Written by Amy Scalia
Puffer coats have quietly become a practical and versatile winter staple, whether you’re hiking up a hillside or commuting to the office. Coming in a variety of styles, colors, patterns and price points, many people have come to rely on this cold weather cornerstone.
But not all puffer coats are created equal. Look for materials and functionality that won’t leave you out in the cold, says Kelsey Vitullo, Head Designer of Comfort at UpWest, as she shares details about a few of her favorite designs and tips for wearing this winter wardrobe must-have.
Favorite Puffer Coat Styles
“I love the cinched sleeves on our Cropped Puffer that keep your hands free, while the front pockets keep them warm,” Vitullo adds. “Plus, the backpack straps and water-resistant fabric come to the rescue when you're on the go.”
The Sherpa Puffer lets you bring the comforts of home with you. “It fits like a bomber jacket, but feels like a blanket,” laughs Vitullo. “It’s a cozy take on a classic bomber jacket, and it also has the slip-on backpack straps for easy carrying.”
Lined with sherpa and closed with a zipper and snaps, the Utility Puffer Jacket has your back — and your front. “The warm cuff details keep the heat in, your hands free, and your silhouette intact,” Vitullo adds.
“There’s a lot to love about our sherpa-lined Quilted Puffer parka,” says Vitullo. “It has an adjustable bungee bottom, full zipper and buttons, and a messenger strap that keeps your hands free when you need to peel it off.”
The new Maxi Puffer Coat helps to keep you cozy, top to bottom. “This sherpa-lined long puffer comes with plenty of pockets, a zipper and snaps to keep the chill out, and easy movement sleeves,” says Vitullo. “The hood can be detached but it’s also lined in sherpa so you might not want to.”
The Utility Puffer Jacket, made with 50% Polyester and 50% Nylon, is lined with super soft sherpa. “The warm cuffs, along with a zipper and snap closure, amp up the coziness and keep your body heat in,” says Vitullo. “And it’s lined in sherpa, of course, because everything’s better with sherpa.”
Puffer Coat Styling Tips
With their oversize shape and padded sleeves, puffer coats tend to pair well with sleek basics to even things out. “You want the coat’s oversize silhouette to shine,” Vitullo explains. “So, underneath, wear things like slim denim, turtlenecks, and leggings.”
Don’t be afraid to play with texture, Vitullo says. “From sherpa to corduroy, denim to cotton blends,” she adds, “mixed materials add lots of interest and yumminess to all the layered looks we wear in winter.”
On its own, a puffer jacket can often read as casual and sporty. But there are ways to elevate it and make it look more polished, if not even professional. “The Maxi Puffer in the sleek ‘soot’ color is the perfect example,” Vitullo says. “Detach the hood, then pair it with a sweater dress and tall leather boots. It’s now office-ready.”
This full-length puffer is a look in and of itself, Vitullo says. Throw it on over a simple sweater, denim and boots — it’s the perfect statement. For more of an athletic vibe, Vitullo says to style it with a cropped tank, printed leggings, and sneakers.
Top off any puffer with accessories to keep you warm and comfy all winter long. “A puffer coat says ‘warmth’ and ‘comfort,’ so just take that to the next level with a knit beanie, warm gloves, thick socks, and chunky sneakers or boots,” says Vitullo. “Hey, if you have to go out in winter, you might as well be cozy, right?”