If you’re like me and remember wearing a huge puffa jacket back in the 90s/early 00s, you probably think that the idea of bringing them back is insane. It was navy, and had a sports brand (I can’t remember which) logo emblazoned on the chest. I looked like a Michelin man in it. It was too big to cram into my backpack so when it got too hot I’d have to carry it around with me. Absolute nightmare, but it was cool. So as you can understand when I saw that many designers were favouring the bulky silhouette this season I wasn’t overly excited. However after checking out the new designs and realising they’re nothing like my old school jacket (nowhere near as big), I felt comfortable in welcoming it as a key piece for this season’s style.
The resurgence was clear when puffa jackets appeared on every catwalk show for AW14, with top luxury brands creating something ultra warm for their eager fans. Although it dropped out of sight somewhere in the early 00s here in the UK, the padded piece seemed to have stayed favourable in other parts of Europe – probably because it’s far colder over there than it typically is here. But beyond spotting the European tourists wandering around Bath city, I haven’t seen one for years. These feather down-filled jackets kicked off about 40 years ago, and actually originated right here in Britain. The brand that introduced the trend for padded jackets was PUFFA – a name which is now listed in the Oxford Dictionary – which has become the given name for all padded jackets. Designed for warmth with anything else just being an added bonus, it’s warm body is what made it so popular. There’s nothing worse than being stood outside in the depths of winter waiting for your mate to turn up or even watching a fireworks display, and feeling the cold seep down to your bones. It’s key selling point is simply the fact that it’s warm, and being warm is essential for us to function. Pretty simple.
This is a style which is typically stereotyped is casual, a piece which is only to be used on the weekend or for time spent in the great outdoors. I don’t think this is true anymore. We’re far more excepting of people wearing unusual things (like scarves the size of blankets and t-shirts as long as nightshirts) nowadays, within the industry it’s pretty much encouraged. With that in mind, why not swap out your overcoat worn to work and don a down filled jacket over your suit/ tailoring. Don’t worry it doesn’t look obscure and you wont get funny looks when you rock up to the office. You’ve got to remember that freezing cold countries like Canada and the US have many suit wearing businessman, who need also need that thick layer of padding too. People do it.
So if you want a thicker outer layer for this coming winter, I would recommend investing in a warm down-filled jacket. If you want to really ensure that you’ll never be cold this season, then take a look at the jackets from Canada Goose (available in all JA stores) with their Arctic tech and thermal fabrics. I like the idea of having both a traditional woollen overcoat AND a puffa jacket for this season, for them not to be segregated by occasion but to be worn with anything that tickles my fancy. Wear it with jeans and a plaid shirt for that ultimate Hunter Gatherer look, or throw it over your blazer and shirt for an extra layer of warmth…. Time to experiment.