Tuesday, November 16, 2010

a touch of retail therapy...

I have been out and about shopping and have found a few gifts for people on my Christmas list.
I do not generally overspend at this time of year...in fact, I try not to overspend at any time.

In the spirit of frugality I purchased a very inexpensive cashmere sweater from the GAP.

I spent just over $300 on a similar cardigan only to have it pill so badly that I needed to use the sweater shaver gadgety-thing-ma-bobber ( I only use the technical terminology) and it wore thin in spots and looked decidedly shabby.
Shabby is great for furniture but not so much in garments.
How disappointing,
and the store (grrr!) I purchased it from didn't want to take it back even though I had my original receipt and I considered myself regular clientele...(not so much any longer)
The clerk mentioned that all cashmere pills...not so...my Scottish made Johnson sweater, a gift form Mr. HB, has been a superior sweater and continues to be so after 5 or 6 years and is as new.

a touch of black

Gap cardigan
V neck 

 I love this over a white shirt or a white Tee with pearls

a touch of pink...

a touch of white

that can be shaped
around a wreath or in a vase

I like all white lights
twinkling and sparkling
like bubbles
in a glass of champagne.

amazon delivered
a touch of pink
a touch of blue

can't wait!

a touch of yellow

In a previous post I posed the question asking about your favourite books
and thank you all for your suggestions.
I have 3 waiting for me...

a dash of Pepper
 in one of her quieter moments!


  1. Hostess - As I understand it, all cashmere does pill, just not on its threads. Scottish cashmere is hands down the most durable, with the Italian being high quality but softer and therefore less sturdy.

  2. hi leslie,

    i have read that all cashmere can pill. it doesn't matter the price, what are we supposed to think or do about that? spend $$$ or $?

  3. So true, the pilling of cashmere. I have bad experiences from those pilling machines, there are special cashmere combs too. Thank you for showing Pepper again :)

  4. Cheap cashmere pills...and I dont mean in the price way.

    I have a cashmere sweater from Scotland and I have lost track of how many years I have had it...15 maybe? You would never know as it has never pilled.

  5. Cyberspace keeps eating my comment, so I will post on cashmere too in a little while. (My Gap sweater pilled like crazy but that was several years ago, maybe their quality has improved?) I'm so sorry that store did not make good on your inferior sweater. Would you be willing to tell us the brand (not the store name)? I agree with Lisa: Italian cashmere is lofty and so soft but pills far more.

  6. Better luck with this cashmere cardi Hostess.
    I would be interested to hear your review of Nancy Mitford's book. I've almost finished a biography on the Mitford family and must say I find them, with the exception of Debo and Pam, to be thoroughly unlikable.
    Will never tire of pretty Pepper pics.

  7. LPC- I must do more research before I purchase another cashmere sweater.
    I never realized there was Italian cashmere!

    thegardener'scottage- One does wonder about the prices...I have a lovely inexpensive Charter Club pullover from Macy's that is remarkable thick and has yet to pill...it was a bargain at 70% off!

    metscan- A cashmere comb! I am learning from all of you! Maybe you will show us your comb?

    Suburban princess- I think Scotland will dictate my future cashmer buys...I need to find a site that sells current styles...so many are mumsy!

    Duchesse- I will eagerly await your cashmere post and the sweater had the store's own label sewn into it...they also sold my husband the Scottish Johnson sweater which is the star performer so far....I think the price point on the Scottish brand was a tad over $500 5 years ago.

    Anne-Marie-So far the cardigan is holding up and I have worn it several times.
    I'll let you know about the Mitford book after I finish...I might like to read the biography too.
    Pepper will be popping up here regularly!

  8. I too have a closet filled with pilling cashmere. I had to be the shaver and I am amazed how much it shaves off. It never occurred to me that this shaving would have negative effect on the sweater but of course it makes sense.
    I am sure Pepper's coat never pills.;-)

  9. I have never noticed that cashmere pills...stupid me. I have several cashmere sweaters but it doesn't get cold enough here to wear them much, that's probably why. Pepper is getter cuter and cuter.(-:

  10. LaBeletteRouge- Pepper's coat is sleek and silky and not long enough to pill! :)

    LaVieQuotidienne- I live in cashmere here in the fall and winter...nothing feels as warm to me. Pepper is certainly a charmer...the vet was quite enchanted with her too!

  11. Dear Hostess,I cannot wear anything woollen ugh!! so all my Winter cardies are either cotton or Bora cashmere I also use their cashmere combs for the pilling + use their vegetable shampoo for hand washing.If you google 'Bora' it gives you tips on how to look after cashmere & sells combs.Not sure whether they have shops abroad.Ida

  12. Dear Mme Hostess, I agree that there is nothing more irritating that a pilled cardy or jumper - particularly then the item was not cheap. I bought some lovely Pringle jumpers under their contemporary brand Sita Murt (viscose/cashmere)in the sales which are light, warm, have not pilled and make me feel special every time I wear them. You made me laugh with your description of the 'sweater shaver gadgety-thing-ma-bobber'- our generic term is thingamabobby or my father's favourite word, a dooverlackie. Mine always dies in the proverbial just when I need it...

  13. Hostess...I share your pilling woes and enjoyed reading everyones comments. I am with Ida, I have Brora and it does stand up to the test of time. I purchased a cashmere cape a few months ago and it is one big mess. I must have torn apart every box in our garage looking for that gadget your referred to . I thought I was so clever to buy an electric one but once found it was not worth the effort. I am determined to get to the bottom of it. All said and done...pilling or not, I will always love cashmere.

    Great pics by the way!

    Jeanne xx

  14. Dear Hostess,, am loving your new look blog, very vibrant and snazzy. I have a bad cashmere addiction, I try to explain to Mr B it saves money on heating..I have been lucky with my cashmere , it does not seem to pill, I like Brora and Pure ( both sell on-line) and also I have some from Gap which is really good so I am sure your new cardi will be fine, I do love a black cash cardi. Love your new books, the Birkin one sounds brill. Most of all love that little puddy.What a pretty little thing and she looks like mischief! xx

  15. Dear Hostess,

    I hope this helps: Good Housekeeping has its recommendations for cashmere sweaters. It seems that Jones New York and Ann Taylor were the most pill-resistant among the sweaters it tested.


    Of course, they only tested a few sweaters and it's not an exhaustive research. Also, as much as I like Good Housekeeping, its product testing isn't always accurate. I was about to buy a blender that it recommended when I went to Amazon and saw that it squarely got poor reviews.

  16. ida- i am going over to see that site asap....thanks!

    Linda in Chile- dooverlackie...love a new word!

    Jeanne- Cashmere is like loving roses...the cashmere has pills and the roses have thorns...yet we are passionate about them !

    Blighty-Brora must be explored...I agree about cashmere keeping the chills at bay...glad to hear that you like the blog reno.

    WB- Thank you for the link...it's too bad that some merchandise marketed is so inferior....research does seem to be sensible in the end.

  17. Same problem here with cashmere. In fact, I've sort of let it go as a staple. I prefer a fine merino now because it wears better. With the exception of my one ancient Scottish cashmere (never pilled) most of my 'cheap' cashmere has not only pilled but drooped. Lost shape, verve, attitude. I can't have that. I need stick-to-it-iveness in my investment pieces.

  18. L'age moyen- It sounds like Brora and other Scottish cashmere's are the ones to save up for...they seem to out perform the others...and Brora has some great styles!
    When investing a substantial chunk of change on garments one has high expectations...and rightly so.

  19. I have had both good and bad experiences with cashmere. I have cashmere lounge pants, purchased at Neiman Marcus, for a hefty sum, and they pilled like mad. Now I just wash them and throw them in the dryer. They're comfortable at least, and didn't shrink as much as I would have liked.

    I have a Loro Piana cashmere robe that I wanted in size small; but they only had medium left, so I bought it with a mind to wash it and try to shrink it a little.
    I washed it on the hand wash cycle of my Whirlpool front loader, and then put it in the dryer. I kept checking it every several minutes.
    It came out just fine. It did shrink a bit, which was good for me, and it didn't pill at all. I did need to steam it a little, and the cuffs, are not as crisp as they were prior to washing; but what is?
    There is no way, I'm going to send a robe out to be dry cleaned. These fabrics have been around, and used for many years, in places where dry cleaners didn't even exist. People spot cleaned what they could, and laundered when necessary.

    I have also purchased many cashmere sweaters made in China, and washing them has made them loftier, softer, and they haven't pilled at all.

    I have Hermes cashmere scarves that I hand wash, and the shrinkage is minimal, and they are softer and I haven't noticed any colour fade.

    I wash all of my cashmere and wool, except my coats, and jackets. I think dry cleaning is harder on natural fibres than washing with Woolite, or a specialty washing powder.

    I do love Scottish cashmere, and I do find it nicer than some of the Loro Piana. Hermes cashmere,which is made in Italy, or Scotland has always been; in my experience, top quality; although the prices are way out of line.