Cute, comfortable and oh-so-warm, puffer jackets are the MVPs in any winter wardrobe. But when it comes to finding the right buffer, the options can be overwhelming: Are you looking for downy or synthetic? Black or colorful? Cropped or completely portable rug?
To help you get started, we’ve talked to professional stylists about their favorite buffers for men and women in a variety of lengths, fillings, and price ranges. Shop their choices below to stay gorgeous and stylish no matter how cold it gets.
Fashion director, stylist and vintage shop owner Loredana Buonopane says that although this Gap jacket “looks and feels heavy”, “it does not have the Michelin Man effect that many buffers can give you.” Gap’s jacket is also made of recycled materials and has a warm, water-repellent Primaloft filling, which makes it a good choice for anyone who wants to avoid down.
Fashion stylist Liz Rundbaken praises the “flattering fit” of this affordable coat and loves that it has “warm elements such as high neck, hood and mittens.” You can also put the hood in the collar of the jacket on warmer days. The coat comes in olive green or black and size XS to XXL.
New York City-based wardrobe stylist Gloria Cospito love that this Banana Republic puffer is both stylish and practical: “The cream color makes this long puffer a great top for winter white monochromatic looks, but it is the straps inside the coat that make it completely unique – they allow you to wear the coat over the shoulders without having to put your arms in your sleeves. ” The coat has a relaxed fit that is great for layering and a 100% down filling.
Although expensive, Rundbaken says that Canada Goose coats are “worth every penny” and call their own Canada Goose “one of the smartest closet investments I’ve ever bought. That’s the number one reason I do not no longer fear New York winters. ” She especially recommends Alliston Parka because “it’s more fashion-forward than technical-looking,” adding that “all Canada Goose products now comply with the Responsible Down Standard.”
Cassandra Sethi, a personal stylist and image consultant with Next level wardrobe, Woolrich calls “a go-to for cold weather needs” and praises Prescott Parka’s generous hood and versatile length. The jacket comes in deep blue, forest green, black or ivory and has a hidden zipper for a slimmer fit.
Uniqlo dominates the world of affordable winter clothing, and Rundbaken says the brand’s “super lightweight” buffer is “perfect for layering to instantly winterize any jacket or sweater.” She especially loves this shorter model, which is offered in five colors and comes with a practical storage bag for travel.
Aritzia’s super popular Super Puffs come in a huge selection of colors and fabrics. Cospito especially likes the “liquid gloss finish”, which turns the coat into “an interesting statement piece.” All Super Puffs are also very, very hot, with goose down from responsible sources and a temperature rating of minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you really want to stand out in a sea of black winter coats, Rundbaken recommends this shorter, more colorful version of Gaps heavy puffer. “It comes in some pretty vibrant colors to combat the winter swallow,” she says, including a bright fuschia, red fire truck and icy blue. And as with most of Gap’s clothing, this coat comes in regular, petite and high sizes.
This ultra-portable Free People jacket can be folded into its own pocket, which means you can easily store it in your suitcase (or even use it as a travel pillow) when you’re not wearing it. With vibrant color options like the Magenta Disco (pictured above), Cospito calls it “an eye-catching layered piece that will also work through early spring and fall.”
A&F Vegan Leather Mini Puffer ($ 180; abercrombie.com)
Buonopane loves that this Abercrombie & Fitch jacket “feels like a cross between a motorcycle jacket and a buffer.” The shortened length also makes it great to wear with high-waisted jeans. If you’re not quite ready for the bold leather finish, the stylish cut comes in several fabric and color options (including a creamy imitation mohair and a plaid wool blend).
This H&M jacket has polyester filling and a recycled lining, and it is the right level of swelling. “I love how the length just covers the prey and the string at the bottom lets out cold breezes,” Rundbaken says. She also likes how “the hood is purely incorporated into the high padded collar” and, of course, the coat’s price of under $ 50.
Cospito praises the “iridescent pastel shades of this buffer jacket” as she says “give the retro silk bomber jacket vibes while staying cozy.” Rib cuffs and a stand-up collar provide extra warmth, and this polyester coat can also be machine washed.
Sethi loves that the design details of this hip-length buffer “are so well-made to keep out the cold. It includes thumb holes, an adjustable hood and zipper pockets.” The REI’s size goes from XS to 3XL and comes in five different colors, including the lovely deep mauve pictured above.
“Buffer jackets can often look so heavy,” says Sethi, “so I love this lightweight one with heavy down filling and an adjustable waist.” The coat comes in classic black, a creamy white or this muted green.
You’re sure to stand out in this glamorous Michael Kors coat, which Buonopane says reminds her of “a space age, 60s skikanin.” She adds that “if the metallic silver feels a little too out of this world for you, it will come in black.”
LLBean Men’s Mountain Classic Down Parka ($ 179; llbean.com)
Rundbaken recommends this classic parka from LLBean, a brand known for quality equipment in cold weather and excellent customer service. This parka is one of the warmest the company makes, with 650-fill DownTek insulation and a wind and rain-repellent shell. It comes in three colors and both regular and high size
Uniqlo also has tons of great buffer options for men. Rundbaken likes this windproof, water-repellent model, which has a delicious matte finish and a seamless cut. The hood is also fully removable, while the crisp stand-up collar makes the coat both warm and office-ready.
Buonopane loves that this Alpha Industries coat has plenty of practical pockets and an adjustable hood that will help “get you through any winter storm.” It comes in black or deep army green and those who want to avoid down will be happy to know that it is made of 100% polyester.
“A fleece-lined hood puts this buffer in winter use status,” says Cospito. The buffer also has a neoprene edge on the cuffs to capture the heat.
For outdoor adventures on the coldest days of the year, Rundbaken recommends Fjällräven’s ultra-warm Expedition Parka. It combines the unsurpassed insulation of ethically produced down with the waterproofness of synthetic filling and also has an adjustable hood, pockets with both side and top openings and a two-way zipper.
Rundbaken likes that this wind-repellent, quick-drying jacket comes in so many vibrant colors (10, to be exact!) And has an imitation fur lining for extra warmth and coziness. She also praises Save the Ducks for making coats that are animal and planet friendly without compromising on performance in cold weather.
Cospito loves the light blue hue of this 100% down Banana Republic puffer as well as the fact that it “has hands-free straps on the inside for use over the shoulder.” The coat comes in both regular and high size and has a storm flap behind the zipper at the front to keep the cold out.
With its stand collar, snap fastener and pockets on the seam, this slim Vince jacket is perfect when you want a warm coat that is more suitable for the office than the slopes. “Herringbone is such a classic textile design,” says Sethi, adding that it “really lifts this puffer-style jacket.”
For heat without bulk, Sethi recommends this easy option from Filson. “I like the vertical quilting on this jacket, and the Primaloft Gold insulation has good performance properties as an alternative to down,” she says. The jacket comes in sizes XS to 3XL and black, olive gray or gold ocher fabric.
Rundbaken praises this stylish Asos puffer for being made from recycled plastic bottles and textile waste. A removable hood makes it as versatile as it is environmentally friendly.
Although Buonopane is definitely a big advantage, Buonopane loves that this bold Burberry jacket has the brand’s iconic plaid “and is super warm, while giving” a statement “.