And how it saved my sanity on an unseasonably cold trip to London.
When it comes to shopping for clothes, my guiding principle has always been cost per wear. I generally aim for a $1 (and ideally lower) cost per wear, which works from both an economical and quality standpoint. If I can see myself wearing a $100 pair of sneakers at least 100 times and I’m confident that the quality is high enough to get me across that threshold, I can justify that purchase. There are always exceptions to the rule and budgeting will look different for everyone, but it’s a system that helps keep my closet’s capacity and shopping habits in check. An unexpected challenge, however, has always been sweaters.
Since sweaters tend to be more expensive — not to mention bulky — my system has made me very selective. I pore over reviews to make sure the quality truly matches the price, and I no longer go for trendy finds that I know I won’t actually wear 40 to 60 times. I buy fewer sweaters, allocating that extra money toward investment knits made of more comfortable materials that have a better fit and provide years of additional use. Enter the Jenni Kayne Cashmere Cocoon Cardigan, an internet sensation that, at $445, is a major purchase for just about anyone.
Jenni Kayne Cashmere Cocoon Cardigan
About the Jenni Kayne Cashmere Cocoon Sweater
For context: Cashmere, with very few exceptions, is quite expensive. Prices vary depending on style, cashmere content, and quality, but a 100 percent cashmere cardigan from most retailers can run you at least $200. I’m not trying to downplay the fact that $445 is a lot, but I am trying to emphasize that fine cashmere is expensive for a reason. It’s lightweight and silky soft while still being incredibly warm, and a high-quality knit takes those features to the next level.
Jenni Kayne’s Cashmere Cocoon Cardigan is made with the good stuff: 100 percent Mongolian cashmere, which is known for having a longer fiber that makes it softer and more durable. It comes in 10 neutral colors that will fit easily into any wardrobe with a wide size range from XXS to 3X. And while the brand offers sweaters in many other styles and materials alongside other high-quality wardrobe basics, you’ll realize why this sweater is the brand’s best-selling item the second you pull it out of its packaging.
Jenni Kayne Cashmere Cocoon Sweater Review
Off the bat, I noticed how light the sweater is for its size. It’s unexpectedly plushy — there’s a lot of give when you press it down — and I promise I’m not exaggerating when I say it is the softest sweater I’ve ever felt. It drapes beautifully, without any weird bunching, stiffness, or heaviness. It’s like wearing a warm, fluffy cloud.
As for the sizing, it’s probably the best-fitting item of oversized clothing I’ve ever owned, which I know sounds like an oxymoron. I’m 5’6” and chose my normal size in the oatmeal color: The sweater covers my bum, but it doesn’t cling to me, and the sleeves are designed to end just past your wrists, so they’re not as slouchy as, say, men’s XL sweatshirts that swallow you whole. More importantly, I always feel good while I’m wearing it. It’s something that I don’t have to think twice about layering — I know it’s beyond comfortable and looks put-together at the same time, whether I’m wearing it buttoned up over a sports bra and leggings or open with a turtleneck and jeans.
Last but far from least, it’s the perfect level of warmth. As someone who runs hot and speed-walks everywhere, I often overheat and reach my destination sweating. Unlike thick wool, cotton, or synthetic sweaters that can feel suffocating, this one creates a thin but effective layer of insulation that’s just enough to shield you from the elements. It was quite literally the hero of an unseasonably cold trip I took to Londn, when I brought a raincoat as my warmest outer layer in sub-freezing temperatures. I wore my cardigan on the plane and never took it off for five days — no checked bag necessary.
All in all, the Cashmere Cocoon Cardigan is essentially the perfect sweater. After five days of hard use in England in addition to a year of normal wear, it still looks as good as new and I’m no longer intimidated by the dry-clean-only label — which, by the way, I haven’t had to do yet since I don’t sweat in it. It’s the sweater I reach for again and again no matter the season, and it’s well on its way to beating my cost-per-wear rule.
The Best Jenni Kayne Sweaters
Cashmere Cocoon Cardigan
You’ve heard me talk about this enough to put you to sleep, but it’s truly become my go-to for three seasons of the year. All the colors are beautiful, and I personally recommend the oatmeal. It goes with absolutely everything but never looks boring. You can size down for a closer fit, but I highly recommend reveling in oversized coziness.
Cropped Cashmere Cocoon Cardigan
If you don’t like the way oversized clothing falls on you, this shortened version of the same cardigan is cropped into a slightly boxy shape that falls right at the hip. It looks great with looser or high-waisted pants.
Jenni Kayne’s newest launch includes the ideal sweater for the warmer days of the season. The Chloe Crewneck is soft, breathable, and comes in spring-ready stripes you won’t want to take off.
Cashmere Fisherman Sweater
If pullovers are more your style, go for Jenni Kayne’s fisherman-style sweater with a wide, comfortable crewneck. There’s also a cotton version for a lightweight feel best suited for spring and summer.
The name really says it all. Here’s another great layering piece to wear year-round, made of a soft wool blend with classic ribbing details on the cuffs and hem.