Even before I launched Castanea, a cashmere sweater was always the anchor of my Christmas Day outfit. I like the pieces I wear to reflect the mood of the day and cashmere has a warmth and luxury to it that beautifully mirrors the atmosphere of this festive time of year.
Cashmere has been my go-to gift for those special people in my life for as long as I can remember, too. When I carefully wrap up a piece of cashmere for a friend or family member, I feel I’m gifting them so much more than just a beautiful sweater or scarf. Cashmere is a gift of self care also, and an important reminder to loved ones to look after and to value themselves.
This year, I’ll be wearing the Phoebe Cashmere Sweater, Niamhs Cashmere Cardi and Jim Cashmere Sweater over the Christmas break.
The Phoebe is Castanea’s latest winter style and comes in a restful shade of blue, which acts as a lovely antidote to the high-shine sequins and disco metallics that usually define our seasonal wardrobes. It has also been designed with an elegant oversized bow for a luxurious point of difference. But it’s the versatility of this piece that I love most of all.
Worn as a cape to the front or side, or as a backless sweater, the Phoebe lends itself to several unique looks; wear it as a cape over your favourite midi dress, or reverse it for a sensuous backless look that will work beautifully over a pair of high-waisted wide-leg trousers. Popping on a fine-knit polo-neck beneath the Phoebe allows for a more subdued sweater look too.
I always find layering is the best way to approach Christmas Day dressing, especially if you’re spending the day in somebody else’s home and have no control over the room temperature!
The Niamhs Cardi offers an elevated take on the traditional Aran-style cardigan, with its feature panels in cable-knit. I wanted to pay homage to Ireland’s incredible knitting heritage, but within a fresh and modern design that would appeal to a contemporary customer.
For this reason, I also created the cardigan in two baby-blanket-soft shades – Fondant and Powder – as well as a less unconventional shade of grey called Derby. Cashmere is such a beautifully tactile fabric that I love to simply drape the Niamh Cardi over my shoulders even if I’m not feeling cold. It looks casual but chic worn this way, making it an ideal throw-on for a festive gathering.
Another of my favourite pieces this season is the Jim Cashmere Sweater, created with a laidback silhouette defined by its longer-length sleeves and gently dropped shoulders, but with a directional ribbed body, which gives this piece a sharpness and sophistication I love.
This sweater is great for elevating ‘everyday’ outfits, as it really makes the wearer look beautifully pulled together, but in an effortless manner, so pair it with simple denims and easy joggers if you like.
I designed the Jim Sweater in two distinct shades to cater for women who crave colour and for those who find neutrals more flattering: choose between the warm autumnal hue of Arrowood or the marshmallow tones of Fondant.
If an item of clothing were to represent Christmas, I think a cashmere sweater would be it: both are warm, inviting and feel-good. To all my customers, enjoy your Christmas, and your cashmere, this festive season.