How to Wear a Puffer Pretty Much Anywhere

Historically, my puffer coats have always epitomized the
necessity-laden bent of getting dressed in the winter: heavy on the
utility, lacking in aesthetic personality. An enormous, puffy coat
is also often the very thing that denies the remainder of
my outfits
their opportunity to express a modicum of personality,
because it covers everything up! I am thus forced to waddle to and
fro in a giant, unmemorable duvet with arms, looking like every
other frozen human on the street.

But this winter, I vowed to show my puffer coat who’s boss.
Instead of letting it wear me, I challenged myself to figure out
how to do things the other way around. My ultimate goal? To prove
to myself, and the world, that a puffer can be more than just a
practical necessity; it can actually be a stylistic enhancement
that works in tandem with the rest of an outfit.

I enlisted THE one and only Crystal Shawnté Anderson to assist
in the experiment, and if I can brag for a quick second, I’m
pretty pleased with our results. Scroll below for three ways to
make a puffer coat look intentional, and meet us in the comments
for further parsing.

The Five Day Work Week

The Ideal Canvas: A neutral puffer! Think of it
as a base instead of a top layer that covers everything else up.
It’s not an afterthought, it’s part of the main event, and thus
should mesh with a wide array of colors and patterns.

Styling Ideas: Layer it under a vest, or belt
it and pull it slightly open for a pop of color and texture.

I love that this puffer we’re
both wearing is collarless. It really lends itself to layering with
something hooded, or a collar over collar
situation. I belted the coat to
give it some shape (puffers can look like sacs sometimes, right?)
and kept my shoes walkable
because I am like to traverse the Williamsburg bridge. In this
scenario I imagine myself taking the coat off once I get to the
office and re-belting the vest I have
underneath. Easy! Did I mention this coat is on sale
for $36
? Meanwhile, Crystal incorporated the jacket as a
true layer to her outfit, wearing a furry vest over it.
She paired her cozy coat with shoes from the new
Rosetta Getty x ECCO collaboration
, which apparently feel like
clouds.

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Saturday Night Live

The Ideal Canvas: A puffer that functions as a
statement piece while still keeping you warm. Look for something
with an “it” factor–like a cool color, a distinct silhouette,
details or features like slanted pockets, a drawstring waist, side
zippers, or an asymmetric hem.

Styling Ideas: Scrunch up the sleeves and pair
with long gloves, or turn it into a puffer crop top if your coat
happens to have a slit like this one.

I tend to cancel plans or not make them at all in the winter
because it feels impossible to look how I want to look (for me, a
critical component of “going out”). But as soon as I began
entertaining the possibilities of using a puffer coat as the basis
of my Saturday night ensemble instead of the death of it, my
preconceived notions were cracked wide open like a walnut. This
particular puffer is perfect
for the occasion because of all the interesting details, like the
cinch-able waist and side slits. Paired with a long gloves, a
colorful jacket underneath,
festive
heels
, pearls, and my trusty Heattech tights, I
was actually warm and pleased with my party outfit. Crystal said
the same of her respective concoction, which involved unzipping the
sides and tying the two front flaps around her waist. With a
metallic pair
of party shoes
and an orange
faux fur headband
to contrast the purple jacket, she is my new
winter style icon–a reality only reinforced by the fact that she
made her fringed jeans herself.

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Sunday Strolling

The Ideal Canvas: A uniquely puffy puffer–one
that feels like an endless bear hug!

Styling Ideas: Identify a winter style persona
(i.e. “human marshmallow” or “après-ski bum”) and pursue
it with a vengeance.

When I think of a stylish puffer coat I think of something

Princess Diana
might have worn while skiing–the ultimate
example of looking elegant and sporty all at the same time, which
is incidentally a great combination of adjectives for running
errands on the weekend. I leaned into this persona with a fairisle sweater
and a headband (again,
thank you Princess Diana
) to keep my ears toasty. The addition
of stirrup
leggings
and comfortable lug
sole boots
made me feel like I should be in a cabin with hot
chocolate. That’s how skiing works, right?

Speaking of hot chocolate, Crystal moonlighted as the human
equivalent of a marshmallow with a puffer
onesie
under her peachy, puffy coat.
I loved that she kept the outfit casual and thus practical with a
pair of her favorite sneakers
while still serving up a look that would turn heads.

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Any other puffer qualms you need tackled? Or other style
conundrums we can help address in general? Feel free to share them
in the comments below.

11 PHOTOS click for more

Photos by Franey Miller. 

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How to Wear a Puffer Pretty Much Anywhere
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Source: FS – NY Fashion
How to Wear a Puffer Pretty Much Anywhere