Having long sat firmly in the realms of those who opted for function (in this case warmth) over fashion, this season sees the infamous puffer jacket shift into new style stratosphere.
Fashion insiders pinpoint the moment this shift began back to Demna Gvasalia’s Autumn/Winter 2016 collection for Balenciaga, where bright, overstuffed, sporty numbers were sent down the runway, insouciantly slouched off shoulders glittering with decadent couture embellishment.
Since then, any fashionista worth her salt has been snapped sashaying snugly down the chilly streets of the fashion capitals, and this season sees the puffer jacket (somewhat cautiously) enter the mainstream fashion lexicon.
One Eddie Bauer is credited with having invented the very first puffer jacket of down feathers encased in quilted fabric back in 1936, after nearly succumbing to hypothermia on a winter fishing trip.
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Since its very practical inception, the puffer jacket has appeared in fashion form a number of times, but never on the scale we’re seeing now. I mean, think about it – who wouldn’t want to be snug as a bug and know you’re tapping a trend at the same time?!
And if you feel in the mood for a snooze, you can simply lie down wherever you are – your jacket is your bedding too! Let’s embrace this one while it lasts!
But how to get behind this fortuitous penchant for puffers without looking like a walking sleeping bag or as if you’ve just skied straight off the slopes?
The high fashion puffer is frequently belted at the waist, and/or worn shrugged off the shoulders to show that you’re not just wearing it for warmth (that would never do!) and have something fancy on underneath (not just your frazzled old merino). Note: the off-the-shoulder look may also help with temperature control if you feel yourself start to overheat in there.
Make sure you add statement shoes or boots (not least to create a bit of a diversion from the former fashion crime you’re committing), and sling a chic designer bag across it (a slim cross-body bag strap may also make you look less like the Michelin man) as final indicators that this is a fashion look, not a ‘hitting the slopes/Ponsonby Road’ look.