design darling pink cable knit sweater at playa grande beach club dominican republic

Today I’m going to let you in on one of my all-time favorite style hacks: how I score preppy basics like this Ralph Lauren cable knit cashmere sweater for around 50% of their retail cost. It’s not a flash sale site or a promo code, so it’s something you can do year-round. Ready for it? Meet me in the boys’ department.

design darling pink cable knit sweater polo ralph lauren boys

I own a handful of Ralph Lauren women’s cable knit cashmere sweaters (you can see two I lived in on our honeymoon) and I think the classic style and quality speak for themselves. But at $398, they’re definitely a splurge, until a couple girlfriends recently clued me in on a little secret: Ralph Lauren sells the same style in boys’ sizes 8-20 for $195. Yes, even in bright pink!

polo ralph lauren boys cable knit cashmere sweater in pink on design darling

Now the fit is definitely a little boxier in the body, but I might actually prefer that to the super slim fit of the women’s style (in which I usually size up from an XS to a small). But the length, sleeve circumference, and quality are all virtually indistinguishable between the two.

pink cable knit sweater on design darling

In terms of sizing, here’s what I recommend: the women’s XS is comparable to a boys’ medium, a women’s small would be a boys’ large, and a women’s medium would be a boys’ XL. Oh and obviously double check to make sure you’re in the boys’ 8-20 department and not ages 2-7. 😉

design darling pink cashmere cable knit sweater

I haven’t tried this with other styles yet, but I love knowing I can score two cable knit cashmere sweaters for the cost of one and no one would ever know the difference (er, you know, until this blog post). I could see this trick working just as well on this classic flag sweater too. Have you tried buying from the boys’ department before? Do tell!

Ralph Lauren cable knit cashmere sweater (wearing boys’ size medium)

Celine sunglasses  //  J Brand jeans  // J.McLaughlin bag  //  Jack Rogers sandals

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  1. Works for me (male) as well. Usually I wear the Ralph Lauren cashmere sweaters in size medium. Size XL from the boys department is equal in length and just a little bit narrower, which I actually prefer.

  2. Come winter, I live in the men’s flannels at Gap! I prefer a little oversized flannels to wear over a plain white or gray shirt 🙂 They’re absolutely perfect!

  3. Confession: I’m 21 and still buy from the girls’ AND boys’ department 😂 Definitely a super great hack!

  4. That’s hilarious! I do this with jerseys too (I have a boys’ size for my favorite basketball team’s jersey since the style was cuter and a million times cheaper) but I never would have thought to do this for sweaters.

  5. Yes! Here’s another secret for you – shop the kids shoe department for less expensive shoes. I am a women’s size 7 1/2 which is equivalent to a kids size 6. Sometimes they have the exact same styles for a lot less money.

  6. Yesssss this is one of my favorite shopping tips, too! I learned this trick from my momma, who always says she used to do this with Lacoste polos in the 80s 😉

  7. I never thought of doing this for regular clothes, but I have done it with football jerseys in the past! The women’s jerseys are always more fitted and more expensive, so I’ve always purchased the boys XL which works great. Going to have to look into this for other articles of clothing now too!

  8. Boys sizes are the way to go! I got a Northface raincoat a few years back that was a boys XL and it was a great way to save $$$ (you definitely couldn’t tell it wasn’t a women’s style). Great idea!


  9. I have done this with Vineyard Vine shep sweatshirts. I found a print that I liked but it was only made for men. Went down to boy sizes and found the perfect fit.

  10. Oh my gosh, you literally just changed my life haha Never thought I’d be able to afford one of these and now I’m checking out with a boy’s XL. Thanks so much for the tip!

  11. Ha! My mom has been doing this for years. In addition to the sweaters, she also gets rugby shirts and button downs from the boys department.