The Best Affordable Cashmere Scarf Roundup
Yes, it’s usually pricey. Maybe even a bit of a splurge. But, it’s luxurious, is super comfortable, keeps you very warm, and every guy should have some 100% cashmere in his life. (Cashmere blends are nice, but it’s usually just a few percent cashmere mixed in with cotton/wool/linen etc., and that is just not at all the same.) And 100% cashmere can be more affordable than you might think. A great place to start your cashmere journey is with scarves. You can get a 100% cashmere scarf for less than you might think, and we’re going to take a closer look at 3 great options, and them make our recommendation.
Nordstrom Men’s Shop 100% Cashmere Scarf in Navy — $49.75 (Sold Out; extremely similar here)
Style: It’s a very nice fabric, and has some real depth and texture to it. I like the “mini frays” at the bottom, which gives it some extra character. It’s a pretty versatile color as well, though will be hard to pair with black, if you wear a lot of black (I do). It has a nice length to it too at 72”: not too short, not too long, and should be able to be “tied” around your neck just about any way you would like.
Quality: Of the three scarves reviewed here, this one seems to have used the lowest quality cashmere. It’s a touch on the scratchy side, and is somewhat stiff as well, with little stretch to it. In many ways, it feels like any ol’ wool scarf. It is still cashmere, though, and is still soft and comfortable and very warm, but it’s not that buttery smooth coziness that cashmere could and should be.
Price & Value: At right around $50, with free shipping and returns from Nordstrom, it’s hard to argue against trying this. 100% cashmere scarves at this price point are hard to come by. Still, this is not cashmere at its best, and will be somewhat disappointing if it is your first foray into the wonderful world of cashmere.
Style: Massdrop offered a whole bunch of really fantastic-looking scarves a couple of weeks ago. They are all sold out now (though Massdrop is always a good place to look for these kinds of things), but they did offer some pretty unique patterns, especially for 100% cashmere, and especially at this price. That being said, the longer ones sold out quite quickly, and so the one I was able to get was only 65” long, which is a touch on the short side. This length is perfect for wearing “untied” and simply draped around your neck, or once around your neck. The double/folded tie I use in the picture makes it look skimpy. That all being said, the pattern is super nice without being over the top, and is actually quite versatile despite being slightly bold. I dig it.
Quality: This is solid cashmere for the price, and originates and was made in Scotland. That being said, it feels… unrefined. It’s very stiff and actually not so soft. It’s smooth to the touch — when you rub it on your face it feels very smooth — but there is a scratchiness and stiffness to it that takes away from the comfort of it. It’s not that ridiculously soft cashmere coziness that you just want to feel all day. This might take some breaking in, and for the price this is still a real good deal, but it still leaves something to be desired.
Price & Value: There is not much to say here that has not already been said. At the $50 price, these scarves were a great value. They had unique patterns, and were a good addition to a scarf collection. As a first cashmere scarf, though? I don’t think that these were the ones. Plus, they are sold out anyway.
Style: While Everlane offers a bright red option, as well as a nice striped one, I went with the most classic of all classic scarves for this one: the light grey. This thing goes with literally any outfit under the sun. And, if you’re dropping close to $100 on a scarf, it had better be the sort of scarf you will want to wear every day. And, from a style perspective, this one certainly is. It’s also a rich grey, with depth and a slight “marble” to the fabric. There are darker grey hues mixed in throughout, and it just really looks very nice, classy, and luxurious. It's also a very substantial 76" long, which means it will work with any knot you throw it into. It’s everything a basic, staple, classic cashmere scarf should be from a looks perspective.
Quality: Hands down, this scarf has the nicest cashmere of the three I tested. It’s smooth, soft, and supple. It is perhaps just a touch on the thin side (and the edges seem to like to roll in, though this is not a bad thing per se), but it checks all the other boxes. It has a stretch and springs right back to its original form, it’s super soft and cozy, and keeps your neck incredibly warm. I have been wearing this scarf almost daily for weeks now, and there is no noticeable pilling. I hardly take it off even when I go inside because it is just that damn soft. This is exactly what you want from an affordable cashmere scarf — it’s that buttery smooth, super cozy feel that totally outdoes fabrics like cotton or plain wool.
Price & Value: At $88, this is the most expensive of the three affordable options reviewed here. Still, you get a whole lot more for that extra $38. It’s way softer and more supple. This is without a doubt the most cashmere-y of these three scarves. If you are going to go for it, do it right. Many people will tell you a decent quality cashmere cannot be had for less than $100. I disagree, and this scarf is proof of that. It’s not much less than $100, but, still. This will last a long time, will be your unquestioning go-to scarf, and make you happy every time you put it on. This may well become a favorite of yours, and I would rather have one really great scarf than a whole bunch of mediocre ones (as I would with just about all items of clothing). Spend your money on quality, and you will be rewarded with clothing you actually love to wear and use. If you’re going to jump down the cashmere rabbit hole, spend the extra few bucks and do it right. You don’t need to spend $100+, but you do need to spend $88, it seems.