Buy to Last : Cashmere

cashmere sweater Johnstons of Elgin

I've been travelling rather a lot with my day job of late, and one thing I never leave home without is a favourite Pringle cashmere v-neck sweater. Nothing particularly noteworthy about that in itself of course. Except that this particular travel accessory has been my faithful in flight companion for well over five years but you would never know that to look at it. For cashmere is one of the hardest wearing of wools and among the best wardrobe investments one can make.

My favoured sweater serves such diverse functions as inflight warmer, pillow, and wrapping for fragile souvenirs. I've used it as stuffing for a not-quite-full suitcase to stop things moving about. It gets the worst of treatment, quite often scrunched at the bottom of a weekender or tote bag, and yet each time I pull it out it looks as fluffy and luxurious as it did the day I bought it. I can't imagine taking a plane without it, as closing one's eyes and pulling it about the shoulders instantly relaxes and comforts for the hours ahead.

Cashmere is expensive although considerably cheaper now than ever. For less expensive options, M&S do a fantastic line of knits in basic colours which will last as staples for years. Even fast-fashion stores such as Uni-qlo have their own lines. At the top end, Pringle, Johnstons of Elgin, Brora and of course the heavenly Hermes all have the sorts of knitwear you will still be relying upon in-flight and elsewhere for many years ahead.

In the home, a throw or cushion in this soft and instantly warming fabric really is the loveliest of treats to come home to. A reasonably sized (190 x 140cms) blanket from Brora is the perfect luxury wedding present and will set you back around £400. Jonathan Adler has some gorgeous cushions at £195 and I especially love the grey with orange trim.

Any heavenly other-halves or generous friends looking for Christmas presents for a man-about-town need look no further than Johnston's for they have a cashmere robe available online for £500. The perfect thing to wrap up in after a Christmas feast.

Image credits: