Is this the year of the puffer?
What coat makes the most sense when you’re spending more time outdoors in winter? The duvet coat. It’s the puffer’s major moment – and this is how to wear it
From workwear that doubles as gym kit to the trusty pair of pyjamas that have enjoyed more airtime than your favourite pair of jeans – 2020 has been full of fashion curveballs. The transformation of the puffer coat from cult classic to wardrobe essential is the latest twist in the tale. Certainly the jackets – once merely the sort of thing you might need to climb Everest – are everywhere this season. So much so, it’d be easier to pinpoint the brands who haven’t included one in their offering for autumn/winter than those who have.
The trickle-down effect, by which a catwalk trend goes beyond the world of four-figure price tags to find its way into our wardrobes, has a part to play in this. Balenciaga’s Demna Gvasalia made a modern-day icon out of the style when he included a red padded anorak in his debut for the house in 2016. The puffer has stuck with those with an eye on the trend barometer ever since. It has also become a regular fixture with the A-list – everyone from Meghan Markle to Bella Hadid has worn one.
This year, the puffer emerges as a democratic wardrobe fixture that’s resonating with all ages. From floor-sweeping khaki to cropped leopard print via classic black options designed to pop over your gym kit, padded jackets now come in a host of incarnations. As we approach the closing stages of a year in which the outdoors have served as an unlikely sanctuary, the success of this jacket makes perfect sense. In fact, it is the linchpin of a look defined as ‘outleisure’ – fashion’s way of describing the clothes we wear to take a stroll in the woods or walk to work, which have been created with function and form in mind.
Undoubtedly, these duvet-inspired jackets are the must-have item for a ‘new normal’ where going ‘out out’ means heading for a beer garden that’s exposed to the elements. Our collective desire to feel cocooned from whatever the world tries to throw at us next may also play a part in the success story of this style.
To find your perfect puffer, try as many as possible. This may seem like basic advice, but this particular jacket can look like a cross between a rotten marshmallow and the Ghostbusters Stay Puft Man on the hanger. It’s immeasurably more alluring once styled with straight-cut jeans and hiking boots, so do give this a chance. If you’re after an everyday jacket to see you through whatever this season – and those to come – throws at us, opt for a knee-length incarnation. Waist-length options are ideal for anyone seeking a more playful wardrobe addition – wear with high-waisted jeans or layer over a floral dress.
On the matter of practicality, it’s worth paying close attention to fabric – a waterproof textile will see you through every soggy British season – while options with detachable hoods are also a smart idea. Now you’re ready for anything.