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Sliding Doors: The Cashmere Connection

It’s a sad day/week/month when you lose something you love. This idea could be applied to anything that one holds near and dear to their heart. I’ll use the analogy of a cashmere sweater to illustrate my point, but feel free to replace said inanimate object with whatever (or whomever) ails you.

Case in point: a cream-coloured cashmere sweater of magnificent proportions, purchased on the streets of Paris (for a relatively large sum of Euros), and worn to death by me, the assailant.


I am a huge advocate of cashmere. I see it as an investment. And here’s why: it is insanely insulating yet incredibly lightweight. When temperatures drop you stay warm and cozy without the cumbersome heaviness of wool. Instead of sacrificing aesthetics for warmth – which would be the case with a synthetic, sweat-inducing fleece – you have the multipurpose cashmere by your side. It can be dressed up or dressed down, worn for formal occasions or replace that tired, ugly, and oversized hoodie (which you probably stole from an ex anyway).

Needless to say, if you spend a lot of time on the go, cashmere is your best travel companion. I always wrap a black crew-neck version around my waist, and it ALWAYS comes in handy.

So I may be extremely biased. This obviously explains my rational in purchasing such outlandishly expensive attire. That being said, when you work out the price-per-wear equation, cashmere is the best investment for your dollar. That is, if you take care of it.

Back to the cream-coloured Parisian I so painfully pulled out of the washer, two-times smaller than its original size! Matted worse than a Puli sheepdog, it’s light-weight gauzy texture literally seized up from post-traumatic stress caused by a horrific thing called the “regular” cycle.

The decadent softness I once wrapped myself in – like the comfort and security of a child’s blankey – now makes me claustrophobic, and makes my arms look like sausage links.

The sweater that once brought me joy and happiness now evokes feelings of remorse and disappointment. What went wrong? How did I so clumsily forget to change the wash cycle to “delicate”. I failed to give it the proper cleansing treatment it so obviously deserved. We had so little time together! It isn’t fair!

Of course, accidents happen, people make mistakes, things change, and some sweaters were never meant to be a permanent fixture in your wardrobe. And after all, it’s just a sweater. Life goes on.

But losses like this make you take stock of the things that are important. They make you appreciate the cashmere sweaters that you still have, the ones that still fit well and can be counted on to keep you warm and cozy at all times.

And when I feel bad about not taking care of the Parisian, I’m reminded of another favourite in my wardrobe, the Anne Klein double-XL maroon-brown cowl-neck cashmere sweater that was so clearly a victim of the same “regular” cycle abuse.

Purchased at a second hand clothing store for an extremely small sum, Anne Klein surely caused her previous owner a fair amount of heartache and grief.

But some days I wish I could write a letter to its master of yore, to tell him/her how much happiness their laundering misfortune has brought me. And then I’m reassured that what brings one person anguish and despair will eventually bring solace and joy for another once you set it free (i.e. donate it to your local charity shop).

So when you’re feeling particularly heartbroken – be it over a cashmere sweater or a human being – remember these lessons in loss and love, and appreciate the experiences/sweaters you possess, and happiness will follow suit again. 🙂



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