In Review: The Naadam Cashmere Original Sweater

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Cashmere occupies a unique place in the clothing world.

On the one hand, it’s easily one of the softest and most comfortable fabrics in the world:

The Naadam Cashmere Essential Sweater in white

Pulling on a good cashmere sweater can feel like getting a warm hug when you need one most.

On the other hand, you pay for the privilege—cashmere is almost always more expensive than other wools like merino, which is one reason why it’s not as common.

Plus, not only do you have to shell out more for it, but you also have to worry that your investment might be short lived.

The softest things are often the most delicate, raising fears that cashmere might not hold up too well to the regular wear and tear of everyday life.

So when my wife gave me Naadam Cashmere’s Original Cashmere Sweater for Christmas, I was as intrigued by the fabric as I was impressed by the style. 

I spent a few weeks subjecting my new Naadam sweater to the usual bumps, bruises, stretching and sweating of my everyday routine.

(And in my case there’s usually more sweating than I care to admit…)

Read on to learn the full results of my Naadam Cashmere review and find out if their Original Sweater is actually worth investing in.


When this review was first published, the sweater in question was referred to as “The Essential Sweater,” and cost just $75.

But inflation, it turns out, is a b*tch. Like pretty much everything else nowadays, the price has since gone up (though it’s still less 100 bucks, which is good value for quality cashmere) and Naadam has rebranded it as “The Original Sweater.”

I’ve updated the wording, links and references to price below, but I wanted to flag the change up top, just in case I missed something.

Naadam Cashmere Sweater Review

A Weeks-Long, In-Depth Review of Naadam Cashmere
The Company:

Naadam Cashmere

Smiling couple wearing Naadam cashmere sweaters
Naadam’s goal is to sell premium-quality cashmere at fair (and affordable) prices

A lot of people know that cashmere is a more expensive type of wool than most others.

But what they might not know is that a lot of that price actually comes from a mark up implemented by middlemen.

Naadam bills itself as “the world’s fairest cashmere” because it was founded with the goal of cutting out those middlemen in oder to offer better prices.

While taveling in Mongolia’s Gobi desert, founders Matthew Scanlan and Diederik Rijsemus realized that cutting out the “cashmere brokers” who serve as middlemen in the supply chain would allow them to sell premium quality pieces at fair prices that were better for both the herders and the consumer.

It’s this direct-to-consumer model that helps explain why Naadam’s cashmere is just as soft and stylish as major cashmere clothing brands, but available for such a low price.

Where is Naadam Cashmere made?

Naadam still sources their cashmere from the Gobi desert and makes authentic Mongolian cashmere.

They pride themselves on working sustainably to make “cashmere with a conscience,” working with the nonprofit Gobi Revival Fund to help give back to the Mongolian communities they work in.

Is Naadam Cashmere any good?

Setting out to sell high quality cashmere with an affordable price tag is a laudable goal, but also one of those things that sounds like it’s a lot easier said than done.

So, is their cashmere as good as they say?

Let’s take a closer look at my experience with their best seller to find out.

The Product:

The Original Sweater

The Naadam Cashmere Essential Sweater in Blue Horizon
The “Blue Horizon” color my wife bought me is a versatile and damn near perfect shade of medium blue (and I’m not just saying that because my wife bought it!)

The Original Sweater that my wife gave me for Christmas is kind of a perfect microcosm for their business model:

If you bought this exact same sweater at a luxury department store it would probably cost a lot more.

But cutting out the middle man allows Naadam to offer it for a significant discount.

To give you just one example: J.Crew’s comparable cashmere crew neck comes at a base price of $118.

But at the time of this writing it’s on sale for $89, meaning even J.Crew’s sale price is 14 bucks higher than Naadam’s base price.

The Original sweater is made from 100% sustainable cashmere, which Naadam collects after hand-brushing their baby goats in Mongolia and spinning the raw cashmere fibers together to create the yarn.

Medium Weight, Myriad Colors Available

Screenshot showing Naadam Cashmere Essential Sweater colors
The crew neck version of the Original Sweater comes in 14 different colors, while the v-neck is available in six

The result is a sweater that falls somewhere between light and medium on the thickness scale.

It’s a little thicker than the (comparatively dirt cheap) Uniqlo merino wool sweaters that I’ve worn in the past, but feels much higher quality.

I tried the crew neck version, but Naadam also offers a v-neck option.

Though for some reason the v-neck sweaters are only offered in six color options, where the crew neck is available in a whopping 14.

The one my wife bought me is in the color they call “blue horizon.” (UPDATE: The blue horizon color also seems to have been renamed, and is now called “blue haze.”)

What I love about this shade is how versatile it is:

It’s light enough to provide some contrast when paired with dark blue denim, but dark enough that it doesn’t feel like I have to save it for spring.


Slim But Not Skin Tight

Irreverent Gent founder Dave Bowden wearing a Nadaam cashmere sweater
I’m about 5’9″ and a size small fit me quite well

I have to admit, I was a little bit nervous the first time I put on the Original Sweater—and a little relieved to see how well it fit.

I’m 5’9″ and about 175 lbs, and I my usual size in sweaters like this is a medium. 

The sweater my wife gifted me was a size small, but so I was relieved when I tried it on and looked in the mirror, because it was dead-on.

With sweaters I’m always nervous that they’re going to billow out around the waist or midsection and make me look kind of chunky (well… chunkier).

But the Original hues closely to my body all the way down from the chest through to the waist, without being so tight that it restricts my movements or increases the odds of stretching or ripping.

(The website says the sweater was “improved with a true men’s fit,” so maybe fit was a problem they’ve had in the past, but for me it was pretty much perfect.)

Classic, If Not Cutting Edge

Various Naadam Cashmere Essential Sweaters

Both the crew neck and v-neck versions of the Original sweater are about as timeless and unimpeachable as you can get.

(But I realize that not everyone considers that a plus.)

I like to describe my Personal Style Profile as “classic-meets-modern.”

While I of course want to look good today, I’d also like my kids and grandkids to think I look stylish if they see a picture of me 30 years from now.

And classic-meets-modern is also a pretty good way to describe the Original Sweater.

It looks like it would be just as at home in the wardrobe of a classic style icon like Steve McQueen as it would be on a modern icon like Ryan Gosling.

But, I realize that not everyone shares my preference for timelessness.

If you’re looking for something trendier, or a sweater that fits with the season’s latest fads – remember that year when everyone was doing color blocking? – then this probably isn’t the sweater for you.

(Pretty Damn) Perfect Neck Hole

Close up of neck hole of Naadam sweater
Fashion brands, take note: this is how a crew neck sweaters are supposed to fit

One last thing I’ll say about the style, which is a personal hobby horse of mine: the neck hole fits perfectly.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when you buy a crew neck that fits great in every other measurement, but not the neck hole. 

Some have a small neck hole that either strangles you with its tightness, or creeps too far up your neck, almost as if it were trying to be a mock-neck or a turtleneck.

(I have a couple crew necks from Uniqlo whose neck holes I’ve been trying to gently and strategically stretch out for months, to no avail.)

Fortunately, the Original really strikes the perfect balance, at least for my neck.

It sits just below the point where my shoulders start to curve up to my neck, making for a relaxed-looking neckline that’s tight enough to look sharp and put together, but not so tight that I have to struggle to breath.

Total Score for Style: 4.7/5


100% Cashmere, 1,000% Comfy
The Naadam Cashmere Essential Sweater comfort

As someone who wears a lot of merino wool but hasn’t worn a lot of cashmere in the past, it’s no exaggeration to say that this is probably the most comfortable sweater I’ve ever worn in my life.

From a distance or in photos, cashmere looks fairly comparable to other types of wool.

But even though it may look similar, when you wear a cashmere sweater you can almost immediately feel the difference.

The cashmere has a buttery-soft feel that I’ve never quite experienced with other types of wool. 

I knew cashmere had a reputation for softness, so that part wasn’t a huge shock.

But I was surprised at how the Original sweater felt warm and substantial, but light and breathable at the same time.

When I wear merino sweaters in a similar style, I often find that they’re so thin that I need to wear an undershirt underneath them.

But the Original gave me the same level of coziness with just one layer.

Which is great because, as I alluded to above, I tend to sweat when I get too hot, so I appreciated the fact that Naadam gave me a one-layer option that’s both warm and breathable.

Total Score for Comfort: 4.8/5


Is Naadam good quality?
The Naadam Cashmere Essential Sweater in light green

In addition to being nervous about how the Original Sweater would fit, my other big concern was how it would hold up.

Generally speaking, the softest and most refined fabrics also tend to be the most fragile. 

And since I didn’t have much experience with cashmere, I was worried that it would stretch, rip or tear more easily than merino and the other (cheaper) types of wool I’m used to wearing.

But I’m happy to say that my worries were unfounded.

I liked the style and comfort so much that I kept reaching for the Original Sweater and pulled it out of the drawer multiple times per week.

In the first six weeks alone, I probably wore it more than a dozen times.

And I’m happy to report that so far, so good.

I followed the laundry instructions closely (a habit I haven’t always been great about in the past) and opted to have the sweater dry cleaned instead of throwing it in the wash, which I think contributed to its longevity.

The tag also says you can hand wash the sweater, and my washing machine does have a “hand wash” setting that I was tempted to use, but I thought better of it.

This is definitely the type of sweater that I could wear for years if I take care of it properly, so spending a few bucks on dry cleaning is a small price to pay.

Total Score for Durability: 4.5/5


Is Naadam Cashmere good?
The Naadam Cashmere Essential Sweater in grey

After wearing the Original Sweater more times than I should probably admit over a six-week span, I can say with confidence that it’s more than up to snuff.

As I mentioned above, it checks all the boxes that I look for in a sweater:

The style is classic and unimpeachable, the fit is slim and flattering, the material is a breathable and (super) soft cashmere, and the quality of the construction is high.

But the best part is probably the price.

You could easily spend twice as much (or more) for the same sweater and feel comfortable with your purchase.

But at just less than $100 the Original Sweater is dollar-for-dollar one of the best deals on the market.

(And since they offer both free international shipping and free returns, you can give it a try risk free.) 

Before this I had always opted for cheaper wools and had never worn a cashmere crewneck before, but I’ve totally become a convert. 

Luxury cashmere sweaters from Naadam have become my new go-to.

I’ll definitely be placing a Naadam order to pick up a few more when the warm weather returns, and recommend you do the same.

Overall Score for the Naadam Cashmere Original Sweater: 4.8/5

Try For Yourself ↓

The Naadam Cashmere Original Sweater in white

When you add up the style, comfort, quality and price of Naadam Cashmere’s The Original Cashmere Sweater, it just might be the best deal in menswear—but don’t take my word for it.

Naadam offers free shipping and returns within 30 days of the original delivery date, so I highly recommend you try it out for yourself.

Try the Original Sweater ➤


Where does Naadam ship from?

Naadam’s website doesn’t specify exactly where it ships from, but does say that orders placed within the continental U.S. ship within 3 to 5 business days, while are internatinal orders are processed within 10-15 business days.

So, it’s safe to say that it ships from within the U.S.

How to wash Naadam cashmere

It may seem strange, but Naadam actually recommends hand-washing your cashmere with baby shampoo using lukewarm water. Gently swirl the sweater to rinse out the water for a minute, then let it soak for half an hour before laying flat to dry.

Who is the inventor of Naadam cashmere?

As mentioned above, Naadam was founded by Matthew Scanlan and Diederik Rijsemus when they were traveling in Mongolia’s Gobi desert, where they met people who source and make authentic cashmere.

How much cashmere is in Naadam silk cashmere sweaters?

The Original Sweater that I tried is 100% cashmere, but Naadam also makes some blended sweaters made from a mix of 85% silk and 15% cashmere.

More Resources ↓
More Men’s Style Advice and Review from Irreverent Gent:
More Naadam Reviews From Around Ye Olde Interwebs:

The Summary:

Naadam Cashmere Original Sweater

Dave Bowden

Style – 4.7/5
Comfort – 4.7/5
Durability – 4.5/5


The style of Nadaam’s Original cashmere sweater is classic and unimpeachable, the fit is slim and flattering, the material is (super) soft and breathable, and the quality of the construction is high. And the best part? It’s also easy on your bank account.


About Dave Bowden

Dave Bowden

Founder, Irreverent Gent
Author, Man in Command and Stop Doubting, Start Dating
Writer, Really Wordy Author Bios

Dave Bowden is a style blogger, menswear expert and best-selling author (in Canada—but still!) whose advice on how to look good and live well has been featured in New York Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Men's Health and more.

When not obsessing over style and self-improvement, he can usually be found spending time with his wonderful wife and two amazing sons, indulging in a hoppy craft beer, or sobbing over the woeful state of Toronto's sports teams.

Check out Dave's Style Story to find out how a chance encounter with his friend's step-dad taught him the value of looking good and living well (don't worry—it's less creepy than it sounds!), or email him at [email protected] if you want to get in touch.

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