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Fashion FYI: How to buy and care for cashmere

| Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
Michael Kors cashmere sweater ($650), available at Nordstrom in Ross Park Mall and
Michael Kors cashmere sweater ($650), available at Nordstrom in Ross Park Mall and Nordstrom

People Style Watch offers tips on how to buy a cashmere sweater.

Choose two-ply cashmere: “It's lightweight but warm enough for the colder weather. Plus, the stronger weave means it's less likely to pill or get a hole,” says Alison Guglielmo, a Chicago-based personal shopper and wardrobe stylist.

Go for a simple color & style: “A timeless shade like gray, beige or black is always suitable, whether for work or weekend. Steer clear of embellishments or trendy patterns for a sweater that you can wear for years,” she says.

Consider the length: “A sweater that hits at or just above your hips looks best. One that's too short will break up the line of your body, and anything at the thigh can add weight to your bottom half,” she says.

Pick the right neckline: “A V-neck flatters almost anyone — no matter your body type. Look for one that hits mid-chest: If it's very low, it'll be too revealing, and if it's too high, it may cut you off,” Guglielmo says.

Think about fit: “You want it to be fitted but not tight. Because cashmere can shrink, don't go too small, and avoid baggy silhouettes, which tend to look outdated,” she says.

Make cashmere last

Store correctly: Never hang your sweater or it'll lose its shape. Instead, fold it in a breathable, sealed cotton bag to keep moths away.

Wash & dry gently: Hand wash cashmere with a special shampoo (Laundress Wool & Cashmere Shampoo, $19,, then lay it out flat to air-dry.

Prevent pills: Use a cashmere comb or pumice designed to remove pilling in between wears.

Get your legs ready

If you are going to show off your bare legs for that New Year's Eve party, here are some tips from People Style Watch:

Exfoliate: Soften skin with a multitasking scrub that cleanses and smooths. Apply it in circular motions from your feet up. For even better results, try using it with a loofah or body brush.

Bronze: Get an instant glow with a temporary bronzing gel. A matte formula minimizes imperfections in a natural way. Make sure to apply it in front of a full-length mirror to avoid streaks. If you want a more-subdued color, mix it with moisturizer.

Luminize: For added sparkle, finish with a shimmery powder or cream. To make legs look extra-long and lean, apply it just down the center of your thighs and calves.

Party pairing

Here are some perfect party pairs from InStyle magazine:

Snazzy coat and A-line little black dress: It's an age-old question: How do you freshen up a beloved-but-basic-black dress? Answer: With an exquisite topper featuring intriguing patterns, hues and textures.

Ooh la la heels and pencil skirt: It's easy to wear stilettos with a floaty cocktail dress, but putting them with a sleek pencil skirt feels really modern. Choose a solid skirt so your shoes get lots of attention.

Eye-catching pants and simple top: It's a look with enough luxe for a casual holiday event: a silky T-shirt or a velvet sweatshirt with sparkly or lacy bottoms (So comfortable, too!).

Jazzy top and basic jeans: Short of time but still want to dress things up? Slip on your favorite denims and opt for soft and glittery or bright and airy for your top.

Intricate cuff and fancy clutch: Accessories don't need to match but should complement one another. So, pick up on a color or metallic hardware to make it work.

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