As the weather in the UK is so unpredictable, we’re constantly looking for a warm yet stylish solution. First designed to be practical outdoorsy coats, down jackets are evolving into one of winter fashion’s front runners. With a reputation for often being unflattering, we think otherwise.
Every man needs a few basic, functional items of clothing. However, when you hear the words puffer jacket, I’m sure many of you are thinking of the questionable coat that your mum made you wear to school, but it’s come a long way since its creation in the 1930’s. First created for practicality and warmth by fisherman Eddie Bauer, the original puffer jackets had very little regard for style. As time has gone by, image has become more important and nobody wants a “practical” coat that looks horrible.
To get the most out of a puffer jacket, dark colours are a must. Picking a darker colour jacket such as black, grey or blue takes the edge off the bold style of the coat. Using your common sense, a puffer isn’t going to look natural with tailored trousers, polished Oliver Sweeney shoes and a top hat; but a tighter fitting puffer gives quite a streamlined look that when matched with some black skinny jeans and trainers, provides a very smart but casual look. You also have options wearing it as an open jacket; beneath a thin lightweight shirt or just a standard white tee looks sharp.
Other down coats include parka style jackets. The slightly longer, mid-thigh length coat is ideal for warmth. Like the traditional parka coats, these jackets are best suited to darker colours; khaki greens, blacks and blues. They are a lot looser fitting than the puffer jackets so therefore easier to accompany with other items of clothing. Both tight fitting and slightly looser trousers can look the part providing you choose the correct footwear.
If you’re one for a looser fitting trouser, then the shoe wants to match and be quite bulky. A brogue or derby style shoe accompanies a looser fitting jean brilliantly and the pair compliment the shape and length of the parka style down jacket.
However, if you prefer tighter trousers such as skinny jeans, there are two types of footwear depending on the look you desire. For a more casual and relaxed look, opt for some dark skinny jeans and a trainer. These Nike Air Max 90s give a sharp contrast to the dark jacket but the light fur around the hood give these trainers credibility. Who knew looking so casual could look so cool? On the other hand, for a smarter more cut-throat look, Chelsea boots are your best option. These suede Grenson Declan boots matched with dark tight trousers give the looser fitting jacket a much skinnier, streamed look.
So there you have it, with the evolution of these once ghastly jackets, you can now feel prepared for the British cold in a very stylish way. God the kids of today are lucky.
Written by Tom Heywood