I have been wearing Aether’s Sawyer cashmere full-zip hoodie for a couple of months as the autumn weather has turned crisp in the northern latitudes. I was expecting the cozy warmth, breathability, and overall great fit that Cashmere offers. What I was not prepared for were all the hugs. Aether’s 60-percent-new/40-percent-recycled Cashmere blend is astonishingly soft, and every time a friend or family member would offer up a hug or a warm clasp on the shoulder, inevitably, their hands would linger, caressing the premium wool material. They would often come in for seconds—even with its understated styling, this is not a sweater for introverts. The generously cut three-piece hood feels durable and functional and fits easily over a toque or a cap (the hood feels like an afterthought on so many sweaters, but not this one). The Aether Fall Collection offers the Sawyer in three colorways and a large range of sizes to fit most body types, though their fits are modern and tend to run toward the slim side.
The Aether Eco insulated vest is the perfect partner for the Sawyer on even chillier days. Its 100-percent-recycled construction is comprised of a soft-touch, rip-stop polyester shell and a 60-gram PrimaLoft Bio insulation fill. The stitching uses Coats EcoVerde sewing thread, which is spun from reclaimed materials, and even the zipper tape is made from recycled bottles. The vest adds a lightweight layer that is both wind and water-resistant, something cashmere lacks, and the Eco vest packs down small for easy portability. It comes in four muted colors and features a stand-up collar and zippered pockets. Both fall into Aether’s low-key design aesthetic. Whether you’re dressing up or down, you won’t make big waves either way with the Sawyer or the Eco, which I believe is part of their subtle appeal.
The Sawyer cashmere hoodie and the Eco insulated vest fit neatly into the capsule closet ideal. Would you bring these layers on that filthy dirt-bag climbing jaunt to Yosemite? You won’t. But if you are building a focused wardrobe of durable garments for general travel, they are worth a look. Cashmere, in particular, looks great in any context. Throw it on over a T-shirt for a fall hike, or pair it with a button-down and a sharp watch for a nice dinner or at that tricky border crossing where you really want to look presentable. Along with the Eco vest, Aether’s Fall Collection also offers a range of footwear, jackets, pants, and base layers to complete the look.
All Aether products come with a lifetime manufacturing guarantee. The Eco shrugs off spills and scuffs, even though the shell fabric feels almost delicate to the touch. Cashmere sometimes has a reputation for fragility, and the Sawyer, indeed, has produced more pilling than I might have expected. However, I have not babied this sweater and washed it very infrequently. Life on the road means you can’t treat your clothing like museum pieces. It means having limited storage space and making do with only a handful of duds on a daily basis; laundry days can be few and far between. In those kinds of conditions, the Sawyer has held up admirably—even against the onslaught of all those hugs.
$295 | Aether Eco Insulated Vest
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Images: Aether Apparel
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