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WHAT IS CASHMERE DENIM?

by Lani Kim


When you hear the word “cashmere,” maybe you think of that soft, special sweater you wore to the office holiday dinner—or perhaps your mind goes to a velvety rich coat you spotted on the runway. But cashmere isn’t just for sweaters and couture outerwear. Cashmere can be casual! Take this year’s hot trend of cashmere denim. Yes, that’s right—your everyday jeans can be constructed from one of the most rare, precious, and coveted natural fabrics available.  

What is cashmere, exactly? This highly coveted wool comes from the undercoat of goats living in the Himalayan mountains; it’s dense enough to keep them warm when the temperatures dip below freezing temperatures, and these qualities make it perfect for clothes we wear to stay cozy, too. Cashmere is hard to come by (and therefore, expensive) because goats don’t grow very much of this type of fur, compared to other wool-generating animals. So precious and rare is cashmere that it only makes up about a half a percentage of the world’s total wool production—making it a luxury item, indeed. Blended into denim, and cashmere translates into instant luxury for your legs. 

Wondering what cashmere feels like in a jean, whether cashmere denim is flattering, and if it’s something you can machine wash, or needs to be professionally dry-cleaned? Let’s unravel all these questions, so you can decide whether this posh new trend is right for your closet.

WHAT DOES CASHMERE DENIM FEEL LIKE?

Soft and silky cashmere denim

If you’ve owned other cashmere items, you may have noticed that this fabric is soft and silky, but also has some structure to it. Cashmere is gentle against the skin yet tough against the ravages of time, making it one of the sturdiest natural wools available.  

Cashmere jeans feel decadently soft, yet they hold their shape better than any other denim available. While these jeans are perfect when the climate outside calls for something cozy, they also won’t overheat you. In fact, cashmere denim has a lightweight feel compared to other types of denim. 

It’s important to note that while cashmere is one type of fiber used in White House Black Market denim, it’s not the only one, and with good reason. Pure cashmere in a pant would lack the fit, style, and breathability of a cashmere blend. That’s why our cashmere jeans also include cotton, to keep the denim lightweight and comfy, with just enough stretch so your cashmere jeans will flatter and contour your every curve. (All the same, WHBM cashmere denim uses a higher ratio of cashmere in our jeans than other brands that put the words “cashmere” in their product names.) 

IS CASHMERE DENIM FLATTERING?

Cashmere denim flatters your body

Jeans made from cashmere will flatter your every curve, because the fabric’s natural resilience brings the structure of a slimming jean yet with more softness than any other type of denim. White House Black Market cashmere denim comes in a high rise, a skinny jean, and in two different washes, so you can find exactly the right pair for your body.  

A win on any body shape, our skinny cashmere looks especially great with a cozy sweater for that classic, long-over-lean silhouette. The high rise fit, meanwhile, is fashion-forward and emphasizes a small waist and a feminine, shapely hip. 

ARE CASHMERE JEANS DRESSY?

Cashmere denim can be dressed up or down

Because of its sumptuous feel—not to mention its status as a luxury item—a  cashmere sweater or dress may feel dressier than one made from a humbler fabric. But jeans are, by nature, a casual item of clothing. So does that make cashmere denim dressy…or casual? The answer will depend on how you style your cashmere jeans, and also the occasion you are dressing for. 

Since they’re soft and light, cashmere denim is the perfect thing to put on when you want to feel cozy and comfortable—consider them your lazy Sunday morning uniform! On the other hand, add a blazer, atelier blouse, the right jewelry and a smart shoe, and you’re perfectly dressed for work, an evening out, or whatever else exciting happens to be on your agenda.

DOES CASHMERE DENIM NEED TO BE DRY CLEANED?

Business woman with dry cleaning

Cashmere denim might sound like a dream—but will it mean you’ll have to spend your lunch hour dropping it off at the dry cleaner? Fortunately, unlike a cashmere sweater or scarf, you can machine wash cashmere denim. If you have an older washing machine, or want to take an extra precaution, you can wash your cashmere jeans on a gentle cycle and air dry, or even hand wash with your lingerie.  

Assuming you don’t have “trust issues” with your laundry equipment, however, you can feel free to toss it in along with your socks, workout clothes…and any other White House Black Market apparel that needs cleaning, for that matter. We know how busy our customers are, so we design all of our clothing (even the dresses) to be machine-washable—for your convenience and so you can save your money for more fun things—like a cute belt to go with those new jeans. 

WHAT IS THE BEST CASHMERE DENIM STYLE FOR ME? 

What rinse and cut cashmere denim will look best on you? Head to a White House Black Market to see for yourself—or order all the styles online, and return the ones you don’t love. (WHBM’s Love Your Fit Jeans Guarantee makes it easy to do exactly that.)  

We have a sneaking suspicion that once you discover how flattering and sumptuously soft these new luxury jeans are, you’re going to add more than one pair to your collection. 

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