I’m someone who likes to mix and match quality items in my wardrobe; I like to balance colours with neutrals, oversized shirts and tees with relaxed sweaters, wool or cotton trousers, often paired with my favourite loafers.

My wardrobe almost feels like a uniform – and one of the essential items I return to is a well-made cashmere jumper. But it can feel like a daunting and costly purchase for some. Let’s break down why it’s a pricier purchase, and what makes it such a good investment.

It’s a time-consuming fabric to produce (and that’s not a bad thing)

Cashmere is a more expensive yarn for a number of reasons – principally how it’s sourced. Cashmere goats live in harsh climates, often in mountainous regions, which contribute to the development of their soft undercoat, but it also makes herding them more of a challenge. Finding the highest quality fibre starts with meticulous breeding and selection standards, as well as time-consuming collecting, sorting, spinning and weaving processes, which are often done by hand.

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The yield from any one goat is also much smaller than the amount of fibre that can be produced by shearing a sheep to produce wool – this makes cashmere more scarce, driving up the cost of the raw material and therefore the final garment.

Then there are different qualities of cashmere which are determined by length, width and even where the goats are raised. The longer fibres from the goat’s neck and belly will be more resistant to pilling and generally create pieces that last longer; thinner fibres are softer, however it is a balance between softness and durability.

Weather patterns, temperature variation and diet also have an impact on the quality of the fibres, which also affects the price.

It’s an investment in enduring style

I’ve found the longer I have my jumpers, and the more lived-in they look, the more I love them. I’m constantly reaching for pieces in my wardrobe that I’ve had for years – and we hear this from our customers too.

There’s nothing quite like cashmere – it’s exceptionally soft, light, breathable and warm. It can be woven very finely for lighter pieces which can be worn year-round or into heavier gauges for colder months without adding too much bulk. When the temperature drops this winter, I’ll be wearing the double-brushed cashmere fabrication we’ve developed at Jac & Jack this season; it’s unparalleled in its softness and luxurious feel.

It requires care, but the trade-off is durability

It should also be said that even the highest quality cashmere does require the occasional de-pilling and gentle laundering. Unlike synthetic fibres, which can often hold onto odours, cashmere jumpers don’t need to be laundered after each wear. When my jumpers do need a wash, I turn to my trusty Leif x Jac & Jack Delicates Wash – it’s plant-based, non-toxic, biodegradable and the perfect blend for handwashing cashmere.

It’s easy to style

The beauty of a timeless style like an uncomplicated cashmere knit is that it’s something you’ll return to again and again. I like to wear a lightweight cashmere knit, like the Jac & Jack Beckham Sweater against my skin. It’s easy to dress it up with wool trousers and leather loafers, or go for a more relaxed look with denim and lace-up sneakers.

Rob Martell is the general manager of Jac & Jack. He’s worked at the Sydney fashion brand since 2016. When he’s not working, he’s caring for his giant golden retriever/poodle called Owen, and considering how to turn his woolly coat into his next favourite jumper.

The Principles is a monthly menswear series about timeless style and how to nail the fashion essentials.