Luxury cashmere for a modest outlay

Well-priced cashmere from a distinguished Italian brand

We’ve always known that once you’ve slipped into a silky soft cashmere number, lambswool never quite feels the same. With more and more of us apparently feeling that we’d rather have fewer things but better ones, the silky hairs of the cashmere goat are ever more popular.

At Selfridges recently they reported a rise of 165 per cent in sales of cashmere robes, socks, slippers and tights and way back in September they were busy re-ordering supplies of La Perla’s cashmere tights at £120 a go (this winter turning out to be as cold as the last one).

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At the House of Cashmere, which obviously has a bit of a fetish about those fine fibres, they’ve collaborated with the distinguished Italian cashmere house of Colombo to come up with a collection of very well-priced basics. Colombo is one of Italy’s top cashmere brands (apparently the hedge-fund set know it well and go on weekends to Milan to scoop it up) which makes for many grand houses (Hermès to name but one) and fans will not need telling that Italian finishing techniques for cashmere are among the most highly regarded in the world of fibres.

The House of Cashmere has long been one of Colombo’s biggest stockists, selling its shawls and scarves, blankets and slippers, but now with this new range it’s managed to bring the prices down hugely for what it calls its Essentials range. Women’s sweaters come in five styles (crew neck, polo neck, cardigan etc) and range from £250 to £350, while the men’s come in eight styles (V-necks, first picture, waistcoats, cardigans etc) ranging in price from £250 to £375.

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There’s a vast range of colours and one of the major charms of the range is that it is made from 70 per cent cashmere and 30 per cent silk on an incredibly fine gauge (33 stitches per inch) so that it is wonderfully light yet very warm. Perfect for layering.

But look out, too, for Colombo coats in cashmere and mink (£4,940) and cashmere and ermine blends (£4,400) and some very glamorous fur-trimmed coats (third picture, from £4,500) and blazers (second picture, £2,250). There are some wonderfully glamorous men’s jackets, too (from £495).

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