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All wool and cashmere sweaters will pill to some degree, so it's not necessarily a sign of a cheap garment. There are many products on the market that can address this issue. Proper care, including brushing after each wear and proper storage are key for getting the longest life. When needed, hand washing using a detergent specifically formulated for wool and cashmere is suggested.

BSR is right, there is cashmere and then there's cashmere. I have a Pringle cashmere sweater that is >40 years old which looks and feels new. Cashmere gets a bad rap regarding it's durability; "cashmere is delicate" is the common refrain. BS! Cheap cashmere is delicate. Well made cashmere is durable and can last for years if properly cared for.

At the price point indicated, J Crew is another option.
 

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Is merino still second to cashmere in luxury? Cashmere is getting coarser every year, while ultrafine merino is commonplace (15 micron yarn is widely available where I am). Is there anything unique about cashmere that makes it desirable or is it mostly hype?
Terms like "luxury" are useless as I've heard of Starbucks being labeled as luxury.

Merino is fine and very durable. It doesn't take a back seat to cashmere in anyway.

Cashmere is more expensive mainly due to its supply and the labor intensive harvesting of the fibers.

All things being equal, cashmere tends to be lighter and warmer than merino. It's not better nor is it worse. It's just different.

And Dhaller is right, most of the stuff you find at department stores is garbage. I'd rather spend the money on good Merino or Saxxon wool as it will last longer. Good cashmere is not cheap. But well cared for, it will last decades.
 
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