I know you’ve seen them. They are everywhere right now, sitting on display and hanging on racks in all the finest stores you’re doing your holiday shopping in. Their tags loudly proclaim their heritage and quality, as well as their premium price tag. They shout “cashmere” at your retinas as if that word alone should be enough to compel you to buy. And you know what, they just might be right.

First off, just what the hell is cashmere? You can think of it as sheep wool’s cool foreign cousin. It is finer, lighter, and softer than your typical wool sweater. It has all these superior qualities because it is  not a sheep’s wool at all – cashmere comes from goats. The humble Cashmere Goat produces this fine hair that can be woven into some the best winter sweaters and scarves around.

As long as you are getting real cashmere – and make sure that you are – you’re going to be happy with your purchase. If you want the best of the best however, eschew the overpriced household brands like Gucci and Burberry and instead head over to Kaufmann Mercantile. This online brand has an eclectic and varied mix of products that all feature the same unifying characteristic – they are all best-in-class products built to last a lifetime. You won’t find a sweater here good for only one fashion season. Their cashmere sweaters are meant to be generational purchases. This is the kind of cold weather wear you pass down to your kids.

Say goodbye to heavy wool sweaters this winter and slip into cashmere. You’ll look less like an overgrown bundled up second-grader and be able to haul around less layers. Sure, cashmere is more expensive than cotton or wool, but then an Aston Martin is more expensive than a Toyota.