How to shop for sweaters online
When you’re shopping online for sweaters, one of the most important factors to keep in mind is the fabric – especially if you have sensitive skin that prickles when it comes in contact with natural materials. So, until somebody invents an iPhone app that allows you to touch your screen and feel the material of the sweater you’re browsing (hey, quick, future self, patent that idea), here’s a guide to help you shop for fall and winter sweaters online.
First, check the details of the sweater you’re looking at online for the makeup of the fabric. Everybody’s skin sensitivities are different, but typically fabrics like Shetland wool and mohair are coarse and itchy. If you’re especially sensitive, they’ve got the same kind of itch factor as going camping in Minnesota where the state bird is a mosquito and you’ve forgotten your insect repellent Wearing a long-sleeve T-shirt or plaid button-up underneath an itchy sweater can be a fashionable safeguard. Also, applying Talcum powder before you put the sweater on can ward off some of the scratchiness. For wool-a-phobes, Merino wool is often a good alternative because it has a silky feel to it and the finer fabric has some built-in stretch that makes for a flattering fit. If you like the look of wool, but need a soft option, look for wool-viscose blends like this lengthy, argyle cardigan from Anthropologie.
Cashmere is to sweaters as Ferrari is to cars. The wool that comes from goats feels amazingly luxurious and soft against the skin, and is a more expensive material, though there are some affordable cashmere blend options. When shopping for cashmere sweaters, they are typically labeled “two plies” or “four plies.” While there’s no difference in quality, a sweater with two plies is a finer more delicate fabric and one with four plies is heavier weight. Think of cashmere as an investment. J.Crew is well-known for having an extensive cashmere collection, like this Italian blend in neutrals and brights.
Sweaters with cashmere, silk or wool blends will give you a warm, classic look for the winter and require dry cleaning or hand washing, depending on instructions. Cotton blends tend to be more light-weight and ideal for the fall and can be maintained with much more ease.
Feel good, look good.