If You’re Not Obsessed With This Summer Cashmere Brand Yet, You’re Not Paying Attention
I Can’t Not Buy This is a column that features one emerging item, brand, or trend that we can’t for the life of us stop obsessing over.
I hate being wrong. I like to think it’s a universal trait that I can’t possibly be singled out for, or some endearing Sagittarius quirk, but in all honestly it’s just a character flaw. For as deep as I’ll dig my heels in about the most inconsequential minutiae, though, I can think of at least one time in recent history where I’ve embraced wrongness wholeheartedly.
“You can’t wear cashmere in the summer,” I said. And while I may not have made this proclamation standing on a soapbox (or even on Twitter), I apparently put this assertion out into the world with strong enough brain waves to invite an email into my inbox with a thudding, “Actually…”
Sustainable cashmere newcomer Naadam isn’t afraid of much, least of all our assumptions about its keystone material. An informational card included in orders reads, in all caps:
“After a 20-hour car ride, 1 broken down land cruiser, 2 motorcycles, 1 liter of goat’s milk vodka, 2 million dollars in 32 plastic bags, a thousand nomadic herders, 1 non-profit, 250,000 vaccinations, 50 tons of raw cashmere and 3 weeks lost in the Gobi Desert, we proudly offer you Naadam, the finest cashmere on Earth.”
To buy: $81 (Originally $125); naadam.co
It’s a wild story (one we won’t get into right this moment), and a terrific indication of the brand’s improbable achievements. But even this Netflix Original-worthy story in my hands wasn’t enough to convince me that Naadam had made cashmere — winter’s prodigal son — suitable for our summer wardrobes. No, I had to try it myself.
Naadam’s Summer Cashmere collection is capsule wardrobe-worthy. Scrolling through the 10-piece line of mix-and-match separates was enough to make me want to pack up the rest of my closet and actually become the woman who dresses only in luxury basics, for whom getting ready in the morning is an effortless, well-groomed process.
The Everlane-like collection features well-cut essentials including a bicep-flattering mock-neck tank, an office-ready tank dress with side slits, a layerable long sleeve cardigan dress, perfect for plane wear wide-leg pants, and the line’s newest addition — ribbed bike shorts.
I made my selects from the collection with the intent of wearing them as much as possible, so I tried to pick versatile pieces. A mock-neck tank in powder blue, a pencil skirt in the matching color, ribbed flare pants in smoke, and bike shorts in black.
To buy: $90; naadam.co
You’ve made it this far, reader, so you’re probably assuming (correctly) that the cashmere does in fact work for the warmer months. But what I want to stress is, above just making the cut, how absolutely delicious this fabric is in the heat.
The ultra-fine knit skims delicately over skin, draping more elegantly than linen or cotton could, and invites total breathability. Despite the cashmere’s thinness, even lighter shades of the fabric remain opaque. This isn’t some sheer, undershirt-requiring situation that defeats the purpose.
We think of cashmere as a winter fiber because when it’s tightly spun, it can be eight times warmer than wool. What you hear less often is that cashmere’s fibers are actually hollow, making it incredibly lightweight. When combined with silk filament made from the silkworm's leftover cocoon, as Naadam’s Summer Cashmere collection is, the result is nothing short of heavenly.
Put to the test in New York City’s sweltering summer conditions — overcrowded commutes, sprints through LaGuardia, afternoons lying out in McCarren Park — there was nothing I’d rather be wearing. Wearing cashmere on a subway car with broken A/C should have had me melting, but the only thing melting was the butter-like fabric as soft and smooth as possible against my skin.
To buy: $100 (Originally $125); naadam.co
As a radically sustainable brand, Naadam provides a million and one reasons to feel good about buying its clothes. But from the buyer’s perspective, sustainable promises are all fine and dandy until a price tag slaps us in the face and drags us back outside. Not so with Naadam.
Right now, a handful of pieces are even on sale, with certain items as low as $60, which is unheard of for cashmere of this quality. But then again, summer cashmere is groundbreaking in and of itself — there’s not much we’d put past Naadam at this point.
Shop Naadam’s pivotal Summer Cashmere collection starting at just $60 at Naadam.co.