Monday, January 4, 2010

The Puffy Coat

Isn't it funny how quickly trends come back, or at least how quickly they seem to come back? I remember when I was in elementary school, the trend for winter coats was the long "puffy" quilted coat. Of course there were short versions as well, but I just remember that coat as being an iconic image from the 1980's. Fortuntately for us, the new 2010 versions are a lot nicer. It's been very cold and windy in PA lately and if I didn't already have plenty of warm winter coats, I'd be heading out for a "puffy" ASAP. I actually own a "puffy" but it's more of a marshmallow style than anything else. It's a down-filled, quilted ski parka and I love it, especially when I need to be outside shoveling snow or- you guessed it- skiing! However, it's not a particularly fashionable "puffy." "Puffy's" and "Puffers" are so popular right now, lots of stores have a separate "Puffer" category on their online shops, so they are very easy to find. If you're shopping online and don't see a "Puffer" option, search for "down," "poly-fil," and "quilted." Down filled puffers will be the most costly, but also the warmest. "Poly-fil" will be far less expensive in general, but also less bulky. "Quilted" refers to the top stitching on the coats- it hold the filling in place just like quilting on a blanket holds the layers and filling of the blanket in place. To make it easy for those of you considering investing in a "puffy" this year, here are my picks.

Target's are without a doubt the least expensive, but there are plenty of stylish and affordable options out there:

Mossimo Black Women's Fur Trim Parka, $39.98- originally $79.99 (Target)

Merona Women's Long Hooded Puffer Jacket, $28.00- originally $40.00 (Target)

Sonoma Life & Style Quilted Jacket, $52.50- originally $150 (Kohls)

Women's Frost Free Hooded Coat, $29.99-$44.99- originally $79.50 (Old Navy)

Emily Long Puffer Coat, $129.99- originally $198.00 (Tommy Hilfiger)

The key to selecting and wearing any puffer is making sure that you don't get lost in the coat. That's exactly the problem with my marshmallow puffer coat: I look like a marshmallow. It also happens to be a short puffer, as opposed to the ones pictured above which are all the longer style. My advice: choose a puffer that is not too bulky and that has a belt or some type of emphasis at the waist. In pretty much all puffer cases, you've got the horizontal quilting working against you. Notice on the Calvin Klein puffer pictured above that the pockets are angled in toward the waist so that even though there is not a belt to emphasize and cinch the waist, the pockets help create the illusion of a narrow waist with their diagonal placement.

Happy Puffer Hunting! Leave a comment to tell me your opinion of puffers and puffies. Do you own one? Love it? Hate it? Tell me all about it!

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