A puffer (or parka) is a coat or jacket that is filled with polyester, feathers or down. The layers are stitched down to create a quilted and “puffy” effect. The quilting can be heavy, medium or lightweight. The outer shell is made of a water-repellent man-made fibre or blend.
Lengths vary from hipbone to ankle length. Puffers are available in just about any style, and all sorts of silhouettes. Many have detachable hoods, and some have faux fur trim. The aesthetic is casual and sporty, but dressier and more avant-garde puffers are becoming very popular.
I love puffer coats because they are…
- Insulating: A puffer coat is warmer than a wool coat, which is just what you need when temperatures plummet, or if you run really cold. A heavyweight puffer is extremely effective in arctic weather.
- Comfortable: The quilting is soft and comfortable against the skin. Wearing a puffer coat is like wearing a stylish sleeping bag as a topper. SUPER cosy.
- Practical: The outer shell is weather resistant and does not crease. Lightweight puffers can be warm, easy to pack, and extra comfy to wear. They also layer well over a bulky outfit. You can wear a faux fur vest, suit, leather jacket or chunky knitwear under a puffer coat.
- Durable: Puffers usually wear like iron. They tend to last for years, which means that you get a lot of bang for your fashion buck.
- Trendy: Puffer coats have become very fashionable, and that’s why there’s a better assortment of the item than ever, and across a wide range of price points. They’ve become quite the stylish statement, which shows the fashion industry’s commitment to practical fashion.
Most of my clients have an assortment of puffer coats that vary in length, thickness and colour. They all have “gear” type puffers that are used in sporty and ultra casual settings. But they’re also accumulating the dressier and trendier puffers. For many clients, puffer coats are wardrobe workhorses, which makes perfect sense.
I currently have four puffers in rotation that I have accumulated over the years (the exact items are shown in the collection below.) The three trendier styles are used as everyday attire, while the sporty North Face number is only for walking to and from yoga and taking Sam into our garden.
I used to have a cream puffer coat with faux fur trim that I bought in the Netherlands, but wore it through. That’s when I replaced it with the long black puffer coat with an avant-garde sensibility. Although I adore the seven year old puffer, it doesn’t have a hood. I’ve been wanting to update it at some point with a slightly less bulky silhouette with a hood and in a colour other than black. Just last week, the ink blue puffer of my dreams came my way. Coincidentally, both long puffers are from Canadian company Soia & Kyo. They have impeccable quality, interesting design details, and their styles fit a narrow frame. I also have a short toffee puffer from Zara that’s ideal for milder weather.
The puffers that I use for everyday wear (the first three in the collection) are dressier than their sporty cousins. They’re fitted at the waist, streamlined, high in the neck, and slightly glitzy. The short puffer has an equestrian sensibility which I adore. These attributes go a long way to making them work for my dressy style, which is why I chose them very carefully. I’ll be travelling to Europe at the end of the month to see my Dad, and my new ink puffer will come in very handy.
Over to you. Are you joining me to celebrate puffer coats and jackets?