We have a not-so-secret obsession with cashmere sweaters — they’re the ultimate fall layer for their extremely soft, toasty, and luxurious hand feel. The Shopping team is down to cozy up with anything made from this woolen weave, so imagine our absolute delight when we were tipped off to Anthropologie’s “bestselling, best-reviewed sweater, ever.”
Meet the Pilcro Alani Cashmere Mock Neck Sweater, which holds down a solid 4.2 out of 5 stars from 166 reviews at Anthropologie.com. It’s made with 100% lightweight cashmere, has a floppy mock neck, is designed to fit boxy, and is comfortably priced at $148. According to a brand rep, the Alani has been made in over 35 colors and prints since it launch in July 2020 and has been restocked nearly 25 times (although we’re certain that this restock number will climb once the chillier months arrive). After crunching those numbers, how could we turn down an opportunity to test these for ourselves? I offered myself and Most Wanted strategist Kate Spencer up as tributes to review this all-time fan-favorite style. Ahead, we get to the bottom of why this knit has become such an Anthro cult classic.
First, let’s talk about construction. The silhouette is a bit specific in all areas — the boxy shape, the subtle batwing, the mock boat neck, the visible exterior stitching — so I had to ask what the thought process was for these features. Carrie Sobkow, one of the designers behind the Alani, tells us that this sweater was “designed to be the most inclusive and versatile wardrobe staple with a fit that’s flattering on all body types and can easily be dressed up or down for any occasion.” Now, we know that the word “flattering” can be an extremely empty descriptor in fashion, but in the case of the Alani, Sobkow gave us a behind-the-seams peek at the rigorous development process: “This sweater has been fit many times on fit models of varying sizes throughout the design process. The Anthropologie sweater team, including those in design, buying, and product development, have all worn the Alani to ensure it feels and fits amazing on various body types and customers.” This may be the reason why a made-to-look baggy sweater is offered in three different fits — Standard, Petite, and Plus — in sizes XXS to 3XL.
Because I myself am a fan of the oversize look, I gave the Alani a test drive in my usual size of medium (in red) and one size up to a large (in dark green). Both fit as expected — you can see when my arm is outstretched how much boxier the width gets — and they’re similarly comfortable and roomy enough to be layered on top of a tank or tee. With sizing, it’s truly a matter of preference, but I would have to say I’m particularly surprised by how much the sized-up sweater beautifully drapes. Just be advised that the sleeve length does extend significantly — for instance, the medium sleeve stops right at my wrist whereas the large sleeve covers my entire arm.
Kate Spencer, who originally hails from Los Angeles and is upping her sweater game in NYC, says of the Alani, “The sweater is kinda thin and lightweight, which I like.” While some cashmere sweaters are often too chunky or insulating for these late-summer/early fall days, the Alani has a very appealing in-between-seasons transitional quality to it — you know, for when the days are still warm but the evenings get chilly.
Because of the sweater’s popularity, the brand tells us that there are more new colorways and prints still to come (keep checking back throughout the upcoming weeks, as new hues will drop on a rolling basis). It seems like there’s a lot of room for Sobkow and the rest of the design team to get creative with a sweater that’s so versatile. “Our new and exciting additions also include artist collaboration prints like Swarm,” says Sobkow. “We also have an incredibly talented print team that comes up with original, one-of-a-kind prints! Jess, our print designer, has created a hand-painted cat design, inspired by her own kitties.” Which is to say, take stock of the Alani while plenty of styles are still in stock — we can’t promise that your fave colors will stick around once the temperatures begin to plunge.
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