Nemosmom, short puffers are THE BEST for driving.

I am also a Chicago gal, and have an assortment of coats for driving, walking, work, casual, and one coat that is long and warm and very pretty for a couple of winter engagements that I attend every year. What I have enjoyed most in the past year is something I "stole" from Angie - a bright yellow peacoat. It's wool and quite warm, incredibly cheerful in cold, dark weather, and great in the car.

"short puffers are THE BEST for driving"
I think that depends on puffy the puffer is. Nothing like fighting through a mound of pillow to reach the seatbelt over your shoulder, then digging to find the other half under more stuffing.

If adding to your coat wardrobe, give some thought to the hood/ no hood issue too. I find hoods mildly annoying because my crossbody bags get sorta tangled in them when I try to take the bag off upon coming indoors. And if it’s cold and windy, I prefer a nice snug hat rather than a flappy hood catching the wind like a sail.

Roberta - Hi Chicagoan! *waves* I love yellow in the winter. I'm thinking whatever I add will need to be a happy color... there's a lot of black!

Fashintern - there are some great thin options out there. I just don't know how insulating they are....

Jessikams - YES! Thank you! I tried on a puffer yesterday that was had a collapsible hood (it folds/tucks into the collar), but even that was too bulky and I felt claustrophobic. I can imagine having a hood and dealing with seatbelts, and bag straps would be challenging. UGH winter

Thanks again to everyone for ALL your help! I ordered a few short puffers. I couldn't decide on a color, so I got an assortment to try with my winter footwear (cognac, rust, olive, evergreen, grey). Finds below. Hopefully ONE of them will work....

FYI: If anyone is looking for puffers, Zara has some out now that are made from recycled polyester/recycled plastic.

Nemosmom, I LOVE my Zara puffer. It's four years old, well made, and gorgeously tailored. It's glitzy and more equestrian than sporty. Fab gold hardware. I love my new Boden puffer too. Impeccable quality and a beautiful fit. Both are WORKHORSES. I'm open to a short white or red puffer too.

Not too puffy and VERY warm.

Angie - thank you for your feedback on Zara's puffer! 4 years is a good run! Both the Zara and the Boden look like they work beautifully with your wardrobe, too.

also consider uniqlo packable down as layers under lighter outerwear to extend their season or even under other thinner puffers.

Nice choices! I really like all of them.
I can see why you want a short puffer if you don't like sitting on your coat.
I really prefer sitting on my coat in the car. If I had car auto-start with heated seats, I might think differently!

To be honest, I don’t really understand the point of a short puffer. When it is cold enough for puffer, I also need more coverage. But I don’t drive so that could be a reason. Those that you ordered look great, I would love to have a need for them.

I agree with all, the two big gaps I see are a shorter 'lightweight' puffer/down jacket, and a hardcore knee-length down coat. Also options for rain.

I have a large collection of light jackets because I too used to live in the Bay Area and wore them a lot then. Plus I tend to pick up vintage wool coats secondhand as they seem to last a long time and it's fun to have different colors. Numbers: I've got two vests, one insulated and one just wind-blocking; a couple of regular hoodies and one with sherpa inside; two raincoats, one shorter and one longer; one leather jacket; two jean jackets; one shorter wool jacket and two mid-thigh wool coats; two lightweight down jackets, one that's more gear-like and to the waist, one that's more formal and to low hip, and then one serious winter coat with down, insulation, and a hood. That's not counting the few fleeces I can wear alone or layered, or the many blazers and blazer-alikes that can be inside or outside wear depending on the weather.

Anchie, you must have a warm puffer. Mine is lightweight, so the shortness is just right.

Clocking in at 7 coats here in Syracuse, NY (we win the "Golden Snowball" award every year, thank you very much). But that is because I am a minimalist and also currently sans formal winter coat... I have been hunting like crazy this season for one but no dice yet.

I was going to offer support that you were totally missing a short puffer... you need a short and a long to survive winter! Short is for spring and fall or "heat waves" (har) when it's cold but not crazy cold (or good for you, since you hate long coats). Long is for those deep wintry days when nothing else will keep you warm. I also do have a fleece-lined raincoat with a hood... it's pretty perfect for dog walking.

bj111 - yes! my puff vest is uniqlo and it is awesome. I sometimes layer it under my thinner jackets in the fall.

smittie - there are cars that auto start?!?! WHAT! :O When I drive, it's not usually far, but it's many stops, and in/out a lot, and depending on the day it involves buckling and unbuckling the kids from the back. So the futzing with the tail of the coat is maddening. Mostly when I sit on it and nearly strangle myself....

anchie - I would love the warmth of a long puffer, I just don't love them. I tried some on yesterday, and they were just overwhelming. Poofy hoods and neckrolls, bright hardware, plastic-painted-metallic logos on the sleeves, constricting to walk in... For now, I think I'll keep wearing long johns under my jeans and work my way toward a longer silhouette

Laura - thank you for sharing your count. That is helpful! Sherpa hoodies are the best. I have one I use as loungewear!

Lesley - thanks for the vote on a short puffer. I am on the right track!

nemosmom, I hear you on the bulkiness of long puffers. I wish I could be warm enough with long johns and jeans. when I need a short puffer, I'm cold enough to need a long puffer.