Wear, or Don’t wear | The Puffer Jacket

Ah…the puffer jacket. I’ve never wanted one, nor have I thought they would be particularly flattering on me, but my impending trip to Amsterdam in December has me worried about being cold, so now I’m thinking a lightweight down jacket would be perfect for the trip even though I already have the J Crew field jacket and was prepared to wear that. But being in Atlanta this week and being cold ALL THE TIME has me wondering if I’ll be warm enough layering a cashmere sweater under the J Crew jacket…so I’ve found some contenders, although I’ll admit, I’m leaning most heavily on the Uniqlo jacket. It’s kind of what they’re known for, no?

Down to the Studio jacket | $298 at Lululemon
T-down by Theory X Uniqlo jackets | $129 at Theory
Uniqlo premium ultra-light down parka | $69 at Uniqlo
Snow cap quilted jacket | $158 at J Crew
Helmut Lang somber cloud jacket | $698 at Shopbop

My worry, as with most women’s I suspect, is that the puffer jacket adds a lot of bulk where there wasn’t any before. Especially if it’s layered over a sweater. But I do hate to be cold, so I’m willing to live with some added bulk if it adds warmth. The good thing about the J Crew field jacket is that I could wear it in Austin. I could definitely NOT wear any down-filled jacket in Texas; it would be strictly for traveling. Which makes it tougher to spend money on…

Do you have a puffer jacket? is it warmer than wool? How do you wear it? Have you tried the Uniqlo version?

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  1. Cola says

    I have several puffers – love them and wear them all the time – but then again, I live in Massachusetts. The style of the Uniqlo is the most flattering shape. Since it’s not too $$$, go for it! Even if it is only for travel. FYI, it is freezing in Amsterdam in December. Seriously raw, damp and cold. The warmer you can dress, the happier you will be!

    • says

      thanks for your input!! i’m going to go for the uniqlo, it comes in it’s own pouch 😉
      and the price is perfect, especially since i won’t use it at home.
      my husband keeps trying to convince me that we can stay in the hotel while we’re in amsterdam since it will be so cold…but i don’t want to be the one using that excuse!!

  2. LISA says

    You should check out Nau (www.nau.com) they have some of my favorite stylish, yet modern, and very sustainable jackets. Their down (I swear) is some of the nicest I’ve seen!

  3. Mamavalveeta03 says

    Growing up in Wisconsin, puffer jackets or parkas are almost a religion! And I moved from MN, where the temps could get to -35 degrees (yes, that’s BELOW zero, not counting wind chill). So, yes, I’ve always had a down puffer jacket, a “Cousin Eddie” hat (you know, the kind with the flaps on the side that cover your ears?), and thick mittens. I wouldn’t spend a lot since you won’t wear it, but it IS way warmer than wool!

  4. says

    Hi Grechen
    Love your blog – always check it out. Just like Cola said – very cold (damp AND cold) in Amsterdam in December. No way can you wear the J Crew field jacket, well you could but you would be very uncomfortable (even with a sweater under it) which would be a shame, you should explore this very beautiful city. I am from Northern Europe and am very familiar with the weather.
    Have fun and enjoy

    • says

      thanks! i’m so excited to go to amsterdam, but very un-prepared since we live in a city that doesn’t get really cold…
      and i definitely want to be out exploring!!

    • says

      that is awesome. but 1. it’s out of my budget right now, and 2. i’d like something to cover my ample behind 😉
      thanks for the recommendation though!!

  5. Sophie says

    Totally seconding Rebecca — I bought the Patagonia 2 years ago and I’ve taken it everywhere with me. It’s as thin as a sweater, comes in cute colors, doesn’t bleed feathers out of the seams (ugh) and totally warm. I wore it on the chilly plane ride cross country too.

  6. irene says

    i have the uniqlo lightweight puffer that is knee length and also the vest. i swear by it now and rarely wear anything else during the cold times. it is super light, compact, and warm.

  7. says

    Hi Grechen!

    I have the Uniqlo one – my boyfriend bought it for me from Shanghai Uniqlo….we do not have it in Italy – not even as online store! :)
    It is really nice, warm, but still very light – and I love it can be folded and it becomes really small – so it does not take space!

    However, it is suitable for Europe climate – Autumn/Early Winter time….it might be too light for December….
    (I live in Northern Italy – this year, we are having an unusual warm climate and I can still wear it, but that’s quite unusual and do not know how long it will last!)
    Clara´s last blog post ..Repurchase: Ambre Botanicals

  8. says

    Don’t worry too much about the cold in Amsterdam, I am Dutch, everything is heated, trams, shops, supermarkets, and the city is so compact you can walk from one inside to the next. Northern Italy is way colder! A puffer is good, but wear layers, otherwise you will be sweating inside so much! Have fun!

  9. Jennipher says

    Okay, I think all the coats are really cute, but I am actually commenting to say THANK YOU for letting me know that uniqlo now has ecommerce! This might be the most exciting thing to happen to me this week!

  10. Nanashi says

    Hey Grechen, if you plan on ordering from Uniqlo get the heat-tech undershirt!! They are very thin and cut in many shapes (vneck, u neck, quarter sleeves, no sleeves), and they are great to layer beneath shirt or tops for travel and on those chilly days in the states. It looks like a normal undershirt but they are REALLY warm. The price is just right and I have them in several shapes and layer them in winter when I don’t want the bulk and when it’s super cold with the puffer jacket. It’s so warm that they used to sell out throughout Japan in the winter. It is really light and easy to pack and takes little space.

    • says

      can you help me out a bit on the sizing? anyone?
      i usually wear a medium in tops and jackets, but for the parka i’m thinking to go with a large because it’s longer and should go over my hips.
      what about the heattech shirts?
      i have no idea about uniqlo sizing, is it TTS? or does it run small?


  11. Dana Owens says

    I just bought a new Puffer Jacket from Burlington Coat Factory. I love the style of it and I know it will keep me warm this winter. Best of all, they had a great deal. I saved $50 off the department store prices.

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