I Relocated from NYC to Colorado, and Swear By These Puffer Coats In Brutally Cold Weather

An insulating style for every mood.

Originally Published: 
hailey bieber in a red puffer jacket
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As someone who was California-born and Arizona-raised, winter outerwear wouldn’t seem like my forte. But after 11 years of NYC living, regular mountain getaways (budding ski skills included), and my recent relocation to Colorado, I’ve developed quite an expertise in the stylish puffer coat arena. We’re talking casual everyday puffer jackets suited to wintry commutes involving blocks-long walks and nippy subway rides, bold and bright designs for standing out (and peak performance) in the snow, and ultra-insulating down parkas for keeping warm in the most frigid temperatures. Plus, as someone who mostly dresses in athleisure, from workout attire to sweats, sporty and cozy styles are among some of my most worn options. This includes puffers to pair with activewear for wintry outdoor workouts and quilted fleece designs that I unashamedly wear outside the house with comfy sweats, and even PJs, for quick errands.

Already with a bursting-at-the-seams coat closet, I’ve somehow managed to add a variety of puffer coats to my outerwear collection, each for different activities, outfits, moods. Of course, I could get by with one or two, such as a versatile everyday puffer coat hitting at knee length and a ski style made to withstand moisture and harsh winds. But as an options-loving kind of gal who has built a career upon my shopping and style proficiencies, part of the job, to my delight, has involved trialing the very best puffer coats on the market.

Laura Lajiness

Keep reading for my absolute favorite winter puffer jackets for every occasion — each one tried and tested in a mix of elements — and shop the edit to keep cozy warm all winter.

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For The Coldest Days

In blisteringly cold weather, an insulating down puffer is the only thing that’ll do. For me, that equates to an ankle-grazing style boasting duvet-like warmth (I love Mackage’s belted version and often wear the brand’s ski jackets, too) or my favorite heavier-weight and water-resistant leather puffer coat by Rudsak. Fun fact: Most of the Canadian brands’ styles feature inner backpack straps for easy carrying during travel (or if you overheat).

For Skiing

Few things excite me as much as snow skiing fashion. Even though I’m still a newbie at the sport, I’ve researched the best fashion-forward yet made-to-perform puffers and built my mountain-ready collection with jackets by the Aspen-based label Aztech Mountain and Halfdays. Both brands offer fun colors in sleek silhouettes that pair well with various ski pants and bibs.

For Everyday Warmth

Anyone who lives in or frequents a wintry climate needs an everyday type of puffer that’s well-made and toasty warm but not overly fussy, often in a neutral color like black, white, tan, or gray. Aritzia’s cult-loved, hip-grazing Super Puff and AETHER’s knee-length black Stirling jacket are my two go-to’s. Both puffers, made to function in ultra-low temps, feature a clean and modern look that pairs effortlessly with jeans, leggings, dresses, and beyond. Hot tip: Don’t sleep on the enormous range of colors and textures found in Super World, from pastels and brights to velvet, patent, and iridescent finishes.

With Ultra-Cozy Outfits

I know I’m not alone in wearing half-dressed outfits most days, if not while working from home but on the weekends and for travel. If I haven’t grounded such a look with oversize sweats, you can presume I’ve made PJs look as presentable as possible for quick errands or a coffee run. In these ultra-cozy cases, I lean on comfy puffer jackets like a shearling style (Good American’s is, in a word, gooood) or a cropped and roomy style for layering over a sweatshirt, like Daily Paper’s Epuffa puffer.

With Activewear

Activewear is one of the other most-worn sections of my wardrobe — I live for cute matching sets and workout onesies. When slipping into a spandex look for a Pilates or yoga class, I find myself more inclined to go bolder with my layers to and from the studio. Typically this means tossing on a more directional puffer, like Alo’s super-slick patent style, or a sporty color-blocked design, like Perfect Moment’s black and white chevron jacket.

For Outdoor Winter Workouts

For me, there’s a clear distinction between studio workout outfits and outdoor ones. I often enjoy a cold-weather run, hiking or snowshoeing adventure, and outdoor tennis match in the winter, thus making a made-to-perform puffer paramount. Lululemon’s Down For It All and Columbia’s Omni-Heat styles are my absolute hero pieces — both are incredibly lightweight and built to trap in heat in a way that keeps muscles warm but not overheated. The best part? You don’t need a ton of restricting layers underneath, allowing you to perform to the very best of your ability.

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