I was so excited to see the new chunky wool cardigan by Everlane launch this week that I almost forget how badly last year’s version pilled. And that I mostly likely won’t wear it much this year because of it. A shame, really, because I love the texture and the heaviness of the wool, but man, my black cardigan really looks bad after a lot of wear.
It could be de-pilled, definitely, but honestly, it’s such a daunting task I haven’t attempted it yet, preferring to relegate that piece to home-use. Anyway, the cardigan was quite warm, almost sufficient enough to wear as a coat for generally mild winters like we have here in Texas. Which I loved, but I won’t make the mistake of wearing it on the plane again…
I also had (HAD) the turtleneck, but got rid of it after not wearing it often enough, and still being quite baffled by the idea of wearing a sleeveless turtleneck…I liked the look, and the feel of it, but didn’t wear it enough to know if it pilled as badly as the cardigan. I assume it would have had I worn it very often.
Sadly, I cannot recommend Everlane’s chunky wool collection because of the pilling. Wool pills. I know that, and I accept that, but my only other wool pieces, an Inhabit felted wool cardigan and Zady wool sweater didn’t pill as badly with wear as the Everlane cardigan did.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE Everlane’s cashmere though, and can absolutely recommend that over the wool. It pills also, but not so dramatically. I ordered the turtleneck last go round, and love the slouchy fit (I sized up to a medium) and am going to place an order today for the cardigan in black and cropped crew neck sweater in black to see how those fit. I have a cashmere cardigan from their second year doing cashmere that I love so much, and wear as often as possible. It’s held up nicely, and while it does pill a little, it’s manageable.
How did your chunky wool from last year hold up? Did you find it to pill more than usual? What do you think of the new collection?
(more Everlane reviews – cashmere review)
I got the chunky wool scarf last year and it’s a bit too heavy for my liking. I ended up getting an Acne Canada scarf for this year which I”m more excited about. I”m not sure if i’ll end up using the wool scarf because it just weighs so much! Lol
I was hovering over the order button for Everlane’s cropped cashmere sweater, too 😉 I’m very much looking forward to your review!
About the pilling: I ordered last year’s chunky scarves and there was no pilling whatsoever. But there’s usually less fabric on fabric friction when wearing a scarf than with a sweater or cardigan. So perhaps that’s the reason for my pill-free scarves. Anyway, I went ahead and ordered the new chunky sleeveless turtleneck and the longer cardigan.
A detail: I just checked that last year’s sleeveless chunky turtleneck was $88. This year is costs $110.
Grechen Reiter says
interesting… the pricing…supply & demand at work i guess…
you’re right about fabric-on-fabric contact with regard to the scarf vs. cardigan. my cardigan has pilled mostly where the sleeves rub up against the body and lower on the front and back (where i sit).
Grechen Reiter says
oh..i’ve had the acne canada scarf on my wishlist for a while. how do you like it?
yeah, the everlane chunky wool is really heavy, and HOT. i think it would be too much in a scarf. although i do really like the texture and thick knit…
I was so disappointed with last year’s chunky cardigan. So pilly! And it pilled EVERYWHERE – not just the usual suspects (sleeves) but even parts that see little to no friction, like the inside collar.
I have depilled it, but with heavy depilling, the wool becomes very fuzzy and loses its beautiful luster. So my sweater now has obvious fuzzy patches along the sleeves and bottom.
I complained and Everlane refunded the cost. Their customer service is of course great, but I’d prefer a high-quality knit that meets expectations. Nonetheless I’ll wear it again this winter, just because it’s so cozy and warm. I doubt it will last to a third winter.
I’m eyeing the cashmere dress for this winter. It looks so easy and comfortable.
Hi Grechen! Thanks for the heads up on the piling problem on the chunky wool. I was thinking of getting one, though I’m having second thoughts now.
P.S. Also thanks for the comment yesterday! I’m not sure if Squarespace emails the replies to comments but I thought I would just let you know that I had gotten a small in both of Everlane’s cropped and regular crewneck cashmere sweaters and these are the measurements: the regular sweater is 23.5″ from shoulder to bottom hem while the cropped version is 19.5″ from shoulder to bottom hem in the front and the back (which is a bit longer) is 22″. Hope that helps!
Here’s advice from a knitter. Any yarn that has a “halo” (that is, little fibers that stick out) will pill the most. So fuzzy sweaters like cashmere blends will pill more than a smooth merino wool sweater. If you have a sweater that is so fuzzy you like to pet it like a cat, it will be a pill monster.
Bulky knit sweaters tend to be pilly because they are knit with larger gauge yarn that has more little pieces sticking out. Fine knit sweaters will be the least pilly, particularly when knit with a smooth yarn like merino.
Grechen Reiter says
excellent input!! thank you!!
Grechen Reiter says
i have the cashmere tunic from last year and i like the cashmere, but the shape on me is SO BAD. i wear it at home, with leggings, but i’m not a fan of how it looks on me. this years, i like much better because of the v-neck, and that it’s actually meant to be a “dress” instead of a tunic. hopefully that means it won’t be so narrow at the knees/thighs?
I do have two of the crew neck chunky knit sweaters from last year. I absolutely adored the fit and classic look of these sweaters and am excited to wear them again this year. However, yes, I did find they pilled quite a bit. I never de-pilled them because I’m lazy…however I think what I’m going to do this year when I pull them out (also in Texas so not for awhile 🙁 ) is trim the pilling very carefully with nail scissors. I think I read this on Martha Stewart’s website.
Sadly I’m not buying any of this year’s version because I don’t like the silhouettes as much. Their crew neck sweater looks more cropped and boxy this year, and I loved the long slouchy version last year. I have a really good thick grey cardigan that I bought from Jcrew years ago that has held up really well so I don’t feel the need for another heavy cardigan…and I’m so intrigued by the sleeveless turtlenecks, but I can’t figure out how I would wear them. I can’t wear them in the office with no sleeves because I will freeze. I like the look of sleeves underneath (Ryan long sleeve tee?) but pretty sure it won’t look right on me. And I don’t like the idea of wearing a cardigan or blazer over it…I have a turtleneck dress and I just look so bulky if I wear anything over it.
Yes! I did love the fit and feel of this sweater, but it began to pill almost instantly. Sigh. I also was temped by the sleevless turtleneck, but because of the thickness, wasn’t sure how I would wear it. I am tempted to try the cashmere. We’ll see. Love your blog!
Back from vacation and catching up! (All at once!! 😉 )
I am not a fan of pilling, but I find that it often happens to me in spite of paying a higher price (schvitzing and motion don’t go together). But I don’t think it should with a quality garment.
Christine M says
I have the long-sleeve pullover in gray. It pills. A lot. But two things: the pills don’t show up as much on the lighter gray than I’m assuming they would on the black. Second, the pills stand up from the body of the sweater, which makes them relatively easy to remove without a ton of effort. The Lilly brush works fine on it. Still I would not buy another piece.
I do have the turtleneck as well, also in gray, but haven’t worn it because I just can’t figure out how to make it work. I didn’t pay anything for it – Everlane sent it to me in error instead of the long sleeve and just told me to keep it. I like the idea of it and think it looks nice on, but if I don’t wear it at all this fall/winter, I’ll give it away.
Grechen Reiter says
yes, pills definitely don’t show up as much on the lighter colors. i will try my lily brush on those pills, i love it and it works wonders on so many things 🙂
i liked the turtleneck but seriously couldn’t figure out how to wear it. the only way it really worked was under a blazer, or jacket, which is brilliant really, because you don’t have the bulkiness of the sleeves. but if you don’t wear blazers/jackets much, then it’s sort of useless LOL
Christine M says
I wouldn’t know about the Lilly brush if not for you 🙂
Thanks so much for the honest review of Everlane’s chunky wool line. I have been debating about whether to buy the cardigan, but now I think I’ll wait until someone can hopefully confirm that this year’s line doesn’t pill horribly. Love your site. Keep up the great work!
I have the scarf too and love how soft and plush it is — but yes, it’s on the heavy and bulky side. Any bigger and I wouldn’t be able to wear it. But it was amazing during last year’s brutal winter (I live in NYC).
Super useful, thanks!!
Thanks for this update — very useful, especially with a company like Everlane, where year to year, many of their items remain the same, or similar.
I really love the weight and softness and warmth of the Everlane chunky knit, but like (it seems) everyone else, I was really disappointed by the pilling issues. And disappointed by Everlane’s inconsistent way in which they handled the complaints — everything from comments like “this is a natural way for wool to behave” to partial credits (in my case, $20 for 2 sweaters), to flat out refunds (happy for the folks who received this).
I reached out to Everlane to see if this year’s knit would be any different, and this is the response I received:
We did receive a lot of feedback regarding the pilling, so in response to that, we updated this year’s fabric to an Italian wool, and did some wear-testing to specifically avoid pilling issues. Due to the nature of wool, pilling is not entirely preventable, although our production team has made certain design decisions to help mitigate against this, e.g. a tighter knit and wool selected for longer fibers.
So, I believe this is good news. In spite of this, I’m reticent to try again (I am interested in the shorter cardigan), just because, for me, I’ve never had Everlane issue a full refund for anything I’ve purchased that’s pilled in excess, so I’ll probably just wait for reviews on this year’s collection, and see.
Yes, the inconsistency of Everlane’s handling the complaints is very irritating to me too. I wish they treated all customers by a certain set of standards, not “oh, this is normal” or “we are so sorry, here’s your money back”. I wonder if the decisions how to handle complaints are left to individual customer representantives..
A word of warning about the cropped cashmere sweater– it’s REALLY cropped! I’m only 5’2″ and wear an xs or s in most Everlane pieces. I ordered the xs and it was comically short even on my short torso and the fit was awkward. It went straight back. I’m finding that there are a lot of fit inconsistencies with Everlane and am less apt to want to order everything as I once was.
I still adore my chunky knit cardigan from last year. Yes it did pill, but it is the warmest, coziest sweater I own. It does get relegated to around the house/ hiking around wear though, since it’s not the spiffiest sweater I own.
The only Everlane item I have is a heavy wool cardigan from last year. I love the shape and the style, but it does pill terribly, even with careful handling and (infrequent) hand-washing. It’s a shame because I purchase so few items of clothing and was really hoping it would be something that would last forever!
I have two of the chunky cardigans from last year (navy and grey). Like most of the other folks who’ve commented, I was very disappointed with the pilling. Both the gauge and the ply of the yarn seem to be far too loose – the sweaters also snag very easily.
Has anyone tested out this year’s Everlane chunky knit cardigan?? I’m debating between it, Everlane’s cashmere cardigan, or Zady’s alpaca cardigan, but the whole pilling thing is scaring me off.
Grechen Reiter says
they sent me one to review, but i’ve not worn it but a few times over the weekend – so far it seems like it will hold up better than last year’s, but it’s going to be hard to tell right out of the gate. They say that it will not pill. i like the style better as well. i’d recommend the cashmere or alpaca cardigans though, probably. just because i prefer those fibers – and i’ve had much better luck with everlane’s cashmere. i don’t have a lot of experience with alpaca though…
I have this year’s white turtleneck and cardigan coat in black. The cardigan coat looks ratty and awful after 5 wears–unacceptable and exacerbated by the oversized style. The turtleneck has held up and looks smooth and beautiful still. Not sure if it’s the color, style, or particular garment.
I got mine late in the season last year and it pilled on the hip/butt where my bag hit, but otherwise is in great shape (and I snuggle a lot with my dog whose nails are stubbornly long). And yes, I’ve lived in it around the house and occasionally at the office. I’m pretty astonished by everyone having these problems. I did snag it once but on the inside of the shawl collar. This season’s doesn’t have that collar and that’s the coziest part!
I would sure love if Everlane sent me a new version to compare, though…