The Puffer Jacket Guide

A woman tying her shoe on a bridge while wearing a puffer coat and athletic clothing

Are you looking for a warm, water resistant winter jacket that doesn’t sacrifice style for warmth, or vice versa? Look no further than the classic Puffer Jacket whether you are going to be braving the harshest of winter elements, or simply need to keep warm on your commute to work.

Designers offer a plethora of different types of winter jackets, all claiming to offer the most warmth and protection from the elements. The puffer is among the most popular types of winter jacket - and one of the most effective. Its unmistakable quilted, puffed design comes in just about every style and color imaginable, but it’s also is uniquely constructed to keep body heat in and cold air out.

Back view of a woman wearing a puffer coat, fitness tracker, and beanie

With the Puffer Jacket, you get unmatched warmth without having to sacrifice style, which is perfect for any chilly setting, from the ski slopes to a winter stroll through town.

What is a Puffer Jacket?

The Puffer Jacket utilizes either down feathers or synthetic fibers as its’ primary insulation; this is sewn into quilted patches to achieve its trademark puffy, plush look. Many variations are on the market today, but the puffer is often touted as the warmest, most comfortable winter jacket out there.

It’s also perhaps the most versatile. Compared to other materials like wool and leather, the synthetic material used to encase the down filling, along with the down feathers themselves, are much more lightweight. The synthetic material encasing the down feathers is also much more resistant to wind and water, making it ideal for a variety of winter activities and atmospheres.

Materials and Warmness

A woman wearing a London Fog, burgundy colored puffer coat with a faux fur collar

Puffer Jackets, by definition, are jackets that maintain warmth by enclosing down feathers or synthetic fibers with a synthetic, water and wind resistant material in a variety of shapes and styles. These jackets have evolved through the years to include a number of creative variations in the stitching around the pockets of down feathers.

The shapes of the down pockets and the stitching used to seal these pockets have an effect on the look and feel of the jacket itself. Vertical stitching tends to be more form flattering, while horizontal stitching lends to a more bulky look. Diamond patterns are also popular, and these tend to provide a slimming look, as well.

The warmth of the jacket depends, primarily, on the type and amount of material used to fill the pockets. Down feathers, of course, are generally the warmest - especially when they are packed tightly and densely in each pocket, with internal pockets of down feathers sewn in behind the stitching to prevent cold air from seeping through.

While down feathers are often a little heavier than synthetic counterparts, many agree that this is worth the tradeoff for the warmth these feathers provide.

What to Wear with a Puffer Jacket

In today’s style-conscious world, many people aren’t fond of the puffiness that is unique to Puffer Jackets; there is often a fear of looking too bulky or losing one’s shape in one of these jackets. But this is quite the misconception, as style is far from impossible with these jackets. In fact, they provide several unique winter style options while also keeping you warm.

woman wearing a grey, petite cinched waist puffer coat with a faux fur collar and hood

For women concerned about looking too bulky in a Puffer Jacket, consider a more slimming fit - longer jackets with diamond stitching tend to highlight the figure more, and a belt over the jacket around the waist further enhances this look.

The other articles of clothing you wear with a puffer can also help balance the look. Slim fit jeans, tights, or leggings can balance the weight of the jacket without making the wearer look top-heavy.

For a sporty men’s look that will look great even with business attire, opt for a Puffer Jacket without a hood - or at least a removable one. Removing the hood when it’s not needed will give the jacket a more professional look, but the option to add the hood for particularly snowy days will still be available.

A layered look also provides the warmth of down feathers without the bulk. A lightweight puffer under a wool coat is an option for those who need the look of wool with some added warmth. It won’t overtake your form, but will provide a nice accent as well as down’s trademark warmth.


The Puffer Jacket has been keeping wearers warm, dry, and stylish since 1936. With the variety of stitching styles and designs available, it will serve you well in regards to both warmth and fashion.

Whether you’re looking to stay warm and dry on the ski slopes, or you’re simply wanting a warm but stunning winter look, a puffer provides the unmatched insulation of down feathers with unique stitching patterns to keep you warm and dry - and looking sharp.

Be sure to find a jacket that fits your personal style at up to 60% off other retailer’s prices every day at Burlington.

Category: Your Style

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