THE BEST PUFFERS TO BUY NOW...
It’s perhaps a littleknown phenomenon in these parts, but the Milanese love a puffer coat. It’s usually around this time of year that they bring them out, regardless of whether the temperature has actually dropped or not, and they will stay in them until May. But then, all that easy access to the mountains, not to mention the cult appeal of luxury skiwear labels, gives them a stylish passport into duvet-dressing.
I know what you’re thinking, I don’t ski, why might I care? Well, me neither, but then, who could decline the opportunity to dress as if one was still in the warm comfort of bed?
As it goes, the modern non-ski take on the puffer came from this very thought. Norma Kamali, a formidable fashion grande dame of New York, came up with this enduring concept after coming back from a camping trip in the early-Seventies, The Sleeping Bag coat – its earliest prototype created literally from her tent kit – was thus born.
For full geek points, please note that Eddie Bauer engineered the first down-filled coat (patent issued in
1940) after a trip to the mountains with his, as it turned out, quite cold wife. Fashion and skiing have long been entwined, a stylish salopette being the holy grail of any casual Eighties school trip.
Diana, Princess of Wales, was, as in most areas, a swift pioneer of the Sloane-does-sport look, which has since become the go-to for a certain breed of Clapham Dad.
You mustn’t let that put you off, though. Puffer jackets have been enjoying a high-fashion patronage ever since Balenciaga added crystals to one. Cult brands have appeared whose only mission is to turn a humble down-filled nylon garment into Instagram-catnip: see Perfect Moment and Ienki Ienki. The au courant puffer requires a little more thought to it than the sloping versions of yesteryear – try adding a belt to your old mucker to give it some definition. Or, of course, try something new, safe in the knowledge that, while you may be skirting close to fashionability in your puffer, you’ll also be incredibly cosy.
SLEEPING BAG KNEELENGTH COAT£640, Norma Kamali (matchesfashion.com) GLOSSED-SHELL DOWN JACKET£1,405, Moncler Genius 4 Simone Rocha (net-a-porter. com)