There was a time when I didn’t get the point of a short puffer jacket, because if it was cold enough to wear one, then a puffer needed to be long enough for sufficient insulation. I could not have been more wrong and these days the short puffer is a workhorse in my style. They come in all sorts of thicknesses and levels of warmth, which is key to making the item work. For Seattle, a fairly thick but not too thick short puffer is the perfect level of warmth. Short puffers are easy to drive and walk in, crease-resistant, extremely comfortable and cosy, and great to pack for travel. I have two of them and am not opposed to adding more to my wardrobe.

Short puffers come in dressy, equestrian, sporty, avant-garde, and very athletic vibes, which is why combining them across a range of dress codes works well. Creating an irregular outfit juxtaposition can look great too. Here are four trendy outfits that incorporate short puffers across an assortment of dress codes. There are loads of earth tones in these examples because they’re at the forefront of fashion at the moment. Feel free to use a palette that is more to your taste.

1. Tonal Smart Casual Midi

Dressy on the bottom, and casual up top. A dressy pleated midi skirt and high-heeled slouchy boots are combined with a casual and slouchy pullover. The short sporty puffer that tops the outfit is casual, but not athletic, and dresses down the look. The unzipped jacket, low-contrast footwear, direction of the pleats, and high heels create vertical integrity. The tonal earthy browns are rich and delicious together, and what pull together the outfit.

Massimo Dutti Stretch-Quilted Down Jacket

2. Sporty Colour Blocking and Plaid

Who says you can’t wear dressy pants casually. You can, and it’s something I do all the time. This is my favourite look of the four because I have a thing for checked pants and white footwear. I’m also reminded how gorgeous light blue and white are combined with earth tones. Again, the outfit is dressy on the bottom, and casual up top. The dressy and roomy pants are at a luxurious floor-skimming length with flats. The short pullover and puffer lengthen the leg line from the hips upward, which is effective when wearing flats. The sporty and retro short puffer, although jarring to some, looks fabulous to my eye because it picks up the toffee and white in the rest of the outfit. Add sneakers or boots if that’s more your thing.

REJINA PYO Otis Color-Block Quilted Shell Jacket

3. Easy Casual Neutrals

I see this outfit combination many times a day and all over the world because it’s very practical and comfortable. Combine a pair of skinnies with a sweater, boots, and short puffer, and you are done. Here, the visible high rise of the skinnies and printed sporty puffer are the trendy components. The sweater and boots are Modern Classic. This outfit formula can be recreated in any solid, pattern and palette.

Rachel Parcell Leopard Print Puffer Jacket

4. Soft, Pretty and Bold

This outfit is a bit seasonally confused because the skirt is awfully light and Summery compared to the rest of the outfit. Yet, I frequently see people wear the combination comfortably, and some of my clients do too. A lightweight skirt is combined with a white turtleneck and matching high-shaft heeled boots. A vibrant short yellow sporty puffer tops off the lot, looking jarring yet fun. The puffer dresses down the outfit and creates a fun juxtaposition. The dressy bag is the unexpected cherry on top.

ASPESI Classic Puffer Jacket

These days, you can wear a short sporty puffer with anything (much like you can wear fashion sneakers with anything). Athletic puffers still look best with athletic wear, gear, and very casual clothing to my eye though.