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how to style a puffer jacket
how to style a puffer jacket, how to style puffer jackets
Puffer jackets are delightfully warm and comfortable. That’s it. End of story. Goodbye.
Sometimes, comfort is all that I care about. But other times, I feel like I’m choosing between style and comfort by wearing my trusty packable puffer, when I really would like to have both. This is all about the styling tips and methods I use when I want to wear my super practical packable puffer for comfort’s sake, but I’m still in the mood to dress up a bit.
What this post is not here for is to tell you that you need to either buy a fancier puffer jacket, or you must buy a snazzy wool coat in order to hide your puffer underneath. Obviously, you’ve thought of those, and me repeating them to you wouldn’t be very helpful. Now let’s get to the style inspo.
Here's how to style your puffer jackets so they MAKE, rather than BREAK your overall looks! Click To Tweet
Editor’s note: This is a recurring post— it is regularly updated with new information & products!
Table Of Contents
My favorite puffer jacket
There are a few key points that I look for when I am purchasing a puffer jacket for myself:
It must be a packable puffer. Puffers that are too puffy can be annoying to deal with. I prefer packable puffers because they offer amazing balance between warmth and portability. You’ll always have to take off your puffer at some point, and so would you rather be carrying around a gigantic sleeping-bag-sized jacket, or rolling up your packable puffer and tossing it in your bag? I choose the later.
It must use a synthetic fill that I recognize. For example, PrimaLoft. I prefer synthetic fill because for one thing, down is rather cruel. Secondly, down loses its insulating power at the first sign of moisture, which makes it risky to wear unless you are the world’s only psychic weatherperson who knows for certain that it will not rain. Synthetic fill such as PrimaLoft are made out of polyester and nylon (often recycled, might I add,) and will keep you warm even if it gets wet.
It must have a cinching hood & zippered pockets. These are basic convenience additions that will make wearing the jacket so much more pleasant, and I wouldn’t purchase a jacket without them.
It must be neutral is all regards. In other words, I like a boring puffer. I live in a warm climate and so it’s impractical for me to collect various styles of puffers. I like to own one or two versatile puffers at a time that I can style plenty of different ways and layer when needed for travel to colder climates. This means I look for puffers that are either black, gray, or navy, (usually black.) I also prefer there to be no visible logos or embellishments that might clash with any additional accessories or clothing items I may pair with it.
That being said, my favorite packable puffer of the moment is from GAP, and it is the black puffer that is featured in each of the outfits examples.
Make your puffer dressy
chic & sleek footwear | Whereas clothing can be ambiguous, shoes are never shy about letting people know exactly what they are all about. For a classic dressy look, I go for patent leather pointy-toe sock boots or pointy-toe pumps.
a cashmere wrap | Drape a nice wrap around your shoulders. You can use a blanket scarf, ruana or even a poncho, just make sure it looks high-quality. This will cover a large portion of the puffer with a more luxe material, which will draw eyes away from the puffer itself and make the outfit look dressier. Not to mention, it will add an extra layer of warmth, which brings me to my next point. Dressy outfits aren’t known for being the warmest outfits, namely because there isn’t anything chic or sexy about burying your body under a thousand layers until you look like a walking marshmallow.
an extra warm base layer | The answer to this is not to simply accept defeat and be cold. Wearing the right thin base layers will keep you toasty without adding unflattering bulk to your outfit. This turtleneck base layer top from Uniqlo HEATTECH line is engineered to keep you as warm as possible while adding as little bulk as possible. You can wear the cream turtleneck under your blouse if necessary and it will look like part of your outfit, and not like an underwear shirt.
Make your puffer streamlined
add a belt | Pretty much the answer to everything. Puffers are roomy in order to accommodate layers, but that means they disguise your figure. A simple belt around your waist adds definition to your shape, and also visually breaks up the puffer. The type of belt you add is up to you. You can wear a skinny, color matched belt if you just want some waist definition, or you could wear a wide statement belt to draw attention away from the puffer itself. (This option looks best on a thigh-length puffer coat, but it can work on a waist-length puffer jacket as well.)
keep it slim-fitting on the bottom | Choose a bottom that fits close to your body and doesn’t add a lot of bulk. Aim to accentuate the diagonal line from the widest part of your hips down to your ankle. This will draw eyes down and inward, streamlining your figure. Skinny jeans or thick leggings are common options. For a different look, you could also wear a a pencil-style midi or maxi dress.
distract from the puffiness | Like the scarf mentioned before, a bold belt is a way you can add interest to your outfit and distract from the puffer entirely. A utility belt is just uncommon enough that it will turn heads, but still looks clean and chic. Plus, between this belt and your puffer’s pockets, you won’t even need to carry a handbag!
Make your puffer trendy
a hat other than a beanie | Knitted beanies are easy and practical, but if you want to look more on-trend, opt for a more eye-catching hat. The hat I chose for the outfit above checks several boxes- it’s a bucket hat, it’s furry, and it’s leopard print. Snazzy. The purpose is to step away from the expected “winter-wear” look of a knit beanie and add something with more pizazz. You could also layer your usual beanie with a faux fur headband or earmuffs.
color-blocking | Typical winter-wear also features an abundance of dark colors. (Incidentally, the black puffer I’m using to demonstrate these looks is only hammering in the issue.) Adding in an on-trend color or two will spice up your winter outfit without your needing to purchase outrageous items that will look out of style next season. This brown leather puffer is a good example because it is different from your basic average puffer jacket, but still classic enough to be worn for many years.
go for hardware | If you haven’t noticed, many puffer jackets don’t have a ton of fancy details, especially the ones I recommend. As I mentioned, I personally like them this way, however it does tend to make for some bland outfits. I really love adding some flash to my outfits using handbags. This bag from Tory Burch offers shine thanks to the chains and texture from the quilting. And the best thing about bags is that you’ll never outgrow them (unless you want to,) or run out of outfits to pair them with.
Make your puffer look less plastic-y
a faux fur scarf or snood | Another issue with puffers is that they can look plastic-y. To tone down the “oiled fish” look, I suggest adding as much texture to your outfit as you can. Start with a faux fur scarf or collar that will bring some texture to the area around your face. I went with a black one here to to balance with the multiple different textures I’m bringing in.
select pieces with differing textures & details | For the other pieces, I make it a point to select different textures and avoid anything that is too smooth. Though they are all different, I think the corduroy pants, shearling boots, and metallic-woven top work well together.
If you happen to be in the market for a new puffer, I have two suggestions. First, look for a puffer in a color other than shiny black. Second, select a puffer that offers some interesting details that are still neutral. This navy blue puffer coat has a satin-matte finish that looks luxe, and the stitching is done in a way that flatters your figure and looks more interesting than basic evenly-spaced horizontal lines.
a backpack to visually break up the puffer | If you want to add one more thing to break up the look of a shiny puffer jacket, you can add a backpack as an additional accessory layered on top of the puffer.
Make your puffer look like athleisure
a big gray scarf + puffer left open | While zipped-up puffers are cozy, a puffer worn open gives off a distinctly cool and laid-back vibe. In order to make that work, I like to wear a large blanket scarf wrapped around my neck and tucked into the front of my puffer. This keeps my chest snuggly and adds a casual, “I just threw this together” element. It’s like what the messy bun does for your hair. I like a simple gray scarf because to me, the color light gray just screams athleisure.
waterproof sneakers | Complete the athleisure look with sneakers instead of boots. If it’s dry, you can wear any sneakers. However, winter often means moisture, and for that, you’ll be glad you invested in a pair of waterproof sneakers to keep your feet dry but still looking “too cool to be cold.”
Unrelated, but if you need a suggestion for the perfect athleisure-esque puffer coat, then this white puffer is gorgeous. I would buy one for myself if I could justify it.
leggings you’ll want to show off | And by leggings, I mean quality athletic leggings that aren’t see-through. I’ve been really enjoying the ColorfulKoala, Lululemon Align dupes. They are amazingly soft and stretchy, they’re squat-proof, and they come in tons of pretty colors and prints, such as this dark floral pair. Athleisure outfits can tend to look one-dimensional because of the simple silhouettes. Wearing a muted print in a neutral color is a nice way to add a little flair without going overboard.
That’s all for now!
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out this one ➢ How To Style Loungewear For Holidays At Home | Winter Outfits December
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Till next time ♥︎
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