When a wool or even cashmere topcoat won’t suffice against the biting cold, it may be time to pull out the strongest weapon in your arsenal—the down puffer jacket. While a puffer jacket can neither match the refinement nor the tailored look of an overcoat, it provides the best protection against almost all of nature’s most cruel manifestations.
To some, the puffer jacket is an abominable and ridiculous article of clothing that should only be worn by mountain climbers and young school children. A few years ago, they would have been quite justified in their conviction. People were faced with either an incarnation of the Michelin Man costume or some heinous, oversized coat that absolutely could not be worn if one needed to be taken seriously.
Luckily, winter wear pioneers like Moncler provide an alternative that has literally given a new shape and perspective on men’s down jackets, transforming them into stylish and luxurious items that both look and feel great. Known especially for their shiny body and opulently soft material, they are the gold standard when it comes to heavy-duty winter jackets.
This Moncler jacket is great for a variety of reasons. First off, it’s cut close to the body meaning that you won’t look like the Pillsbury doughboy. It also incorporates one of the biggest crossover trends for men and women this season, which is the patent leather-look the shiny veneer gives off. Slipping on a Moncler jacket is like the intensified feeling of comfort you have when you first wake up in the morning and would give anything to stay in bed. The material is so plush and luxurious that you’ll wish it were winter longer.
If you aren’t interested in spending nearly a month’s rent for the real deal, you can buy a similar looking substitute from North Face ($249). While it doesn’t have the same attention to style and detail, North Face is known for their high-quality insulation, meaning it will serve its primary purpose: keeping you warm well into the negative digits.
This jacket from Lacoste ($295) is a little wide across, but its glossy finish, which mimics the Moncler look, adds redeeming style value. One important feature it has though is the cinch cord at the bottom hem of the coat that allows for a more fitted appearance.
For the best equilibrium buy between price and quality and if you live in New York City, check out Uniqlo in SoHo, which has a good selection of puffer jackets for around $130.
The best way to look stylish while wearing a down jacket anywhere besides the ski slope is to embrace the inherent bulkiness and offset it by wearing a long scarf that comes down through the bottom of the coat to elongate your body. Wearing a great pair of boots will also add flair to an outfit otherwise muted by the weather.