you the most “bang for your buck.” You can always buy a cashmere scarf in an accent color once you’ve rounded out your wardrobe a bit more.
Cashmere Scarf Care Tips
Got the cashmere scarf of your dreams? Perfect. Now for the other important part: how to care for your men’s or women’s cashmere scarf.
A lot of online advice and buying guides focus on just that first part of the equation: the buying. Why? Because it’s easier to sell people on buying something new. Plus it makes magazines and influencers money.
It’s not as glamorous, but learning how to take care of your clothes is equally (if not more) important. When you learn to care for your clothes, they last longer and look better.
Here are our top answers to your cashmere care questions:
When Should You Wash Cashmere?
Rarely! Our rule? If it doesn’t smell or have stains, skip the wash or dry clean. Cashmere has natural antimicrobial properties that make it ideal for day-to-day use and travel.
How To Wash a Cashmere Scarf
If it’s finally time to wash your scarf and there’s no major stain, hand wash. Use lukewarm water and a sink or small bucket. Don’t use any old detergent, look for something gentle like a wool wash, Woolite for extra delicates, or even baby shampoo.
Use a tiny amount of detergent, just enough for what you need. Soak your scarf for 15 minutes, and then rinse in a container of clean, non-soapy water.
Whatever you do, don’t wring it out or scrub. Cashmere is extremely delicate so do your best not to misshape the fabric.
Then, lay it flat to dry.
Should I Dry-Clean Cashmere? If So, How and When?
You should only dry clean cashmere if you absolutely have to. Is it safe to dry-clean cashmere? Technically yes, but only with the right equipment and only sparingly.
This might be a situation where your scarf is sporting a huge stain or an unforgivable odor you can’t get out.
We think of dry cleaning as the go-to for our special items. But the reality is, dry cleaning involves chemicals that are pretty harsh on delicate cashmere fibers.
The best thing to do is to take your cashmere scarf to a dry cleaner you trust and know. Talk with them and confirm that they know how to handle cashmere and won’t treat it the same as a suit jacket or trousers.
How To Style a Cashmere Scarf for Women
Now that you know how to care for your new women’s cashmere scarf, it’s time to learn how to style it!
We’ve got a couple of quick tips to help you pull off this timeless accessory, straight from NLW founder Cassandra Sethi.
But first, there are a few different ways you can tie your scarf. Check out this quick video from Cassandra for a quick tutorial!
It’s All About Balance
One of our favorite ways to wear a cashmere scarf for women is to balance out the color of an outfit.
Here Cassandra has on a pair of lighter-wash trousers with a darker-colored sweater. We love how the color of the scarf brings out the color of the trousers. Why? It helps to elongate her body and bring the entire look together.
Keeping the color palette simple also allows you to play with more accessories.
Cassandra added simple gold hoops and a red lip to this look. Because she kept her base and scarf simple, these details feel like refined finishing touches instead of overkill.
Textures and Tints
Take a look at this outfit. What do you see? If you said head-to-toe neutrals, you’re right.
Now, look a bit closer. Even though this outfit consists of all core colors, the lighter tints in the accessories actually zest up this look. They contrast against the darker base tones of the pants and jacket, adding visual interest.
Plus we love how the women’s cashmere scarf is extra soft and fuzzy. It embraces that cozy winter vibe and pairs nicely with the wooly texture of the coat.
How To Style a Men’s Cashmere Scarf
Don’t worry, fellas, we didn’t forget about you! Here are even more tips on how to style a men’s cashmere scarf for chilly days.
A Monochrome Man
At NLW, we love to pair several different shades of the same color together.
For one, it’s a great way to incorporate core colors into an outfit.
For another, it’s simple yet oh-so-stylish. You don’t have to stress or worry about mixing and matching different colors. Here, you just pick one color and stick to it.
Here, this gray marled cashmere scarf complements both the lighter gray sweater and the darker gray jacket.
You still get some visual variety with the different shades and hues while looking polished and put together.
A Pop of Color
Want to brighten up your winter wardrobe?
Use your men’s cashmere scarf as a pop of color. We mentioned this earlier, but accessories are a great place to play with bold accents.
The key to making this look work is to make sure you keep the rest of your outfit subtle.
Take a look at the photo above.
The oatmeal sweater and heathered pants form the ideal neutral base for a brighter color. The turquoise scarf instantly livens up this look. At the same time, the scarf isn’t too bright or pulling focus. Instead, it seamlessly fits with the rest of the ensemble and black jacket.
Whether you’re picking out accessories or rebuilding your wardrobe, NLW is here to help. Apply for our women’s and men’s styling services to work with our expert team. We’ll help you discover your dream style and take the stress out of shopping.