When I first started That’s Not My Age I ran a regular feature called Your Purse is on Fire! Usually the kind of dream item afforded by those with access to an offshore tax haven. My latest post for the FT’s How To Spend It falls well and truly into that bracket. Scottish cashmere brand Queene and Belle has collaborated with cool stylist-about-town Bay Garnett. “I’ve always admired Bay’s styling,” says Queene and Belle founder and designer Angela Bell. “She has an amazing eye for vintage and really strong ideas, so I thought it would be a nice fit.”  The pair have joined forces on a capsule collection of four sweaters reinterpreting items from Garnett’s wardrobe of west London flea-market finds: retro designs with adapted silhouettes that transform each piece into a contemporary classic. My favourite is the Commando Jumper above. “I love military,” Garnett tells me. “I like its androgynous quality and it’s also eternally classic and cool.” These luxury sweaters are made in Scotland and use ‘five to six ends of two-fold yarn, so in effect it’s like 10-ply cashmere’. They’re way above my pay grade but like Angela Bell, I love the styling.

Queene & Belle’s Bay Garnett collection is available from Matchesfashion.com. Read my full FT feature HERE.

28 thoughts on “Queene & Belle collaborates with Bay Garnett: cashmere sweaters for the Christmas wishlist

  1. How wonderful to see another Scottish company, but really- one could either buy a ‘desireable’ jumper OR pay 4 months council tax! Unfortunately cashmere jumpers at this price are just too much.

  2. I love good quality cashmere but I prefer it to be absolutely simple and classic for maximum styling opportunities, so it remains a wardrobe staple for decades. I have a Burberry heavy cashmere cardigan I bought at an outlet 12 years ago that I still wear when I need to be comforted by my wardrobe and still looks in near perfect condition. Likewise a robe given to me by a work contact, which the puppy’s claws ruined but was invisibly restored by the cashmere hospital in Scotland.

  3. I love good quality cashmere but I prefer it to be absolutely simple and classic for maximum styling opportunities, so it remains a wardrobe staple for decades. I have a Burberry heavy cashmere cardigan I bought at an outlet 12 years ago that I still wear when I need to be comforted by my wardrobe and still looks in near perfect condition. (I think that was only two council tax payments!) Likewise a robe given to me by a work contact, which the puppy’s claws ruined but was invisibly restored by the cashmere hospital in Scotland.

  4. Sorry to be a party pooper but close on £1000 for a jumper is immoral! £750 for a scarf – outrageous! Flea market to a thousand pounds is quite some hike. Surely Bay Garnett started out espousing thrifting and secondhand purchasing. I am actually quite depressed by this. Thanks for alerting us to these but I shall give them a miss.

  5. I have to agree with Maudie – great to buy ‘local luxury’ but that sort of money is insane – however when was How to Spend It magazine ever anything less?

  6. The only quarrel I have with this quite chic collaboration is that it gives people the false impression that the whole Scottish cashmere/ knitwear industry falls at an absurd price-point which only millionaires could afford. So they opt (understandably) to pay their council tax and buy inferior high street stuff (even the upper-end high street brands are turning out inferior-quality pieces, mostly made in the middle east from poor quality yarns).

    Alyson, it would be great to see you feature more brands like Patrick Grant’s Community Clothing (which sells EXTREMELY affordable, luxury quality British-made cashmere and lambswool sweaters). With clothing made in Britain to this quality and standard by brands like CC, there’s almost no excuse for anyone who cares about supporting quality & British manufacturing jobs to shop anywhere else.

    1. I love Community Clothing, Catherine – and am not sure why I haven’t featured on That’s Not My Age. I’ll definitely add that to the list. I would disagree with you about Scottish cashmere, there are many more affordable brands – I’ve featured Jo Gordon’s accessories
      before and am always open to suggestions http://thatsnotmyage.com/style-at-every-age/creative-women-knitwear-designer-jo-gordon/
      This is for How To Spend It and the price point is always high (out of my league), but I genuinely like the styling. Maybe Bay & Belle will do a diffusion line!

      1. Hi Alyson,
        Thanks for replying. I didn’t mean for my post to imply that the Scottish cashmere industry is out of everyone’s price league- quite the opposite. My grandmother is a retired Hawick weaver and keeping the Scottish textile industry alive is very close to my heart. There are many companies supplying extremely reasonably priced Scottish-made knitwear- Community Clothing being just one example. Jo Gordon is also a good shout.

        What I meant to say is that when collaborations like Bay and Belle are featured in the press, I think people walk away thinking that there’s no point in further investigating British/ Scottish makers, because they run to the hundreds or thousands. The more reasonably priced brands need all the help they can get in spreading awareness that British manufactured goods are NOT out of ordinary people’s budgets.

        Will be a pleasure to read any future coverage of CC or similar brands.

  7. Yes these gorgeous thick cashmere jumpers are extremely expensive. But I think this article was promoting a design collaboration. If one wants to buy British Scottish cashmere what about Brora. I have bought these, the bed socks and gloves and knitted hats and some scarves for a long time, usually at sale prices. They also make lovely Aran cashmere but far less than those in the collaboration described. I’ve had my Brora cashmere for a long time. Though it must be said the moths can discriminate somehow between the quality stuff and the made in China version. For every day I wear Uniqlo cashmere which is well styled and pleasantly thick. Colours sometimes are good as are the neutral light and charcoal greys and black.

  8. Following you from Ireland Alyson,love the youthful vibes your giving,Uniqlo has lovely military cashmere on offer,large suits a size 12-14.

  9. I just purchased a man’s cashmere sweater with a beautiful argyle pattern at a Salvation Army store. I brought it home and put it in the washing machine set on the highest temperature. The sweater came out somewhat felted (wool felts better than cashmere) but soft and delicious. Since the sweater was a bit large, I hand-sewed the side seams a bit larger. Now I have a gorgeous cashmere sweater that must be about 99-ply at a total cost of $8.

  10. Your blog brought to my attention Community Clothing. What a totally fabulous concept. Their designs are timeless – yes, please do a feature on them. Wonderful basics – as their website states ” a range of stylish, great quality, British-made clothing” – what more could (a Brit) want – get those factories working to full capacity, employ all those lovely talented people, produce lasting basics that can be accessorised to individualise them. Yay, I was very excited by my late arrival to this. Thanks, TNMA.

  11. Thanks for this, Alyson. Prices beyond my budget don’t freak me out — I just love looking at beautiful things and read all kinds of style blogs for inspiration, not to build a shopping list of specific items to buy. Queene & Belle’s sweaters are certainly beautiful. But their piece that knocks me out is the Santa Fe shawl. That piece is gorgeous!

  12. Think I missed something re styling as felt looked like what my sister used to muck her horses out in 70/80s but all in the eye of beholder!

    Try Army surplus for ex navy jumpers – might not be cashmer but you will be able to afford to eat!

  13. Like others I’m glad to learn about the company Community Clothing. I checked out the website. I’d certainly buy the marled socks. I did look at Jo Gordon knitwear earlier. From time to time I receive their emails. Products look very tempting to one who loves wearing scarves.

  14. Love the blue military sweater ,and also love looking at unusual albeit pricey items because I mentally file away looks I like.
    My style is pretty unwavering but subject to’add ons’ to revitalise each season, usually gleaned from a couple of blogs including this one.
    Community Clothing had a pop up in Lambs Conduit Street and I can vouche for the integrity of the brand after handling the cashmere and chatting to the wonderfully stylish and friendly lady who served me.
    Talking of that Street and edgy classics, giving a shout out to my fave store,Folk Clothing.

  15. One source I can highly recommend for anyone interested in learning more about Scottish, English and Welsh manufacturers is this pleasant and low-key documentary from the afore-mentioned Grant. It focuses on his ready-to-wear luxury menswear label E Tautz and features a road trip around the UK in which Patrick and his small team visit some of the finest artisanal fabric makers in the world, all within this country.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMwg_WemH5w&t=3606s

    VERY much worth a look for anyone who is interested in ethical clothing production, British heritage manufacturing (what do we have that’s better or more awe-inspiring than centuries of expertise?), sustainability or indeed the urgent need for today’s clothing consumer to turn back the clock on the Thatcherite destruction of British artisanal industries.

    Re: a trip to Hawick, Alyson, perhaps you should make your own 7-day road trip :P.

    1. Thanks for the link Catherine, I haven’t seen this film, totally agree with you about British industry and a road trip would be fantastic. I might just do that next year!

  16. I love this. Waaay out of my price range, but I feel that if one had the money, these offerings would be so much more worth it than so many costly brands.

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