Travel Outfits

Many of you are travelling abroad for the holidays and whilst some of you are in the Northern hemisphere and enjoying blissful warmth, this travel outfit formula still applies, as I’ve never been on a plane where the temperature hasn’t dipped to polar extremes.

One thing is certain, and I’ve learnt this over the years, temperatures will rise and fall massively when travelling by air. Arrive at airport (cold), lugging bags and herding kids (or colleagues 😆) -hot, grab a drink – cold, walk 5 miles to boarding gate – hot, sit in plane for an hour – baking, mid-air – arctic 🥶 arrive at destination (if UK, cashmere stays on 😆)- heatwave.

The 7 essentials

Image (from left to right): Lightweight Cashmere scarf , Cashmere Sweatshirt, Backpack , Laceless Sneakers , Lightweight Parka with hood (very old Zara), Button-fly recycled cotton jeans (H&M), Striped T-Shirt (Country Road).

I’ve got you covered. It just takes a little planning and a backpack / tote with the essentials to hand. I prefer the former because I like to be hands-free with the kids in tow, but if you’re only heading away for a weekend, you can rest either bag on your carry-on suitcase for easy-wheeling.

Your outfit and items are planned for ease of layering, when needed, and ease of being folded and put away whilst on the move. As my kids have grown my carry-on has become smaller and smaller: a carry-on suitcase was really handy for baby supplies during mid and long-haul flights, but now I just want to travel as light as possible.

Add a small toiletry bag with teeny-tiny essentials (lipstick – essential for the illusion of a fresh face upon landing) so that overzealous security don’t confiscate anything beloved. On that note, always buy or fill your water bottle after the security gate. Place all travel and itinerary documents into a stylish wallet for ease of use and getting through immigration, boarding gates, etc. Put your electronics (kindle, ipad, laptop, chargers,etc.) at the front of your bag & that way you’ll be organised when you get to security and when you’re on the plane and sat down. Sunglasses should always be carried inside their case and I find it easier if they’re at the side of the bag for when needed. Cashmere scarf is best placed, rolled up, at the top of your bag so you can grab it when the cabin temperature plummets.

Optional extras are cashmere socks and beanie. For long haul, I pull the beanie down over my face and go to sleep!

Now to order a drink, wrap up in your cashmere scarf and read a magazine cover-to-cover. This outfit works across all sections of the plane; granted, if you’re in the First cabin you have plenty of room to change into your sleepwear 😆

Bon voyage!

Why Cashmere?

The Perfect Grey Cashmere Sweater
image: Jesse Fine for Alabaste

For those that have worn cashmere, you’ll know that there’s no other yarn quite like it; lightweight yet warm, soft yet durable and, notably, completely natural. The beauty of good cashmere, when cared for, is that it will last you a lifetime and can be handed down to generations after you.

Natural perfection

What makes it even more perfect is that its easy-care too. No longer having to dry-clean, as was the questionable advice given in previous decades, but rather popping into the washing machine (in a mesh bag) on a hand-wash cycle at 20 degrees, using a gentle detergent and NO conditioner. Because of its antimicrobial qualities, washing your cashmere isn’t always necessary after each wear, but you can refresh it by placing it into a ziploc bag and into the freezer for the night. You can actually do this with your jeans too; save on water and have fresh ‘n frozen clothes!

Hand-Stitched Cashmere Sweater
Image: Hannah Mentz for Alabaste

Not all cashmere is the same

Cashmere hails from the Kashmir region (including Pakistan, China, India and, further afield, Mongolia) and it should only be gently combed, not sheared, from the Kashmir goats in Spring, when the weather is notably warmer. The fibres are then sorted and graded and sent for their final processes before dying (using non-toxic dyes), spinning and knitting or weaving.

It’s important to buy your cashmere from a reputable brand that insists on ethical and eco-friendly production. Some cashmere is blended with other yarns to offer cheaper prices. Some blend with other yarns at not so cheaper prices! Mongolian cashmere is known to be the best in the world due to the fibre length (this means less pilling for you). This is because the conditions in Mongolia are harsh and the goats need thicker coats in Winter, which they would naturally shed in Spring. Check the labels!

The Ultimate Cashmere Sweater

I always wanted to buy the perfect cashmere sweater and I could never find it; a classic (not traditional) silhouette, a great fit, long enough sleeves, available in great colours and low-pilling. In the end, I decided to create my own. It took time, not only to get the fit right, but also to find a supplier who shared my values.

What our customers say

Without a doubt our Le Sweatshirt and ALABASTE X AFRICA sweaters are the most essential pieces for your wardrobe; the most flattering shape, incredible quality and the feedback we receive from customers is mostly to buy another one!

Browse our latest collection

If you haven’t joined our cashmere club now, don’t waste another minute. We welcome you with cashmere-covered open arms! Check our latest collection online now there is a shade for everyone. 

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Ava x

What to Wear


The most wonderful time of the year! Hmmm, its been a year, that’s for sure!

With travel grinding to a halt to South Africa, I thought I’d put together a ‘wardrobe essentials’ list that showcases some of my favourite SA brands and stores – it includes some international brands too.

This festive season is usually a time where these brands are fawned over by world travellers, but alas, many trips have had to be cancelled this Christmas. If you follow my brand, Alabaste Cashmere, you’ll know about my pieces, but the studios and stores I have tagged (below) are favourites of mine and I wanted to share for some holiday outfit inspiration.

These items work well for the festive season and beyond. So, take a look and let me know what you think.

Ava x

All brands ship globally. Click on links for shipping and duties.