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puffer jacket

How to Buy Your Perfect Puffer Jacket

Our basic puffer jacket got an instant upgrade this year, thanks to all the attention to it on the runways.  Part comfortable blanket, part functional winter attire the puffer jacket comes in plenty of iterations this season, which makes choosing one that more complicated.  Here are some tips and tricks to easy you down the shopping aisle, virtual or otherwise.

1 || How Will You Wear It?

puffer jacket

OK, just so we are all on the same page, puffer jackets are almost always worn closed.  Even if you haven’t pulled the zip up, you may have closed a button or two, so when making a choice please close it all the way up and acknowledge how round you appear.  Ultimately the greatest fear of a puffer jacket is appearing like Michelin Man, bigger and rounder than the real you.

2 || How Thick Is Your Jacket?

puffer jacket

This may not always be the feature you consider first, but it should be.  Not all puffer jackets are made equal and you really need to be able to differentiate the different types of fillings.  Just like the duvet on your bed, thicker doesn’t necessarily mean warmer.  Actually down-filled as opposed to polyester fill is actually flatter.  In the world of fashion, they may use different kinds of fill to create a more fashionable and sculpted look, which isn’t always a good thing if you aren’t a six foot, 110 lb model.

Depending on what your functional and silhouette needs are, establish what filling is best for you.   

3 || How Wide Are Your Stripes?

puffer jacket

The second most important element when considering a puffer jacket is the width of the padded stripes themselves.  Generally the thinner the stripe the more slimming the style.  Thin stripes don’t have as much fashion impact however so it really is a very personal choice.  Thinner stripes will sit more closely to the body and naturally need less filling, so it is not possible to create the sculptural looks that are on trend this season.  

4 || How Heavy Is The Fabric of Your Jacket?

puffer jacket

Puffer jackets traditionally come in techno-fabric which is a performance material used in skiing.  This provides insulation and lightness so it doesn’t weigh the skier down.  This principle holds true in the world of fashion, puffer jackets require much more fabric than regular jackets so considering the weight of the fabric itself is very important.  On the market today there are leather bombers, tweed bombers and velvet bombers to name a few, and they all weigh differently.  Do yourself a favor and consider how heavy it is to put on, and of course to carry around!  I personally purchased an absolutely stunning velvet bomber which has made for a stunning wardrobe fixture, I wore it once and hated it.  It was soooooo heavy!  Life is heavy, we don’t need heavy jackets.  

5 || How Heavy is Your Jacket Overall

puffer jacket

Sometimes the puffer jacket is made of the traditional light-weight material, only to be weighted down by chunky metal hardware which looks ‘cool’.  Thick zippers, clasps and belts with heavy metal buckles can definitely add weight to your jacket and bulkiness also.  Keep things nice and simple with a puffer jacket, although honestly you may be tempted to do otherwise because at the end of the day who wants to look like they are going skiing at the mall!

6 || To Waist or Not to Waist?

puffer jacket

When shopping for a jacket you will invariably need to decide on whether or not you want one with a waist.  There are of course benefits to both styles, waisted and not.  This is provided that you are considering a style that is close to the body.  If you are small and relatively thin you may want to accentuate your waist.  The downfall of course is the excess fabric that will stick out above and below the belt, but if you are quite small it could actually go some ways in creating some sort of feminine silhouette for you.  If you aren’t tiny but still want to wear a belt, the most flattering option would be a relatively flat puffer style with thin stripes plus a belt.  

7 || Styling Details

puffer jacket

As mentioned above you may be tempted to experiment with a non-traditional shape in puffer jackets and we as you to er on the side of caution.  What may look ‘cute’ in the store may be not be so cute in real life.  Whatever you do, and whatever your size, please avoid the double-breasted puffer jacket!  For all of the above reasons.  One feature we do like is the bracelet sleeve on the puffer jacket which adds a level of femininity, it also helps show your wrists and so identifying your true size, not your Michelin Man size.  We also love self-belts which come in the same fabric as the puffer jacket (without the puff).  There are also new and interesting necklines and collars which you can experiment with, one of our favorites is the shawl collar coat from Acne Studios, we also found it at Staud Studio and Ted Baker actually.

8 || The Length of the Jacket 

puffer jacket

Last but not least, what length jacket should you go for? Well there is no principle to go by! It honestly depends on your lifestyle.  There is no length that is going to make you look thinner or sexier, sorry but really there is no answer here.

9 || The Color of the Jacket

puffer jacket

Well color is actually an element that you have full control over. We all understand the principles of color, the darker the more discreet the bright the more bold. Pick and choose and maybe even go for a reversible one!

Happy shopping!