The Article: The Puffa Jacket Is Not Your Friend and Other Rules for Winter Wardrobes

Posted in Daily Outfits, Fashion, Writing.

My friend Sarah* has a coat. It’s mauve. Shiny. Has no discernible shape. It zips right up to the neck, creating a highly attractive ‘shelf bosom’, and cuts off mid-thigh making Sarah look short and stumpy, even though she’s size 10 and shops in the tall section. The overall effect is that of the Michelin Man dressed in his Christmas best. Add a hat, scarf, gloves and wellies to the equation and she’s instantly transformed from girl to wool-trimmed inflated tyre.

I’m not afraid to tell Sarah I hate her coat. She hates it too. But, as she tells me every time she slips the wretched thing over her fabulous Alexa-inspired outfit, it’s stuffed with feathers. I’ll give you a second to digest that – yep, she’s walking the streets wrapped in a winter weight duvet, and that’s okay, because it keeps her warm.

Next time you’re out and about, take a look around. How many people do you see swaddled in sleeping bags masquerading as coats? Or wearing attire designed for scaling Mount Everest while browsing the rails in H&M? Do you think they need a hypothermia-resistant lining for choosing their Christmas party outfit? No. And don’t even get me started on hiking boots, waterproof trousers and/or hats with ear flaps.

It seems the good British public are crying out for a winter intervention and a new outdoor wardrobe – one that doesn’t include rubber, a drawstring hood or feather stuffing. How about a tailored wool coat? A faux fur stole? A pair of knee high leather boots, a chic beret and some knitted mittens?

Diesel parka, Primark blouse, Zara cardigan, Topshop jeans, Steve Madden leather boots, Primark ring

Come on, you can do it. Step away from Millets and make your way to Urban Outfitters. This camel cape would look fabulous over skinny jeans and boots. Don’t worry, I’ll hold your puffa jacket for you…

*Name changed to protect identity and fashion reputation.



Ugh puffa jackets are my pet hate! That along with ugg boots. I just dont know what processes people to wear them. Why dont they layer? Its so much more fun and you can still look fashionable too. Just because its cold does not mean you need to let the fashion sense out the window! Im with you on with burning the puffas!

I adore your parka, ive been after one for ages. I used to have one about 6 years ago but my mum persuaded me to throw it out, been regreting it ever since. Ive never found one like it since.


Fashion Junkie

By “hold” I really hope you mean shred, burn and stamp on the ashes of said Puffa Jacket.

It was anything from -15 to -18 degrees in Leipzig last winter, but do you see stylish Germans walking around in Puffa Jackets? No. No they do not.

Thank you, for reminding people that it IS NOT OK to wear a duvet.


This really made me giggle! I actually know someone who has a similarly offensive garment…
In defense of puffa jackets though, sometimes a portable duvet is acceptable when freezing, hungover and nipping round to the local shop/takeaway down the road for emergency food.
Other than for that purpose, they are not permitted!
L x


Totally agree! Puffa jackets should only reside in the wardrobes of those Brits lucky enough to go skiing or on Arctic expeditions. I mean please, it doesn’t EVER get that cold here. Nothing an extra cardie or two can’t handle! I adore your outfit, it looks perfect for the snow and I bet you weren’t cold 🙂 xx


Totally agree – I think we need to start Wintervention as a priority, go MJ for the name!

I do need some advice on practical snow shoewear though – I only own one pair of winter shoes which aren’t heels, and they leak something terrible!


I soooo want to agree and am all over my new wool coat and mittens and really felt quite lady like whilst walking down the kings road on Sunday….

But… on the other hand this morning it was snowing blizzard like conditions! I had a long wait for a bus and by the time I got to work my only small mercy was my sleeping bag coat… yes I looked like an italian tourist but I was warm and more importantly dry! As soon as it’s back to just non snowy icy conditionas I’ll revert back to my stylish ways! Ha Ha!


I pride myself on having coats that are warm yet escape the “puffa victim” effect.
I have a purple tweed long coat, that survived the races in Paris, my leopard print faux fur coat that is currently helping me through the artic blasts, and even my trench when layered properly can help me survive.

I’ve just noticed you and the lovely Magpie Girl (I’m sure it’s Vicky!) are wearing the same blouse. Great minds!!



Bringing back bad memories of my Mumsy dearest buying me puffa coats in my childhood. I was a skinny little bag of bones, so they did keep me warm, however she still bought me one to wear when I was about 13.

Thanks mum, you may as well have bought me a “School Reject” sign to wear!


What a great post, i thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Me, myself i love wax jackets, practical, warm and water proof and still good enough to be seen on the likes of Alexa Chung!


Oh I can’t bear puffa jackets. Why intentionally pick something that makes you look bigger than you are??

Lots of layers are better than one big hulking coat any day of the week. And there’s so much choice when it comes to delightful winter accessories now that I struggle to see why anyone picks horrid hats or giant ugly gloves.


puffa jackets are ugly, I agree. I could really do with a stylish but warm and WATERPROOF coat – wool coats etc don’t keep the rain out even if they do keep the cold out…

northwest is best

I know what you mean, but I am too cold to care about looking stylish! I feel the cold so badly, and if I could wrap myself up in a sleeping bag to venture out to the supermarket, I definitely would. With a hot water bottle under my jumper too.

Lavender hearts

I bought a simply gorgeous vintage faux fur coat – it has been a god send. So much warmer than a poxy puffa jacket. I teamed that with this lovely wolly hat I have with a flower on it – looked very 1920s this morning. 🙂

I, like Sophie, absolutely hate Uggs and see them everywhere at the moment!


Hehe, I’m in definite need of a fashionable coat. I have a boring black one, but I want to get more colourful and fashionable ones!

I do love your coat, but it’s your boots that I’m really craving.


Nooo, I cant’ stand puffa jackets, and I’m not sure i really like Parka jackets either – that said, my friend has one and it looks lovely on her, i just meant i wouldn’t choose one myself..
but i get excited about winter becasue of all the pretty 9mittens and scarves that it gives you the opportunity to wear, not ugly puffa jackets!!


I have never owned a puffa jacket, but I do cringe at the very thought. Winter always seems to confuse people I think when it comes to fashion and warmth. Great article x


Oh dear, you won’t approve of me in winter then. I have a big waterproof, fleece lined coat that keeps me toasty and isn’t fashionable in the slightest. I have very old faux fur lined wedge boots that I wear in the snow, in the absence of having any hiking boots – if I had them I’d wear them! Most leather boots have no grip, and I am VERY accident prone so I’m all for hiking boots I’m afraid 🙂


My only disagreement with this argument is on the hiking boots front. I live on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales and it’s hilly and icy and I’m pretty clumsy. ALTHOUGH, that doesn’t mean I wear them all the time – once I get to school they’re straight off and I’m into my leather boots. But hiking boots just to walk around Leeds? No, thanks.



Great post, and I agree with you. But I did for a tiny second considering slapping a waist band on my slanket and wearing it to class the other day :p x


Wait, what’s wrong with hats with ear flaps? You mean the woolly ones with the strings down the side? I like those!

Arash Mazinani

I agree with almost everything apart from the ear flaps which I’ll come to in a momento.

I agree about the puffa jackets back when I was in my teens I used to love them I even had a puffa gilet but no more. It’s all about classic winter pieces that will keep you snug and warm and still look fashionable. As Alex mentioned if you layer up you’ll stay just as warm as would wearing a big ass puffa jacket. A mix of layers will trap in the heat keeping you nice and toasty.

On the other hand it’s not really cool to pass up warm clothes simply to be fashionable. You still see people wearing next to nothing freezing their butts off purely as they don’t know how to stay warm and fashionable.

I don’t think the hats with the ear flaps and festive patterns that Ndubz wear are cool, but trapper hats, at least for guys were all over the catwalk for autumn winter 2010.

My girlfriend told me a story about her friend who bought a Michael kors puffa jacket from TK Maxx which made her look like a worm. She’d have been better off spending it on a nice classic well tailored coat.


Aww I kind of like puffa jackets, although the American Eagle style ones not the style we used to wear in the 90s!! AND I wear hiking boots in the snow because its the only thing that stops me from falling over!! However, if I’m going somewhere nice or meeting people I do bring a change of shoes haha
I do agree to an extent though, as soon as it gets cold peoples fashion sense goes out the window and people just wear the warmest thing they can find!!


A person’s fashion sense can also be just as easily derailed by hot weather but that is a whole other post.

I agree on all points (particularly the puffa – yuck!) but, the hats with ear flaps? I love them, they are exceptionally cosy. I don’t understand women and girls that wear Uggs in the snow – not waterproof, sturdy or likely to to have any grip. Bad idea. Just bad.


Very very true!! My winter coat is a big parka, which is better than a duvet one! but I really wish I could find a pretty, cosy coat… also why do the shops mainly stock black/grey at this time of year… it’s dull enough in winter!

Know a lot of people wearing hiking boots at the moment but then Edinburgh has ground to a halt due to the snow so I think they’re allowed 😉


I happen to really like the feeling of being wrapped up in a puffa! It really pisses of the fashion police because they can not fathom the concept of dressing according to how you feel rather than bowing to impressions you imagine others have off you. The Puffa is one those items which is classless and is all about comfort rather than fashion induced superficial posturing. Fashion people can not understand this; anyone who cares about fashion must be a sheep, they are compelled to follow trends due to constant worry about strangers perceptions. I ask, who’s the most happy: those who couldn’t care less what strangers wear or those who do care? Wear what you want to – its not hard 🙂


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