A Few Things About Puffy Outerwear

It’s Winter. And it’s cold. Actually, it feels like this year has been exceptionally cold and you probably have pulled an old coat from the closet to warm you because you were just like, “Ugh: fuck this I want to not have to be outside why don’t I own a deep purple lamb fur coat whatever I’ll just go with the old Not Ryan Gosling Buffalo Check wool thing I have that everyone owns but whatever it only cost twenty dollars at a vintage store and it will prevent my nipples from falling off.”

But what if you want something new? Perhaps the biggest—and maybe most surprising—trend in coats is puffiness. Seriously! It’s this retro mashing of Marty McFly with nineties revivalism and techno future sleekness. These puffer wears aren’t cumbersome or plain and they have a sophistication that is lost on their vintage counterparts.


Why go puffy, though? Because it’s a safe bet—and you can get an affordable option too, be it because you want to stay on trend or be a sensical person who enjoys staying warm. Either reason is perfectly acceptable. A few words of advice though before sweating your palms over a Moncler or even a Patagonia jacket: there are options. And puffiness needn’t be ingested as a coat or even a light jacket.

• Err on the side of sleekness. While obvious and likely the only available option, a more discrete puffer jacket is more appealing to both the eye and the style. Other’s won’t see you as a modern version of that inflated red monster child from A Christmas Story and you’ll be able to accessorize and even layer it much easier. A recommendation: Uniqlo has some excellent, affordable, sleek puffer options right now.

• …but don’t go too thin. Likely described as “featherweight,” these jackets are the extreme version of sleek. Why are they bad? Because you look like you are wearing a punch of unlinked hot dogs. Or that your beetley exoskeleton is uneven. Or that someone glued together a bunch of opaque condoms and fashioned them into a jacket. No good. So, maybe don’t get this Burberry version of a sleek puffer. The quality is undoubtedly excellent…but you’d look so dumb in it.

• Try an alternating puff. Admittedly a gamble—and likely only from one brand—going against one type of puff can be effective. For instance, Patagonia has an excellent version of this. In the right color—Channel Blue, Turkish Red, Cilantro—it’s a classic coat. Another alternative to this alternative is checked, “Nano Puff” versions of the style.

• Don’t get a puffy hooded anything. You already look somewhat rounded in a puffer. Adding a hood really turns you into inflated red monster child from A Christmas Story. Opt for a complimentary thick knit hat, a la any Carhartt acrylic hat. (This is all null if you are wearing a Montcler Zin puffer, though.)

• Try for a unique puff. You will already look somewhat crazy in anything puffy—so go crazy. Commit to your choice and get something metallic (a la) or in a big, simple, no-more-than-two-color pattern (a la) or just go fucking crazy (a la). Defy the trend by putting your own trend on the trend so that people see you and think “Trend! With even more trend?” Trend.

• Do not go long. You will look like one of those girls who is so helpless when facing frigidity that she has to wear literal head-to-toe puff. Just don’t do it.<

• If you must vest, invest in a thin vest. I fucking hate vests because you look like a suburban dad who is mad that his daughter didn’t call him when she got to Chili’s so he shows up to Chili’s and is like, “Why didn’t you call me, Amanda?” and the girl’s girlfriends go, “Your dad is wearing a vest.” Don’t be that person. Be this person or this person, both of which understand vests were made to layer.

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