Let’s Be Realistic: A Fashionable Take on the Puffer Coat

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by Paige Schultz, Fashion Writer

“Um, no. Just no.”

I will never forget the day I spoke these words to my mother who, with my best interests in heart, tried to convince me to buy my first long puffer coat.

Needless to say she was unsuccessful. That is, until I became a college student.

With long walks each day to brave frigid temperatures and blizzards randomly hitting the town, I quickly realized that my classic trench was no longer a feasible option. Sure, long puffer coats have a reputation for being shapeless, frumpy and super unstylish, but those concerns are null if you can’t survive a Wisconsin winter. Yeah, how’s that for perspective?

Hence, ladies, I implore you: let’s be realistic. Choosing a warmer winter coat is an inevitable part of our lives as Wisco women, but it doesn’t have to be a fashion death sentence. When styled well, this outerwear option can easily go from drab to fab, and with myriad variations of the classic puffer there are bound to be a few, dare I say chic, choices available for us all.

So whether you need a warmer jacket to help you endure winter’s bitter end, or you think you may like one for the following year, allow me to provide you with a few basic tips through three different examples. The true key, as to any ensemble, is finding a coat that fits you in terms of style and actual size. Once those two needs are met, narrowing down your possibilities becomes much more manageable, and the odds of stumbling upon your perfect puffer become much more likely.

Puffer Jacket Shelly Segal Fur

A Touch of Luxe

For any girl who is a fan of more rich, luxurious fabrics and embellishments, I suggest that you look for a jacket like this by Shelli Segal. The overall sheen of the puffer, complemented by the soft texture of the fur-lined hood, gives this coat a cozy yet luxe look that differentiates it from your average black parka. Also note the pattern of the puffs and how they’re accentuated. This adds another cool element to the jacket without being too overpowering.

Puffer Jacket Jones New York Utility

Everyday Utility

I love this coat by Jones New York for a variety of reasons. First, its utility style gives it an everyday, versatile feel that many busy college girls will find appealing. Yet at the same time, the shiny gold zipper gives it a little extra embellishment that permits you to dress it up or down. Though the jacket is pictured here with casual, military-inspired accessories, it could also work just as easily with a colorful printed scarf and tall riding boots. Additionally, I love that it has a belted feature. Too often puffer jackets can be disappointing due to their shapeless nature, but adding a tied sash such as this allows you to cinch your waist and create a more hourglass figure. Basically, ladies, this piece is a win-win.

Puffer Jacket White Kenneth Cole

Classic and Simple

Classic, clean and chic, this option by Kenneth Cole has an air of girly sophistication. Not only is the blush color super pretty and feminine, but the silver belt feature also helps us accentuate a nice figure by further drawing attention to the waist. However, aside from the jacket itself, my favorite part about this photo is the styling involved. Though it may be a little too matched for my taste, it demonstrates how you can easily incorporate your own long puffer into part of your ensemble. Thus a parka doesn’t have to take away from your look – it can, in fact, add to it.

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