Quilted puffer coats, or parkas, are the way to keep warm when temperatures plummet. You won’t look like a marshmallow in this style of coat if you’re mindful about fit, style and shape. Here are some guidelines to help you pick the perfect puffer:

  • Keep it tailored: It is ESSENTIAL that a puffer is tailored in the torso, fitted in the shoulder and streamlined against the hips. The fit must come in at the waist and at the base of the back. A slightly A-line silhouette is fine, but a straight silhouette is better.
  • Select a flatter puff: Some puffers are more heavily quilted than others. The flatter the puff the more streamlined you’ll look. Bypass overly puffy coats because those look unattractive.
  • Choose a flattering length: Extra-long puffers that finish halfway between the knee and ankle are super warm, but don’t look fab. You look like you’re wrapped up in a sleeping bag. Try to keep the length at the knee and no longer (in extreme cold, your knee-high boots can keep you warm from the knee down). Shorter styles that finish between the top of the hip and the middle of the thigh are great lengths too.
  • Stick to vertical seaming details: Stay away from puffer styles with horizontal stitch detailing. This draws the eye from side to side. Look for vertical stitch detailing instead. Angular or chevron stitching is just as flattering because it draws the eye to the waistline.
  • Choose down quilting: Less expensive puffers are usually quilted with polyester, which won’t keep you warm. You’re after a down coat for maximum warmth and coziness.
  • Choose hoods and shawls: Hooded puffer coats are extremely practical. (I’ve found that wearing a hood is warmer than wearing a hat). Hoods trimmed with faux fur are especially attractive and add a soft playfulness and interesting texture to your look. Puffers with insulating shawl collars instead of hoods make a nice alternative when worn with a hat and scarf.
  • Prioritize two-way zips: A puffer that un-zips a little at the bottom while the top stays zipped allows freedom of moment. This makes sitting down and walking with a  bulky coat comfortable and easy.

Winter chills have hit us a little earlier and harder than expected this year. Bundle up in style with a streamlined puffer coat. They are a very worthwhile investment if you have icy, snowy Winters.

Kenneth Cole Reaction Quilted JacketJessica Simpson Vertical Quilted CoatSteve Madden Hooded Jacket

Three shorter, tailored puffer coats with vertical and angular stitching. Two of them have belt features that add extra waist definition, and the cropped black style has a convenient two-way zip. The cream puffer looks particularly après-ski with its removable faux fur neckline trim.

Long Puffer JacketCole Haan Down Fill Travel JacketWomen's Regular Chevron Long Down Coat

Three long tailored puffer coats with vertical and chevron stitch detailing and practical side-entry pockets. Two of the styles have detachable hoods and one of them has a pretty faux fur trim.

I have three puffer coats in different lengths and colours. A cropped black style, a fancier mid-length gold style and a long cream version. I’ve had the black cropped style for five years and it’s still going strong. I can’t imagine my Winters without them.