Lux, this one's for you! (Hi, Bryan.)
So here's my theory about cashmere. It's freakin expensive, but it feels really good. It's something like a shoe, but for your torso. Too bad shirts aren't hygienically sound to be worn everyday like a favorite stinky sneaker. I mean technically if you wore the same sweater but a different t-shirt underneath it (think of the t-shirt as a sock for the torso), you would be hygienically as sound as wearing shoes--if not more so.
My first cashmere sweater was from Macy's. I returned a pair of weird sparkley jeans that my aunt got me for Christmas and exchanged it for a cashmere sweater. Best purchase ever--since those jeans would've just sat on my bottom drawer (if that) and then have been donated to "the cousins" or someone who probably would never wear it either. That cashmere sweater is still my favorite--it's a black crewneck and pretty thick for cashmere. It goes with everything I own, and if I could wear it everyday I would--with a t-shirt as a torso sock of course.
JCrew now sells decent cashmere. It's not as awesome as the one I got from Macy's--it's thinner. When they go on sale though--it's worth it. I got a cashmere turtleneck from Target.com and it's really not as bad as I feared it would be. It's a bit fuzzier than the JCrew and not as thickly woven as the Macy's, but it was only about $50. If it were a shoe, it'd be a steal.
So the other thing about cashmere besides it being expensive is that it's warm and pretty durable. Sure, I've been kind of crappy about my woven knits (stupid bugs dining on them), BUT they've been reparable. In this sense, they're even more durable than jeans! The first and last time I tried sewing up a hole in my jeans it just ripped some more after I washed it.
(Lux, DO NOT throw out your ripped jeans--that is unless you hate them. Ripped jeans are a sign of luxury or thriftiness and to have an item of that distinction because of thriftiness is so much cooler. A fellow that we know BUYS his jeans ripped--then irons them. (Let's save people that iron their jeans for another time though. In short, they're nuts.) I'd wear those jeans in the summer time--built in air-conditioning. Ohhh yeahh!)
And how hot does a cashmere sweater with ripped jeans sound? You know you've seen it in Lucky and thought it was cool.
In your response, I saw that you have a part cashmere sweater from the GAP. I have one too, but it's incredibly itchy, and I hate wearing it without a shirt underneath it. What do you think about yours?
One last thing about cashmere, and then I'll give it a rest. I read somewhere about this group of indie designers that hangs around rich neighborhoods and goes through their trash (literally) and the thrift shops in the neighborhood to collect and recycle cashmere. They then would make pillows or cute dresses and sweaters out of their findings. And then charge $300.
Find cashmere (on sale). Stock up. Wear it while you're young, so that when you're old you won't be sad that you didn't wear it sooner in life. (Like lined pants.)