puffer jacket outfit

How to Style a Puffer Jacket & The 5 Best Puffer Jackets to Buy

Stay cosy.

Utilitarian in nature, the puffer jacket has risen in the sartorial ranks over the past few years, becoming a viable fashion statement in addition to a cold climate staple. With cotton candy-like outerwear gaining traction, classic black puffer jackets are no longer the only option. From colour blocked cropped jackets to oversize vibrant varieties, there’s a colour and silhouette for every taste.

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puffer jacket style

History of the puffer jacket

Born out of a need for practicality rather than style, the puffer jacket originated in the late 1930s. In 1936, after nearly losing his life to hypothermia while on a fishing trip, American adventurer Eddie Bauer created a jacket with down feathers encased within quilted fabric and dubbed it ‘The Skyliner’. Patented in 1940, Bauer’s jacket was successful in regulating the wearer’s temperature. Since then, the puffer jacket has been coopted by various subsections of the fashion world, from Milanese youth to major fashion houses like Moncler (whose entire design DNA is centred around the down jacket), Balenciaga, Kenzo, and Prada. 

puffer jacket style

How to wear a puffer jacket

No longer relegated to ski trips, these pillowy pieces are surprisingly versatile, able to be worn as street style pieces or even to work. To nail the puffer coat look, play with silhouettes in your outfit; whether that be by pairing your puffer with slim-fitting base layers or going all out with equally as voluminous pieces. Here are the best ways to style a puffer jacket. 

Black puffer jackets

Sophisticated isn’t a word typically associated with puffer jackets, however black varieties come pretty close. If you’re a puffer coat novice, this dark hue is a pretty good place to start. Play with varying lengths and textures by pairing your black puffer jacket with a dress and blazer, or add interest to your outfit in the form of a statement colour. If you’re dressing for the office, stick to neutral, muted tones and simply swap out your usual outerwear of choice for a puffer jacket. Alternatively, try wearing your jacket with a midi dress and boots.

Colour pop puffer jackets

For the more sartorially adventurous, a puffer jacket in a vibrant shade is the way to go. As your colourful puffer jacket injects instant personality into your look, it’s best to pare back the rest of your outfit. Black cigarette-style pants give off a tapered, well put-together vibe, while jeans or greyscale colours are a safe bet. Or, opt for a tonal outfit and pair your colourful puffer with layers in similar shades.

Colour blocked puffer jackets

Colour blocked puffer jackets take contrasting or complementary colours and pair them together, creating funky, flamboyant pieces. Best reserved for street style looks, colour blocked puffer jackets play well with otherwise reserved outfits; think monochromatic black, double denim, or neutral shades of beige and cream.

The best puffer jackets to buy

The beauty of the puffer jacket’s popularity lies in the various iterations produced. Whether you’re after a colourful jacket or a neutral, textured variation, there’s a puffer out there for you. Plus, the ubiquitous nature of the puffer coat means there’s one for every price point. Here are the puffer jackets we have our eyes on.

1. Gucci Hooded Jacquard-trimmed Quilted Shell Down Coat

Not quite your standard puffer, Gucci’s jacket can be converted into a cape by unfastening the zipped slits along the front and slipping your arms through. Team with chunky boots and a slip dress for an edgy yet feminine look or hone in on the red jacquard detailing by pairing with black base layers and red accessories.

2. Nanushka Hide Vegan Leather Puffer Jacket

Blending functionality with luxury, Nanushka’s Hide Vegan Leather Puffer Coat is soft and voluminous, with the lustorous fabric taking you to the office and on into the evening.

3. Cotton On The Mother Puffer

Made from recyclable fibres, Cotton On’s puffer coat is kind on the earth and on your wallet. The ideal budget buy, this puffer comes in vibrant pink, classic navy, and futuristic metallic silver. Style with jeans or cigarette trousers for a casual everyday look.

4. Seed Heritage Double Zip Puffer

For the neutral lovers out there. Style with tapered woollen trousers and slingback heels for work, or indigo denim and ankle boots for casual wear.

5. Zara Water Repellant Puffer Jacket

Not your standard black puffer. This version by Zara combines textures, pairing a high faux fur collar with patent quilted fabric and contrast zip detailing.

puffer jacket style

Words by Arabella Johnson